Rudy Mendoza

The city of Tolleson tapped Police Chief Rudy Mendoza and Assistant Chief Jeff Grow as interim public safety director and interim police chief, respectively. 

The appointment comes after Fire Chief George Good’s retirement. He was fire chief for 17 years, followed by one year under contracted services.

Good’s accomplishments include a new fire station, the acquisition of fire apparatus, and his legacy of leadership. 

Most notably, he aggressively pushed for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to thwart the illness’ impact on residents. 

Mendoza has worked for the department for 22 years, starting in 2000 as a dispatcher. Five years after graduating the police academy, he was promoted to sergeant. In 2017, he was named commander, overseeing police operations. 

As interim public safety director, Mendoza will temporarily oversee the fire department.

Mendoza’s new responsibilities will include handling most day-to-day operations, like managing budgets and ensuring hiring and staffing goals are being met.

As interim police chief, Grow will oversee the daily tasks of the police department, ensuring the needs of the officers are being met while Mendoza is in his new role.  

He will continue to contribute to important decision making in the police department as well. Mendoza said that although his experience is within the police department, his mission as interim public safety director remains the same. 

“It’s still a service that gets provided. It’s still about people. It’s still about building relationships,” Mendoza said.

“I’m just going to use the skills that I had here working as the chief of police and move that over to fire, which means working with the community and seeing what their needs are, and making sure that we’re providing a good fire medical service for the citizens of Tolleson.”

A large support system will help with the transition, including members of the Tolleson fire administration: Ernesto Gonzalez, Michael Young, Jonathan Mecum and Renee Hamblin. 

Mendoza said he looks forward to watching Grow’s development in his role. 

“I’m excited for him, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do in this position,” Mendoza said.

“I think Jeff is going to be happy that he got this experience, and he’s going to have a sharper skill set. I think he’s going to do a great job for us.”

Mendoza said he is available as long as it takes for Tolleson to find the permanent hire.

“Our city is really big on fit,” Mendoza said. “And I know that they’ll work hard to find that person that’s going to fit within our community and also fit within our organization in whatever timetable they have to do that.”