Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Wise Police Policy Yields Results

Today the Los Angeles Times published an article entitled, "A hire that's a cold contrast", which dealt with the current police chief in Richmond, a tough city across the bay from San Francisco.

At 103,000 people, Richmond is just about the same size as Costa Mesa, but has a very different racial make-up. According to the Times article, Richmond is 36% black, 27% Latino and 21% white and is ranked among the most dangerous American cities. Based on the information in the article, in 2005 police made arrests in only 13% of the homicide cases they investigated.

One city councilman is quoted as saying, "Somebody got shot and killed and 50 people were watching but 'nobody saw nothing,' "

Then the city hired Chris Magnus, a white man who came from Fargo, North Dakota - a city almost entirely white - as their police chief.

The story goes on to detail Magnus' approach, reinstatement of what is commonly knows as "community based policing" and giving senior officers responsibility for specific area within the city - a beat of their own. According to one officer quoted, "The chief gave us voice mail, email and cellphones.", which dramatically improved communications between the officers on the beat and the residents of the city. Because the officers were more visible and accessible to the community in a positive way, communications improved and more crimes were solved.

Contrast this to current day Costa Mesa, where our mayor and his majority seem determined to drive wedges between the police and the community, particularly the Latino community. There are many of us hoping that our own new chief, Chris Shawkey, can re-establish the lines of communication within the community that were shredded a year ago when our young jailer/mayor proposed his plan for cross-designation of Costa Mesa officers as immigration screeners.

Quite honestly, I don't think that's going to happen. I think that the current make-up of the city council, with the automatic acquiescence of Wendy Leece replacing the occasional voice of moderation Gary Monahan provided, practically guarantees even more draconian approaches to resolving conflict in this city. I guess we'll find out soon enough as this council gets it's game plan in place - perhaps as early as the meeting tonight.

The constant drumbeat of the blog CM Press, the bible for many of the self-anointed "improvers" in town and the song book for the Mansoor majority, continues to pound out it's anti-Latino rhythm with the persistence of a Chinese water torture. It apparently influences many people in this town who either don't care, or are too lazy, to assess the reasons behind the author's invective. They don't take the time to read his broader essays, which are an open window into the warped mind of this man. If they did, the readers would repudiate his mantra instead of taking every word he writes and every comment he utters at the speakers podium as gospel.

The Times article chronicles for us the success possible in very difficult situations when intelligent application of good community communications exists. Trust of the police by the residents creates sources of information which aids them in solving crimes. Thanks to the mayor, in Costa Mesa we have just the opposite - fear of the police, which dried up sources of information, which has led to an increase in violent crimes.

The aforementioned CM Press, in it's most recent posting, lists applicants for the Planning and Parks and Recreation Commissions, the openings on which will soon be filled by the City Council. I perused those lists with great interest and found among them names of some of those "improvers" mentioned above. Based on their public pronouncements, published viewpoints and actions over the past several years, I personally don't think some of those people will represent the interests of all residents of Costa Mesa on those commissions. I think they will represent only the narrow views of their cadre of malcontents which have orchestrated control of this city. However, should a couple of them gain appointments it will likely make for some interesting ingredients in the stew we stir here. They will go from private citizen to public figure and the spotlight that goes with such positions. They will no longer be able to hide behind pseudonyms while voicing controversial viewpoints on blog postings, for example. Nope, the light of day will be upon them and they will become fair game. Whether the public pays attention remains a big question. Only time will tell.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check your style book. The Itchingpost capitalizes “Improvers” while A Bubbling Cauldron does not. Which is correct?

1/03/2007 07:01:00 AM  
Anonymous watchur6 said...

As one of the "improvers" for many years (or a puppet on a string per those "tolerant" Dixon supporters)I find many good things in the CM Press and tend to agree with most of the postings. There are actual suggestions in there, not just put downs of people as in your blog. I disagree with you on almost everything yet if you ever came up with an idea I certainly would study it. But I never see any ideas, just rants against other people's ideas. I do not read the CM Press author's other writings you mention because I do not know where they are and I do not like to read any race based writings. But no matter how vile those other writings "may" be, it would not cause me to repudiate any good ideas in the CM Press. The Press is not a bible for improvers and despite your constant blatherings about how its author pulls our strings you have it wrong. But go ahead and keep thinking that to your detriment if you wish. You are missing the big picture by not moving on from this inaccurate view. As far as citizens cooperating with cops, they don't cooperate now in many cities that could be seen as illegal alien sancturies. This is just another urban myth you perpetuate. As far as improvers applying for the open commission seats, well they tend to represent most of the citizens of CM, although I will agree with you that they do not represent ALL. No one possibly could. Heck, we improvers disagree with each other all the time! But we talk it out without the name calling that comes from our opponents and move forward for what we feel is in the best interest of CM representing the community values the community has told us they have dear to their hearts. That is why we win elections--new ideas, not some return to ruin.

1/03/2007 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

NotFoolya, I guess it's just a matter of perspective. Itchingpost apparently views that group differently than I do. If I felt obliged to follow a "stylebook" I might just as well continue to submit commentaries to the Los Angeles Times...

Watchur6, that's an interesting admission. You're telling us that you follow the CM Press author's song book regardless of the underlying philosophy that drives it. In a future blog posting I'll provide some links for you so, when you decide to pull your head out of the sand, you'll be able to read and understand the mind of your "leader". Perhaps the improvers should call themselves the "lemmings"...

1/03/2007 10:05:00 AM  
Anonymous DVS said...

Dear Watchur6,
If in fact you read CM Press, then I can not understand this statement:
"But we talk it out without the name calling that comes from our opponents."

Perhaps I misunderstand what you are saying and what you really meant to convey is that you only call you opponents names. As I recall, CM Press, the ringleader of improvers regularly called every council candidate he opposed names and continues to call existing council members names as well as any citizen that disagrees with him.

One other question; if improvers are so open to discourse, how is it CM Press does not open his posts for comments?

1/03/2007 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Lurker said...

Watchur6 really nails it. His or her well reasoned comments are welcomed reading. I hope this self proclaimed Improver is interested in participating in our Costa Mesa government as this person would be a real asset to our local government. It makes me want to be an Improver too. How does one join this Improver group?

1/03/2007 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Westside said...

I visited the CP Press so many times, and I get annoyed by the name calling going on in this blog. At one point, El Seis called to la Señora Burciaga something that I don't really want to spell it publically. It's disgusting. This guy, el Seis, thinks he is the cleanest person alive. Well, he's not. I visited his other websites, and read his racist rants. Too bad our city council, particularly, Mayoor Mansoor, has been following his advise "pulgada por pulgada". As far as other things, I don't see any immediate improvement between our police department and the Latino Community. Unfortunately we have an extremist righ-wing government right now. Anything conservative, or anything progressive is out of the question.

1/03/2007 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous watchur6 said...

lemmings, racists, puppets, whatever you want to continue to call us has no effect but to make you look small. Don't bother with the links unless they are about CM. Re-read my posting and please notice that I said: CM Press is NOT our bible, only that I agree with MOST of his ideas (=not all ideas). Also, again, the author is not our "leader". I read him, you, and de Arakal for thoughts and ideas. If anything, our current leader is Mayor Mansoor along with Bever and Leece. To Lurker: how to join improvers? That is hard to say since we are not really a formal group. It just sort of happens(I know, I am leaving myself open to a mean comment with that line! Go ahead, I would expect nothing less from some of you). You listen to people speak a council meetings and you like what you hear. Then another one speaks and you like that. Then you notice the speakers are sort of sitting together (at the back left hand side of chambers when facing council. Go over and introduce yourself to them! Exchange email addresses. Soon, you will be invited over to someone's house for some social interaction and you may meet people who share a cause with you and suddenly you are planning a way to implement it. Welcome to the improvers!

1/04/2007 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

It's fascinating to me that those of you who follow the rants of the CM Press author - admittedly a really smart fella - choose not to consider his broader racist writings. I'm not sure what that tells me about you, except that you're willing to be lead by a guy who advocates racial purity and has done so for years. There are many ways to interpret your position, the most generous of which is "ignorance is bliss". Perhaps you choose to ignore his foundational views because it might strike too close to home for some of you.

Your direction to Lurker was interesting. I guess one more snickering, smirking member of your little clique can't hurt, right? Perhaps a uniform might make you even more identifiable. I have some suggestions if you're interested, but I suspect you might have guessed what they are. For example, there's a little symbol that the CM Press author has used on occasion to adorn his essays that might make you stand out in the crowd - one with which many of us my age are quite familiar.

I think I'll still provide a post with links to some of the CM Press author's more incendiary essays, so others might have the chance to read them and understand where this guy's coming from. Of course, they will do so knowing it might cost them their lunch...

To all you improvers (small i) in the crowd, Feliz Ano Nuevo.

1/04/2007 01:43:00 PM  

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