Meet the new police chief in La Mesa

La Mesa, California-After 8 months of search, the La Mesa Police Department found On a familiar face For their next top police.

53-year-old Ray Sweeney has worked in the department for 20 years and has been patrolling since 2001. Over the years, he has risen rapidly and was promoted to captain in 2015. If anyone knows the city of La Mesa, it is Sweeney, who also raised three children in the community.

The new captain and those who lobbied him for the job believe that a wealth of local experience is a big advantage, but some members of the community believe that this recruitment is a missed opportunity to bring a new perspective.

In December last year, a local person who attended a Zoom public meeting said: “We often pay attention to those who get along for a long time, and these people are often the most prejudiced.”

This conference call is part of the public process for selecting the next person in charge.The city expressed its desire to be transparent after the incident protest with riot From May 2020, after Body camera lens Shows a La Mesa officer pushing a black man onto a bench during a brutal arrest Cause him to be fired.

The riot happened on Summer of protest In San Diego and across the country, demonstrators in the Black’s Fate Movement called for meaningful reforms in policing, especially around the way police interact with people of color.

The department said that after the former director Walter Vasquez stepped down on August 27, La Mesa’s search was narrowed to two dozen potential replacements, including six blacks, five Hispanics and one female candidate. people.

In the end, Sweeney got the job. He said he was a suitable candidate.

“A lot, but I’m ready to start working,” Sweeney told FOX 5.

“It usually takes about a year for a newly appointed police chief to understand that city and institution,” he continued. “I have known this city for more than 20 years. We have a lot of work to do and there is not much time to waste.”

He may have just settled down, but Sweeney said he is aware of some of the toughest challenges he faces.

“Rebuild public trust and maintain the high morals of officers,” he said. “I just want to try new things.”

In addition to the new person in charge, the city recently approved a community police supervision committee.



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