Rosarito Police Gets Specialized Training

Officers from Long Beach volunteer to help the local Police force

On Wednesday, August 2 Rosarito Mayor Mirna Rincon opened a day of specialized training for officers of the Rosarito Police Department by restating her commitment to providing safety for the citizens of Rosarito.She welcomed Sergeants Brian Churchill and Fernando Zuniga, policing experts volunteering for the Long Beach Sister City program, to lead the latest in a series of workshops and courses meant to broaden both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills of Rosarito police officers.

Sergeant-II Fernando Zuniga has been a Los Angeles Police officer for over 30 years.  During this time, he spent nearly 15 years in the elite Metropolitan Division, where he has worked and led riot control, high risk warrant service, dignitary protection, crime suppression, and the Mayor’s Detail.  He has supervised vice units, where he has led officers and developed expertise in combating human trafficking, prostitution enforcement, and fraudulent documents.  He has been assigned to Federal Task Forces where he led multi-agency operations to identify the production and distribution of fraudulent documents.  His work has led to the arrest and successful prosecution of gang members, organized crime, and terrorists.  Sergeant Zuniga has received over 100 commendations and numerous other associated accolades.  Sergeant Zuniga, a resident of Whittier, has family roots in northern Baja and is often involved in volunteer work in Tijuana.

Sergeant-II Brian Churchill has been a Los Angeles Police Officer for 15 years.  During this time, he has spent much of his career working and leading a Gang Enforcement Detail.  He has also been assigned to a Counter-Terrorism unit, a Violent Crime Task Force, and a Career Criminal Detail.  He is currently assigned as the Assistant Watch Commander of Wilshire Patrol Division. He has received over 80 commendations and other associated awards.  Brian has served in the United States Military as a Commissioned Officer, and remains an active reservist.  He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston University and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of London.  Sergeant Churchill has been involved in policy development and training for police entities in Ukraine, the Balkans, and throughout the United States.

Officers of the Rosarito police department organized the day to best address local needs and utilize the expertise of Sergeants Churchill and Zuniga. They selected three topics to be covered: identifying fraudulent U.S. documents; latest innovations in emergency first aid with specific attention to officer down scenarios; and best practices in safely securing structures identified as crime scenes.

Sergeant Churchill says that he and Sergeant Zuniga found the officers of the Rosarito Beach PD to be exceptionally competent, attentive, and dedicated to service.  He says that many commonalities exist between both the problems that police officers face and public perceptions that often do not reflect the difficult reality of their profession.  While they conducting the training, he and Sergeant Zuniga noted that the officers in attendance demonstrated a high level of professional knowledge and skill in tactical operations.

It is expected that this newly formed relationship, sponsored by the Long Beach ~ Rosarito Friendship City Association, will continue. Further training intensives are being planned for north of the border.

Mayor Rincon looks forward to nurturing this relationship between the two cities as she recognizes that the continuing exchange of knowledge will enhance the capacity of police on both sides of the border.

Author: Marilyn Helgeson

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