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Hope, praise for incoming Glendale police chief

Residents and area officials offer best wishes to the new head of the department.

October 24, 2013|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • New Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro.
New Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro. (Courtesy of the…)

Robert Castro, who was introduced this week as the new chief of the Glendale Police Department, may not be a household name yet among local residents, but he's already receiving plenty of requests for assistance.

Residents Mirna Stanley and Civil Service Commissioner Art Devine are hoping Castro, who is currently chief of the Glendora Police Department, will address traffic safety issues and the recent pedestrian-involved fatalities to “stop the carnage.”

Berdj Karapetian, chairman of the Glendale chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America, wants to see more top-level positions diversified in the police department so they reflect the larger community.

City Manager Scott Ochoa said he is confident Castro will meet the interests of the city's varying demands because of his well-roundedness, ability to solve problems and focus on providing exceptional customer service.

Ochoa announced Castro's appointment on Tuesday following a nationwide search to replace outgoing Police Chief Ron De Pompa, who retired in February. City officials rehired De Pompa on an hourly basis as they searched for his replacement.

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Castro, 48, is expected to start working in Glendale on Dec. 16.

Det. Jason Ross, president of the Glendale Police Officers' Assn., said officers were “excited and supportive” of Ochoa's decision following the exhaustive search.

“Chief Castro's reputation precedes him and that [leads] us to believe he will be as successful here as he was during his career in Glendora,” he said.

Castro was hired by the Glendora Police Department as an officer in 1986, rose through the ranks and became police chief in January 2011.

Castro was one of six candidates who took part in interviews with three panels made up of city personnel, union representatives, police officials and community members.

Each council member provided an executive search firm and city officials with the name of a community member they believed would best represent various groups in the city, Ochoa said. From there, city officials and the search firm selected additional members from the community.

The community panel was made up of nine people who represented various neighborhoods, a clergy group, educational and business interests and Korean, Latino and Armenian groups in Glendale, he said.

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