David Bejarano San Diego Police Chief
By Roy Cook

Police chief David Bejarano is on the job. It has been almost four years since he was sworn in by Mayor Susan Golding. He took over the job with optimism. He has weathered the early storms and remains upbeat. "Some might call these problems, or challenges," he says. "I see opportunities. I hope they'll help us reach out to communities we've not been reaching in the past ... and to be more involved in problem-solving than ever." Very apropos to his statement is this months presentation at the Indian Task Force Networking Coalition September 27, 2002. This noon monthly meeting of Native American organization representatives meets at the City of San Diego Clairmont Service Center-4731 Clairmont Drive, 1-858-581-4111.
Task Force member SDPD Officer Ralph Cummings, Commanche hosted this pot luck meeting. This location is very convenient for the secretary/Historian Roy Cook, Opata/Osage, who is also Humanities Professor of Fine Art at Mesa College. The Tonkawa Elders organization is represented by Easter Abrahano, Choctaw and Rose Davis, Seminole who is the Editor and publisher of INDIAN VOICES newspaper. It is also located in close proximity is the office of the San Diego Schools Indian Education program led by Vickie Gambala, Cherokee. She is also President of the IHRC (Indian Human Resource Center) community board. For a more complete listing of the member organizations Ms Gambala can be reached at 1-858-627-7363.

The metropolitan San Diego Police Department was established May 16, 1889. On June 1, of that year, Joseph Coyne, the city marshal, was appointed the first Anglo - American chief of police. Of special note to the networking meeting is the traditional presentation of a Pendelton blanket along with a photograph of the first Police 'Chief" Juan Gonzales, Kumeyaay Nation. In the picture is the first New Town station house and Captain Coyne.

Esther Abrahano and Vickie Gambala did the honors. Special assistant to the chief of Police, David Contreras was delighted to see the evidence of the photo. It had been a rumor in the station house for some time. This author shared in the warm reception and satisfaction of being a service to the community. This alone is worth the hours of research and further computer graphic work by Ben Nance.

The first police uniform consisted of derby hats, coats with high collars and badges with seven-point stars.
Chief Coyne was paid $125 a month, his officers $100 a month; they worked 12-hour days, seven days a week. In 1895 shifts were reduced to eight hours -- but salaries also dropped: $25 a month. Mounted patrolmen furnished their own horses, but did receive $100 a month for feed and care of their animals. The modern mounted patrol began in 1934 in Balboa Park. It was abolished in 1948, but was re-established in 1983 and remains active today. The first police headquarters was in City Hall at Fifth Avenue and G Street. Several moves later, the department relocated at Dead Man's Point, named because of its use as a burial place for sailors and marines during the charting and surveying of San Diego Bay. The department remained there -- at 801 West market Street -- until 1987, when it moved into its current seven-story headquarters building at 1401 Broadway.

Chief David Bejaranos accessibility and involvement in the San Diego is well documented. Take note of this program. Safe Streets Now! SDPD can help neighbors get rid of other public nuisances such as gang activities, prostitution, illegal sales of alcoholic beverages, excessive noise, and "eye-sore" properties.

Information about this project can be obtained by calling the Safe Streets Now! Office at (619) 299-5408 or by visiting your local SDPD Storefront or Satellite Office. Additional information about controlling drugs in your neighborhood can be obtained by calling the Drug Information and Strategy Clearinghouse at (800) 578-3472. Chief David Bejarano (619) 531-2777

Tonkawa Elders Visit our home page to find out more about the Tonkawa Council of Elders.