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Cathedral City

Cathedral City's New Police Chief Big on Community

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Cathedral City, CA -

Travis Walker was sworn in as Cathedral City's police chief less than a week ago. But with over 20 years of experience in law enforcement he brings a wealth of knowledge to the department.

Walker rose through the ranks of the San Bernardino Police Department. He was one of the commanders who led the response to the terrorist attack in December of 2015. 

"I appreciate the opportunities I had to learn from there because it truly prepared me for this position and I look forward to leading this department into the future," says Walker. 

Chief Walker is the first African American to lead the department but he says leadership doesn't come from what you look like but what you stand for. So it was fitting that one of the first things he did as chief was to remind his officers of the department's mission statement, "You can't get any more simple than that we have a duty to protect and serve our community we will do it with dignity and respect no matter what your status is no matter what your socioeconomic status is."

Walker says the outgoing chief, George Crum left a healthy department that's been able to reduce crimes like murder, rape and robbery every year. He says they owe that in part to hiring a crime analyst, "And so  it allows us to better deploy our personnel to those areas where we see crime trends and patters starting to grow and we're better to address it through proactive policing." 

And while he's big on technology and supports things like body cameras for officers, he says there's no substitute for relationships, "Crimes that usually go unsolved because of a lack of trust in the police usually only came down to one officer who had built trust ... I think that's the important side that we often times lose is you know we have to get out of our cars, we have to meet and talk to people, there is value when you get out there and play basketball and build that trust with the kids." 

Walker says his philosophy is based on the principle policing was founded on, "The community is the police and the police are the community, you know we have a duty to protect each other."

Chief Walker's public swearing in ceremony will be held on Wednesday at Cathedral City Hall during the council meeting. 

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