In 1984, Dale Call was given his first police badge by his father, Westport Police Inspector George Call in Town Hall's auditorium.

On Friday, he returned to that same room to claim the department's top brass, as he was sworn in as Westport's eighth police chief. Succeeding Call as deputy chief is Fotios Koskinas, who was also sworn-in Friday.

"It's a humbling experience," Call said. "I feel both honored and privileged to have been given the opportunity to lead what I have always believed is one of the finest police departments in the state."

Call succeeds Al Fiore, who retired in August. Koskinas formerly served as a captain. Both Call and Koskinas are Westport natives and have spent their entire careers with the town's Police Department. Call joined the department in 1981, while Koskinas started as a Westport officer in 1996.

Reflecting on his career, Call said his most memorable case was changing a tire in the rain for a woman trying to take her daughter to a hospital.

"It's important to remember that it's these small acts that we do, and because of these acts, and far more often than the big cases, that we are remembered," he added. "That one small incident might be the only time we have to make an impression on someone."

Dozens of public safety officials attended the ceremony, including Call's predecessor, Fiore, Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury and Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara.

Civilians were also on hand to salute Call's promotion, including family, friends and other town officials.

"This is a really cool moment," said Call's 17-year-old son, Ben. "My dad's been in the Police Department my whole life. I still remember his last promotion. In the last few years, I've become more cognizant of his work."

Call's wife, Suzanne, also was pleased by his rise to the top rank in the Westport Police Department.

"It's good to see all his hard work come to fruition," she said.

Koskinas said one of his primary objectives as deputy chief would be to foster better relations between police and the public.

"We really want to have customer-oriented service because that's what we do," Koskinas said. "We want citizens to feel comfortable with us and feel that they can voice their concerns."