DELANO, Calif. (KERO) — Just one week after being sworn into office, Delano Police Chief Tyson Davis will be attending his first city council meeting in his new role Monday night.
But during his first week, residents continued to raise concerns about his past and how that may impact his work as chief. Some residents are worried about how his history as deputy chief over Kern County jails having to report to ICE will affect his job.
Covering Kern County
Delano community members protest hiring process of new police chief
Monday, he addressed that criticism: “I do not have a relationship with ICE. I do not plan to work with ICE. I do not plan to have the Delano PD work with ICE,” said Davis.
It’s an emphatic "no" from Davis on if he will be working with ICE. However, questions continue to rise over that specific topic from people in the city based on Davis’s past work with KCSO.
Davis said when he worked for KCSO he was the chief deputy over the jails and the law required them to report in a public hearing to ICE when inmates were being released.
“The only conversation I really ever had with ICE was to call them and tell them we were not going to allow them to have free access into our jails and we would be complying with the law,” said Davis.
But community members still have some concerns about Davis and have said he has not only worked with ICE but is not a Delano native and the process to hire him was not transparent. Those concerns were brought up the day Davis was sworn in on October 25th.
"No one was aware that the process was even happening, that a new chief was going to be sworn in. But they thought the interim chief was it. So how much are you really getting in community input when the community thinks the interim chief is the permanent chief,” said Monike Renozo, Vice-Chairperson for Community Law Enforcement Liaison Board.
But local pastor Davis Vivas said he was part of the many panels that were held to pick the new chief and said he agrees with the process.
“One of five panels where candidates for the chief's position sat before and were interviewed but unfortunately there accusing the city manager of lack of transparency because they just don’t like this new chief who comes to Delano with great qualifications,” said Vivas.
Vivas said the city council members need to bury the rumors once and for all.
“First of all, they need to denounce all these rumors and they need to as a city council to support all the employees and the work that they have been hired to do,” said Vivas.
He encouraged the city council to allow Davis to prove himself.
“They need to show the community that they stand 100% behind this new chief of police, we need to give him a chance to prove himself that he will do the job that he was hired to do,” said Vivas.
The city council meeting starts at 5:30 Monday and Davis said he’s looking forward to working with community members and the council.
Meanwhile, Davis said his main goal is to reduce crime in Delano. He said it’s also a goal the city council has set and he is looking forward to upholding that.
Last week Davis spoke with the mayor of Delano about the recent crime that has taken place across the city. He said the mayor was very supportive of his role and the things he plans to implement.
Davis said some of the reasons he wanted to be chief is because while Delano is a bigger city it has a small-town feel.
“The city of Delano is the second-largest city in the county. It’s a great community that has a very diverse population. The PD is very progressive. The PD has many features of a very large department but it’s in a smaller size so it can serve the community better.”
Despite recent crimes and shootings, Davis said his goal is to make the city a safe place for people to walk their children and pets without any concern. He’s looking forward to meeting with each city council member to create more plans to make the community safer.
Davis said if residents have any concerns about him or anything going on in the city he encourages them to reach out to him through the police department as he’s here to listen.