This week on Couch’s Corner, I wanted to share with you some sentiments shared with my office from Delano Police Chief Robert Nevarez. District 4 staff was talking to him about building trust in the community, how it was our desire to do so and how we applauded his efforts. We reached out to him to share his vision and this is what your chief sent us:
“In 33 years of law enforcement experience, I have learned many lessons. As I look back, I believe the single most important of these lessons is never losing sight of the importance of community trust. I’ve personally seen what can happen when people lose confidence in those sworn to protect them. It’s never good.
“With trust firmly in place, however, partnerships between the community and police can flourish and countless objectives can be accomplished. It is a beautiful thing to witness. On the other hand, we have all seen what can happen when a police department has lost confidence from its community. Ferguson, Missouri and Los Angeles, after the Rodney King verdict, are the two most obvious examples.
“When I came to Delano, it was my first priority to create additional conduits through which we could build trust here. I’ve simply established the vision and allowed my incredible workforce to come up with the details of ’how’ to accomplish this. I was fortunate to inherit a department of men and women who possess a strong desire to humbly serve the community.
“I think you’ve all seen the abundant efforts we’ve undertaken. Right after I came on many department members participated in the Internet sensation Delano PD lip-synch challenge. That video had millions of views with most comments very favorable of the police. In addition, numerous officers have creatively come up with other programs that have helped us connect with groups that may inherently be distrustful. For example, we reached out to the migrant community through Café con Campesinos, Hispanic Residents Academy, Farmworker Appreciation Day and through our ongoing relationship with California Rural Legal Assistance.
“We’ve also made it a priority to intentionally interact with youth. We’ve done this through several Chopping it up with a Cop events at Delano barber shops. This has allowed for hundreds of one on one, meaningful conversations with young adults who might not otherwise talk to a police officer.”
Chief Nevarez ended with this: “Finally, officers understood the challenge for many elderly persons not being able to interact with cops. From that understanding was born Loteria con la Policia held at locations where our senior citizens gather. I cannot emphasize enough how talented my personnel are in coming up with unique networks of building trust. There have been countless other examples of this, such as National Night Out, Neighborhood Block Parties, Coffee with a Cop, Backpack Drives and more, all geared toward the continual end goal: Trust.”
As your Kern County District 4 Supervisor, it is my desire to work with people like the chief and others in Delano, and in all of District 4, to build trust, just like your police chief has and continues to do. That is why we have tried to be everywhere, and meet with all of you, and to serve all of you. I am thankful that you have a police chief with a servant’s heart like Chief Nevarez. We can all learn from him.
Got any questions about Delano PD? Call 661-721-3377. If you have any District 4 questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 661-868-3680. Have a great week!
David Couch represents Kern County's Fourth District.