Desert Hot Springs Police Chief Dale Mondary was placed on administrative leave on Monday while the city investigates “confidential allegations” against him.
Ever since the announcement, community members have been especially vocal on social media, with some rallying behind the chief, and some vocalizing their support for the decision to place him on leave.
Jake Ingrassia spoke with community members on Tuesday about how they felt.
“Chief Mondary is a pillar of the community,” said Bishop Kephyan Sheppard of the Word of Life Fellowship Center. “I got to know him as a standup man. Man of integrity, high character…I speak for a great contingency in the community that we support chief, obviously.”
“I don’t want to believe it’s true,” Kephyan added. “Honestly, I don’t believe it’s true… That’s not the chief we know, that’s not the Dale we know.”
Others expressed outrage over the messages, saying a police chief should be held to a higher standard than most.
“(Mondary) needs to be held responsible morally,” said Lynn Taylor, a Desert Hot Springs resident. “You hurt people doing that…And also if he’s married — he’s married. Come on.”
Others say the city needs Mondary, pointing to a steady decrease in crime. A city spokesperson said crime has decreased 30 percent in Desert Hot Springs since Mondary became chief.
Supporters of Mondary are organizing a prayer vigil for Friady night at Desert Hot Springs Police Department.
“We’re gonna stand together in unity,” Kephyan Sheppard. “We’re gonna pray for chief, pray for his family, pray for all those affected, pray for peace, and let god do what he does.”
Monday’s announcement about Mondary being placed on leave came hours after News Channel 3 started asking questions relating to sexually suggestive communications on social media, allegedly made by Chief Mondary.
Read the alleged messages below:
Watch News Channel 3 live at 5 to hear from more community members.