A community that cares is exemplified by its schools, quality of life, commerce, religious institutions and safety. National City has made significant strides in all of these areas in particular, public safety.
Resident support for community policing, a laser like focus by the city council in allocating resources and building new and high quality fire and police facilities, business partnerships and the leadership of Police Chief Dr. Adolfo Gonzales and Emergency Services Director Frank Parra are key ingredients.
Equally important are the men and women that serve in these departments and the fellow city departments that support public safety. Each of these stakeholders share a common goal—they care about National City and they are committed to making it a safe place for children, the elderly, visitors and businesses.
In the police department there are a number of daily examples demonstrating this care and commitment.
Last month our community received an update highlighting the extraordinary efforts made by our police detectives to continue working on cold crime cases that date back to 50 plus years.
As well as the length of time involved in solving these murders and disappearances, there is also the factor of distance and enforcement authority as some of these cases involve foreign countries and sovereign governments.
But time, distance and sovereignty have not deterred our police department from continuing to work and solve these “cold cases”.
Improvements in technology, communication and old fashioned perseverance have given our community and the long suffering family and friends of victims hope. Lead detective Dennis Leach provided our community a snapshot of this ongoing movie at a recent city council meeting.
As a result it is very encouraging to know that the Mary Lou Olson murder and disappearance in 1960 is still an ongoing concern and being worked on by the department. The 1986 murder of Jose de Jesus Moreno Romo is being worked on with cooperation from Mexico and in conjunction with our District Attorney’s office, and is currently scheduled for a hearing this month. A 1998 case is being worked on in the Philippines with the assistance of the United States Marshal with extradition currently underway.
These are a small sample of cases that demonstrate to long suffering families and friends that National City cares.
Talented and committed public servants are working together to continue making a difference in a sometimes violent and tragic world. They do this daily despite the constraints of authority, distance and time. In future articles, updates on these cases and hopefully resolution of them will happen.
Zapata is National City City Manager.