Born in Venezuela, New Canby Police Lieutenant’s Career Comes Full Circle

Though the big news from last week’s City Council meeting was the reversal of course in the redevelopment of the former library building, the highlight was surely the swearing-in of new Canby Police Lt. Jose Gonzalez.

Lt. Gonzalez was born and raised in Venezuela. He joined the Venezuelan military when he was 17 and served for three years. At age 20, he decided to move to the United States to learn English — a skill he had planned to take back to his home country.

He picked Oklahoma City because it was centrally located, and that seemed the best way to immerse himself in the language. This was in 1983.

Jose earned an associate degree in computer science before moving to Portland, where he met and married his wife, Marissa, in 1991. He completed a bachelor’s degree in business and began looking for ways to serve his new country.

Here’s Canby Police Chief Bret Smith.

For Gonzalez, his career has come full circle, because his first job in law enforcement was right here in Canby in 1996. He actually joined and went through police academy with current Canby PD Lt. Jorge Tro. After two years, Jose left to join the Portland Police Bureau, where he worked in a number of divisions, including patrol, transit, drug and vice, crisis intervention and gang enforcement.

After 21 years, he saw the job opening for lieutenant in Canby and decided to come home. He said he’s excited to be back and looks forward to meeting and serving Canby citizens.

Lt. Gonzalez’s first day on the job was Feb. 4.

Photo courtesy the city of Canby.

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