San Diego Mayor Appoints New Citizen Advisors
By Ana Gomez Salcido
Building on the community policing approach that has made San Diego one of the safest big cities in the country, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer announced the appointment of two new citizen advisors on public safety matters.
Faulconer tapped Pastor Jesus Sandoval as Executive Director of the City’s Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention and the Reverend Gerald Brown as the City’s Executive Director of Police-Community Relations. Both will help Faulconer and San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit work more closely with the community on important public safety issues, such as gang-related violence prevention and community policing.
“The relationships that our police officers build with the communities they serve is critical to keeping our neighborhoods safe,” Faulconer said. “We must strive every day to strengthen those bonds, and the appointments of Pastor Sandoval and Reverend Brown will ensure the community has a voice at City Hall. They are trusted community leaders who have worked tirelessly to reduce gang violence and their experience will help improve public safety in neighborhoods through the city.”
The Executive Director of the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention oversees matters related to community policing and gang-related violence prevention as well as collaborates with educational and faith institutions, law enforcement, community organizations, government officials and the public.
Pastor Jesus Sandoval is a former gang member who has devoted his life to violence prevention. He became a pastor in 2003 and used his role as a community leader to continually encourage change, and advocate for reunification for reformed gang members and their families. He has most recently served as a trainer at Fred Finch Youth Center, where he leads the Grassroots Community Wraparound program in San Diego. He has a record of collaboration with the Gang Suppression Unit of San Diego to provide wraparound services to under-age youth and adults on probation and will develop additional intervention and prevention programs for the City of San Diego.
“Both of these men are proven leaders in the community and their passion to assist others will help keep San Diegans safe,” Nisleit said. “I am very excited to welcome Pastor Sandoval and Reverend Brown to these important positions.”
The executive director of the Citizens Advisory Board on Police/Community Relations promotes and encourages open communication and cooperation between the Police Department and residents of the City, recognizing that policing is a shared responsibility. The executive director also develops and makes recommendations about informing residents of their rights and responsibilities when interacting with police officers.
Reverend Brown has worked in San Diego’s communities, bringing people together for more than two decades as the Executive Director of the United African American Ministerial Action Council, program manager and chaplain at the San Diego Rescue Mission, and case manager at the Neighborhood House Association. Reverend Brown has a track record of advising the San Diego Police Department, District Attorney’s Office and other public agencies on de-escalation, trauma-informed practices, interfaith dialogue and community policing. Reverend Brown will work with the Citizens Advisory Board and stakeholders throughout the city to foster dialogue and understanding, promote accountable and community-centered policing, and assist law enforcement in building trust in every neighborhood.