EDINBURG – In what was suppose to be a run-of-the-mill press conference where city leadership was to announce a new department head, an impromptu swearing in ceremony was instead held for Cesar Torres, the new police chief for the police department.

Torres, a lawman with 27 years experience with Mission Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety in the Rio Grande Valley and in Austin. While in Austin Torres was given the honor to be on the governor's detail.

When Torres takes his post Jan. 7, he hopes to provide better service to the citizens of the City of Edinburg and to ultimately deter crime from coming to the city.

“I ask for the citizens of Edinburg to have confidence in me,” Torres said. “I will work endlessly to bring our crime down, that we will take care of our elderly, our veterans and our needy.”

Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina said safety and security is always the top concern for city leadership.

As the population of Edinburg continues to grow our police department strives to grow and progress with increasing patrols, network in our community and making sure our officers are equipped with everything they need to protect everyone.

More than 30 candidates submitted an application with the city but ultimately Torres was the clear choice with having supervised more than 100 employees before, not including support staff.

The Edinburg Police Department has 160 sworn-in peace officers and about 40 support staff.

Edinburg City Manager Juan Guerra said hiring Torres would help the city improve on keeping the community safe, which is the No. 1 priority for any city.

“The city has a good public safety operation but there is an opportunity and need to improve,” he said.

Guerra continued saying crime is under control within the city limits but city leadership wants to strive to be better. The city manager saw surrounding communities being rated with B's in crime reports but he wants Edinburg to better than that. Because the Edinburg Police Department is the highest paying police force in Hidalgo County, Guerra wants to make sure the tax payer is getting the best return on their investment.

“Police Chief Torres is representing a change in culture and a new idea being added to our current police force,” Guerra said. “Which was good (before), but we need it to be great.”