Naples police chief talks about 2024 plans

Reporter: Corey Lazar Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

A Southwest Florida native has come full circle as the new Naples police chief. Ciro Dominguez talks about his plans for 2024.

Born in Collier County, attended Naples High School, and worked in the department that he now runs, Dominguez offered WINK News Anchor Corey Lazar an in-depth interview about the trials of being Chief.

“I can tell you there were jobs that popped up around me,” said Dominguez. “People would call me and ask me, ‘Hey, are you interested in working over here?’ I didn’t want to work there because I knew that if I invest myself in a place like I have in the past, it will take all, every waking breath and every chance I can.”

Dominguez has already cultivated the beginnings of a new life for the department, with his leadership style being on full display. He wants people below him to rise up and become leaders.

Dominguez’s plans on hearing input from everyone at the Naples Police Department and from the public of Naples as well. He stated that his most pressing issue for 2024 is having enough qualified officers.

“Recruitment is so important because you can hire a bunch of people, but that’s not what we want,” said Dominguez. “We want to hire a person with the right character, and that’s hard to find.”

Unfortunately, the cost of living keeps otherwise qualified applicants away as fears of being able to stay financially afloat often come to the surface, so how will the Naples Police Department tackle starting salaries?

“That’s coming up in the near future. We did a PE study recently, so in the very near future, we’ll circle back to that one because they’re going to be having negotiations on that,” said Dominguez.

Another aspect Dominguez seeks to tackle is the ongoing traffic problem, with an emphasis on aggressive drivers. The plan for this year is to bolster the traffic motorcycle detail as the city grows.

Transparency is crucial to Dominguez’s plan. He plans on getting body cameras for officers as to document everything that happens during each call.

“The cameras proved to be so good for both documenting events, evidence and accountability and be able to play that camera back for the public and having that clean transparency is huge,” said Dominguez. “It starts with having the people trust the police, and the only way we do that is by constant communication and transparency.”

During his time as chief, Dominguez had to oversee an active shooter threat at Naples High School, which turned out to be a hoax.

When asked about how to tackle the possibility of scenarios becoming real, Dominguez said that a top priority is to make sure that the response to any active threat is handled safely and decisively.

Dominguez plans to consult with the Naples City Council to allocate funds to create a new department specifically for active shooter threats. The money would also be used to train officers on active threats and add K-9 units to the force.

When asked about funding approval, Dominguez said that he has spoken with every council member and at this point in time, are all in agreement with granting funding.

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