A Week In The CMPD
The past week has been an interesting one for the men and women of the Costa Mesa Police Department. I suspect it was not the busiest week in recent weeks, but here a just a few of the events that occupied their time over the past 7 days.
6/19/12 - 9:16 a.m. - 1860 Newport Blvd. - Robbery
Four male blacks assaulted employees of Newport Watch Jewelry & Loan and robbed them of watches and jewelry. They escaped in a red Jeep Liberty with spare tire on the back.
6/22/12 - 12:45 p.m. - 100 Block of Walnut Street - Residential Burglary
Damian Pedersen, 22, residential burglary - grabbed purse. Police arrested him
6/22/12 - 4:33 p.m. - 2205 Harbor Blvd. - Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
Joseph Robert Barnes, 28, attempted to stab two males. Arrested.
6/23/12 - 2:45 a.m. - 200 block of Cabrillo - Attempted Murder
Victim, a 19 year old male, shot in upper left chest with "rat shot" by one of two men who were engaged in a car burglary. Shooter, still at large, identified as thin blond man with a goatee.
6/23/12 - 8:00 a.m. - 600 block of Baker Street - Robbery, Burglary, Attempted Sexual Assault, False imprisonment and public intoxication.
Matthew See, 23, arrested following a report of an assault on a 79 year old female and a 69 year old man. See had been smoking "Spice", a synthetic form of marijuana.
6/24/12 - 12:20 a.m. - Wilson Street/Placentia Avenue - Attempted Homocide
Two male Hispanics attacked a male Hispanic with a rock and knife and inflicted multiple stab wounds. He was taken to the hospital for treatment. Attackers still at large. May be gang-related.
This, by no means, represents the totality of the calls the members of the CMPD received and responded to over the past seven days - only the ones that were sure to get your attention.
PLUS THE RIECKHOF SITUATION
And, of course, last week we had the very significant distraction of the court ruling in the case of CMPD motorcycle officer Allen Rieckhof.
THE NEW BUDGET MAINTAINS LOW STAFFING LEVELS
And, coincidentally, this week began with the day the Costa Mesa City Council approved the 2012/2013 Municipal Budget, which perpetuated the lower staff levels for the CMPD.
LABOR STALEMATE AFFECTS SAFETY
I fear that, with the attitude this council has about the CMPD and their obvious unwillingness to negotiate with the police association, it's going to be a very long, long summer in Costa Mesa. Even though Chief Tom Gazsi has authorized an ongoing recruitment effort for officers at all levels in anticipation of multiple retirements over the next few months - and other possible departures for a less-hostile work environment - the City is forbidden to make job offers unless there is a 2nd pension tier for new hires approved.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't see more of what I outlined above as the summer months pass
The phrase "Nero fiddled while Rome burned" comes to mind.