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City names police chief candidates

September 27, 2018

Eight officials with the Brownsville Police Department have submitted applications for the position of police chief.

The personnel, who range from the rank of commander to sergeant, are seeking to replace Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez, who retired last month after 36 years with the department, serving as chief from 2012 until 2018.

Interim Police Chief James Paschall, who was appointed to oversee the department on Sept. 17, did not apply.

The candidates include Uniform Services Commander David Dale, who has been with the department for 26 years. After Rodriguez retired, Dale served as Acting Chief for a few weeks until interim City Manager Michael Lopez appointed Paschall to the interim position.

Patrol Lieutenant William Dietrich, who has been with the Brownsville PD for 21.9 years, also applied for the position, as did Investigations Services Commander Henry Etheridge, who has been with the department for 30.3 years.

Patrol Sergeant Napoleon Gonzalez, 20.3 years with the force; Lieutenant Raul Rodriguez, Emergency Communications Manager, 30.6 years with the Brownsville PD; Lieutenant Felix Sauceda, Uniform Services Adjutant, 26.8 years with the department; Lieutenant Gerard C. Serrata, Criminal Investigations Director, 21.4 years with the force; and Sergeant Carlos A. Zamorano, Auto Theft Supervisor, 22.9 years with the department, have all applied for the chief of police position as well.

Lopez said the selection process is estimated to take between 30 and 45 days.

“ Police Chief Candidates [sic] will be thoroughly vetted to ensure that the City selects a candidate who has the leadership and technical skills to maintain public safety in our community,” Lopez said in a prepared statement. “The selection process is estimated (to) take about 30 to 45 days, which will include meeting with the City Commission and input from Police Union [sic] members.”

Lopez will conduct the interviews of the eight candidates and Human Resources will vet each candidate.

The candidate selected will appear in front of the City Commission for approval.

There are two differences between the search to replace Rodriguez and the search that chose Rodriguez.

Firstly, candidates to replace Rodriguez are being selected from within the Brownsville Police Department.

After former Police Chief Carlos Garcia resigned in December 2011 to become Police Chief of the Port of Brownsville, the applications were accepted from people all over the country. During that search, the City of Brownsville received applicants from as far away as New York and Ohio as well as from within the Brownsville PD.

The other major difference is that Brownsville used a Police Chief Selection Committee made up of city officials, law enforcement officials and a community member to recommend a chief.

The city will not use a committee to recommend Rodriguez’s replacement.

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

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