Former police lieutenant Myrtle Cole has lived in Rolando for over 20 years. After attending the University of Arizona and joining the Tucson Police Department, Myrtle moved to San Diego to continue her career in policing, rising to the rank of lieutenant with the SDCCD Police Department. After 11 years as a police officer, Myrtle went to work for the San Diego City Council to help implement ‘Community Oriented Policing’. This innovative policing approach strives to work directly with community leaders and residents to identify and prevent crime.
“We held meetings in back yards and community centers,” Myrtle recalls. “Our goal was to build bridges between the community and the police. We organized neighborhood watch groups, targeted Drug Houses to be torn down, and worked on After School programs to keep At-Risk young people out of trouble.”
In the 1990s, Myrtle attended National University and earned an MBA. Continuing her community advocacy, Myrtle worked with Deputy Mayor George Stevens on affordable housing issues and on a broad array of community issues with Council Members Charles Lewis and Tony Young.
Currently, Myrtle works for the United Domestic Workers (UDW), who provide in-home services to thousands of low-income seniors, children and people living with disabilities. Myrtle helps UDW fight for funding to keep the elderly in their homes, provide them with care and to provide good pay and benefits for the home care workers.
In 2009 Myrtle received the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. award for her community service and in 2010 the NAACP honored her with the A. Philip Randolph Award for educational leadership.
When Myrtle worked with Deputy Mayor George Stevens, she was struck by the pride he brought forth in the community. “George demanded that everyone in our community should strive for the stars,” Myrtle recalled. “At City Hall he demanded we receive respect and that our neighborhoods get their fair share of city resources and services.”
Myrtle has promised that, should she be elected, she will fight to continue the ‘Our-Community-Can-Soar’ spirit embodied by George Stevens and furthered by Charles Lewis and Tony Young.
“I will fight to bring that Gaslamp East dream to the neighborhood. I will work with labor and business to bring good jobs and quality shopping into the heart of our community. And I will work with the police and the schools to increase after-school programs to tutor at-risk kids and keep them out of trouble.”