Good Citizens of Fayetteville, I am Efrain “Freddie” de la Cruz running to be your next Mayor.
I am running to be your mayor to help make and keep Fayetteville a safe and better place for the people to live, work, and play.
My pledge to the people is an accountable, civil, and efficient form of governance.
My priorities of work are safety and security, economic development, infrastructure improvements, and the reduction of property taxes.
I am a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, local business owner, family man, and a Soldier for Life. Additionally, I’m a Conservative, Capitalist, Constitutionalist, and Bible-believing Christian. Born as an Army Brat in Nanakuli, Hawaii in 1962, the 7th of 9 children, the son of a retired Soldier who proudly served in both Korea and two tours in Vietnam where he earned a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and another Bronze Star with “V” device for his courage and bravery. We traveled the country most of my elementary years until we settled in the Fayetteville area in 1975. I attended Spring Lake Jr. High, Pine Forest Senior High, and an alumnus of Fayetteville Technical Institute. After two years as an enlisted Army Light-wheeled Vehicle Mechanic, I enrolled in the Army’s Green to Gold program at Campbell University where I graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
I married my best friend, Venus Recod de la Cruz in 1983. She is a graduate of Reid Ross High School and an Army brat of a retired Special Forces Command Sergeant Major and Vietnam Vet. We have been married for over 38 years. We have six children and 12 grandchildren.
Between my father, and two brothers, we served a combined total of over 111 years in the U.S. Army. I served 32+ years in the United States Army, with over 28 years as a Military Police Officer, more than five years in a combat zone, and two years in Korea.
I like to highlight a few of my military assignments and experiences that will hopefully demonstrate to you why I am fully qualified to be your mayor. I served in more than20 different jobs, served with 12 foreign militaries conducting training and real-world operations that culminated an Army career with the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, eight Meritorious Service Medals, and other various medals, ribbons, and badges, total 48.
As a Military Police Battalion Commander, I commanded the largest MP Battalion in Iraq, consisting of nine MP Companies, totaling over 1,700 Soldiers and civilians spread across 17 different Forward Operating Bases and Patrol Bases, and covering 55,000 square miles of Northern Iraq during OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM 09-11. I provided command leadership, daily guidance, and mentorship for 76 Police Transitions Teams, four Brigade Combat Teams, and the 25th Infantry Division command group and staff. I also personally conducted hundreds of combat patrols, traveling to every location throughout the vast battlespace of four Northern Provinces where my Soldiers were working and living. I also conducted the Relief in Place of 13 MP Companies, ensuring the incoming units were fully prepared to assume the mission upon Transfer of Authority.
I served as a Diplomat in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the Senior Security Advisor for the Office of the Program Manager - Saudi Arabian National Guard, and for the Saudi Arabian Royal Guard Presidency’s Secret Service for over three years. I was consistently sought out by senior Military Police leaders to provide input to the mission, planning, and execution.
I served as a Brigade, Deputy Commanding Officer where I revised Standard Operating Procedures, policies, directed staff actions and working groups, established an Officer Professional Development Program, and supervised the Brigade’s Command Inspection Program. I flawlessly managed a budget of over $4.5 million dollars. My leadership optimized the operational management of the Command Group and staff.
I served as Eighth Army’s Deputy, Director of Training and Exercises in South Korea, where I successfully planned and wrote operation orders and oversaw over ten major training exercises in Korea and Japan. I spearheaded the planning of the first combined, joint Republic of Korea and United States Live Fire and Maneuver Exercise 2015 attended by the President of South Korea. With very little time to plan and execute, I immediately identified the key planners and participating units, established timelines, milestones, wrote orders and conducted required reconnaissance to ensure the South Korean and US commands, staff, and participating units received all requirements for a very successful presidential media event.
I served as the Deputy, Provost Marshal for United States Army Pacific Command where I tenaciously managed numerous tasks relating to Law Enforcement, Military Working Dogs, Protection, Physical Security, Customs, Detention and Corrections, Biometrics / Forensics, Criminal Intelligence, and orders production. I ensured the creation and dissemination of criminal intelligence event notice to deter and defeat criminal and terrorist threats against Army and DoD personnel on Oahu, Hawaii.
Finally, after a successful Army career beginning 26 September 1986, I retired 31 December 2018, with a Top Secret / SCI clearance at United States Army Pacific Command, Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
These are experiences that qualify me to understand why Fayetteville is struggling with rising homicide and crime rates, and how to help the leadership within the Fayetteville Police Dept. resolve its discontent, low morale, and deficit of quality law enforcement officers. I am a battle-tested proven leader that understands what needs to be done to curtail crime and keep our citizens safe. The crime statistics speak for themselves: Record-setting murder rate in 2021 with the first few months of 2022 out to surpass that. Fayetteville does not need to be the murder capital of North Carolina. There are no easy solutions, but I strongly believe that petty crimes, property damage, and murders can be significantly curtailed by allowing our Fayetteville police officers to do their job and enforce the law. When you let the people openly and without consequence break the law by rioting, looting, and dangerously ignoring and violating local traffic laws, we create an environment of lawlessness. Now, I’m not advocating those police interactions are needed for every minor traffic infraction, but what we are currently witnessing in our city is violent and dangerous to the public.
Public safety is the mainstay of my campaign to run for mayor of Fayetteville. Of course, I believe everyone is innocent until proven guilty; however, I also believe the accused need to be exonerated through proper investigative authorities not committees. The toxic environment in the Police Dept. and the dysfunctional makeup of our City Council all speak for themselves. I encourage Fayetteville citizens to replace the City Council. As your mayor, I would strongly recommend replacing the Chief of Police with a Chief who will allow police officers to enforce the laws within their jurisdiction.
I will do what is right. As a family man, former Army officer, diplomat, and businessman, I have a proven record as an accountable Leader with integrity and a master problem solver that knows how to get things done efficiently.
Venus and I are settled. We are now ready to serve the citizens of Fayetteville.
Finally, I ask that you please support and contribute to my campaign and text: Freddie to: 71441
Thank you in advance for your support, God Bless America, and I pray for the citizens of Fayetteville.
text: Freddie to: 71441
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