Rejoice citizens, we have a new Chief of Police, Ciro Dominguez, who believes policing is a people business and meeting the needs of the community is paramount. And as luck would have it, he knows Naples well.
Chief Dominguez graduated from Naples High School and started his 38-year career as a law enforcement professional at the Naples Police Department. He only moved away from the City (in 1992) in order to gain a deeper and wider understanding of criminal justice; which he did on multiple levels, both with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
In 2020, after overseeing Hillsborough’s Department of Operational Support, including the Homeland Security Division, he retired as a colonel from the HCSO. While he waited patiently for the top job in Naples’ Command Staff to become vacant, he wrote a book. Last month he was selected to succeed former Chief Tom Weschler, from an original pool of 175 candidates.
In the last four weeks he’s hit the ground running. He says enthusiasm is high in the department and people “are thirsty to serve and improve.”
“It really is an honor to bring everything I’ve learned and pour it into this department and community. There’s no place else I’d rather be than Naples. I am committed to investing 100% in the community and to the men and women of the Naples PD.”
In the short term his goal is to listen to his colleagues and work with them to establish a strategic plan. He told GSAC Board members at their meeting this week that the intention is “to re-engineer ourselves to be more effective and collaborative.”
A big fan of Peelian principles as defined by the 19th century British Statesman, Sir Robert Peel, Dominguez believes in Peel’s sentiment that “The police are the public, and the public are the police.”
To that end, community policing will be at the heart of the department’s strategic plan. “Recruiting more police officers, reconstructing units that have been shut down and increasing our presence in, and engagement with, the community with proactive patrolling are key parts in deterrence and “pushing crime away” he says.
When asked about his long term objectives, Dominguez replied that mentoring, training and instilling a leadership culture was integral to the department’s success. “I want an agency so strong, a bench so strong, that when it comes time for me to go, that the City will have a very hard time figuring out who to hire from within.”