Wednesday, June 17, 2009

So long, Gascon

Mesa Police Chief George Gascon has taken the job as Chief of Police in San Francisco, California. While this is disappointing because there is still a lot of work to be done in Mesa, as we said before, it shouldn't be all that surprising.

He has always aspired to bigger and better things and it has been said all along that he would eventually be looking to return to California. His family is in California and Sheriff Joe is not. Talk about a double bonus.

Only time will tell how Gascon's legacy will play out in Mesa. He has done a lot to help the community and reduce crime. He has revolutionized the way Mesa does their police work and the tools and technology that they have at their disposal. He will always be able to point to this year's record low homicide rate as an example of his ability to create success.

On the other hand, he was an outspoken and public persona. He clashed openly with Sheriff Arpaio and it was clear that he was not one to back down. His strong personality and dedication to overall crime prevention made some feel like he wasn't focused enough on illegal immigration, an issue exacerbated by the fact that he was of Cuban-descent and had an accent.

Even more importantly, Mesa must now find a chief to take the reins and finish what Gascon has started. We cannot allow all of this progress to be halted because of a change in leadership. This is also an opportunity to foster a change in perception. Again, most thinking people understand that Mesa is not and never has been a "sanctuary city." However, the perception persists, and hiring someone who is tough on immigration, but a lot more thoughtful than the sheriff or any of the other zealots might be a good move.

We wish Gascon the best of luck in his future endeavor and thank him for leaving Mesa a better place.


Heath Reed said...

Goodbye Gas-fraud. I like some of the things he did, but I feel he could have done better. I do think he has been one of our better police chiefs in a while. However, Mesa needs someone who can enforce all laws, work with the city government, listen to the what the people are saying, and working with Joe. I don't care if you like him or not, but this is law enforcement and the city and county needs to work together to make our cities safer in all aspects. Gascon could not do all of this and in a way played a political game.

He fits in wacko liberal SF.

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