The new Glendale police chief was introduced by city manager Scott Ochoa at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Robert Castro is currently the chief of police for the city of Glendora, a position he has held for the past three years. He is expected to take over as Glendale’s chief of police on Monday, Dec. 16.
Chief Castro began his law enforcement career working for the City of Glendora as a police cadet in 1985. He was hired as a police officer in 1986 and worked his way up through the ranks to chief. He was part of 42 initial applicants that was narrowed down to 12 then to six, then to the top three.
“[Applicants] came from across the country,” Ochoa said.
Ochoa reasoned Glendale’s appeal is its location as a Los Angeles metropolitan area and the fact that GPD is one of the largest independent cities with an independent municipal police department.
Although Glendale is a large city in a metropolitan setting, its residents still think of it as a small town.
“That was a very interesting dynamic,” Ochoa said.
He felt Castro’s experience working in a suburban police department would be beneficial for the city of Glendale. As police chief he has had to deal with a variety of issues on his own.
“The experience is critically important. Sitting in that chair [of chief of police] and doing the job provides you with the context nothing can replicate,” Ochoa said.
As the police chief of Glendora, Castro transformed the police department into a highly effective and efficient organization, an evolution hastened by the Great Recession. Difficult financial conditions resulted in a 20% personnel reduction in Glendora PD, however, Chief Castro was able to use the financial crisis as an opportunity to innovate. He implemented Focus-Based Continuous Improvement Policing and District Policing programs that included the use of innovative technologies. His management philosophy is predicated on exceptional customer service, values-based management, and continuous performance improvement, according to the city of Glendale statement.
Castro is very active in regional policing efforts in the San Gabriel Valley as a means of delivering quality, cost-efficient service. Through his leadership, Glendora maintains a strong regional profile in diverse areas such as helicopter/air support, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), jailing services, and public safety radio systems. Castro has managed the Office of Traffic Safety Traffic DUI and Traffic Safety Grant for all of Los Angeles County for the past five years. His Focus-Based Policing program resulted in injury traffic collisions declining 5% each year. He has been very successful in obtaining grant funds to implement many of the programs and technologies used to meet the contemporary challenges of public safety.
His community involvement includes being a member of Kiwanis, PTA, chamber of commerce, and numerous community committees in the city of Glendora, the city release stated.
“Glendale is truly an incredible community which is diverse, proud, and has wonderful involvement and support. I am honored to have the opportunity to bring my experiences and ideas to this dynamic community, organization, and management team,” stated Chief Castro. “I believe by working with and listening closely to employees, community members, and city leaders we can improve the quality of life for all who live, work, and visit Glendale. I am very excited to replicate many of the successful processes I have used during my career here in Glendale.”
Chief Castro, 48, and his wife, Cynthia, an elementary school teacher, have two sons: Nicholas, 16, and Robbie, 18. He and his family enjoy fitness activities, such as running and mountain bike riding.