Nov 14, 2022
Sinikka Waugh and Joe Gonzalez discuss 5 Ways that Diversity Makes Us Better.
Executive Director of Latino Resources Inc.
Joe Gonzalez is a retired Lieutenant from the DM Police Department; he was hired as a Police Cadet in November of 1971. The program was started to recruit more minorities in the police department, he was promoted to Police Officer in January of 1975 and attended the Des Moines Police Regional Police Academy graduating in June of 1975. Joe was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in February of 2004 and was assigned to the Community Outreach and Protective Services Division where he supervised officers that worked in community outreach. In April 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and was then assigned to be the commander of the Neighborhood Based Service Delivery Unit. The unit had officers that worked with the neighborhood associations in the city, he also oversaw the Mobile Crisis Unit which responded to calls from individuals that were having mental health crises. In addition, he oversaw the Police Activities League and a boxing club for youth, this gave them a place to be involved in an activity and to stay off the streets. Joe graduated from DMACC earning an AA degree and worked at the police department soon after graduating from high school. Joe is a graduating member of the 2007-2008 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and was awarded with the Community and Visioning award for connecting in 2012. Joe was fortunate to have a successful career and was recognized for his work as an advocate for crime victims, especially domestic violence victims. He was recognized by the United States Attorney's Office, Domestic Abuse Coordinating Council, Iowa Organization of Victim Assistance, and United Latinas for a New Dawn for his work in assisting victims of domestic violence. In 2003 the Des Moines Rotary Club selected him as the Police Officer of the Year. Upon his retirement in July of 2014 Chief Judy Bradshaw awarded him with the department's meritorious service award to honor his career. Joe has the honor of being the highest-ranking Latino in the history of the Des Moines Police Department. Joe currently serves on the Proteus and Police Activities boards and he’s a past board member for Variety, Chrysalis Foundation, Polk County Housing Trust Fund, and Broadlawns. Joe is also currently involved with the Inclusion and Diversity Council and the Equity and Inclusion Committee. He has also been a mentor for the Community Connect Program for 4 years.