Turlock police Lt. Joey Mercado was recently honored in front of friends, family, and colleagues for his recent promotion from Sergeant.
Mercado’s promotion to Lieutenant comes as the final one in slew of changes for the Turlock Police Department after former Captain Carl Nielsen left the department to take over as Police Chief in Centralia, Wash.
Through Mercado’s 21 years of law enforcement experience, he has deeply impacted so many of his colleagues, which was very evident at his promotion ceremony.
“Joey’s one of those employees that every police chief likes to have on his management team,” said Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson. “Always optimistic, an exceptional employee."
Joining the Turlock Police Department in 1994 after graduating from the Butte Law Enforcement Basic Academy, Mercado spent the majority of his career on patrol. He was promoted to Corporal in 2001 and Sergeant in 2010.
He is credited many of the Turlock Police Department's most successful programs and his bio is 17 pages long, as Chief Jackson joked.
Mercado has been a K9 handler, investigator on the CAGE unit, supervisor of the CAGE unit, and is a four-time recipient of the Turlock Police Department Excellence Award — in 1997, 1999, 2004, and 2014.
In 2004, Mercado transferred to the Modesto Police Department, where he coordinated the Restorative Policing Program for the mentally ill and Habitual Transient Offender (HTO) for the homeless while working as a Downtown Bike Patrol Officer.
Mercado returned to the Turlock Police Department in 2007 and introduced the Restorative and HTO Programs to Turlock.
The number of family and friends in attendance showed how much an impact Mercado has made on everyone he has met in his life.
Mercado didn’t take it for granted, and reflected on how each of those people have impacted his life and his career.
“They saw something in me that I didn’t believe until today,” said Mercado, reflecting on the people who gave him his first chance in law enforcement.