After seven months, the California City Police Department has a new chief, one selected from within its own ranks.

Lt. Jesse Hightower was sworn in as chief, on Tuesday, after the City Council approved his appointment.

He had been serving as interim police chief for part of the seven months since the former chief, Jon Walker, resigned in March.

Hightower was chosen following a full recruitment process, in which the city posted the position in a competitive recruiting effort, interim city manager Jim Hart said.

The qualified candidates were interviewed and the top three eligible ones were selected for potential appointment, he said. The number of candidates who applied was not released.

Hart said he chose Hightower from the top three candidates for appointment to the chief’s position, according to the process laid out in the city’s Municipal Code.

The Council voted 4-0, to appoint Hightower, with Mayor Pro Tem Nick Lessenevitch abstaining.

The California City Police Officers Association also voiced its unanimous support for Hightower.

Samantha Barbic, president of Mommies of Mojave, also congratulated him.

“I pray that his endeavors with the community are successful and that he is able to involve himself in more community building and activities throughout the community,” she said.

Hightower’s wife, Christy, pinned the chief’s badge on him, after he took the oath of office.

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