Getting to Know Glendale’s New Police Chief

Chief Manuel Cid in the Glendale Police Dept. lobby at the recent unveiling of a Boy Scout project.
Photo by Mary O’KEEFE


Chief Manuel Cid is going into his seventh month as the City of Glendale’s chief of police, and he has settled into an area where he has a bit of family history.

“My uncle, my dad’s brother, was a Glendale police officer in the ’80s,” he said in a recent interview with CVW.

Several of his family members settled in Glendale during that time and he knew the City pretty well prior to his move to the position of chief.

Before becoming Glendale Police Dept.’s (GPD) chief of police Cid had spent about 20 years as a Culver City police officer and the last two and half years as its chief. He said when the position in Glendale became available he knew it was something he wanted.

“I have always respected and admired the organization,” he said. “[Glendale] is a great community, and [GPD] has a professional reputation.”

He added the community support he found in the city was very intriguing and part of the reason he moved to Glendale.

“What really resonated [with] me was the community support of public safety,” he said.

That support was something that was even more important after some calls came in 2020 to “defund the police.” While that attitude has overall waned in recent years there are still echoes of the movement.

Cid said through that time Glendale continued to support public safety and holds the agency to a high standard.

The chief has several priorities for the department including traffic safety, a topic that is always on the minds of those he meets at various community meetings.

In July Consumer Affairs reported on cities that have the “safest drivers” and Glendale took seventh place. Consumer Affairs looked at the total number of car crash fatalities per 100,000 people, the number of fatal crashes due to bad driving, the number of fatalities due to positive blood alcohol content and the number of fatalities to speed. But despite what Consumer Affairs found, traffic is still an issue in Glendale.

At a recent community meeting at the Crescenta Valley Meher & Satig Der Ohanessian Youth Center, discussion turned to traffic and specifically timing of traffic lights.

Those issues are primarily the job of the City’s public works department but Cid said the police work closely with the City to share what they see on the streets.

“There are the three Es of traffic: Enforcement, Education and Engineering,” he said.

For GPD, education and engineering are two parts that the department has the most control over.

Traffic issues are not isolated to Glendale; there are many cities that were established years ago that are now dealing with growing populations and speeding vehicles.

For his part, since he has been chief Cid has increased the number of officers on the street.

“We have a traffic bureau which is really, in the simplest of terms, our motor officers who go out every day and focus on enforcement and education. We have grown that unit since I have been here, which is tough at a time when our department is really lean,” he said.

GPD, like most law enforcement agencies, is dealing with recruitment and retention of staff; however, Cid has been able to move officers around so there can be more on the road. In addition he continues to look for partnerships with others to help in traffic safety. Cid was part of the announcement by Assemblymember Laura Friedman of a pilot program in which cameras would be placed at schools.

Cid also has his department working closely with schools and the Glendale Unified School District (GUSD) administrators on traffic safety. Through sharing information they are able to have officers at “hot spots” around schools but Cid added he could have many officers in one spot issuing citations but that won’t end the problem. Education is the best way to make a lasting change and that happens when he collaborates with the schools.

School Resource Officers (SROs) play an important role in keeping the schools safe, he said. With many school districts debating on reducing or eliminating the SRO program, at GUSD board meetings many parents, students and teachers echoed support for the program to continue in the schools. Cid said instead of reducing SROs the GPD is going in the opposite direction and instead wants to grow the program.

“We live in a day and age of random acts of violence,” he said.

Having an SRO program at schools places officers onsite who will run toward a problem to keep students, and staff, safe.

“I remember being in elementary school and seeing the SRO,” he said.

In addition to safety the SRO program gives youth an opportunity to engage with police officers in a positive way, he said.

Working with school staff, district administration, community members and organizations is something Cid feels is crucial to building a strong department.

During the June 6 protest that turned violent at the GUSD office, there were a lot of police officers present.

“I always want to come from a place where we are over-prepared with a good plan in place, where we are prepared for a big event,” he said.

Even if that event does not turn into an issue like June 6, it is better than underestimating a situation because then there could be a real problem, he said.

Cid pointed out that for about the first three hours on June 6, people who were there to protest on both sides were “boisterous” but it didn’t grow into violence; however, when it did officers were there.

Another area GPD is focusing on is drug abuse, specifically the increased use of fentanyl.

“We have undertaken an initiative here in the City from an education standpoint,” he said.

He added that officers are not only looking at those who are selling fentanyl on a large scale but at lower levels, particularly in schools.

The GPD and City of Glendale also have a proactive approach to the unhoused. It is easy to see the difference between the unhoused population in Glendale and those in nearby cities.

“In this community we show a lot of attention, and constant attention, to the [unhoused issue],” he said. “We have two full time police officers paired with two full time mental health clinicians. Every day we are going out, building relationships with these [unhoused individuals].”

Officers work with non-profits and with the City and Los Angeles County officials that help the unhoused.  

“We try to get them the help they need but also setting clear boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not,” he said.

Cid added that in some cities homelessness is so overwhelming it is difficult to know where to start, which is why Glendale continues to be proactive in this area, including understanding those individuals who are unhoused and get to know them.

For Cid, although he was not raised in Glendale, he knows the City well and has worked to meet with non-profits and organizations that support the area and community members. He spent a lot of time in Glendale with his family, and has always felt a connection not just with the City but also with the GPD.

“It feels like full circle coming here,” he said. “I am beyond blessed that it worked out.”