The city of Mission and the Mission Police Department celebrated Monday night the swearing in of their new police chief after the city’s longtime chief retired in April.

Cesar Torres, 54, was officially sworn in as the Mission police chief at the ceremony following Chief Robert Dominguez’s retirement after over 35 years.

Torres had worked with Dominguez when he began his career in law enforcement in 1990 at the Mission Police Academy, where he worked as a K-9 handler for over five years.

“Cesar Torres is a career officer with the best experience in public service,” Mission Mayor Armando O’Caña said at the ceremony. “We firmly believe he is the right person to guide us, this city, during this crucial time at the Mission Police Department.”

Cesar Torres is sworn in as police chief of the city of Mission on Monday. (Courtesy photo)

Torres had previously worked as chief of police in Edinburg but was fired in May of last year over accusations that he discriminated against union members, accusations a neutral arbiter agreed with.

However, Torres is focused on serving the Mission community and says his time as the Mission police chief won’t be any different than it was at the Edinburg Police Department.

“There’s no issues,” Torres said. “We’re gonna be here for our citizens in Mission and that’s what matters.

“What I did over [in Edinburg] is what I’m gonna do here, we’re gonna work on reducing crime and we did, we reduced it dramatically.”

Torres says there isn’t much of a difference between each city’s department in terms of budget and size, though the biggest similarity is that there’s crime.

The new police chief says his vision for the department is to create new programs that would help reduce crime in the city.

“What I’m doing is evaluating programs that we have, that are working, so that we can build from those programs and evaluate them to see if there’s any programs that are needed,” Torres said.

Cesar Torres (Courtesy photo)

Torres said the department needs a high visibility program as an example and that they need to work in areas such as criminal analysts in order to map crime so the authorities could have a better idea where crimes are occurring the most.

“For instance, let’s say that crime is occurring in the south side the most,” Torres said. “Then we need to staff accordingly, staff more patrols, undercover operations, skywatch towers and extra officers to those areas of concern.”

Torres also hopes to bring in more federal money to the area in order to enhance their programs.

So far, Torres’ experience in being sworn in as police chief has been positive despite his rocky tenure in Edinburg.

He says that Mission was looking for change, that change is always good for any organization, and that he’ll bring what they want in a positive manner.

“We want to make sure we provide the best service possible, like we did in Edinburg,” Torres said. “We want to do the same here in Mission, and it’s been happening, we just got to continue to be professional with our public and be there for them, most importantly.”