Dominguez 2

Commander Greg Dominguez
Glendale Police Department

Recently former Glendale Assistant Police Chief Greg Dominguez has been in and on the media…a lot. The internal Glendale police department’s investigation of his situation is sealed so the media does not know exactly and specifically what happened and can only report on it in a general sense. They do not have anything other than a non-specific Peoria complaint. We do know it was a situation in which no charges were filed.

What happened? We know a broad and general outline. Allegedly Assistant Police Chief Greg Dominguez on two separate occasions threatened a clerk at a Peoria smoke shop and told him to stop selling spice to his then drug impaired son. Dominguez claims he does not remember what he said to the clerk but the clerk, in his Peoria police report, alleges that Dominguez threatened to burn the place down and to kill the clerk. True? Not true? We can’t know because we are not privy to the results of the internal investigation.

As a result of that investigation Dominguez has been demoted from Assistant Chief to Commander and suspended for a week. The Arizona Republic, never willing to let what facts it reports stand in the way of stirring up more controversy, ran an article questioning the appropriateness of the punishment meted out to Dominguez.

Everyone will have an opinion. Was the punishment too severe? Just right? Too lenient? The union supports Dominguez’ belief that the punishment was too severe. I assume they have retained an attorney on his behalf to appeal the decision.

Before I go any further let me say that I, personally, like Greg Dominguez and his wife. They are not only both fine officers but good people and parents. Commander Dominguez was always very responsive to my questions, concerns and requests made as a councilmember on behalf of my constituents. He did his job and did it well.

But he was the Assistant Chief of the Glendale Police Department and as such is held to a higher standard than you or I. Is that fair? Probably not but life is not always fair. Throughout history police officers have always been held to a higher standard because they symbolize adherence to law for all of us. When they ignore or bend the law it is an action that betrays and erodes that supreme trust. There is also the issue of perception. If, as an Assistant Chief, he did not receive this level of sanction, you can be sure the rank and file as well as ordinary citizens would be saying he received lenient treatment because of his position. Quite frankly, newly promoted Chief Black was damned if she did, and doubly damned if she didn’t.

If anything, I was very surprised to learn of Commander Dominguez’ actions. If he were angry enough to threaten someone in that situation could he become angry enough to use similar threats in other situations? I suspect upon reflection, Commander Dominguez not only realizes that he made a dumb mistake but now realizes that there were other ways he could have handled the situation. As a civilian, I can think of a couple of things that could have been done. I can remember times when my kids were teenagers and they were in situations that had me nervous, down-right crazy or scared. I never once considered the threat of bodily harm as an option.


Chief Debra Black
Glendale Police Department

Was the punishment appropriate? Yes. Chief Black had a very difficult decision to make and as a former Glendale councilmember I support her decision. She needed to send a message not just to every officer but to every Glendale resident that the actions taken by the second highest officer in the department would not be tolerated and that there is a strong ethic of responsibility for one’s actions.