By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – Interim Police Chief John Allen became the permanent chief Oct. 11 following a unanimous vote by Public Safety Commissioners.
Commissioners Jeff Bolton, Kevin McIsaac and Martha McDaniel approved Allen; Commissioners Patty Hall and Jason Ortiz were not in attendance.
Bolton congratulated Allen, and offered him the full cooperation of the commission.
“I think that you are going to bring organizational skills to the department that we perhaps have been lacking,” Bolton said. “I think that you are going to bring communication with the community, and I think you are going to have a smoothing effect with the Police Department and Public Safety Commission and City Council.”
Allen said he is going to look at the department’s rules, regulations and policies, and address those that need change.
He said he also is looking forward to working with the community.
“I just met with the leaders of the mosque in Melvindale, and I plan on meeting with all the leaders of all the other churches in Melvindale,” Allen said. “I plan on being an asset to the community by leading by the front so they know who I am, and so they feel comfortable talking to anybody within the Police Department, especially myself.”
He said he considers himself a “figurehead,” and his officers are key to the department’s effectiveness.
“The people that actually do all the work (are) the men and women out there every day,” he said. “It’s not my department. It’s the city’s department, and we are going to move forward.”
He said he is going to have his officers look at the department’s mission statement and core values.
“I am going to empower the patrolmen and the command to come up with that themselves,” he said. “It’s not my mission and my core values, it’s all of ours.”
Allen assures residents that Melvindale is a safe community.
“We are out there patrolling, actively patrolling, and we are trying our best to keep them safe,” he said.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)