Walt Vasquez

PEACEFUL UNITY RALLY ROARS INTO LA MESA

By Henri Migala

Rebecca Jefferis Williamson also contributed to this report.

Photo, left, by Henri Migala: La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez speaks with protesters

June 14, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Before you could see them, you could hear them.  With a rumble that made the air vibrate, over 215 motorcyclists from approximately 15 motorcycle clubs rolled into the parking lot across the street from the police station in La Mesa. The riders joined another 150 protesters who were waiting at the parking lot for what was billed as a “Unity Ride Meets Unity Protest”. 

This was the very site of the now infamous clash between La Mesa police and protesters that happened on Saturday, May 30 during the national protests over police violence prompted by the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis officer now charged with murder.


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EXCLUSIVE: ECM INTERVIEWS LA MESA MAYOR AND POLICE CHIEF ON PROTEST PREPARATIONS AND RIOT RESPONSES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Videography by Paul Kruze

June 10, 2020 (La Mesa) – Hours after the city of La Mesa released a timeline and incident narrative on the May 30-31 protest over police violence and the riot that ensued, ECM editor Miriam Raftery and contributing editor Paul Kruze conducted exclusive interviews with Mayor Mark Arapostathis and La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez yesterday at the La Mesa community center, seeking answers to questions on protest preparations and riot responses.


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LA MESA HEARS REPORT ON CITIZEN POLICE OVERSIGHT PRACTICES, SEEKS CHANGES TO CHIEF'S PROPOSAL

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Screenshot, City of La Mesa video

September 20, 2019 – (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez presented a report on citizen police oversight practices at last week's City Council hearing and made suggestions for an 11-member Citizen Public Safety Panel to exchange information for the betterment of public safety in La Mesa. But his panel would lack investigative powers to look into complaints involving the police department.

Public testimony was against the Chief's proposal, and Councilwoman Dr. Akilah Weber grilled Vasquez on whether he adequately canvassed residents for input.


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CHIEF ED ACEVES PASSES THE BATON AND WALKS INTO RETIREMENT

By Bonnie Baranoff

April 12, 2015 (La Mesa) -- On Tuesday, April 14 at 2 p.m., 30-year La Mesa Police Department veteran and outgoing Police Chief Ed Aceves will “walk out” in what has become a traditional retirement ceremony at the La Mesa Police Department. Though officially retired in December 2014, he stayed on until his replacement, Chief Walter Vasquez, had a week to transition into the job.

In an ECM exclusive, Aceves shares how he got into law enforcement, how technology and communications have changed the field, his most memorable moments, and his plans for the future.


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HAIL TO THE CHIEF: LA MESA’S NEW POLICE CHIEF SWORN IN

 

 

By Kristin Kjaero

April 7, 2015 (La Mesa) -- It was a perfect spring day in La Mesa for the outdoor swearing in of the new Police Chief, Walt Vasquez (photo, left), joined by his family (photo, below right).  The charisma and popularity he brings with him was clear to see in the size and responsiveness of the crowd.

Vasquez began his career in law enforcement in 1986 with the San Diego Police Department, where he rose through the ranks to captain, most recently overseeing SDPD's SWAT team, Canine Unit, communications,  property room, information services, and the chief's community advisory boards. 

Not surprisingly given this background, his speech today expressed the values he places on public service, teamwork, and community policing.

Below and in video, we give you Chief Vasquez's speech in full.


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LA MESA SELECTS A NEW POLICE CHIEF

 

East County News Service

March 13, 2015 (La Mesa)--La Mesa City Manager Dave Witt has announced the selection of 28 ½ year City of San Diego Police Department veteran Walter (Walt) Vasquez, as the City’s new Chief of Police.

Witt said that Vasquez competed against candidates from outside the organization and proved that he has exceptional qualities that will help him succeed in his new position. Vasquez is currently serving as Assistant Chief of Police with the City of San Diego overseeing the Canine Unit, SWAT, Communications Division, Information Services, Property Room, and the Chief’s Community Advisory Boards. Vasquez will replace La Mesa Chief of Police Ed Aceves, who retired in December 2014 after 30 years of service.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.