Garcia pays tribute to his predecessor
Molly Davis, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/06/2011 08:04:26 PM PDT

REDLANDS – Mark Garcia, the new police chief, is assessing things.

“At this point, I’m doing evaluations” of how the Redlands Police Department works, he said in an interview Tuesday. “I’m not committing to any types of changes.”

Instead, San Bernardino’s former assistant police chief is getting a feel for how the Redlands P.D. works and looking at how his predecessor, Jim Bueermann, set the framework for a modern police agency.

“Chief Bueermann did a great job of building the department,” Garcia said, settling in to his office at the police annex. “I commend him for it.”

And his new employees are already praising Garcia’s contributions.

“Chief Garcia brings a diversified resume to the city of Redlands,” said Lt. Travis Martinez. “He has a tremendous amount of experience in dealing with law enforcement issues.

“Redlands residents should know that their new chief will bring a fresh approach to providing police services but the partnership between the community and its Police Department will become even stronger.”

Until his June 17 appointment, Garcia was the assistant police chief in San Bernardino, spending 24 years with that Police Department, each day a different challenge, he said.

“In my job, I look forward to going to work,” he said. “It’s always challenging. Every day is different.”

Garcia said he has worked in several law-enforcement areas, from narcotics to internal affairs, and enjoys it all.

But most of all, he enjoys seeing his police officers and staff reach their goals.

“(I like to) help employees become the best they can be,” he said. “It’s an important part of what we do.”

And Redlands is a nice change of pace for the new chief, who said he’s always looked at the town as a “destination city.”

“I’ve always had a lot of respect for the RPD,” Garcia said. “I consider this a really good opportunity in a great city.”

He said he’s not looking to change things but rather he’s evaluating how the department works and how he’ll fit in.

“I know several members of the community are wondering if Chief Garcia will continue the community policing approach,” Martinez said. “By all accounts, he is committed to continue working in collaboration with members of our community to provide the level of service Redlands residents have come to expect.”

And the police annex’s proximity to City Hall across the street has its benefits, too, Garcia said, explaining that it’s easier to work together when they’re so close.

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