Popular new Oxnard Police Chief sworn in

By Dan Pinedo and George Miller

Former Oxnard Assistant Police Chief and Assistant City Manager Scott Whitney was sworn in as Oxnard’s new Police Chief, in a festive and emotional ceremony on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 City Council meeting.

Whitney, a native Oxnard resident, has more than 20 years of police work, as an Officer, Commander and Assistant Chief. Scott served as Assistant City Manager under City Manager Greg Nyhoff during the city’s tough financial times. Scott Whitney replaces Police Chief Jeri Williams who took the same post in her native, much larger Phoenix, Arizona.

Event video by Dan Pinedo

 

It was obvious that the promotion is a very popular move, as all segments of Oxnard community were present as well wishers. Watch the ceremony if you have any doubts. In the audience were many figures from Whitney’s past, from immediate family, relatives, school friends, teachers, colleagues, community leaders to just plain well-wishers from the community. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Whitney is well-regarded in the community not only as a competent professional, but one who relates very well to all segments of society here, is generally regarded as fair, unbiased and compassionate, from what we have observed and heard in the community. Many people also like the idea of a home-grown Chief. Departed Chief Jeri Williams is not an easy act to follow, but it looks like Whitney is off to a great start.

Some of the statements at the event reflected well not only on Whitney, but Williams and the department as well. One speaker, who happened to be black, remarked that Whitney witnessed a police stop where some of his black acquaintances froze in fright while it was happening. The speaker related how profoundly Whitney was affected by seeing his friends that  way and mentioned that he has always been sensitive to such things. A Latino speaker said that the department has largely overcome its problems in treatment of minorities. But, we still hear occasional complaints at council meetings and there have been incidents in recent years when accusations were leveled at the department. None have been confirmed as bias in investigations, but even the mere perception and any occurrences need to be addressed.

This ceremony took place in the most festive, upbeat atmosphere we have seen in our years of covering Oxnard Council meetings. The whole event took well over a half hour, with introduction, swearing in, Whitney’s extended, emotional remarks, speakers and Council comments. It was followed  by a break, with a commemorative cake served to all comers, before getting back to the dreary business  of contemporary Oxnard Council meetings.

The hopes and prayers of the community go out to Scott and the entire Police and Firefighting public safety organizations to protect and serve.

Some of the ceremony is also visible on the official meeting video.


Dan Pinedo is a Citizen Journalist/photographer residing in Oxnard

George Miller is Publisher of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard

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