PHOTO #1: Victoria Police Department Chief Robert Arredondo Jr. hands a toy to a child Dec. 9 during a toy distribution event hosted by the Region 3 Early Childhood Intervention Program.
PHOTO #2: Victoria Police Chief Robert Arredondo Jr., accompanied by his wife, Angela, is sworn in by City Secretary April Hilbrich during a Nov. 30 ceremony.
Ten years ago, as Chief Robert Arredondo Jr. was driving home from a weeklong training session in Corpus Christi, he decided to stop in Victoria and have a look around.
He was so impressed by the city that he decided then and there: If he ever got the chance, he’d like to be the police chief of Victoria.
“When the opening came up, I jumped at it,” he said. “I was so excited.”
Arredondo got his wish Nov. 30 when he was sworn in as chief of the Victoria Police Department. A little over a month into the job, he’s found that the city and the community are everything he’d hoped for.
“Victoria is such a nice town, and it’s very well-run,” he said. “And the community has really welcomed me with open arms. I’m thankful for their support.”
For Arredondo, one of the perks of living in Victoria is its beautiful historical district.
“I’m enamored with how beautiful the homes are—it’s unbelievable,” he said. “I love to drive around the historical district, look at the homes and read all of the historical markers.”
Arredondo also enjoys the city’s proximity to the ocean. He’s an avid inshore fisherman, and he hopes to go fishing soon when the weather is warmer.
Arredondo praised the Victoria Police Department’s personnel and policies, especially its strong community policing philosophy. Community policing is the practice of proactively building and maintaining positive relationships with residents and community leaders rather than simply reacting to crime.
“I’m a strong proponent of working within the community and building those relationships,” he said. “We need to be approachable so that residents will be willing to help us.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it all the more important for the police department to be intentional about reaching out in the era of social distancing. Arredondo said he appreciates the department’s use of social media to build community engagement and educate the public.
In the meantime, Arredondo encouraged any residents who see him out and about to approach him and strike up a conversation.
“The people here are great,” he said. “I’m excited to listen and learn more about the community.”
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Sam Hankins is the communications specialist for the City of Victoria.