Thursday, August 1 marked the end of a grueling two-day schedule for the three candidates vying to be the next Pasco Police Chief.
Wednesday, July 31, included written examinations, and in the evening, a closed-door executive session with the City Council followed by a public meeting before a crowd of over 150 residents. The candidates met with the community members for approximately two hours answering questions, sharing their philosophies, insights about topics ranging from community policing, predictive policing, photo enforcement, fireworks, and beyond. “The number of community members in attendance was a testament to the importance of installing the right into the Chief spot,” said City Manager Dave Zabell, adding that he is “grateful for the interest and feedback he is receiving from community members about their impression of the candidates.”
“With a strong field of candidates, input still coming in from the public, the high number of comment forms received from the public meeting, feedback from the community panels conducting interviews today, and the results of the written examinations, there is considerable input to sift through and evaluate,” said Zabell.
Provided the information paints a complete enough picture on which to select the next Chief, a decision can be expected to be announced within the next seven to ten days.
The candidates are:
Albert Escalera has over 35 years of experience in public safety and law enforcement. He has been the Chief of Police for the City of Sunnyside, Washington, since 2014. Before that, Escalera was a Captain with the West Richland, Washington, Police Department from 2011-2014. He was with the Washington State Patrol from 1985-2011 and served as Narcotics Task Force Supervisor/Commander during the last three years there. At the beginning of his law enforcement career, he was a Community Service Officer for the Pasco Police Department. Mr. Escalera is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Charles Goeken has served the City of Manteca, California, Police Department since 1994 and is currently a Captain, and has been a Division Commander for over ten years. He has also served as the Acting Chief of Police during the Police Chief's absence. Mr. Goeken has also been a City Council member for the City of Waterford, California, and he served as Mayor there for six years. Goeken has a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from the University of New York Regents College, a master's degree in Criminal Justice from Liberty University, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Kenneth Roske has nearly 33 years of law enforcement experience having served the City of Pasco Police Department since 1986 when he began there as a Police Officer. He is currently the Deputy Chief of Police, and before that, was Captain for 12 years. Mr. Roske has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Management and a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership, both from the Union Institute & University. Roske is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
The City of Pasco strives to continue improving the quality of community life in Pasco.