In the coming weeks, you might be seeing more of your local lieutenant from the San Gabriel Police Department visiting your neighborhood. That’s because of a new initiative launched by the department that aims to draw a closer link between the community and members of the police department.
“This program is a conduit for people to ask questions and voice concerns – kind of like an extension of 411 with the Chief,” said Eugene Harris, Chief of Police. “The lieutenants act as a liaison, and they are empowered to solve problems in their particular area with autonomy.” While certain problems and issues may require a wider departmental response, this new program – known as the District Lieutenants Program – will allow the lieutenants to focus and resolve problems unique to their district.
“This program divides the city into four geographical beats,” Lt. Fabian Valdez said. “Each area is assigned to a lieutenant who is responsible for addressing any quality of life issues or community issues that are brought to light.”
A map outlining neighborhood districts with their respective lieutenant
While response time is key, the department also hopes that the program will allow each lieutenant to focus on long-term issues. “Our goal is to ensure that we understand resident concerns, and if any interdiction is required by police or other city departments,” Lt. Riki Nakamura said. “This program will ensure that problems get resolved, and that there’s a successful resolution to the issue.”
This emphasis on follow-up, Nakamura notes, is key to the program’s success.
Oftentimes, the department will respond to concerns on a case-by-case basis, with a rotating staff of officers. With this new program, a lieutenant can oversee a case to completion, ensuring that a single point-of-contact is established while a resolution is established. “The lieutenant that’s responsible for a given area has wide latitude and available resources to them for a short, medium and long-term period,” Lt. Fabian Valdez notes. “This program will benefit the community because it gives residents, organizations and businesses a direct line to decision makers within the organization that can resolve problems.”
Lt. Tony Hernandez, Lt. Rene Lopez, Lt. Riki Nakamura and Lt. Fabian Valdez will serve as the area lieutenants for districts one, two, three and four, respectively, while Sgt. Rene Hernandez will serve as the traffic and parking sergeant. The new District Lieutenants Program goes into effect today, and community residents are encouraged to become familiar with their district representative by visiting this link. It should also be noted that the program is not a substitute for 9-1-1 system, which is suited for emergency calls for help or priority calls for service.