On October 20, 2015, people gathered in Council chambers to meet Coalinga’s new Chief of Police Michael Salvador. The Chief addressed the public and then answered questions by the community for a couple hours. Interm City Manager Marissa Trejo and staff treated the public to refreshments.
Chief Salvador spoke about some new programs and ideas that he had implemented at his previous post and how he would like to see some of those same ideas come to fruition in Coalinga. For example, he would like to replace the projectors with large flat screens in order to better utilize technology in presentations and help eliminate consumables.
Interim City Manager Trejo was available to the public to answer any questions that people had concerning current city issues.
During an open conversation, the Chief asked the public what issues they see that need to be addressed in the community. A city employee mentioned one of his concerns was the safety of the community.
Councilman Nathan Vosburg spoke about how he would like to see more Community Outreach Programs put into place in order to re-brand the way that people think of the Police Department in a more positive way. He also suggested that the Police Department introduce more programs similar to the Dare program. Vosburg would also like to see an Explorer program that has a larger span of people that are allowed to participate.
Chief Salvador expressed the importance of having a School Police Officer. He stated that it can have a vital role in how the children view the police, and stated that he would like to see an officer placed at the schools. Salvador stated the he would be bringing back the Explorer program and would like to extend that program to our neighboring cities like Huron as well.
Councilman Steve Raine and Mayor Ramsey were also present at the event and spoke with community members and the Police Chief regarding his appointment.
The event ended with the Council and members of the public meeting at the Police Department for a special workshop requested by Councilman Vosburg to help build a transparent bridge between the Police Department, City Council, and the Public.
Vosburg said, “People nationwide have focused on a negative opinion about police departments and we need to start right here in Coalinga and change that perception.”
The meeting stressed the importance of the Council and the Police Department working together with the public in a multilateral approach in order to secure funding for the future and provide a safe and fun environment for the community.