That's how Clark Bearinger described his transition from a lieutenant in Lancaster City's police department to chief of Quarryville Borough police.
Bearinger, who spent a quarter century with the city department, retired on Thursday, January 4, and took the oath of office in Quarryville the following morning. His first full day in the borough was Monday, January 8.
Bearinger was sworn in by Quarryville Mayor Joseph Bledsoe Jr. following a prayer session in borough council's chambers. Bledsoe, who took office earlier in the week, called the ceremony, "my biggest day so far."
The new chief's wife and six of the couple's seven children, their only grandchild, residents, pastors, and municipal officials witnessed the ceremony.
Quarryville is similar to the community where he was raised, Bearinger said. "I grew up in Denver and it's a lot like Quarryville," he said. "It's a faith-based community where everybody knows everybody."
Bearinger plans to be a working chief, spending time on the street as well as leading the department.
"It will be a challenge to balance the two," he said. "I want to get to know everyone and talk to each officer about what they see as potential improvements in the department."
He does have plans to improve the department's access to law enforcement technology. "Technology allows us to do our job more efficiently and better," he said.
The new chief would like to see a nonprofit foundation help fund those improvements.
"A foundation would be run by community members and would be allowed to take donations for training and equipment that the borough's budget cannot handle," he said. "Our officers need to have the training they need to go home safely every day and to protect the community and a foundation can help us do that."
He also plans to increase the department's connectivity with the community.
"We should use social media more. We can get information out about scams, arrests, and our activities. It can be helpful in preventing crime and solving crime," he said.
Half of his career on the city force was spent with the patrol division and the other half in the detective bureau.
He spent his final year in the city working in the department's administration, choosing that assignment because he planned to become a police chief after retiring from Lancaster.