El Monte Police Department was the recipient of the 2006 James Q. Wilson Award for “Excellence in Community Policing.”
Webster’s Dictionary defines relations, “the various connections or dealings in which people are brought together.” The El Monte Police Department places one of its highest priorities on the relationship it maintains with the community that it serves. Realizing the importance of this relationship, in the late 1960s, the concept for the Community Relations Office (CRO) was formed. In the years following, our nationally recognized model of community-based policing has emphasized the “connections or dealings” with all of our residents and has subsequently grown into nearly 50 community and youth outreach programs now being offered through our Community Relations Office.
Elements of Success
Key elements in the success of the Community Relations Office and its programs have been the full support and guidance of our Chief of Police, Steve Schuster, and the enlightened direction of our City Council, both past and present. Another key element has been collaboration. We have managed to bring together many of the agencies and resources in the community and have focused efforts on the common goal of reducing gang violence and criminal activities and improving the quality of life for everyone who works and lives in the friendly City of El Monte.
Today, the Community Relations Office is centrally located at the corner of Valley Boulevard and Johnson Street. Not only has this made our office and the services that we offer more accessible to the community, it has allowed us to greatly improve and expand our level of services to “challenged youth” and their families. The Community Relations Office sends an all-important message to the community. Your needs are important to us, and maintaining a close and continuing relationship with our community will continue to be one of the highest priorities with the El Monte Police Department and the Community Relations Office.
Presently, the Community Relations Office consists of 9 sworn officers and detectives assigned to a variety of assignments within the community. Non-sworn personnel in the Community Relations Office consist of 5 civilian employees and more than 100 volunteers who perform a variety of important tasks. We also have a part-time licensed psychology counselor who utilizes the services of enrolled psychology students from local universities to serve as interns.