CENTER — The journey for Aaron Fresquez to become the new Police Chief in Center officially concluded on Oct. 25 when the town trustees announced their decision to choose Fresquez over other candidates for the job.
As Fresquez noted on the Center Police Department Facebook page, “I am excited for this new adventure. I will continue to do my best and work just as hard in keeping the community safe, and leading my troops to do the same.”
When former Police Chief Dale Meek took a different job in Alaska, Fresquez assumed the interim police chief position immediately. At the same time, city officials conducted the hiring practice from scratch, according to Town Manager Brian Lujan.
“We went through the whole process for the position,” Lujan said. “We got a number of applications and resumes, and then we had a work session where the board rated the resumes.”
They narrowed it down to four applicants — five including Fresquez. Lujan sent a request for information form to the four prospects, the first step in running background checks, contacting employers, and learning more about the candidates.
“Out of the four,” Lujan explained, “only two returned that request for information form back to me with their signature.”
Lujan and town officials conducted two interviews in one evening and interviewed Fresquez. On Oct. 25, according to Lujan, “the board felt comfortable enough to make the decision based on his qualifications, his longevity with the department, and his ability to keep continuity with what Chief Meek was progressing toward.”
In addition to cooperating with other agencies during emergencies and large events like the Seven Peaks Music Festival in Villa Grove last Labor Day Weekend, Fresquez has engaged with the community with new ideas that follow the path Chief Meek paved.
The Coffee with the Chief tradition continues. Guest speakers touch on topics, and other members of the department participate as well. The Center Drag Races drew residents together for a fun afternoon focused on fixing the problem of street racing.
Similarly, the K-9 Unit is expanding successfully. Leveraging his expertise and background, Officer Adam Fresquez spearheads training. The dogs ultimately become part of the department’s staff or are sold to other agencies. Beyond the town of Center, other police departments have requested more information and training for dogs.
Looking ahead, the new police chief invited other local law enforcement professionals to come to 500 S. Broadway St. for a two-day training session Dec. 12-13. The “Advanced Criminal Enforcement Interdiction Tactics” class costs $279 per student. For more information, the website for Advanced Criminal Enforcement Interdiction Tactics is aceinterdiction.com.
Interested law enforcement professionals can also contact the Center Police Department to learn more about the training.