An Exclusive With Our Chief of Police!

Look around our city and many will notice the growth! Rather it be the new businesses, the new homes under construction, or even the road improvements, it’s easy to see that Desert Hot Springs is trending upward! It is obvious that our city staff has done a remarkable job with implementing policies that have infused our local economy, however, we can’t overlook the impact that our Chief of Police, Dale Mondary has had in our development.
Chief Mondary is a highly decorated officer and one that has earned the respect of not only DHS, but valley wide. After retiring from the Sheriff’s department in 2015, Mondary was offered and subsequently accepted the position as Chief of Police with the Desert Hot Springs Police Department; an immediate impact was made with his presence. This impact began at City Hall, flowed into the streets of several communities, and even poured into social media where he can be found answering questions and interacting daily.
How much of an impact? He informed me that according to crime statistics, “In 2014 our reported Part I crimes were 1,555…. in 2015 that number was 1,207 a 32% reduction.” This reduction in stats and the strategies attached to them were all a part of a discussion that I was able to have with Chief Monday. As usual, we should be appreciative of him taking time from his extremely exhaustive schedule to enlighten us all.
Community policing is a method used to ensure that officers are familiar with the community and vice versa. It has been one of the many methods employed to improve community relations. When asked about his community policing strategies, one can’t help but celebrate a Chief who “gets it”.

“I have practiced community policing for a number of years but really focused my efforts on this community. We want our officers involved in the community. We encourage them to get out of the cars and walk around the shopping areas, go to the schools and have “Lunch with a Cop”, we do “Coffee with a Cop” and many other community engagements so that the community gets to know the officers and the officers get to know the community and not just the criminal element.”

As a steady and consistent presence in our city’s various communities, Chief Mondary participated in National Walk to School Day earlier this week. Continuing his thoughts concerning community policing, he added, “It enhances our experience and lets the officers know that not everyone they deal with is a suspect. It also allows the community to interact with the police and show them we are not all over bearing jerks who just want to ticket them or take them to jail. It allows for positive interaction with the youth in the community (which we need to do much more outreach to the teens!!) so that they can see the police are not there to harm them. These things instill confidence in the community and makes them feel part of the partnership in our efforts to make this City safe.” Chief Dale is driven to provide a police department that has a consistent positive relationship with the community they serve.
When it comes to Desert Hot Springs, there usually seems to be a misconception about a few things. Yes, we have healing spas, great views, beautiful homes, amazing schools, and loving people amongst other things… however, the fact that we are amongst the safest citys in the valley needs to be a part of that conversation. Chief also addressed the notion that DHS is considered “unsafe” by many.

“When people tell me that DHS is unsafe, I encourage them to check the data. Yes, at one time Desert Hot Springs was one of the most unsafe cities in California and by a number of measurements it was even considered the worst. But over the course of the last few years with the community involvement, the commitment from the citizens with passing of Measures B and C by historic margins of 70% yes votes and the commitment from the City Council to public safety….the city is quite safe”

A visit from McGruff the Crime Dog coupled with statistical evidence from Chief Mondary, will provide proof that the intentional efforts of our police department have transformed DHS!

“In fact, from being historically the most crime ridden city … it is no longer!! It is not even the worst in the Coachella Valley. In 2017, 4 other cities in the Coachella Valley had higher per capita crime than Desert Hot Springs. We are becoming safer every day. There are still a number of areas in the city that need special enforcement attention, but by and large this city is becoming one of the safest in the [Coachella] Valley.”

(With wife Danette)
The Chief is a Kansas City Chief’s fan and although many of us would prefer for him to have chosen another football team to cheer for, we can all agree that we are fortunate to have him leading our police force and advancing DHS!!! Be sure to check in next week for the conclusion!!!!
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