A Day In The Life Of The CMPD
As most readers here know, recently the Costa Mesa Police Department introduced new crime statistics, available to the public at a link on its web site, HERE. This is fascinating information, which can be seen in a couple permutations and sliced several ways depending on what you choose to see, including maps with color-coded crime locations throughout the city.
FOR SOME PERSPECTIVE
Yesterday afternoon I decided to provide a little different experience for you. I cut and pasted one day's worth of "Calls For Service" below, so you can quickly scroll down through the list and get a feel for what a typical 24-hour period is like for the men and women of the CMPD. I think you'll be able to read the entries - I didn't include the addresses and some other information, but you can go to the web site and find most of that info for yourselves.
DRAMATICALLY REDUCED RESOURCES
I think it's important to understand that the CMPD is attempting to keep us safe with vastly diminished resources when compared to a couple years ago. For example, it was just over two years ago that the Jim Righeimer-led council decided to abandon the A.B.L.E. helicopter program - THE model program for all municipal helicopter programs throughout the country. In addition, the authorized sworn officer strength today is down from 164 at its peak to 131 today - still well below the staffing levels recommended by the city-hired consultants AND Interim Police Chief Steve Staveley. And, it's my understanding that we have nowhere near that 131 level actually on the job. We may be at least 10% below that number today.
RECRUITMENT TOUGHER TODAY
This is compounded by the fact that it is increasingly more difficult for The City to recruit officers. Hundreds are screened to find one person qualified to hire in a process that takes months. And, that fact is exacerbated by the fact that it is anticipated that dozens of highly skilled officers may opt to retire within the next several months.
There seems to be a willingness by the current council majority to place the safety of every resident, business and visitor to our city in jeopardy, ignoring the fact that crime is up in our city and brushing aside any suggestion that more boots on the ground will make the city safer. This arrogant disregard for our safety is likely due to a long-harbored animosity for law enforcement by one or two members of the council.
EXACERBATING THE ISSUE
Recently a new blog has popped up in town. It's published by an old fella who regurgitates the party line in the most boring of ways and is heartily-endorsed by the current power elite in the city. No, I don't mean the grumpy old guy - The Mouth From Mesa North. This is another old guy with too much time on his hands and, apparently, no capacity for original thought. He recently posted an entry dismissing the need for additional police resources like swatting a fly perched on his baloney sandwich. That's a shame...
SCROLL AND LEARN
So, take your time and just scroll down through a day in the life of the CMPD, below. It might help give you a little perspective on what it's like to be a cop in our city.