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Balcones Heights to create search panel for new police chief

Candidate search panel to be formed

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SAN ANTONIO – The search is on for a new police chief in Balcones Heights and city officials want input from residents.

The city hosted a community meeting for feedback Monday night.

Residents, business owners and city staffers took part in the focus group at City Hall, hosted by Interim City Manager David Harris. 

Participants discussed qualities they would like to see in the city's next police chief. 

"I really want it to be organic. I don't want to force a speed on something because I would like us to be deliberate about what we're doing, because this is such an important position in our community and I really want people to feel comfortable about the decision we make," said Harris.

Former Police Chief Henry Dominguez was placed on leave in late May before being fired in July.

His termination was based on the results of an internal investigation into the allegations he failed to take action when warned one of his officers may have had ties to the Mexican Mafia.

That officer, Julian Pesina, was murdered in early May as he left a tattoo shop he co-owned.

Lt. Joyce Pena is serving as interim police chief until a permanent chief is hired.

The city plans to hold more focus groups in the coming weeks to create a candidate profile and job description. 

A search panel will be created to interview possible candidates.