As announced last month, Ramon Batista, former Tucson assistant police chief, has been selected as the new chief of police for the Mesa Police Department. Today, he was officially welcomed in a news conference.
“We want to make sure as we go forward to involve the community because public safety has always been a priority for us,” Mesa City Manager Chris Brady said. “The relationship we have with our community is vital. From the beginning of this process the finalists were selected by the help of the community.
“The chief of police is one of the most important leadership positions in the city overseeing a department of nearly 1,200 sworn and civilian employees.” Brady continued. “We are appreciative of the candidates that dedicated their time to the process and all those that served on panels or forums and the public that took the time to come meet the candidates. I also want to extend a special thanks to (Interim) Chief Michael Dvorak who has worked tirelessly over the last six months as interim police chief. He has done an incredible job and is to be commended.”
Batista was overwhelmed with today’s turnout for his news conference and had his wife and daughter on hand to introduce to the community.
“It’s a sincere honor to be chosen to lead the department,” he said. “I want to give my gratitude to Chief Dvorak on his 30 years of service to the Mesa Police Department and the community. I don’t take this job lightly and I’ve been very impressed with the level of scrutiny that the city used in this process. I felt like coming to Mesa was a good choice because all interactions I’ve had in this community made me sure I wanted to be a part of it.”
Batista outlined his priorities.
“My first goal is to meet all the members of the police department and community to jointly identify the priorities and how to get there as things move forward because of what’s already in place here,” he said. “I believe in community policing and continuing the fine work Mesa is already doing. I will do the very best in every interaction with the public. Building trust in the community is paramount to me.
“My second priority is officer wellness so that our officers can be the very best they can be,” Batista continued. “I want them to feel they are supported and doing the right thing in working hand in hand to build community trust. Mesa has a track record of transparency and I can’t wait to get started.”
Batista said he should be in place by next month and MyNewsMesa.com will sit down with him for a one-on-one interview once he’s started and is all moved in to Mesa.
“My colleagues and I work closely with our community and choosing a new police chief was a monumental task,” said District 4 Councilmember Chris Glover, chair of the Mesa City Council Public Safety Committee. “Public safety is the No. 1 concern for Mesa and Chief Batista knows what it takes to keep a city our size safe.”
Mesa Vice Mayor David Luna agreed.
“Mesa is the 36th largest city in the country so it takes a special skill set to handle it and Chief Batista can do that for our fast-growing city. He will help lead the police department to work closely with our residents and businesses,” Luna said. “It’s no secret our city is facing challenges and I know we have a top-notch police department and I’ve felt good about Chief Batista since meeting him. I have always felt that he could take on these challenges.”
Batista was with the Tucson Police Department for 31 years and in the position of assistant police chief since 2014. He has a bachelor’s degree in public safety and emergency management from Grand Canyon University and a master’s degree in leadership from Grand Canyon University.
The Mesa Police Department has approximately 1,200 employees, a budget of $175.9 million and is recognized nationally for its innovation and use of technology.
– Kelly Mixer is managing editor of MyNewsMesa.com. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.