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Captains’ Torch Passed From Retiring Joe Reiss to Mike Aquino

More than 100 police and city employees joined community and family members Wednesday afternoon at police headquarters to bid farewell to several retiring Anaheim Police officers, including Capt. Joe Reiss.

Chief John Welter with retiring Capt. Joe Reiss

They also congratulated Mike Aquino, who was promoted to captain.

“I feel blessed to work – and to have worked – with all of you,” Reiss said. “We are a family.”

During his 33-year career, he said, APD’s reputation grew from one of the best departments in Orange County to one of the finest in the nation.

“You should be proud of that,” he told the audience, later adding, “I loved very day of it. I love being a police officer.”

Deputy Chief Craig Hunter presented Reiss with gift from the command staff – a glock handgun with his name, years of service and an APD badge etched onto it.

“If I ever did anything wrong, I wouldn’t want Joe investigating me,” Hunter said, noting Reiss’ legendary detective skills.

Also retiring are Officer Robert Blazek, 20 years; Investigator Steven McIntosh, 17 years;  Officer Guy Reneau, 23 years; Lt. Larry Garrison, 25 years; Lt. Don Klein, 28 years; Sgt. Lew Wuest, 28 years; officer Rick Razee, 31 years; and purchasing specialist Elaine Groom, 20 years.

Reneau transferred to Anaheim from the Vernon Police Department. He said it was an outstanding career decision.

“People come to Anaheim, they rarely leave Anaheim,” he said. “The difference is what we do.”

Public-information officer Sgt. Rick Martinez was also honored for 35 years of service.

Earlier, Police Chief John Welter presented Aquino with his captain bars, noting the “big shoes” he must fill.

A lifelong Anaheim resident and 27-year APD veteran, Aquino is well equipped for the job, Welter said.

“I know he is up for the challenge,” he said. “He has outstanding relationships inside and out of this department.”

Aquino’s most recent assignment included managing personnel, volunteer programs and the Cops 4 Kids non-profit.

Aquino thanked his family – and his APD colleagues. He said his philosophy of “taking care of people and they’ll take care of you” has served him well throughout his career.

Aquino has worked in dozens of roles: patrol, street narcotics, major narcotics, crime task force, internal affairs and the gang enforcement unit. He was promoted to sergeant in 1999 and to lieutenant in 2003.

“I look forward to bringing the police department together during these tough economic times,” he said, “and ensuring we still provide the high quality of service to residents of the city.”

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