For his first unofficial duty as Horsham Police Chief, Bill Daly thanked the predecessor of retiring Chief Robert Ruxton for "taking a chance on a 25-year-old kid."
Daly, who, since his hiring in 1987 rose through the ranks and was named sergeant in 1998 and lieutenant in 2004 before being appointed deputy chief in 2013, was sworn in as police chief during Wednesday night's Horsham Township Council meeting.
"I've been here 52 years," the Horsham native told the standing-room-only crowd gathered to recognize Ruxton and usher in a new chief. "I am Horsham."
A U.S. Air Force veteran and product of Hatboro-Horsham School District, Daly said he's proud to serve the township.
"Every day I come to work proud to have this patch on my sleeve and this badge on my chest," he said.
Daly, who was appointed deputy chief Jan. 1, 2013, following the retirement of Captain Joseph Repkoe, will officially take the helm as chief on Jan. 20.
And while Daly told Patch he intends to evaluate "to try to improve," he's "not coming in with wide sweeping changes."
"It's a very well-run police department with excellent men and women," Daly said of the department's 40 sworn police officers.
One of the officers will be promoted within the next month, although Daly said the deputy chief position he's vacating will not be filled "right away."
Instead, Daly said the department will be structured with a chief and three lieutenants, an addition over the two–Jon Clark and Colleen Gerrard–currently serving in those roles.
Repkoe, who was on hand taking photos during Ruxton's recognition Wednesday and Daly's swearing in, placed the utmost confidence in the man, who, as a kid, delivered his newspaper.
"The word 'professional' should carry his picture on it," Repkoe said of Daly.