Monday, June 25, 2012

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.

And, of course, last week we had the very significant distraction of the court ruling in the case of CMPD motorcycle officer Allen Rieckhof.

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.

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.

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Anonymous Get a grip said...

Geoff, get a grip. Stalemate requires two parties, stop the misrepresentation. If the police association agrees to a second tier without a bunch of strings attached, hiring will resume. You act as if the Council is the sole cause of this problem, it isn't.

By the way, did you see the OC Register article on pensions? Laguna Beach, a geographically diverse and fairly wealthy city, surrounded by Newport, Irvine, Dana Point, contributes FAR less than Costa Mesa to their police pensions. Newport has initiated a second tier. Our POA needs to drop the game-playing and agree to a second tier and full payment of the employee share. If the Council isn't responding, let the public know the full terms of their offer.

6/25/2012 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Get a grip,
And you would know what's been offered and/or rejected during negotiations how? Negotiations is just that - give and take.. not take and take as the council apparently feels. How do you know what the POA has offered or rejected? Are you guessing or are you divulging confidential information behind a veil of anonymity?

6/25/2012 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger CM Resident said...

My experience and interaction with CMPD has always been very positive and I would rather pay a little more for the safety and protection that I've grown accustomed to and expect then to have my alley paved and/or for a PR guy whose job it is to try to make Righeimer look good. (Sorry Bill Lobdell: you’re failing at an impossible task, despite your best efforts.)

It is becoming clear to many that our CC is accomplishing little to nothing positive for CM residents at large while wasting ridiculous amounts of OUR hard earned dollars on lawyers and inflicting serious damage to this City. Unfortunately CM residents will continue to bear the brunt of the reckless decisions (sans Leece) made by our City Council - at least until November.

@ Get a grip: your comment is a great example of the arrogant know-it-all attitude that is getting us no where with the pension reform we need. I do not think apathy will be an issue in this upcoming election.

6/25/2012 11:55:00 PM  
Anonymous SQUAD51 said...

"Departures for a less hostile enviroment"
Other less hostile cities are recruiting, and don't doubt for a minute that they know what is going on in Costa Mesa. Recruiting and retaining quality officers is a long and expensive process for a city. Experienced police officers are not easy to come by for many cities and consiquently they are continually accepting lateral applications for that reason.
It has taken years to establish the police department that Costa Mesa has and most of the officers here would like to continue to work for this department.
But... being a police officer is a long career (especially if your employer is hostile).
After the elections in november, officers with half or more of that long career ahead of them will be deciding what to do based on the results.
If Righiemer's power is retained, and especially if his charter is voted into place, this city could see a departure of it's police force that will make the news.
Standards will have to be lowered. Training and oversight will be affected. Within a year Costa Mesa could see PD staffing go into the 'can't do their job' zone.
The potential for a truely disasterous situation for the public safety of Costa Mesa is in the making.
Sound alarmist? The alarm is sounding, most just don't hear it yet.

6/26/2012 06:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Capt. Mauser said...

Get a Grip--- you're right Newport Beach PD did get a second tier, they also got a pay raise and additional cash added towards their medical insurance to offset the increasing cost towards their pensions. How's that sound for you? Does that sound like something that Costa Mesa City Council would be willing to do? Like Geoff said its give and take.

6/26/2012 08:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Get a grip said...

Geoff, are you serious?

I don't have a clue what has been offered or rejected, but many commentors on this blog have stated that the POA has offered a second-tier but the City has rejected it. If that is true, and I don't know if it is, why don't those same posters provide details?

What I do know is what has been publicly stated at Council meetings. No more hiring unless a second-tier is in place.

Curious how you jump on my post, but have been silent on the countless posts discussing the alleged POA offers...

CM resident, I'm arrogant? Please, don't be ridiculous. the last public statement about contracts that I am aware of from the POA was Rieckhof's at the 10/26/10 meeting where he said they were done negotiating.

Capt. Mauser,

Personally, I think the Newport deal is a good model. The issue isn't about actual salary/wages, it is about the pension liability.

6/26/2012 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger CM Resident said...

@ Get a grip: do you watch/attend the CC meetings? (rhetorical question)
Have you seen Righeimer on TV? (rhetorical question)

Put aside the police issue for a moment. The entire "Righeimer approach" (i.e., arrogant and dictatorial across the board) is not delivering positive results/outcomes for the City and the residents. Regardless of whether or not you and I see it the same way (clearly we do not) many people -- in ever increasing numbers -- think this CC is NOT doing the job we elected them to do.

In the end, whether the Councilmen and their supporters are inept and unqualified, corrupt and arrogant, or just flat-out wrong w/ their “scorched earth” approach, the results speak for themselves.

6/26/2012 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Capt. Mauser said...

Get a grip, why don't you ask members of the City Council or the CEO if there has ever been a second tier offer from the Police Department. That would be the best and most direct way of finding out this info.

Do you hear that Costa Mesa City Council, Get a grip thinks the Newport deal is a good model because it deals with unfunded pension liability, the same thing that you have been spewing about for years.

So pay the officers more and add more towards their medical insurance and a second tier is all but done, and everybody is happy.

6/26/2012 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Cop said...

Get a grip, methinks you ARE an insider, or at least posting under multiple names. The mantra has been to get the POA to agree to a second tier "with no strings attached." That has been a common thread in many pro council posts.

What "strings" would be offensive to you? You stated that he Newport contract was a "good model." are not, a pay raise and more money towards medical benefits to off set he out of pocket expense to the officers in fact "strings?" So, to use a blanket statement "without a bunch of strings attached", is (to use Mensinger's term) disingenuous, no? Perhaps I ought to ask what "strings" are acceptable to you?

Negotiations happen behind closed doors out of necessity. The city places the responsibility in the hands of their hired/appointed negotiator. If a potential deal is made it is brought forward to council in open session for a vote.

Rieckhof never said the POA was done negotiating, but you can continue to perpetuate that lie if you wish. An agreement had been reached between the city and the POA. It necessitated a vote by council. If council had rejected that agreement, negotiations would have continued. The Council ratified that agreement.

There is a process and laws that regulate such matters. The city was held to the standard of law. I know that seems inconvenient.

6/26/2012 01:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Dear Get a grip,
If your understanding of "stalemate" is that it requires two parties, I would strongly suggest that your intellect is not robust enough to play chess, especially for money. Should you decide that this advice is not appropriate, however, and have a spare fifty dollar bill for the wager, I would be happy to give you a lesson. Provided, of course, that I collect in the event of a stalemate.

6/26/2012 05:08:00 PM  

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