Newly sworn in Los Alamos Deputy Chief of Police Oliver Morris Thursday with his wife, Kateri, son Ty and daughter Sierra in the Los Alamos Magistrate Courtroom. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Los Alamos Magistrate Judge Pat Casados administers the oath of office Thursday to Los Alamos Police Department’s newly-appointed Deputy Police Chief Oliver Morris. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Kateri Morris pins the deputy chief’s badge on her husband, now Los Alamos Police Department Deputy Chief Oliver Morris Thursday in the Los Alamos Magistrate Courtroom. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Los Alamos Police Department’s new Deputy Chief Oliver Morris, center, with Cmdr. Preston Ballew, left, and Chief Dino Sgambellone. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Joining Deputy Chief Oliver Morris in celebration his promotion Thursday are, back row from left, Dr. Gary Jacques, Greg Holland, Paul Moseley, Morris and former LAPD Capt. Marla Brooks. Front row: Jacques, Kateri Morris, Ty Morris and Sierra Morris. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Los Alamos Police Department Deputy Chief Oliver Morris, fourth from left, is congratulated by fellow officers, from left, Det. Mike Weiss, Cpl. Everett Williams, Cmdr. Preston Ballew, Chief Dino Sgambellone, former Deputy Chief Jason Wardlow Herrera, Sgt. Eric Wilhoit and Sgt. Ryan Wolking. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Oliver Morris took his oath of office as Los Alamos Police Department Deputy Chief Thursday before Los Alamos Magistrate Judge Pat Casados surrounded by family, friends and fellow officers. Judge Casados swore Morris in 18 years ago when he first joined the Los Alamos Police Department .
Morris expressed his gratitude to all the officers that were present, noting that it has been his absolute honor to work with them and that he appreciates the work they do every day. He recognized former Deputy Chief Jason Wardlow Herrera and Cmdr. Preston Ballew, saying they invested a lot into him as a young officer when they moved to Los Alamos, bringing some experience with them that he had benefitted from.
“I look at some of our sergeants and our corporals and our officers here. You guys do the same thing now. We’re going to get a new officer soon and we’re going to invest into that officer in passing that knowledge down,” Morris said.
He said he never thought he would be in the Deputy Chief’s position.
“I’m super humbled to be here and Capt. (Marla) Brooks, you gave me an opportunity when I flew up here from California and it’s been the best experience of my life. I’ve gotten to do all my dreams because you gave me a job and I’ll never forget that. You were a pillar here in this community and you still are, and just that you took the time to come here today means a lot to me,” Morris said.
He thanked the Hollands and the Jacques for being really great friends to him over the last couple of years.
“As you age in law enforcement you can get cynical and you can go through hard times, but having good friends in the community to help lift you up when you’re down is very important and so I’m very grateful that you guys are here,” Morris said.
Morris’s best friend growing up, Paul Moseley, was present at the ceremony and Morris spoke about 27-year Sierra County Deputy Sheriff Joseph Moseley, Paul’s father, who passed away in 2013. He said he wouldn’t be a police officer if it wasn’t for Deputy Moseley.
“I knew I was going to be a cop one night when he took me on a ride-along in 1996 when I was 16 years old. He was backing up an officer on an old dirt road. We found two children that were left there for two days with their mom high on methamphetamine or some drug. They were soiled, they were crying, and they had nobody. Their mom was out in the woods and one his officers had found that vehicle. And we went out in a rainstorm and collected the children,” Morris said. “Child Youth and Families couldn’t get there that night, so he brought them to his house and his wife, Marianne, drew a bath, cleaned all the soil off the kids, fed them and let them sleep there until they were picked up the next day.”
He said he will never forget that experience and that it was a family team that took care of those kids that night.
“I knew in that moment I was going to be a cop. Paul and I grew up together. I look up to his dad every day. I have his picture on my wall. … I think about that story and I think about all the officers in this room have similar stories – things you have done in your careers. And just think about it, if you didn’t choose to be an officer, where would those kids be that you helped or that person that you saved from their darkest moment. And that’s why we wear the badge,” Morris said.
Morris said when he looks back at Marianne Moseley, she was such a good partner to Deputy Moseley.
“I think about Kateri, and I am very lucky to have the same partner. As she comes up to pin on my badge, I couldn’t get to this point in my career if you weren’t that same type of partner as Marianne was to Joe. That’s where I come from and you guys have done the same job and I’m super happy to be your deputy chief,” he said.
Chief Sgambellone said from his perspective, Morris is such an exceptional officer and leader because he’s an exceptional person.
“You all know that in your own way and I’m really looking forward to the honor of serving with him to lead this department and continue moving forward. I share in his perspective about the team that we have and good days to come,” Sgambellone said.
Emily Wolking, wife of LAPD Sgt. Ryan Wolking congratulates Kateri Morris following the swearing in ceremony Thursday. Photo by Maire O’Neill