Posted: Feb 2, 2012 5:39 PM
Updated: Feb 2, 2012 6:09 PM
ROMA - A Valley police chief is doing what he can to make people in his community feel safe. His approach includes direct communication.
Getting directly in touch with Roma police Chief Jose Garcia is as simple as picking up your phone. The chief says he wants people in his community to feel comfortable calling him about anything or anyone.
Getting in touch with this top cop is easy. Your calls go straight to his cell phone.
"It doesn't matter if they call me during the day or during the night. If they determine that it's important to them, I feel I should make myself accessible," says Garcia.
All you have to do to find his number is enter the police department. It's posted at the front desk. People seem to like his open call policy.
"I feel more confident. You call at whatever hour," says one resident.
The chief says he gets dozens of calls a day, and he gets them around the clock.
"Most of the calls in the night, parents wanting to know what will happen to their kids when they get arrested," says Garcia.
He gets call from concerned parents to concerned citizens.
"A couple of times when the shooting was too close for comfort in Miguel Aleman. I got calls from people who knew my number or knew my family members. What they were hearing was kind of close," says Garcia.
He says being so accessible means he doesn't have to worry as much. He can keep his ear to the ground and a close watch on his officers.
"Complaints. They felt the officer did not respond in the appropriate time," says Garcia.
He says he looks into each and every complaint. He takes the time and care to make the people of Roma feel protected and at ease with his department.
Garcia was born and raised in Roma. He spent his entire career at the police department. He says an increase in crime is making his job harder, but the chief is committed to keeping the small border town as safe as he can.