National City made all the right moves, through an extensive, open search process that allowed the community more than enough opportunity to provide their input. Out of this Aldolfo Gonzales was selected as National City’s Police Chief.
Gonzales posses all the qualities that are necessary to project him as a capable leader. Most important, Gonzales is a local product that has historical knowledge of the issues and problems that have plagued the city of National City for decades. He has a personal knowledge of the community and its people. This will bode well for him and allow him to hit the road running with a minimal learning curve.
Gonzales has stated: he is coming into the job with a plan, to audit police services, work with schools and conduct a policy and procedure review and hold public office hours. These sound like good starting points. Lets us hope that they develop into something more than just starting points.
Let us hope, that Chief Gonzales continues the trend started by City Manager Chris Zapata and opens the policy and procedure review to the public. The Citizens will continue to have the opportunity to express their concerns and suggestions. This would be a first good step to begin building the bridge between the NC Police and the community.
In an open forum setting, the community then can address such issues as raised by the JC Penny incident when the Police turned over innocent shoppers to the Border Patrol. In an open forum they can address the issue of who is in charge of the Police. Is it the Mayor, the Chief, or, is it the Union President who is in control?
At an open forum, the community can then raise the issues of concern to them and their families.
Audits, streamlining of workloads, reorganizing of departments are all good, but do little to reach out to the community. Until the process of connecting with the community begins, little change between this administration, and the one it is replacing under Anthony DiCerchio, will occur.