Ex-chief sees challenges, urban issues facing Ontario police

Steven Romero, shown in the chief's office, reflects on his time at the helm of the Ontario City Police Department. (Enterprise file photo)

ONTARIO – As he prepared to depart Ontario, Steven Romero, who served as the city’s police chief for a little over two years, said he is leaving an agency that was “underfunded and understaffed,” hamstrung by an outdated perspective on policing that does not align with Ontario’s new reality.

“The city of Ontario has urban-level issues that are beginning to manifest themselves, yet we’re still approaching it with a rural mindset and capacity,” Romero said in an interview with the Enterprise. “We’re using old capacity that worked back in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s when this was a less populated region, when the urbanization hadn’t really taken place. Now that we’re . . .