New police chief ready to move forward from past accusations

PALACIOS, Texas- Milton Rivera, a native of Jersey City, New Jersey, joined the city of Palacios police department in 2018, a year after being accused of sexual harassment while working as a deputy for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. 

“What I’m going to do for the community is what matters right now,” Rivera said. “What happened in the past to me, happened in the past.”

As police chief, Rivera wants to improve police training, especially in regards to dealing with mental health calls.

“We want to be able to deescalate and get them the help while their in crisis and using force will be the last thing on the plate and hopefully we don’t get to that point after the officers get the training, that they deescalate and they get them the medical help they need,” Rivera said.

The city manager of Palacios said he’s sure they’ve made the best selection for chief despite the past accusation, which was dismissed without prosecution.

“Great employee, he’s been a great trainer, he’s got an extensive training background so when we hired him as a patrol officer, he was training the newcomers,” said David Kocurek, Palacios city manager. 

Chief Rivera says he is looking forward to 2021.

“We have several programs that we are going to line up for the City of Palacios,” Rivera said. “We’re a small city and we want to make it better and we want to bring more people into the city, we want to bring business.”

Rivera also said he plans on doing outreach to senior citizens as part of the new programs he plans to introduce to the city of Palacios.