A career Corona police officer is now the city’s police chief, following the retirement of his predecessor.

Robert Newman, 48, replaces George Johnstone in the top slot at the Corona Police Department, after being appointed by City Manager Jacob Ellis.

“It takes many years of training and experience to be prepared to serve effectively in this capacity, and it is rewarding to see one of our own earn the opportunity to lead,” Ellis said. “I have full confidence that (Newman) possesses the commitment, leadership qualities, and integrity necessary to continue Corona’s proud tradition of `Excellence in Policing.”’

Johnstone, 52, retired earlier this month, but city officials did not immediately confirm whether that was a long-planned change, or stemmed from circumstances that required an abrupt departure. He had been at the helm since August 2018.

Newman officially stepped into the role Tuesday, according to city manager’s office.

He started with the department in 1995, and during the last quarter century, he worked patrol, in the detective bureau, as a watch commander and supervisor of the K9 unit.

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