El Monte’s Second Choice For Police Chief May Not Be Much Better Than The First
City of El Monte picks David Reynoso of the Baldwin Park Police Department as its next police chief.
David Reynoso, who’s spent the last 25 years working for Baldwin Park, will be the first police chief that doesn’t come from the department’s ranks.
“Mr. Reynoso brings with him years of experience as an officer and leader in a nearby community, allowing him to understand at a regional level the challenges and opportunities that we face here in El Monte.” – City Manager Raul Godinez II
Even though Reynoso doesn’t currently live in El Monte, he has local roots by way of family and attending school there as a child. El Monte’s City Manager believes these roots will help him in his new leadership role.
David Reynoso’s naming as police chief comes just a month after Godinez’s first choice, Eric McBride, withdrew his candidacy amid community backlash of his election. McBride of San Bernardino, drew criticism from local activist for his controversial stance on undocumented immigrants. McBride was known for backing anti-illegal immigration policies. Considering El Monte’s large Latino population, local residents felt McBride’s election was a “slap to the face,” according to El Monte resident and activist Veronica Tomas-Castro.
Although new police chief David Reynoso is Latino, Tomas-Castro and other activists feel he is not an improvement over the previous candidate. Reynoso was a proponent of DUI checkpoints that many believed were used to target unlicensed and undocumented drivers rather than drunk drivers. A checkpoint in December of 2013 led to the arrest of 30 unlicensed drivers:
“Families were torn apart, kids went to foster homes. The next morning there were protestors at the door of the police department. Captain Reynoso came out and defended the department’s actions.” – Veronica Tomas-Castro, local activist
Despite these concerns, the city feels confident in their decision and felt no need to be concerned over the checkpoint controversy. El Monte’s Mayor, Andre Quintero, expressed his confidence in the city council’s ability to set policies that are fair to the city’s immigrant population.