Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Day In The Life Of The CMPD

NEW CRIME STATS
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.

ARROGANT DISREGARD
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.

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14 Comments:

Anonymous u cant fire me, i quit said...

the "new" blog is fantastic. it really shines a light on the truth about the dark side and the hater minions.
also, thanks for the morning joke today. Never gets old hearing Stavelys name, the ultimate grumpy old man and title holder for most epic meltdown ever. LOL

7/30/2013 05:05:00 AM  
Anonymous CM Pessimist said...

The council majority's actions related to trimming officer head-count has proven to be completely irresponsible. At the time, I was able to follow Riggy's logic related to addressing the city's motel and halfway home issue. Sure, if this issue was somehow solved, and this achieved lower crime rates, then perhaps that might have justified slashing personnel. However, this is not how things turned out. There is still a motel issue. There is still a halfway home issue. There is an AB109 issue. Crime, in general, has been on the rise. I don't see this council doing anything to address this dilemma. Political platitudes will not help me in my time of need. Enough is enough. It is time for plan b. Just suck up your pride and do what is right. It is time for the council to stop denying reality.

7/30/2013 07:22:00 AM  
Anonymous History Channel said...

A certain person badly needs a psych eval in addition to AA meetings. Didn't the Newport bosses order him to stop posting, or does he answer only to alcohol?

Righeimer's vendetta against CMPD has put us all at risk. Just as they bear some measure of responsibility for the triggering of Huy Pham's death, Righeimer, Monahan, and Mensinger also bear a measure of responsibility for the rise in crime and for whatever happens to the victims of crime.

7/30/2013 08:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Jack Lord said...

Geoff- great list of the day to day calls for service that our shrunken Police Department have to deal with on a daily basis.

Is it true that Costa Mesa sent nearly 10 officers to the mini riot in Huntington Beach the other night? If we sent 10, how many were still protecting our City? How many do we have on duty at any given shift?

7/30/2013 09:31:00 AM  
Anonymous 10-8 said...

What average Joe Citizen (voter) doesn't realize is when you look at this list of calls that the PD responded to on this day and what kind of work load this is for the number of officers on duty. Each one of those required the time of at least one officer. Some of them for just a few minutes and others, much longer.
This where the being understaffed creates a problem.
With the "reduced" number of officers available to go to all these calls, they stack up and a couple of bad things happen.
One... the caller has to wait for an officer to clear from one (or more) of these before he can come and look after your needs.
If you felt like what you were calling about was important (I would hope it was) then you have every right to consider "lousy service" the definition of what's going on.
One of the other bad things that is happening is the lack of any kind of pro-active policing. There's no time left for that when you are a cop with a backlog of calls to get to, one after the other.
Pro-active of course means preventing crimes from happening. CMPD used to be a dept that put a value on that (I'm sure they still do) but doing it the way they used to and doing it the way they have to now are two different things.
If Costa Mesa was actually broke and couldn't afford to do anything (like giving money to favored groups) then you could say that our council is just doing what they have to and the resulting decline in public safety is a necessary evil.
Or... you could be capable of looking at the reality of things and realize that it's actually just a political and personal priority of Jim Righiemer isn't about to let the consiquenses of a rise in crime and someone not having a cop when they need one.
Of course he's not going to admit that... to the contrary. But, I think actions in this case speak louder than words.

7/30/2013 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Life of a Troll said...

Yes, I do what my masters on MacArthur tell me to do, even though they have a Newport zip code. But my tongue is real tired from getting riggy's boot nice and shiny so I'll just go to a certain dive and drown my sorrows there. Tomorrow is another day to try for full-time work.

7/30/2013 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Feel free to correct my math. There are 7 CMPD cars out on patrol at any time, 24-7-365. That's only a partial answer to Jack Lord's question, but it's hopefully a start of a meaningful, numbers-based discussion.

7/30/2013 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous don't eat Stavely Stew said...

Mr. Lord: we have 80% of the amount patrolling HB patrolling our city! and we are a much smaller city. we are well covered. don't think total numbers in a department, think total numbers on patrol and relax. Stavely fed u BS.

7/30/2013 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Stavely must have made the councildudes and Baugh very nervous- and still does.
Hence, the non stop trashing of him by their head troll, the man with multiple online personalities here.
Stavely had more knowledge and courage in his little finger than all of them, put together.
I didn't know the bosses told MWMOP(man with multiple online personalities) to stop posting here.
Interesting.

7/30/2013 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Our excellent CMPD is doing a great job considering they have less officers and a much larger workload.
They deserve better!

7/30/2013 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous THX! CM 1st Responders said...

I could not believe how many sirens we heard on Sunday afternoon. We actually had a very violent situation occur right next door to us. So when the fire truck parked right in front of our house we could hear all the calls coming over the radio which seemed like one right after another. It was nuts!

One medic said, 'Man, what's going on today?!!" as they were leaving. Something must have been in the air that day because hours later there were even more sirens, one right after another, for ten straight minutes! So, I assumed there was a really bad car accident or a fire, but later, I learned it was the big HB Riot. What a CRAZY DAY!

I personally have so much more respect for all the emergency responders that honorably protect & serve all of us on a daily basis while they unfortunately endure the mis-guided "Wrath of the Riggy Regime".

Thanks again for serving us :)

7/30/2013 03:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Our council has screwed this up so badly we cannot rely on our once excellent staff of officers. There are sadly. too few. 2 per district does not cut it, when one has to transport a prisoner, that leaves one for several hours. Steve can complain about Stavley making fools out of them all he wants but Stavley was 100% correct.

7/31/2013 07:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

“Don’t eat’s” choice of Huntington Beach as an example of adequate staffing is instructive. The city is suffering the damages of an unprovoked riot for which the police department was unprepared even though something similar has happened before. HB is facing costs of damages, investigation, incarceration, undoubtedly some overtime. Whether the city reimburses Costa Mesa for our 10 loaned officers or not, I don’t know.

Now, after the event, HB is forming a task force aimed at prevention.

“Don’t eat” seems not to understand the value of proactive, preventive policing, which was a hallmark of Costa Mesa until the current council severely cut the police department. School Resource Officers and special details are designed to head off trouble, and this approach is nationally recognized. Although crime prevention is not as dramatic as arrests, it is more humane, more cost-effective, and better for the image of any city.

While HB licks its wounds, repairs the damages, and deals with incarceration, perhaps the Costa Mesa City Council will reconsider its short-sighted policy and restore the staffing needed not only for routine patrol but also for preventive policing.

As we all know, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

7/31/2013 12:36:00 PM  
Anonymous It Could Happen said...

The City of Costa Mesa isn't that far off from having a similar incident here in our City. The late night weekend crowd down at the Triangle could easily start some trouble and have it spill over to Newport and Harbor Blvd. and this City and its Police Department would be so far over its head it wouldn't be funny.

7/31/2013 06:59:00 PM  

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