Two-Way Race for Pacific Police Chief - The Missourian: Local News

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Two-Way Race for Pacific Police Chief

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Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014 3:00 pm

Pacific Police Chief Matt Mansell, 58, is facing a challenge from Dale Goodwin, 58, a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy and former Pacific police officer.

Goodwin said he wants to return to his roots and become police chief of his hometown department.

Mansell, a career police officer and security executive, is seeking his second term as city marshal-police chief. He is a member of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association and an active member of BackStoppers Inc.

Goodwin is a 30-year police officer who spent 13 years with the Pacific Police Department and then 17 years as a Franklin County deputy, where he is currently employed.

Profiles on both of the candidates follow:

Matt Mansell

Mansell entered law enforcement in West St. Louis County in 1985 and joined the Pacific Police Department in 1989, where he served until 2002.

He attained the rank of lieutenant and concentrated on juvenile law, focusing on proactive ways to keep youngsters out of trouble.

Mansell brought the D.A.R.E. program to the Meramec Valley School District and St. Bridget School; initiated school resource officer (SRO) program in the schools; and was the catalyst for the formation of the Pacific Swim Team.

He ran for police chief unsuccessfully in 2002 against longtime incumbent Ron Reed and in 2006 against Jim Brune.

During those eight years, Mansell took a job in security for an international agricultural company. On the third try, he unseated Jim Brune to become chief in 2010.

As chief, Mansell has expanded the number of officers on the street by creating 12-hour shifts, realigning districts and instituting volunteer and part-time officer programs.

He also created the canine program to fight drugs, acquiring two police dogs.

Additionally, he helped design the state-of-the-art police department on the lower level of the expanded government center.

Also as chief, Mansell began a chaplain program to help officers with sensitive family situations and named Jack Bone, pastor of First Christian Church, Pacific, as the first police chaplain.

Mansell recently gained statewide attention by offering his department training in the area of mental health to help officers identify individuals in distress. He reinstituted the Police Explorers Club for teens and negotiated a 50-50 contract with the school district to keep resource officers in schools.

He also used technology to reduce crime, installing cameras to curb vandalism in the city parks.

“We had some type of trashing in the park almost every day,” Mansell said. “The cost to repair the vandalism was much greater than the cost of the cameras.”

If re-elected, Mansell said he would spend the next four years expanding the use of technology in policing.

“We need to complete the installation of laptops and software in patrol cars that enable officers to act on the spot,” Mansell said. “There is also much more we can do with cameras.”

Cameras located near businesses and schools could make those areas more secure, he said.

“The cameras give us 24-hour surveillance,” Mansell said. “We have a source for used, inexpensive cameras. They’re not the latest in technology, but they serve the purpose for us.”

Mansell also wants to begin work on a site vulnerability assessment (SVA) program for the city, where specially trained officers would be available to walk through businesses and point out areas that are vulnerable to break-ins.

“This is an education program that trains officers to tell property owners how to make their property more safe,” he said. “It won’t cost us a great deal, but it can reap huge benefits for local property owners.”

Mansell and his wife Sherry have one son, Zachery, who graduated from Pacific High and is now attending college.

Dale Goodwin

Goodwin is a 1977 graduate of Pacific High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Missouri Valley University in 1981.

The Pacific Police Department sponsored Goodwin to attend the Jefferson County College Law Enforcement Training Center.

He served as a Pacific patrolman and detective until 1996 and then moved to the sheriff’s department where he served as a patrolman, member of the SWAT team and currently works in the civil division.

Goodwin is a member of the National Rifle Association, BackStoppers Inc., the Missouri Sheriffs Association and is a contributor to the Independence Fund, Inc.

He now wants to become a full-time police administrator bringing his experience to his hometown department.

If elected chief, Goodwin says there are four specific areas where his training and experience can enhance the department — fiscal responsibility, open communication with the community, increased officer training and increased call volume to the department.

Goodwin says he would reduce the cost of the department in several categories in order to increase the pay of officers.

“Officers in the Pacific Police Department are the lowest paid of any department in Franklin County,” he said. “Higher pay would retain officers in the department and in the future attract high quality officers.”

He also would reduce department costs through fiscal responsibility.

Goodwin said one of the best things he could bring to the police department is the practice of meeting with local citizens, businesses and civic groups. He also would meet with officers in the department, keeping open a continuing line of communication.

He wants to see increased officer training, such as critical incident and active shooter situations.

Goodwin said he is familiar with the life shooter training classes that are available and believes all officers need this type of training.

He spent 12 years on the sheriff’s department SWAT team, eventually serving as an instructor for active shooter situations

Goodwin said recent claims that the department experienced a decrease in police calls could be misleading. A decrease in call volume doesn’t mean a decrease in crime rate, he said.

He would like to see officers be more proactive in all aspects of policing from traffic stops to investigate crimes.

Goodwin believes his education and experience would bring a different level of leadership.

Goodwin and his wife Rebecca have two children, Carly and Riley. Goodwin has a son Cory from a previous marriage.

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