Bishop Police Department has named its new lieutenant: two-decade veteran of the force Fred Gomez. Chief Chris Carter made the announcement to the Bishop City Council at its Feb. 28 meeting.
The position is the second- in-command post at the department and one Gomez has risen to, from patrol officer in 1991, to detective in 2003, then to sergeant in 2006.
“The job wasn’t just handed to me,” Gomez said. “I tested for it like everybody else.”
Gomez is locally grown, born and raised in Tecopa. He ran track and played hoops for Death Valley High School. After graduation, Gomez left for the big city, going to college in the San Diego area.
He got a job with the San Diego Police Department in 1986 and stayed until he saw a job opening for Bishop PD.
“We wanted to raise a family here,” Gomez said, adding that having come from a small town himself he knew the advantages of the lifestyle.
Gomez’s job has kept him busy and the new position will be keeping him even busier. When asked to list his responsibilities, he said it’s a list literally more than three pages long.
He explained that his primary job is to “carry out the goals of the chief.” This ranges from managing the patrol division and administration to relieving a dispatcher for a lunch break on a busy afternoon.
Gomez still goes out on patrol and makes arrests.
The department has been without a lieutenant since September 2010. Carter made a request Feb. 14 to waive the city’s hiring freeze and fill what Carter has referred to as a “valuable position.”
Carter was granted the request to look for a new lieutenant and he and the Bishop PD were praised for their ability to carry on despite the vacancy in such a critical position.
Gomez said it is an honor and learning experience working with Carter. Gomez added that with the knowledge comes added responsibility.
The Bishop PD is also working on keeping the lines of communication open with various groups in the area including the Hispanic community. Gomez said, as lieutenant, he will be increasing his presence at meetings such as La Causa, the local Hispanic advocacy group that has charged itself with working to better the entire community.
“I feel honored that I was chosen,” Gomez said of his new job, adding he hopes he can live up to the expectations.