Columnist Concerned With Chief Cantando’s Approach With Minorities

According to a recent article in the Contra Costa Times entitled “City’s police chief aims to add diversify his force,” Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando is seeking to recruit more minority candidates. Commendable? Yes, however I find the Chief’s decision to hold meetings in Spanish at Holy Rosary Catholic church and other churches objectionable. Let religious institutions do what they do best rather than utilizing them as public forums.

The proper way to recruit minority applicants, according to Police Chief Magazine, is to engage stakeholders. Stakeholders are groups and individuals that have an interest or stake in enhancing minority recruiting and selection. Core stakeholders might include police executives, police human resource specialists, labor and union officials, city/county executives, neighborhood associations, minority and special interest groups.

Hiring should, of course, seek to reflect the ethnic and racial composition of the area. The 2010 Census Interactive Population Search for Contra Costa County shows population by ethnicity as 255,560 Hispanic or Latino, 793,465 Non-Hispanic or Latino. The county’s population by race is as follows:

White 614,512

Black 97,161

Asian 151,469

American Indian/Alaska Native 6,122

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander 4,845

Other 112,691

Identified by two or more 62,225

For the record, qualified candidates have always been welcomed on the Antioch Police force regardless of race, gender or socio-economic status. In fact, during the period July 2006-07 Antioch hired 24 police officers: 23 of the officers were male, one a female, 12 of the officers were white, 6 Hispanic, 3 black, and 3 Asian. (2 officers, 1 Hispanic and 1 white failed the department’s 16 week field training program.) My complaint at the time was the department wasn’t hiring enough women officers.

Allegations that the Antioch Police Department targeted and used excessive force against unruly black teenagers in the 2007 Gas City incident have no merit and ultimately led to the expulsion of seven Deer Valley High School students. Nor do discrimination charges by a few Section 8 tenants during the reign of Chief Jim Hyde, whose proactive approach to policing led to formation of the department’s Community Action Team (CAT) which made me feel a lot safer than I do today. In fact, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the federal trial court’s decision in the Tuggles case finding no discrimination by the City of Antioch in its community policing efforts.


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14 Comments to “Columnist Concerned With Chief Cantando’s Approach With Minorities”

  1. Ms. Zivica,

    I would like to thank you for your “concern.” I would also like to thank you for helping me get the message of what I am trying to accomplish out to our community.

    First, I agree with you that the Antioch Police Department has always welcomed qualified candidates regardless of race, gender, and socio-economic status…..but, you left out a few. We also welcome candidates regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, or ethnicity. In short, the City of Antioch follows the law in all areas, including hiring practices.

    I also agree that the lawsuits years ago under our previous chief had no merit and there was no evidence of discrimination by the City of Antioch.

    You note in your article that according to Police Chief Magazine, the proper way to recruit is by engaging stakeholders. You also note stakeholders are groups or individuals that have an interest or stake in enhancing minority recruiting and selection. That is EXACTLY what I am doing. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t our local churches “stakeholders” in our community?

    Not only have I met with a local church and have plans on meeting more with our religious institutions, I have relationships and open lines of communication with the NAACP, LULAC, and numerous other stakeholders as well. I would not expect you to have known that. But had you reached out to me (or them) and gathered some necessary information BEFORE writing your “opinion,” your readers would have been better informed.

    Lastly, I am always seeking and recruiting qualified people for the Antioch Police Department because I want what the rest of the City of Antioch wants….a well trained, professional Police Department that reflects the wonderful diversity and multi-culturism of the city. Who knows Ms. Zivica, you may be reading about my positive efforts in Police Chief Magazine someday!


    Chief Allan Cantando

  2. Iris says:

    Although I respect the writer, and have agreed with some of her columns in the past, I am perplexed and have to say Wow! to this one.
    Clearly, this article implies that the church is not a stakeholder group, or made up of individuals “that have an interest or stake in enhancing minority recruiting and selection.” It also implies that “core stakeholders” like police executives, police human resource specialists, labor and union officials, city/county executives, neighborhood associations, minorities and special interest groups don’t attend church.

    I also thought it was interesting that there was a mention of meetings in Spanish at Holy Rosary Church. Not sure what the problem is here. Clearly there is nothing inappropriate about translating meetings into Spanish is there? Or is the problem that it was a Catholic Church? Do Catholics not have a stake in issues related to the community?
    Looks to me like the Chief did exactly what was recommended by the Police Chief Magazine. He is engaging “groups and individuals that have an interest or stake in enhancing minority recruiting and selection.” Some of these church folks he’s reaching out to are likely to be police executives, police human resource specialists, labor and union officials, city/county executives, neighborhood associations, minorities, and special interest groups.”

    Further, the article quotes the 2010 Census Interactive Population Search for Contra Costa County which shows “population by ethnicity as 255,560 Hispanic or Latino, 793,465 Non-Hispanic or Latino” to illustrate diversity and draw a correlation between those stats and the makeup of the City’s population.

    I assume this was to make some further correlation between our City’s population and the diversity of the police force. But, since Chief Cantando is the Chief of the Antioch Police Department, recruiting police officers to patrol Antioch, and not, the Sheriff, recruiting deputies to police the county; county stats, are much less relevant. Since diversity stats vary from city to city, Antioch stats would have been more definitive.

    Moreover, it could not possibly be the case that the writer feels that “qualified candidates have always been welcomed on the Antioch Police force regardless of race, gender or socio-economic status,” because the very next sentence says that “her only complaint at the time APDs hiring stats for July 2006-07” were published, was “the department wasn’t hiring enough women officers.” This is clearly a statement about what the writer perceived to be a lack of gender-based diversity.

    With that said, the stats clearly support the writers statement that there has been a focus on diversity in the past. That’s great! So I don’t know why there seems to be a problem with Chief Cantando following in that tradition. Is it just because he decided to involve himself with us church folks?

    Last, I would in fact like to thank the writer for reminding us that Chief Jim Hyde, was a great Chief, who was falsely accused of intentionally targeting and discriminating against people of color in Antioch. Jim Hyde is a great man of faith, and was a great Chief who also reached out to people of all genders, ethnic groups, and visited my church on more than one occasion to engage folks around issues relevant to our community. Wow! I guess that makes him questionable too.

  3. Delores McNair says:

    I applaud Chief Cantando for his efforts to reach out to the community in a variety of ways — from social media to face-to-face community meetings. It makes sense that he would connect with stakeholder groups — regardless of the issue — in community spaces. Holy Rosary Church is a community center where people of many backgrounds gather. Why would the Chief not meet with people in spaces that have both social and cultural importance for them? Keep up the great outreach, Chief!

  4. Publisher says:

    As Publisher of the Herald, I feel it necessary from time to time to comment on things published on our website or in the paper. First, I want to remind readers that we call this “The People’s Paper” because we pretty much publish online and/or in the paper whatever is sent to us from Antioch residents or businesses or if it’s about Antioch in some way.
    While Ms. Zivica is a regular contributor to the Herald, which I appreciate, her opinions don’t necessarily reflect those of the Herald or me. Such is the case with her latest column.
    I frankly think it’s a good thing for Chief Cantando to reach out to any and every segment of the Antioch community, at whatever forum or location and in whatever language best gets the message across to those who are in attendance. It it helps fight crime (and it’s legal, of course) then I’m all for it.
    I think the Chief should be commended for reaching out to the various minority groups in Antioch.
    As for the hiring, the facts are, the Chief can only hire from those who apply, and needs to hire the best regardless of race, creed or skin color.
    While it’s good to have a police force that reflects the diversity of our community, it’s not necessarily possible, based on applicants.
    With all the problems facing Antioch, we need to stay focused on the solutions, not these less important matters.
    Allen Payton
    Antioch Herald &

  5. Guillermo says:

    I would like to add my voice to the chorus of Antioch resident praising the Chief for reaching out to communities of faith.

    from the article I quote “Let religious institutions do what they do best rather than utilizing them as public forums.”

    my question to the columnist is, What do Churches do best? why is reaching the Spanish speaking community in a space they trust, not a great thing?

  6. karl says:

    Hallo liebe Mitleser,
    Also ich finde unsere Polizei sollte sich nicht in den Wahlkampf reinziehen lassen. Mehr ist es nicht, nur Wahlkampf.
    Dieser Versuch laesst einige Fragen offen. Wie wird den Antioch Buergern die viele Sprachen sprechen gerechtgetan?
    Ich halte es eine grobe Geldverschwendung.

    Hier mal ein Auszug aus der Bibel:

    1.Mose 11,6-9 : Der HERR sprach : Siehe, sie sind ein Volk, und haben alle eine Sprache, und dies haben sie angefangen zu tun; und nun wird ihnen nichts verwehrt werden, was sie zu tun ersinnen. Wohlan, laßt uns herabfahren und ihre Sprache dort verwirren, daß sie einer des anderen Sprache nicht verstehen! Und der HERR zerstreute sie von dort über die ganze Erde und sie hörten auf, die Stadt zu bauen. Darum gab man ihr den Namen Babel (Anm:Verwirrung), denn dort verwirrte der HERR die Sprache der ganzen Erde und von dort zerstreute sie der HERR über die ganze Erde.

  7. I want to thank Chief Allan Cantando for his efforts to reach out to all in our community. I have been a resident in Antioch since 2000 and am pleased to see our proactive Chief walking the walk and talking the talk. I am a retired executive from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs(OFCCP)and believe that the Chief is doing exactly what the LAW asks in the way of outreach and recruitment. I am also proud of the Chief because he has responded positively to community based organization requests to address everyone in Antioch. I want to thank the publisher of the Hearld for his comment that, “we need to stay focused on the solutions”. The problems are great and our need is huge! The Chief is to be commended because in these hard economic times; he has been handed the task of “making bricks without straw”. Personally, I am honored to support this CHIEF!!!

  8. Lesia says:

    What a blessing to have a chief like Allan Cantando! You are doing an amazing job in every area of your leadership. Keep up the good work and don’t let none of this mess destruct you from what you are trying to accomplish for our police department and city. We, the members of the community appreciate you and looks forward to the new diverse team that will join your team. APD is and will always be in our prayers.

  9. Rev. Paul J. Taylor says:

    Dear Ms. Vivica

    I find it very curious that you make this argument against our Chief of Police and his approach to recruitment of police officers for his department. I wonder whether you were equally concerned about political candidates coming to our churches and speaking to our congregants when running for office. The faith community is a vital part of our community. Our churches are made up of members from the community. The last time I checked it is the faith community that teaches responsibility, morality, and ethical living. I would think that the best police officers are those with a righteous moral compass and those that are reflective of our community.

    I say keep up the good work Chief, this minister is in your corner

    • Natasha says:

      To Rev Taylor,

      Section 8 folks should all be investigated for abusing the system and those continue to commit crimes should get their special benefit taken away. Unless, Rev Taylor is nice enough to keep them inside your home.

      1. How come their relationships get so complicated, a mother, tons of childrens with different fathers?

      Just like one grandson without a mother and an irresponsible father leaving the icon to the parents

  10. Aishya says:

    I would like to thank Chief Cantando for thinking “outside the box,” in his efforts to reach out to the community to recruit Antioch residents who represent the demographics of the city. Not only would it be great to continue to have a diverse police force, it would also be helpful to have more bi-lingual officers. It is rare to have a police chief who directly interacts with the community on such a personal level. Having lived in Oakland before moving to Antioch, I feel much safer here compared to Oakland. Let’s rally around our Chief, and spread the word regarding his recruitment efforts. Keep up the outstanding work Chief Cantando!

  11. Rick Hilton says:

    I am SO impressed that EVERY comment thus far is in support of the Chief’s efforts to reach out to minority communities. I too applaud those efforts and say “keep up the good work, chief”.

  12. D says:

    I too applaud the chief’s efforts to reach out to the community on his hiring efforts. It’s appreciated and innovative. Chief Cantando has done an excellent job of helping build community with our police. Yes “our” police – all of us. This is not an us vs. them town and there has been far too much division in our community. I want to say Thanks Chief Cantando!

  13. Martha Parsons says:

    I join those with comments before me in thanking and applauding our Police Chief, Allan Cantando for reaching out to all the citizens of Antioch and in this case, to the Hispanic faith community in Antioch! I appreciate my parish, Holy Rosary Catholic Church offering the Chief another venue for this much needed citizen outreach! Thank you, Chief Cantando and Father Roberto! Antioch is lucky to have you working to improve Antioch through open communication. You are making a difference! Please continue your great work!

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