Thursday, September 03, 2020


For the past few months our nation has been racked by violence unseen for a half-century.  The deaths of black men at the hands of white police officers has ignited demonstrations, riots, looting, arson and murder to the point where many Americans wonder what has happened to their country, and what the future holds.  The demonstrations in the name of men -  convicted criminals - who were apprehended for yet another crime and refused to follow the instructions of police officers on the scene and subsequently died as a result of their belligerence are, at best, misguided and, most likely, politically motivated by well-funded anarchists.

At the same time the deaths of police officers of all races have gone relatively unnoticed.  Nobody will paint a wall in their city with their likeness even though they gave their life to protect the citizens of that city.  Nobody will thank the officers responding to the riots for trying to maintain peace while not receiving support from their local or state officials.  Nobody will explain why they were ordered to abandon a police station to rioters who burned it to the ground.  Nobody will thank them for dodging bricks, rocks, bottles of water and condoms filled with feces as they try to protect lives and property.  Nobody is marching in their memory.  It tears my heart out.

Through this all the men and women of the Costa Mesa Police Department have followed their training and their leadership and maintained relative calm throughout our city.  Regardless the number of people at demonstrations, the men and women of the CMPD have stepped up, held their ground and used outstanding judgment to resolve the issues.  The "law" would have permitted them to approach these situations much more aggressively - to issue citations, book violators, etc.  Instead, they choose, generally, to be the face of calm authority.  They chose to advise the demonstrators of the rules and encouraged them to follow them.  In most cases that mature approach worked.

I have been honored to know many members of the CMPD and their leadership.  I am proud to say the I'm personal friends with many of them and know what it takes for a law enforcement family to survive and thrive.  I know a little of the history of the organization and the trail of good men who have led it - and some who were not so good.  As a long-term resident I am proud of the leadership over the years that was forward-thinking - the A.B.L.E. helicopter program certainly comes to mind.  I'm proud that, for many years, the CMPD was the go-to place to work for good cops.  I took the photo at the bottom at the 60th anniversary celebration a few years ago.
We don't know what the next couple months hold for us as the rhetoric ramps up in anticipation of the November 3rd elections.  We don't know how much the Trump/Biden rancor will spill over into local races.  We don't know whether we will see more boneheads chanting at Mayor Katrina Foley from her driveway, as has been done at least 3 times as I write this.  We don't know whether this tactic - by imported, well-funded outsiders intent on impacting our elections - will be expanded to the front lawns of other elected leaders or the steps of City Hall.  We don't know if the demonstrations in our city will degenerate into the kind of things we've seen in Seattle, Portland, Kenosha and other cities.

What we DO KNOW is that the men and women of the Costa Mesa Police Department will continue to do their job to keep us safe.  Despite being understaffed by at least 20%, despite having a city leadership in recent years past that despised the men and women of the CMPD and did everything they could to cripple and discourage their members and despite having had leadership changes over the past couple decades that hampered their effectiveness, we know they will honor their motto to "protect and serve" us.  We know the current CMPD leadership is strong and supportive.  We know the current city leadership supports the CMPD 100% and, as budget constraints permit, will recognize that support in a more tangible way.  I just want them all to know that we appreciate them and support them... and to say THANK YOU for strapping on that belt, pinning on that badge and and honoring their oath of office.

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