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MISSION – Genealogy enthusiast and Assistant Police Chief Robert Dominguez will be taking on a new role beginning March 1. He has been named interim police chief, taking over for current Police Chief Martin Garza who has been tapped by city fathers as interim City Manager.
Dominguez said he is excited to get this opportunity and looks forward to the challenge.
“Like anything, you never stop growing,” said Dominguez about what he hopes to learn as interim chief. “The day you close that book and stop reading is the day you stop learning.”
Dominguez will celebrate 26 years with Mission Police Department in April. Of those 26 years, he has served nearly 17 years as an assistant police chief. He started in the position under Leo Longoria on June 13, 1996.
When he first started, he said he did a ride-a-long with then rookie, Leo Longoria. Dominguez went from patrol to reconstructing accidents, served five years in criminal investigation and was eventually promoted to corporal under Chief Patrick Dallager. It was about another year before he became sergeant. While serving as a sergeant, Dominguez helped with the DARE and ERO programs at Mission Consolidated and Sharyland Independent School Districts.
Dominguez said when he started out as assistant police chief, there was only one. The assistant chief assisted the chief with administration and operations.
When Dallager passed away, Dominguez had the chance to exercise a grant for which the chief had applied. The grant was to hire ten police officers. After that, Dominguez said he learned to write grants and it became sort of his forte.
Dominguez continued to learn both the administrative and operations areas of the department. He said he continues to learn as he finds ways to reach every segment of the community and build a relationships.
The new interim chief said as a veteran officer, he understands this new role is very different from what he has been doing the past 17 years.
“You have the weight of, first and foremost, the community, that you’re responsible for their safety,” said Dominguez. “Secondly, obviously, and just as important, is your staff.”
He said using good old-fashioned police work, modern technology and regional policing concepts help bring everything together to protect the community. We have bridged a gap between us and other law enforcement agencies to help fight the crime in our community, he said.
“I want to continue that effort.”
Dominguez said the growth of the community, not just in population but also area, brings a new challenge.
“I know the challenges that lie ahead,” said Dominguez. “It is a constant that we have to be on top of everything that happens every day. I feel a lot of responsibility that has been put on my shoulders.”
After 26 years though, he says this feels like his hometown. “I am proud to say that everywhere I go, I represent the community of Mission.”
He believes his experience with the Police Department will help him with his new challenge. He has been glad to serve and to know the staff and to help them grow. He wants to utilize their expertise to look at what they currently have but to also look into new technology that can be used to help the community.
He believes the transition will be easy because he already knows the community and people. He has relationships with people in the community that can help with certain issues, whether it be the need for more lighting or extra patrol.
“With that knowledge of how our community has come together,” said Dominguez. “I think it will be easier for me to deliver the services needed.”
He looks forward to the challenges, but more importantly, “To continue to serve the community where there is no interruption of services.”
Dominguez graduated in 1986 from Pan American University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a concentration in police administration. Originally from Elsa, Dominguez and his wife, Cris, have been married for 21 years. They have two children, Robin Nicole and Christopher, of whom they are very proud. His wife also works in law enforcement as a federal agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Harlingen.
On a side note, Dominguez likes to stay organized, loves genealogy, courthouses, and coin collecting.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.