"One of my first memories of success was when I was on the high school football team and we won the league championship. In addition to the position I played on the field, I think my most important contribution to the team would be my promotion of teamwork, camaraderie, friendship, and brotherhood among my teammates, which allowed us to trust each other and play better on the field.
"That gave me the first taste of teamwork and how I could be successful. That experience then grew later in my life. Even when I went to college I knew I wanted to be a police officer. Then when I entered the academy they taught us that the essence of police work is teamwork, looking out for one another, helping one another. You don't mind who gets the credit, we just want to get the job done. So, as in football, you can't do your job well unless the guy next to you does his job well. The same is true in police work.
"As Chief of Police of Downey, I want to instill that same spirit of teamwork in the officers I'm responsible for. It starts in the academy. Everyone goes in as an individual. The academy starts from day one to teach you how to depend on your partner. For example, most of the younger recruits don't understand the motives behind what we do. So, you have to have a carpool partner to come to class from the very first day. If you don't have one you can't come. If he's late, you're late. If he's disciplined, you're disciplined.
"Once they graduate from the academy, we try to continue that training of depending on the team. We put them with a veteran training officer. Nothing is more important than the team and getting through the day by helping each other. It doesn't matter who gets the credit when the job gets done. We teach them to depend on each other. You know, they're with their fellow officers more than they are with their families. We need to be a team. We try to instill that by having outings, we do recreation together, we play sports together, and all that is predicated on the fact that we want everyone to know that it takes teamwork to win and that each of them is on the team."