2005 Inductee - Dolores Delgado


2005 Inductee - Dolores Delgado

The police force is a good barometer of a society. When police departments were all white and all male, women and minorities tended to be treated as second class citizens. When Dolores Delgado became Lathrop’s Chief of Police in March of 2005 it showed that the best man for the job can be a woman, and Latina.

Dolores is only 44 years old but has spent more than 20 years in law enforcement. She worked for the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department for 18 years before she became Lathrop’s Administrative Lieutenant, then its top cop. In 1999 she became the county’s first Latina lieutenant in law enforcement. She celebrated with a Mariachi band and Mexican food.

She has been involved with the Latin Peace Officers Association, the San Joaquin County Equal Opportunity Committee and St. Mary’s Interfaith Dining Hall. She’s also given hundreds of hours to Su Salud, the Sheriff’s Explorer program and Sheriff’s STARS program.

She has earned a double B.A. from UOP in Religious Studies and Social Science. From USF she has a masters in Human Resources and Organizational Development. She is also a graduate of the Leadership Stockton Program and the California Supervisory Leadership Institute.

Police Chief Delgado worked her way from the bottom rung of the law enforcement ladder. In October 1984 she started as a Custodial Officer at the Women’s Jail/Men’s Honor Farm. In July 1987 she was promoted to Deputy Sheriff. She worked nearly 5 years in the Department Transition, Custody Division and Field Forces Division. A special administrative project was for her to research and prepare a proposal for the Hepatitis B inoculation program that was adopted in 1992. The program protects Sheriff’s Office personnel from exposure to blood and body fluids. She also created a “manual classification tracking system for the Men’s Honor Farm with an emphasis on new generation facilities” to manage special inmates such as informants, gang members and high risk inmates. During November 1992 she became a Sergeant. She “developed leadership skills and abilities of subordinates” and was a mentor, coach and trainer. Team building and team work exercises, implementation of scenarios dealing with readiness, critical decision making tactical debriefings were some of her responsibilities. She also gave career counseling and guidance.

Another promotion came her way in June 1995 when she moved to the Custody Division. She became a SIC Training Manager for the Custody Court Services and Transportation Divisions. Some of her duties were supervising Correctional Officer Academies and Advanced Officer Training, writing recommendations for retention or release of probationary employees and acquisition of state of the art computer technology.

Dolores moved to the Field Forces Division in April 1999. Two of her assigned duties were supervising patrol deputies assigned to rural areas and being responsible for decisions in tactical and high-risk situations. Within months, in July 1999, she was made lieutenant in the Custody Division. Her greatest achievement was representing the Sheriff’s Office as lead agency in a successful proposal for a $4.2 million “Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction” grant from the state Board of Corrections.

Her final promotion in the Sheriff’s Department was to Lieutenant in the Field Forces Division during March 2002. She served as acting Division Captain, dealt with employee discipline, workers compensation and other personnel issues.

Dolores humbly attributes her success to members of her family.

“My parent’s kindness, generosity and willingness to help so many people less fortunate than themselves is a true testimony to their character and faith. Their example is one I hope to keep emulating.”

“My sister Elisa will forever remain the most inspirational role model, mentor and spiritual guide in my life. Elisa provided financial support for my family for years and was instrumental in getting me through college for my undergraduate degree.”

“My big brother Ruben was my hero and bigger than life. I struggled in grammar school and was going to be held back. Ruben taught me how to read, write and spell. He and Elisa stressed the importance of education and mastering the English language. I have the deepest love and gratitude for Elisa and Ruben and the gifts they left me.”

Dolores went into law enforcement because “I found my niche and found a venue to make changes in the industry and most consequentially, positively impact people in the community with fair and just treatment.”

It is with great pride and honor that Dolores Delgado be inducted into the Mexican American Hall of Fame in 2005.