New Yakima Police Chief Sworn In For Duty
The city of Yakima swears in a permanant police chief, after going more than a year without one. Dominic rizzi-junior was sworn in today at police headquarters. Rizzi talks about some of the changes he plans to make as chief.
Dominic Rizzi, Jr.'s swearing in as the new chief for the Yakima Police department today is a family affair, as his wife Valerie pins a chief's badge onto his suit.
Rizzi comes to yakima from chicago. He spent 25 years with that city's police department. Rizzi says the biggest issue facing Yakima police is public perception, he's confident he can improve how residents view the department.
Under former chief Sam Granato, who retired in Janaury of 2011, the poice department faced numerous accusations and lawsuits concerning corruption and officer unrest. Rizzi says the communication process must begin from scratch, both within the department and the community at large.
"If we educate the citizens on what we're allowed to do, and what we're not allowed, what our successes and failures are, they'll be more trusting of law enforcement," says Rizzi.
Rizzi started out as a patrolman, and in 25 years performed different duties, including homicide detective and watch commander. He has experience as a gang crimes tactical officer, that's taught him fighting gangs will be a long term challenge, one he's willing to take on.
"One thing that I have learned is that you cannot arrest your way out of a gang problem, that's not going to happen, it's more of a social issue, and a long term issue," Rizzi says.
Rizzi says he has no definitive timeline, but that everyone will notice change on a gradual basis. Rizzi beat out five other finalists, including the current Ellensburg police chief for the position.