New Rialto police chief stresses education, technology as key to future success
RIALTO — At 51, Rialto Police Chief William “Tony” Farrar believes he has many things to learn.A police officer for 29 years, Farrar this year replaced Rialto Police Chief Mark Kling, who left the department to become a university professor.
Farrar was previously a captain on the Rialto police department, responsible for field operations.
“I’m honored and humbled to get this opportunity to lead this department,” Farrar said in a recent interview.
Farrar is pursuing a masters degree from Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology in England. Once that is achieved, he plans to pursue a doctorate from the same institution.
Former longtime Redlands Police Chief Jim Bueermann, now doing research
as an executive fellow at the National Institute of Justice, the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, called Farrar “one of the new breed of police chiefs, looking at research to see what is effective to control crime and disorder.”
Bueermann said the program Farrar has chosen is the world leader for taking research findings and translating that knowledge into the day-to-day policing environment.
“Increasingly, police chiefs are going to have to find more effective – and ultimately less expensive ways – to keep their communities safe. And Tony is in a position to bring that knowledge to the people of Rialto,” Bueermann said.
Bueermann said that Farrar is likely to become the first police chief from the United States to earn a master’s degree from the prestigious program.
Launching into his first year as police chief, Farrar said he plans to focus on three areas:
Farrar called technology a “force multiplier” essential in this era of municipal downsizing.
Among the technological edges coming soon are the completion of a project to install cameras in all of Rialto’s city parks, which will be monitored 24 hours-a-day.
Although the project is not yet complete, it has already yielded felony arrests, he said.
Another is the implementation of the Omega Dashboard Project, which will enable officers in the field to access crime statistics and view maps showing areas where specific crimes are occurring.
“We are not sitting there waiting for technology to come to us. We are actively looking for things that could help us,” he said.
Another way to stretch the department’s resources is to build on the already enthusiastic and hard-working volunteers that help the department in areas that include record keeping, dispatch and citizens’ patrol.
The community relations thrust will build on the effective area command meetings, which brings police, city officials, and, at times officials from other agencies, to various Rialto neighborhoods.
There will also be a wave of test taking for new lieutenants, sergeants and corporals. Additionally, many officers will be receiving new assignments, he said.
Former Lt. Randy DeAnda has been promoted to Captain and will take over most of Farrar’s former duties as director of field operations, he said.
“It’s going to be an exciting time, people are going to advance and get new assignments,” he said.
Farrar is going to be pushing continuing education for everyone in his department.
And in the process, pursue “evidenced-based policing” – tactics and programs with proven effectiveness.
He praised the hard work from his 102-member department, which has shed about 15 sworn officer positions during recent difficult budget years.
In reaching his job as police chief, Farrar said he credits the mentoring he received from many law enforcement leaders, including Bueermann and Kling as well as former Fontana police chiefs Frank Scialdone and Larry Clark.
During the interview, Farrar wanted to stress his new educational pursuits, not discuss his past accomplishments, which include a bachelors degree in political science and two masters degrees, one in the administration of justice; the other an MBA.
Farrar said that the past doesn’t count and he wants his officers to push for continuing educational opportunities in the future to increase their understanding of their job and environment where they work.