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April 1, 2023

Chief Westrick reflects on career, tenure in Hollister

Hollister Police Chief David Westrick appears content after his announcement to retire after seven years in the top role and 16 years in total with the force. 

“I couldn’t be happier with what I’m doing and happy with the staff and happy in my personal life,” said Westrick, who made the announcement last week. 

Westrick will leave the department later this year with three decades of police work under his belt. The charismatic chief said he’s been asked whether the coming change with the city manager role or Hollister’s revival of its signature biker rally played into his decision. Longtime City Manager Bill Avera is retiring this month. 

“None of that had any factor in it at all,” he said. “It’s just a personal decision. You want to leave while you’re happy and you’re content.” 

Westrick in an interview with San Benito Live looked back on an array of accomplishments and said he felt appreciated with his work. 

“It’s been great,” he said. “I’ve had just a great community support. We’ve added a little less than 50 percent more staff.” 

He said he feels ready to move on to other endeavors in life. 

“Right now, I’m closing this chapter of it because really, at this point, I don’t have anything else to accomplish,” he said. 

He’s not exactly sure what he’ll do next, though, even though he gets recruited “all the time.” He did say he’s not shutting the door on anything. 

“Right now, I’m just not entertaining anything,” he said, adding how his family would have to make that decision together. “If I do, I do.” 

Westrick, who is originally from North Fork east of Merced, previously worked in Los Banos and Redwood City before his arrival to the HPD in 2003. He noted how he had worked the Hollister Motorcycle Rally as a contract officer in the late 1990s for a few years. 

“I was one of those guys,” he said. “I was familiar with the city. I knew people who worked here.”

He said while with the Hollister P.D., he earned a bachelor’s degree and was promoted to captain in 2009. 

“People knew that I was pretty good with numbers,” he said. “That’s kind of my forte, numbers and complicated stuff like that.” 

He said one of the proudest achievements in his tenure is that the department was never over budget. 

“Not once,” he said. 

He went on: “I would hope that people will remember that. I would hope that the agency is known for its engagement, its transparency. That’s really what I was shooting for the whole time.”

Westrick has been known to be approachable, particularly on social media. 

“I think that staying on top of things was aided by us engaging with all the different social media channels,” he said. 

He said he expects to continue to be involved in the community through volunteering and such. 

“I think really the thing that is important to me is that I just want to express gratitude to not only my staff and the city for such great support,” he said, “but just the people out there.”

Below are San Benito Live videos featuring Chief David Westrick: