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Oxnard’s new police chief gets sworn in

The City of Oxnard has a new police chief. Chief Scott Whitney is the first Oxnard police chief in several decades actually born and raised in the city. He takes on the position of police chief after serving the community for more than 25-years.

“My brother talked me in to going on a ride along with the police department and after that ride along I knew that this is what I wanted to do,” said Whitney.

Whitney joined the Oxnard Police Department in 1990. He worked his way up the ranks, and served as assistant chief for nine years before being asked to take on the position of assistant city manager for the past 20-months. When former Chief Jeri Williams left the department for a chief position in Phoenix, Whitney was appointed as the City of Oxnard’s new police chief.

It was standing room only at his official swearing in ceremony Tuesday night. Audience members in attendance applauded the chief for his dedication to the city and focus on community partnerships.

“We are going to do really well with this guy. We don’t have to guess. We don’t have someone coming in from LA somewhere else or Arizona. We got a guy who understands the needs of the community,” said Oxnard Resident Brian Ellison.

“I would like to say that the Oxnard PD is no longer the feared department that it was when I was growing up in La Colonia. Its improved relationship with the community can largely be attributed to Scott. Scott is a person of integrity who is trusted and respected by all who know him. He is engaged with our community and serves it very well,” said Peter Martinez.

Chief Whitney told me community engagement and what he calls community policing is his number one priority.

“Community policing means that as a department as a chief as an officer that you recognize that there is going to be gaps in touch between certain groups and people in the community and you are not afraid to take on those gaps,” said Chief Whitney, “Its amazing what you can accomplish and the crime that can be reduced through community partnerships.”

Whitney’s other priorities and passion focus on reducing violent crime and traffic safety.

“Average citizens are driving aggressively, driving impaired and not using their seatbelts and driving while distracted. We are going to increase enforcement and community outreach and that is going to save lives and there is no doubt in my mind we are going to save lives in 2016 and 2017 because of outreach, education and enforcement,” said Whitney.

For information on Oxnard’s Community programs go to the Oxnard Police Department’s website.

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