Colton’s first Hispanic Chief of Police Henry Dominguez aims to forge a tighter relationship between law enforcement and the community

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Colton PD Chief of Police Henry Dominguez and Supervisor Joe Baca Jr. having a conversation about Hispanic heritage and law enforcement in October 2022.

While Hispanic Heritage Month ended on October 15, Supervisor Joe Baca Jr. interviewed Colton Police Department Chief of Police Henry Dominguez regarding Hispanic barriers and heritage, local talent, and protecting and serving the community. 

“Hispanic Heritage Month allows me to look back at the history of Hispanics and how our ancestors contributed to society. It is humbling, and it makes me proud to be where I am today,” said Dominguez. 

Baca said Dominguez serves as a role model to many of Colton’s children and families and gives them hope that they can land a significant, impactful role one day. 

“One thing I’ve noticed is that many Hispanics and Hispanic women are getting into law enforcement. So tell us a little bit about the barriers between law enforcement and the community that you’re trying to break down as a police chief,” said Baca. 

“One thing that we’re doing is starting to communicate and teach our officers how to talk to the community; it goes both ways with the communication. Communication is also about listening, understanding both sides and being willing to hear the other side; when it comes to understanding the community and vice versa,” continued Dominguez. 

Dominguez says that one of the department’s latest initiatives aims to be transparent with the community now and in the future. 

“It’s the transparency. We’re trying to be open with the community and show them that this is who we are. It seems as if before, it was more of an enclosed community; now, it’s more open. We want people to understand that we are not robots; it’s not like in the movies. When we are off work, we’re the family man, the husband, the grandparents, and the babysitter. We do everything the public does, and we’re human too,” Dominguez said. 

While Colton’s population is over 70 percent Hispanic, Dominguez says the department will continue to strengthen its relationship with the community by showing them they are also a part of it. 

“We are a part of the community. We’re not just an outside inquiry dealing with the community; we are a part of the community. And that is one thing I want to emphasize is that breaking down the barriers and the stigma people have on police will happen when people see that we are a part of the community with them,” concluded Dominguez. 

“Thank you for being a positive role model, a positive influence, and for aiming to make your agency a part of the community by really integrating and getting to know the community. As you know, Colton is a very tight-knit community, so we appreciate you keeping the homegrown talent here and everything you do to protect and serve the City of Colton,” concluded Baca. 

To learn more about the Colton Police Department, visit coltonpd.org.