Five Of Six Newly Hired Fontana PD Officers Are Police Or Military Veterans

(July 9)  The Fontana Police Department has recently hired six new officers, five of whom had previous law enforcement experience or were recently discharged from the military after tours of duty in Afghanistan or Iraq.
On May 22, Fontana Police Chief Rodney Jones swore in Brad Carlson, Garrett Goosela, William Neal, John Sullivan, Danny Wells, and Ryan Windell.
The hirings are part of an effort on Jones’ part to reinflate the department to the manpower level it embodied when Jones became chief in 2007. Seven years ago the department boasted 202 men and women in uniform.
In the years since, as the city struggled with the persistent economic downturn gripping the nation, state and local region, the department’s ranks dwindled from attrition. As officers left or retired, for five years none were hired to replace them. By early 2012, the department had just 185 officers.
That year, the department began rebounding from the cuts that had been imposed on it which had resulted in its sustaining a nine percent loss of its personnel since the onset of the recession.  The first major turnaround came later in 2012 when a $625,000 funding windfall materialized for the department in the form of a  U.S. Department of Justice COPS grant.
By this spring, the department had 191 sworn personnel.
Jones had asked the city council, through city manager Ken Hunt, to be allotted 197 active badges. The council complied, but six of the positions remained unfilled until May 22. Carlson, Goosela, Neal, Sullivan, Wells and Windell were hired after Hunt and the city’s finance department had pretty much finalized the calculations for the 2014-15 fiscal year budget.
Jones indicated the department is not immune from future cuts if Hunt must impose such to have the city make ends meet. Most likely, the department will make any necessary economies in the way it has for the last seven years, not though layoffs but by freezing positions as they become vacant.
Carlson worked for the Colton Police Department of seven years. Before that, he served in the Army. Goosela is the only recent hire without previous paid police experience. Neal was a five-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. John Sullivan served in the Army and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Wells was an officer with the Desert Hot Springs Police Department. Windell was in the Marines and served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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