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SPECIAL REPORT: The life of a police detective


EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Police Detectives work around the clock to solve crimes. It's no different for the El Centro Police Department working tirelessly to bring families closure after one of the most difficult times in their lives.

Detective Alfredo Hernandez with El Centro Police Department told me his job is not just a career, but a lifestyle. Sometimes even in the middle of the night, his phone goes off with a new tip, interrupting his sleep. He says it's worth it if it helps him solve a big case.

Following up on felony crimes, conducting extensive investigations, and calls for service, all in a day's work for our local detectives.

WEB EXTRA: Detective Hernandez discusses the Crown Motel murder investigation

“We know that making apprehensions and arrests in these cases, especially the murder cases, they don’t bring peoples loved ones back, they know that it’s a really sad situation throughout, but at least it brings closure to these families," he said.

Detective Hernandez has been solving crimes for seven years now. During that time he’s worked on hundreds of cases. 

He says one of the most important parts of a criminal investigation is when a weapon is recovered, like in the case of a motel shooting in El Centro last June where 27-year-old Pablo Dominguez was killed.

"We also recovered the bullet from the victim at a later time during the autopsy, you can get D-N-A evidence of that weapon, you can get fingerprints off that weapon, you can trace the origins off that weapon,” he said.

Detective Alfredo says the interview process is also challenging and can be a real game-changer.

“It’s audio and video recorded, even an area there where we can handcuff a suspect, we usually have somebody closeby in the event something does happen, but when it comes to interviewing witnesses even kids, or victims, we sometimes don’t do it in this room, so we sometimes don’t do it in this room cause it can be intimidating for them,” he said.

Detective Alfredo says although the job is self-sufficient, they are held accountable by the public and the District Attorney.

"No taking shortcuts or anything like that, you are creating injustice for the victims, but you will get called out by the staff here and the district attorney's office when they refuse to prosecute a defendant because you haven’t put in the effort into a case,“ he said.

Detectives say sometimes they can’t sleep at night if a case remains unsolved. They say that can be difficult when witnesses don’t speak up. 

Adrian Chilpa is also a detective with El Centro Police Department, he couldn't agree more.

“I think one of the biggest challenges we have is that we don’t always get the cooperation of violent crimes, whether people tend to fear retaliation, stuff they see on tv," he said.

Detective Adrian Chilpa says that at the end of the day solving a case is what makes it all worth it. 

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Wiley Jawhary

Wiley Jawhary is from Orange County California. He joined KYMA/KSWT in April of 2021.

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