Santa Paula Times

Annette Cordero watches as Henry Aguilar, a retired SPPD Officer pinned the commander’s badge on her husband’s lapel.

Ish Cordero: Longtime SPPD Officer
honored upon promotion to Commander

June 11, 2014
Santa Paula News

A rare badge pinning ceremony was held at Monday’s City Council meeting to acknowledge the leadership and promotion of a longtime Santa Paula Police Officer, who had served as interim chief of police for more than a year.

Commander Ish Cordero was lauded at the June 2 council meeting by Police Chief Steve McLean before his brother-in-law, who Cordero said had the strongest influence on him, pinned the badge on his uniform.

McLean noted that about 20 members of Cordero’s family were present and “I think it is important he be recognized not only at this meeting but also with his family here.”

Cordero’s rank was elevated from lieutenant to the newly recreated commander level because, said McLean, “He works hard and he deserves it... his job is the day to day operations of the department so - from my perspective - I can be doing what a police chief should be doing, interacting with the community,” and establishing partnerships and building collaborations.

Cordero has vast experience and “has demonstrated his leadership to me. I think his best quality,” and one McLean said is not often found in leaders, is “He is a man of humility, a quiet man, a hard worker... and I have tremendous respect for him.

“I am very proud of him and the job he has done in the community... they are very fortunate to have someone like him to work in the police department... “ 

Annette Cordero watched as Henry Aguilar, a retired SPPD Officer pinned the commander’s badge on her husband’s lapel.

McLean said he was “honored to introduce to the community Commander Cordero.”

Cordero thanked his family for “Being here with me on this special day, it means a lot,” and he thanked the council and City Manager Jaime Fontes as well as McLean, “For having the confidence in my abilities to manage and lead the department as second in commend.”

He noted those “instrumental in my career,” were SPPD veterans Mayor Rick Cook, Councilman Bob Gonzales and his brother-in-law Aguilar.

The latter, he noted, “Was my role model, not only like a big brother but helped me in my career. I would like to thank my wife Annette, for encouraging me,” to rise further in the agency.

When Cordero was attending the police academy 28 years ago then-Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Dick Bryce, a Santa Paula resident, told him that “Golden opportunities only come once and you must take advantage of them... I remember that,” to this day.

Gonzales first met Cordero “probably 30 years ago,” when the former Marine was a “Wanna-be police officer” with a “fire about you... you wanted to do right, to help people and you’ve done so for a period of time.”

Cordero served as interim police chief for more than a year following the April 2012 suspension and later termination of Chief Steve MacKinnon, accused of misusing a city car and gasoline credit card.

During his tenure as interim chief Gonzales, the city’s former chief, said “You did a phenomenal job... my hope is when your boss steps down you again will be chief.”

Cordero’s reputation is “phenomenal” and he is trusted by “young and old,” victims as well as suspects who Gonzales said, know if they question Cordero they will get an honest answer from whether the like it or not.

Cook said he met Cordero even earlier than Gonzales, “when you were a youngster... your family had accepted me with open arms,” and he remembered dinners where Cordero’s sisters teased their younger brother.

Cordero demonstrated “ability, character and ethics,” throughout his law enforcement career that included being a cadet and reserve “before you joined the ranks,” as a full-time SPPD Officer.

“You have a great department,” and Cook advised, “Keep your nose to the wheel like the chief and your men will support you... “

Fontes noted, “A couple of years back I called upon you with no notice and laid out a mission that for just about any other officer would have been impossible... “ 

He thanked Cordero for the “Hard work you did as acting chief and your unflinching loyalty to the city.”

Cordero returned to the podium to “Also thank all the men and women in the department... without them I would not be in this situation as well.”