Top Three Most Influential People In Rialto 2015

Rialto 2015

Before we move into the three people we will be highlighting we would like to thank the many people that made their voices heard in this poll seeking the community’s input on who impacted Rialto and left a mark that will stand the test of time. These three men all would have been men that I would have chosen as being key to Rialto moving forward in the way that it has.

Police Chief Tony Farrar

Police Chief Farrar is a 34 year veteran of Law Enforcement with 26 of those years were spent right here in Rialto. The Bio below is the best reflection of Chief Farrar’s body of work.

Tony Farrar is chief of the Rialto (CA) Police Department. A police officer for over 30 years, Chief Farrar is a graduate of the California Peace Officers Standards and Training (CA POST) Executive Leadership Command College and the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University. He is also an adjunct instructor through the Coast Community College District.

Chief Farrar holds masters’ degrees in both administration of justice and business administration and a bachelor’s degree in police science. He also graduated from the Police Executive Program at Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology (United Kingdom) with a master’s degree in criminology in July 2013.

Chief Farrar is a graduate of the CA POST Master Instructor Development Program and a certified trainer in the six different CA POST disciplines. He is also a certified trainer through the California Association of Tactical Officers and the National Tactical Officers Association.

In 2009, Chief Farrar received the CA POST Individual Excellence in Training Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to law enforcement training and encourages innovation, quality, and effectiveness.

Chief Farrar has extensive tactical operations expertise and has shared his knowledge through presentations to law enforcement personnel, community groups, and the private sector throughout California and in other states. He has developed several law enforcement conferences and training venues, and his written materials have been published in both domestic and international publications.

In 2009, Chief Farrar participated in a Homeland Security Training Mission in Israel, training with experts in law enforcement, the military, and the private sector. In 2010, Chief Farrar participated in a Humanitarian Mission to Haiti, assisting with relief efforts and evaluating first response plans.

Most recently, Chief Farrar concluded an extensive yearlong study to evaluate the effect of body-worn video cameras on police use-of-force. This randomized controlled trial represents the first experimental evaluation of body-worn video cameras used in police patrol practices. Cameras were deployed to all patrol officers in the Rialto (CA) Police Department. Every police patrol shift during the 12-month period was assigned to experimental or control conditions. In July 2013, Chief Farrar received the 2013 Award for Excellence in Evidence-Based Policing for this study from the Society of Evidence-Based Policing at the 2013 Conference on Evidence-Based Policing at the University of Cambridge (UK). The award is given annually for outstanding policing research that advances the evidence base in policing and informs police practice.

Chief Farrar is a member of the California Police Chiefs Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the Society of Evidence Based Policing.

On the side of the community I can recall the first time I met Chief Farrar it was in a meeting with his predecessor then Chief Mark Kling and even though I didn’t know it I would come to respect that Captain that terrified me with his silence. Chief Farrar had a REAL open door policy with the community and his department. He never made you feel inferior before him and he worked tirelessly to make Rialto the technological leader in today’s world of policing. Even when you didn’t see eye to eye with Chief Farrar he gave you the respect he wanted in return. He brought back real Community Policing and bridged the gap that existed between the community and our law enforcement agency.

As Chief Farrar retires I wish him the best and Rialto wont be the same without him at the helm.

Council member Shawn O’Connell

Shawn O’Connell has been described in his most recent position as the type of elected official that our forefathers had envisioned when they set up our democracy. A person from the people who served the people. Councilman O’Connell wasn’t always a councilman he also served Rialto Police his last rank was Sergeant. Shawn O’Connell was involved in an accident off duty that left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Shawn down but far from out worked to regain his strength and became the leader behind the group Voice United and group of people that seeked to demand that our elected officials work and speak for the people. Shawn took the work of advocacy very seriously and was a key part of keeping the city of Rialto from outsourcing police services to the SB Sheriff’s Department. Since December 12th of 2012 Now Councilman O’Connell has worked for the PEOPLE. He went as far as to kick off his campaign after he was sworn in as a Councilmember to give out his Home Phone number here is Shawn’s first words after being sworn into the Rialto City Council as reported by the Pasadena News

“O’Connell described his campaign as a grassroots effort and thanked his supporters. Then he announced his phone number.

“I will not forget that I work for you,” he said.”

Councilman O’Connell has lived by those words standing up for the community even when it went against the fray or ruffled feathers of his fellow members he is here to do the work of the people.

Councilman O’Connell was involved in a series of events where he made the people of Rialto Proud. He participated in the 1st annual Rialto Police Fallen Officer Memorial 5k and formed a team of people that supported our Rialto Police officers. Councilman O’Connell helped bring actual real facts to Rialto voters as the city asked them to approve a measure to raise much needed funds for Rialto’s future. Councilman O’Connell didn’t want the issue to rely on scare tactics but real tangible reasons that Measure W was needed. Councilman O’Connell also is probably the only elected official to come in with a list of things that he would like to see changed in Rialto and he has accomplished all of those issues as he enters the last year of his first term on the Rialto City Council. Councilman O’Connell does so much that lives behind the scenes or out of the public eye because he is not looking to be known by the crowd for what he does but rather in the lives of those his actions touch. In the video below Councilman O’Connell shares a personal story of leaving his mothers funeral at the age of 18 looking out the rear window of the car he was in and saw all the lives that she touched. Well Councilman O’Connell your mother must be smiling down on you from heaven for the life of good work you have done with your 44 years on this planet.

Gino Garcia

We have known Gino Garcia for a few years and though he is at times quiet he is loud with passion and drive for a healthier Rialto. His passion for the health of his community proves why the community chose him as one of the Top Three most Influential people of 2015. We reached out to Gino to learn even more about him and what makes him the man so many people admire. Here is what he wanted to say about why he works so hard to make Rialto a healthier place to work, play and live:

Hello fellow Rialto residents. Thank you for giving me the time to connect and share a bit about myself and the personal mission I have to make Rialto a healthier place to live. My name is Gino Garcia and I have lived in Rialto with my wife and two daughters since 2010. When we moved to Rialto I was in the process of starting my own fitness business and was actively plotting potential cities where I felt my business could thrive. After conducting research and determining there was no type of fitness service or dominant business within Rialto that offered the quality of training and fitness culture I sought to establish and build, I made the decision to launch Vibe Fitness in our city. Aside from the business aspect, it just made sense to improve my own city where my family would be living before going out and improving someone else’s home city.

From day one my personal mission was to create energy, excitement, and enhance the living experience of residents who came into contact with my business. You see, as a United States Marine I understood the power of creating community, culture, and team for the sake of fueling and completing a mission. I knew my passion to help others achieve their personal level of greatness would create something special within Rialto. Since the start of Vibe Fitness in 2012, the mission of making Rialto a healthier place to live has been active and successful thus far. The trend of a healthier Rialto was highlighted in 2015 through several events and program collaborations between city organizations and my business. Two projects that really fueled the healthier Rialto mission were the hosting “Operation Fitness Fury” at Rialto City Park in March and the collaboration between the Rialto Pride Platoon and I.

Operation Fitness Fury attracted over 150 residents from all over the Inland Empire for a morning of health and fitness to promote active and healthy lifestyles. The event consisted of group workouts, giveaways, and the promotion of several wellness organizations within the city. Another highlight was the successful completion of two Rialto Pride Platoon programs throughout 2015 which graduated over 60 high school youth from the program. On a physical and mental level combined, both these projects were key components in the success of making Rialto a healthier place to live in 2015. I am excited what 2016 will bring for our city and I believe strongly in my mission.

The focus for 2016 will be to continue building from the generated momentum that has been created in 2015. The goal will be to attract larger community involvement to wellness events for the sake of enhancing Rialto’s living experience across the entire city. This can be accomplished by working with other wellness organizations and city departments to create massive energy and traction to propel the healthier Rialto mission forward. In addition, it will require residents just like you to get involved either through active participation or support.

I will end by saying that my hope is you will be part of the healthier Rialto mission in 2016 at some capacity. The mission is not just about physical exercise; it’s about improving ALL aspects that make our city what it is. The mindset, pride, loyalty, compassion, and synergy we as residents should have when it comes to our city. The healthier Rialto mission is about us taking charge of our city and working together as residents to enhance the living experience we share. I hope we can meet at some point in 2016; I invite and encourage you to connect with me or my business on the web by visiting the websites below. Happy Holidays!


Vibe Fitness:

In health and strength, Gino Garcia

This effort to find the most influential people in Rialto was an awesome adventure into being able to highlight three awesome men who have one goal in mind make Rialto better for you the community. All three have one thing in mind that we need to be reminded of. Each man has at one or more times wore a uniform and swore an oath to protect the people and freedom that makes America the country we call home. The staff here at Rialto Now thank the community for choosing these three men and giving us the honor of highlighting them in this special way.

Before we close out this post we would also like to thank the many other people on the poll for what they have done big or small to make an impact on Rialto. It is people like you that show the upcoming generation how vital it is to stand and advocate for your community and its people.

Everyone have a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Boris
    Dec 24, 2015 @ 20:01:43

    I bet, if those brave and honorable Patriots would have a choice for presidential endorsement they “all” would stand firm for Dr. Carson! It’s for one simple reason: They have a lot in common, knowlage and experience to “Heal, Inspire and Revive America”!


  2. Trackback: Councilman Shawn O’Connell Funeral Set | rialtonow
  3. Trackback: Nominate the person you think made Rialto great in 2016. | rialtonow

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