Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chief Gazsi Announces Four Retirements!

In a memo distributed to the Costa Mesa Police Department staff Thursday, Police Chief Tom Gazsi announced the pending retirements of four members of his command staff.  This comes in the wake of the celebration of the retirement of outstanding School Resource Officer, Jess Gilman, the same day.

As you can read in Gazsi's memo below, Captain Allen Huggins, Lieutenant Tim Schennum, Lieutenant Bob Ciszek and Sergeant Larry Hicks have all announced their plans to retire by the end of this year.  This represents the loss to our city of more than a century of outstanding policing experience, including decades of command service, and a tremendous loss of institutional knowledge.
 (Click on image to enlarge)
This is a mixed blessing.  Certainly, the departure of those fine officers will be a huge loss for the Costa Mesa Police Department and for our city.  It does, however, create opportunities for Chief Gazsi to promote worthy men and women from within the department.  As his memo states, Huggins, Schennum and Hicks have agreed to remain for a short time after their retirement dates to help with the transition process.

I cannot help but wonder just how much the toxic atmosphere created in our city by our current city council majority affected the retirement decisions of these fine men.  Certainly, members of the Righeimer-led majority have viewed the police department as an adversary and have treated them as such for the past nearly two years.  It will not surprise me to see many more members of the CMPD depart if the upcoming election results in the perpetuation of the current council majority.  That will, in my opinion, be cataclysmic for our city.  We're already running well under the authorized staffing level - a level was capriciously chosen by arrogant council members who ignored the facts and opinions presented by their own highly qualified consultants and then-Interim Chief Steve Staveley.  Those council members are more concerned about their political futures than the safety of our city and the rising crime rate demonstrates that fact - Part 1 crimes are up nearly 18% over the same period last year!  It's certainly something to consider as you mark your ballots this time around.


Anonymous BAR THE DOOR said...

The "toxic atmosphere" hasn't even started yet. If the council goes negative (a term the members of our PD use for a OCGOP victory), by the end of 2013, the wheels will fall all the way off.
Retirements and officers leaving for positions with cities that will treat them with respect, will put this dept below opperational staffing.
That means it will cease to function as a sufficient force. Hiring of qualified replacements will not keep up with the kind of exodus you'll see and when the chief has to have that news conference this time next year, explaining that outside re-enforcements have to be brought in to staff just basic coverage, the voters will start to get the big picture of what they've done.

10/26/2012 06:59:00 AM  
Anonymous meltdown said...

maybe overly generous retirement packages cause the retirements? Hell, get 90 per cent of your pay for not working and then go get another job. no brainer. Stavely? LOL meltdown Stavely, quicker than al bundy.

10/26/2012 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

This is what happens when you villify employees. They leave for greener pastures. As Bar said, if things don't go well in the elections, we will have no police force. Thansk Righeimer.

10/26/2012 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Please Hire said...

Just think about when these highly respected & experienced officers leave and their positions are filled from the ranks, who'll be replacing them? We all know that there is a order from the part-time council members not to hire anybody until they say so. It should be interesting.

10/26/2012 09:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's my Fake Badge? said...

Why are you guys worried about the number of cops on the street? I hear Mensinger loves to play cop. I am sure they can deputize Mora, Fitzy, Sesler, Wu and all the other little bootlickers. Come on people remember when you were five and loved to play cop. These chuckleheads will be in heaven and we will have 5-10 Barney Fife's patrolling our streets keeping us safe. I ain't worried... Honey where are my keys we are moving!

10/26/2012 09:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Noise complaint said...

Easily replaceable. Just ask council. These cops and workers aren't the best. Sure our city employees get acknowledged and awarded by several agencies for being the best at what they do but that's just NOISE. Just like the residents are just NOISE to this council.

Every year accounting is recognized for being of the best.
Planning department has won numerous awards.
We have the top MADD officer of the year and several others near the top.
Holman the top SRO in the state award.

It's all just noise!

Now Fitzy there's a real winner.

10/26/2012 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Where's my fake badge: I walked up to a group of people talking the other day at a park. Do you know what they were talking about? They were actually talking about how disgusting they think Fitzpatrick is with his stupid, non-stop press conferences. I didn't even think they made the news, but apparently some were aware of it. They didn't mention the signs at all...just how sickening they think Fitzpatrick is.

On another note, I understand that the 3M camp is running scared and panicked. Good! VOTE FOR THE TOP 3 AND NO ON 'V'.

10/26/2012 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Hold the Presses said...

Hey everyone,

I'm setting a PRESS CONFERENCE for 10 AM tomorrow to announce the new "Righeimer Bootlickers Booster Club!"

We get to drive around town in golf carts wearing all white Boss Hogg suits while the big boys sip cocktails at Fashion Island and laugh at us.

10/26/2012 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous honeyman said...

FWIW,Colin McCarthy links to the racist Millard again on his website:


10/26/2012 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous My Opinion said...

The CMPD is nearly dead. Get the green uniforms ready. The CMPD rank and file will GLADLY go green.

Chief Gazsi wont be able to cobble the force together to provide adequate police service without hiring QUALITY people right now.

Riggy, Mensinger, and Monahan won't let him hire. The CMPD will not recover from this hostile takeover.

Dear Riggy,
Where are the 2000 applicants? Oh, Ya,,,I heard that the quality was garbage except for a VERY few. They weren't even applicants. They were auto populated from a statewide database.

Riggy, please check you ego and fix the PD.

I also hear that the PD is willing to negotiate and you insist that its my way or the highway...Thats NOT negotiating in good faith, eh?

The CMPD will cease to exist when the contract ends in 2014 because 20+ officers WILL bail out nearly all at once.

Please allow Chief Gazsi to start fixing the dept!

10/26/2012 01:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Hire or Fire said...

How about CEO Hatch sack up and do his job. Hire more cops, be a big boy and do what's best for the city. You can hire if you really want, if it's in the best interest if the city then Hatch can green light a hiring, just like he did for the fire dept., that's right people even when Riggy forbid hiring of firefighters, Hatch hired. Do it again Hatch, be bigger than this council.

10/26/2012 02:30:00 PM  
Anonymous GREEN HORIZON said...

Normally, police officers have a number or reasons to stay with their dept even though they could easily go elsewhere.

1.. They like working with a well managed and respected dept in a city that values what they do and appreciates the years of hard work and dedication that so many have given to make that happen.
2.. They can look forward to a standard of pay and benifits that are the same as other like depts in their area.
3.. They know that staffing and resourses will be maintained at a level that keeps what can be a dangerous job, as safe as possible.

That's just three but it's enough to make the point.

1.. The current council majority had no respect for the outstanding dept that was in place when Righeimer arrived. In fact they have gone about dismanteling it in a punishing way. I have no doubt that Righeimer takes personal satisfaction in that because they stood against his agenda when he ran for office.
2.. Righeimer has made it clear that when the current contract is up, he will punish them further with pay cuts that will push them straight to the bottom.
3.. Staffing is so low that officers have to leave one call to respond to another. Response times are delayed and under the wrong circumstances that can mean not only added risk to the officers but the public as well.

That's just three of many... but all important reasons to leave for someone who lives to be a police officer.

For the experienced officers with years ahead of them in this career, lateraling out to the city next door is a easy thing to do.

For the number of officers at fifty... instead of hanging in there for another five to seven years like they were planning to do... adios.

'BAR THE DOOR' and 'MY OPINION' are right. If this election goes negative, by the first to 2014, there will not be a functioning CMPD.

10/26/2012 04:15:00 PM  
Anonymous My Opinion said...

Hatch can't hire anyone or HE too will get fired.

10/26/2012 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Wow... blaming Tom Hatch. Now there's a first...

Any bright, shiny object to deflect attention away from the record.

10/26/2012 08:29:00 PM  
Anonymous CMTAX LIARS said...

CMTAX person who is writing their pieces is simply a BIG slimey FAT LIAR. Ethan Temianka, Jim Fitzliar, Rob Dickson, Colin McCarthy or whoever is writing for them is just writing lies.

Robin Leffler, Harold Wietzberg (GO TO HIS WEBSITE AND CHECK OUT THE OCT 2ND WRITINGS, Stephens and Genis are all against sign stealing and have said so.

Whichever of these lowlifes is writing their pieces will not be ashamed of their lies because their character is so low they have no honesty nor integrity at all.

I will not label all yes on V's based on whichever lowlife is writing these pieces for them but this person is surely one of the scum of the earth.

How can we heal anything when some people will just lie to trash others. Way to go CMTAX person. Your members should be very proud of you.

here is just one post from CMTAX liar...

"Costa Mesa Taxpayers
Again, unions bullying and acting criminally when they can't win fairly at the ballot box. Targeting councilmen. Stealing and vandalizing thousands and thousands of dollars of campaign material. Sadly, their union supported candidates (the Top 3) will not condemn such acts from their supporters. How can we "heal" Costa Mesa, if such criminal acts are not met w/ strong rebuke from all residents."

10/26/2012 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous I wonder said...

I wonder if the four retirees (good for them, by the way) would be hanging up the badge if they were under a 2% at 60 pension? I'm guessing not...

10/26/2012 09:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Sue Lester said...

Based on the current political climate in Costa Mesa, I have to say I am happy for the individuals who are moving on with their lives with the ability to look back on a successful career with CMPD.

I know we have many qualified candidates to take over those positions successfully but who is going to replace them?

Regardless of which side of the fence you're on, most residents will agree on one thing right now, no one is happy about the increased crime in the city that is affecting all of us! People want to know their families and property are safe. City wide, there isn't any area that can say that! I have to wonder what the residents who do not follow city politics are thinking.

Politics exists to a certain degree in every organization, business, government, etc; however, the level of politics that has invaded our city is mind bending. As a result, the city has a long, long list of employees from all division of the city, that have served the residents for 10,20 plus years that have left. They either couldn't handle the tension of what has become an increasingly hostile work environment or they just didn't want to anymore. Everyone has their limits. Sadly, I think this is a list that will continue to grow with every passing day and every spiteful act. There will continue to be fall out.

What this boils down to is yet another sad day for the City of Costa Mesa where the needs of the residents come last. When is enough, enough?

10/26/2012 09:54:00 PM  
Anonymous A Good Start said...

Where can i get a job like Jess working 4 days a week & summers off then retire with a big fat pension?

All these cops taking 3% @ whatever.

Only a couple more bad apples to retire or leave and Costa Mesa can start to rebuild our police force into something we can be proid of again

10/27/2012 07:34:00 AM  
Anonymous gimme said...

No new hires under 3@50 formula. enough is enough.

10/27/2012 08:17:00 AM  
Anonymous New Beginnings said...

"Only a couple more bad apples to retire or leave and Costa Mesa can start to rebuild our police force into something we can be proud of again"

Agree! Bever goes, followed by Riggy, Mensy, Useless Gary, and we're back to normal in no time!

Bonus: Fitzy and Mora go get real jobs and ride off to golf cart heaven together.

10/27/2012 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Tired of dooshbaggery said...

A good start says:

"Where can i get a job like Jess working 4 days a week & summers off then retire with a big fat pension?"

First off, Jess works the schedule deployment determined by management that is of most benefit to the community, based upon statistical analysis of crime pattern and service needs. At times in his career it was a 5-8, a 9-80 and a 4-10. Second, he has never had an entire summer off. As an SRO, at the conclusion of the school year, he would have to augment patrol staffing. Your comments are just incendiary and uneducated.

"Big fat pension"? Envious are we? Evidently there's a line, feel free to submit your application if you think you're one of the 1-2% of the total applicants that can actually successfully navigate the process and make it to the point of being a solo performing police officer. Mind you, that's just your first 18 months, and no indicator of future success or promotability.

When Jess would have gotten into LE, he did not have a crystal ball of what his pension might be IF he was able to make the 30 year career, he got into it for the type of work and service he could be of to the community, as evidenced by his long standing commitment to Costa Mesa's children.

"Only a couple more bad apples to retire or leave and Costa Mesa can start to rebuild our police force into something we can be proid of again"

The men and women that comprise the CMPD are a proud bunch. Proud of who we are, proud of what we've accomplished. While we will never please everyone, seeing as we take people's liberty and often see them at their lowest of lows, we know that the community by and large is proud and supportive of our efforts. Public safety is a pillar of community and we continue to be an engaged workforce investing in the community. Over the years and even recently, the CMPD has solved some of the most notorious and ruthless homicides. Our major narcotics unit is reknown, unparalleled in their seizures and is envied across the western half of the US. Our traffic officers lead the state in DUI enforcement. We have been pioneers of problem solving and Community Oriented Policing. We had a helicopter program that was known nationally for their skill and efficiency that could have been completely self sufficient for at least 2 more years. Until the last 2 years CMPD was a destination department because of our reputation, community support, investigative and technical skill, and proactive stance on crime fighting.

A couple of years ago the PD was staffed at 162 sworn. Arbitrary whims demanded contraction to 131 sworn. By the end of this year, without sudden mass hiring, between retirments and injuries we will be trying to keep it together with bandaids and duct tape and will very likely be below 110 sworn. But evidently that has no affect on the crime rate (which is soaring up btw) and will only provide for the crime scene tape to be put up quicker and more tickets issued on Harbor Blvd...

CMPD officers continue to serve proudly and professionally, in spite of this bump in our city's history. Adversity doesn't create character, it reveals it...

But please keep the classy posts coming, as you continue to reveal your lack thereof...

10/27/2012 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Truth Be Told said...

The worst cops the city ever had were those employed in 1985. Personally, I do not consider their retirement anything akin to a loss.

10/27/2012 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Unionbaggery said...

Thanks tired.

I am sorry that Snowden would not take you. Irvine would not take you.

Looks like Jess got you all fired up at his union hall meeting, with his "we all got to stick together" cry.

Anyway. See you at the River. My boat is bigger than yours.

10/27/2012 02:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Least Vote Getter said...

"My boat is bigger than yours.."

Posts like this just underscore Colon's desperation. Go get the partners their coffee, then work on that slouching, Chubby.

10/27/2012 06:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Misleading proponets of V said...

The dishonesty of the YES on V knows no bounds. Or maybe ignorance is what dictates this ladies comments.

Bell Because it was a charter city gave the top brass of that city outrageous salaries. How can you imply being a charter city had nothing to do with it. Keep in mind the top brass. You know the Hatch's, Gazi's, Duarte's, Mensingers of that city gave themselves these huge salaries because they could under the charter.

I don't know what other sources you searched but many articles stated Stockton Housing crash and San B business's leaving devastated those cities first. Then with the huge decline in revenues the Pensions became a problem. Why do you lie about such events that are documented Miss Shannon?

Shannon Gutierrez-West · California State University San Bernardino
I saw the no on V commercial and it assumes that the only reason those charter cities went bankrupt was because they were charter cities. That didn't make sense to me so I researched articles as to why Bell, Stockton and San B went bankrupt and in no article was the fact those cities were charter cities even mentioned! What was mentioned was over bloated employee salaries, pensions and benefits as being the cause of those cities going bankrupt. If CM wants its tax payers to be in control than vote YES ON MEASURE V !!

10/27/2012 06:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

@unionbaggery(sure sounds like petty bitter little Kent Mora)- why do you keep up with the "river" stuff? You have an issue with families enjoying outdoor activities together? I have ssen similar comments under other screen names several times now. Whoever you are (and I think we all do) you sound like a jealous, bitter, petty man.

10/27/2012 10:59:00 PM  
Anonymous gimme said...

absolutely no new hires at 3@50. totally unsustainable.

10/28/2012 07:12:00 AM  

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