New captain greets community
Capt. Miguel Rosario became head of the San Diego Police Department’s Northwestern Division, which patrols Carmel Valley, on Sept. 5. Rosario met with the community and members of the Captains Advisory Board on Oct. 28 during an open house at the Northwestern station.
“Aside from having the rank of captain, he’s a true professional,” said board member Charles Kopp, who was part of the selection process following the announcement that Capt. Kathy Healey would retire. “He treats everybody with the kind of respect they deserve and the kind of respect he should get.”
Kopp pointed to an impressive resume, which spans 30 years with the San Diego Police Department. Rosario has also received a number of commendations, including 18 SDPD commanding officer citations. He also received two meritorious service awards; one for actions involving great personal risk during the 1984 McDonald’s massacre in San Ysidro, and one earned while serving with the Border Crimes Prevention Unit in the canyons along the international border.
He also received an American Legion Heroism medal for his work with Border Crimes and the City Manager’s Diversity Award.
Rosario is a Marine Corps veteran. His assignments with the SDPD include patrol and investigations with the Gang Unit, Narcotics, Special Investigations Unit and Financial Crimes Unit. He was a SWAT officer, member of the Sniper Team, graduate of the FBI National Academy. He holds a bachelor’s of science in criminal justice and is pursuing a graduate degree in organizational leadership.
Leader writer Halie Johnson caught up with Rosario during the “meet and greet” to ask a few questions:
Johnson: What are your plans and priorities coming into this position?
Rosario: I want to make sure that everybody knows that it’s not what my ideas are, it’s what the community feels they require … I don’t live here. I come here to serve the community and it’s important that I hear what the people who live here have to say about what scares them; what are the quality of life issues for them.
So we sent out an e-mail asking them ‘what are the community’s priorities’ and they sent back some great info. Some of [their concerns] are speeding, curfew issues, juvenile drunkenness, property crimes like burglary … You can bet that that information is getting back out to the officers.
So, what is my priority? My priority is whatever their priorities are and making sure that everyone is safe.
HJ: So you’re looking for more public input?
MR: Absolutely. Not only input, but involvement. We’re looking for community partners. When we make mistakes, tell us. That’s what I’m looking for is partnerships. [E-mail the division at SDPDNorthwestern@pd.sandiego.gov.]
HJ: What is the main vehicle of communication you plan to use to stay in touch with the community? E-mail?
MR: That certainly is one of the most important ones because you can reach a lot of people quickly. However, I plan to be visible, have open houses like this, go to meetings, make myself available to people across the board, however I can.
HJ: How do you get through to young people when a lot of them don’t want to hear it?
MR: It’s a challenge. I really think you help them; you give them choices. Our challenge is that because of the uniform. It’s just to educate them, talk to young people … give them examples of how underage drinking and staying out late is not a good thing.
We don’t want them getting themselves into situations where somebody else can do something bad to them because they’re out drinking late or something like that.
I think that most young kids, if they know that you mean them well, they’ll listen to you. But they don’t want to be threatened and they don’t want to be pushed around either.
HJ: Anything else you want to add?
MR: I just want to thank the community, because I got here on Sept. 5 and the community has been wonderful, welcoming. And as far as I’m concerned, this is where I want to be for a long time.
Contact Capt. Rosario at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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