by Calexico Police Chief Michael Bostic
October 13, 2015 marks the one-year anniversary of my appointment as the Interim Police Chief for the people of Calexico. It has been my honor to serve you as we remake a department that cares about the community it serves.
Your department had many challenges in the past year, not the least of which resulted in many internal investigations that had been ignored by the previous leadership. Through the efforts of the honorable and professional officers and leaders now leading your department, we have been able to complete 39 investigations, many involving serious acts of misconduct reported by the community.
It has been an expensive and challenging effort to complete these complex investigations and the support of the city leadership was the only reason we are able to complete this task. We still have many of these investigations that require criminal review and internal hearings for the next several months, but the drain on our staff, and staffing the field, is beginning to lessen. This will allow us to provide even better service to the community. The FBI and the department will continue its investigations as we continue to provide information on criminal information as we find it to Federal and State prosecutors.
I would like to personally thank some specific people in the law enforcement family that assisted us immensely. Sheriff Ray Loera has been a true professional and helped during this difficult period with investigative resources; field personnel to police the city during our internal trainings and meetings; and his attendance at countless community meetings to maintain the peace at some rancorous times. Chief Charlie Beck, LAPD, extended his Department’s technical expertise and opened his academy for our personnel to get caught up on state training requirements that were 3 years behind. Chief Provost and Assistant Chief Villareal, US Border Patrol, have been incredible partners in policing our city and extending resources, overtime resources and technical assistance that will become standard for our departments in the future. I would also like to thank our Police Officers’ Association and their continued professionalism toward a new future in Calexico. It has been trying for them as well, and they are committed to becoming a professional Police Department.
We have been able to make some great strides forward serving you in our community. The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), US Department of Justice, is designing a 3-year plan to assist us in moving forward with community policing and professional department systems development. Before the end of this year, COPS will be making community and council presentations on their support of our path forward. Moreover, the following accomplishments of your department personnel point to a bright future in policing:
- Body cameras have been purchased and will be assigned soon.
- A city wide video system is being built to protect our city.
- We upgraded our Tasers (less than lethal) self-defense weapons.
- We have 17 potential new officers in background processes to fill our vacancies.
- We completed phase one of the testing process to fill 5 supervisor positions.
- We are testing monthly for new hires until all vacancies are filled.
- We created a new Mission Statement focused on integrity and community service.
- We are testing for two dispatch positions this month.
- We have been working with the Fire Department to develop plans to improve or replace our aging public safety facilities.
- We have been able to parlay grant funds and replace a majority of our vehicle fleet with new equipment.
- We have begun replacing aging computer systems in the station and the vehicles.
- We have implemented policies to ensure all police reports and personnel complaints are taken and investigated.
- We eliminated a $1 million waste of taxpayer money for unnecessary overtime through actually managing overtime.
- We purchased equipment for the baseball and softball fields throughout the city with narcotics asset forfeiture money, within the guidelines of those funds. This included new scoreboard that city staff is preparing to install.
We have an incredible future planned for the city with the implementation of community policing. In the coming year we will:
- Fill our vacancies with officers and staff that care about Calexico.
- Select new leaders in the department that believe in service to the community.
- Organize volunteers and reserve officer programs, with emphasis on the new video systems to deter and detect crime in the city.
- Re-implement the School Resource Officer program.
- Re-implement foot patrols in the business areas.
- Re-implement the K-9 officer program.
- Re-implement the Motor Officer-Traffic Officer program.
- Build Neighborhood Watch programs
- Build Business Watch programs.
- Build Senior Watch programs.
- Train all our civilian staffs and sworn personnel to catch up on a 3-year backlog.
- Our Calexico High School students are designing new shoulder patches for our uniforms and new emblems for our cars. We are very excited.
I would like to thank the members of the City Council and all our community leaders that have made all this possible and our future is very bright together!