CALEXICO, Calif. – The Calexico Police Department is responding to the Department of Justice’s investigation into the department saying part of the report is wrong.
Calexico’s chief of Police Reggie Gomez says there was one inaccuracy found in the 130 plus page report. It involves the case that led the DOJ to investigate the department. In the report it says in 2014, a man alleged Calexico police kidnapped and beat him.
Gomez says it’s not true, “This mistake is a pretty grievous error.”
Gomez says the officers investigated the kidnapping and beating of the man but they were not the ones who did it.
“It’s the other way around, officers investigated it, did their jobs and made arrests,” says Gomez.
When asked who told the DOJ about the alleged incident Gomez said he did not know.
For the rest of the investigation report, Gomez says he agrees with the report having witnessed some of the problems himself.
“I just kept seeing these deficiencies and I was asking why is this happening?,” said Gomez at Wednesday’s conference when the report was first released.
Gomez says the department is working on the 94 deficiencies listed in the report but says more officers are needed to help fix the problem.
“I need more personnel to accomplish these things. I need more people which is my greatest resource,” says Gomez.
Another problem facing the Police Department is some Calexico City Council members say they want to dissolve the department because of city budget issues. Calexico Mayor Jooing Kim says the city is currently $13.5 million over budget and dissolving the police department would free up about $9 million.
Kim says that will be a last resort, “We have to work together to save our police department in our town. I strongly believe the policing power should be in our hands.”