One of our elected officials and some community activists with both personal and political agendas are making statements about the Anaheim Police Association, Anaheim Police Department and a proposed Civilian Review Board that just aren't true. I'd like to take this opportunity to address their statements and questions and separate facts from fiction.
Kerry Condon, President
Anaheim Police Association
Question: Why not a civilian review board?
Simply stated they are ineffective. They are politically motivated and render decisions that are not based on law or policy. But the real question is, why are Mayor Tom Tait and some community activists wasting time with ineffective outdated remedies to what should be a serious discussion? The answer is simple. They want to score political points instead of addressing problems in our city. The APA welcomes independent review of police actions; supports police oversight, and agree it plays a crucial role in building trust in our community. No police officer is above the law.
Let’s take a closer look at what happens when the use of force results in the death or serious bodily injury. First, the involved officer is interviewed and scrutinized internally and externally. The Police Department's own internal review process often times results in terminations, discipline, and additional training for the entire department. In addition to the internal review process, officer involved shootings and use of force incidents that result in serious injury or death are investigated and reviewed by the Orange County District Attorney's Office and the Office of Independent Review (OIR). These two outside agencies are not tied to and are independent of the police department.
The Orange County OIR is nationally recognized as a leader in independent audits of police use of force incidents and has been under contract by the City of Anaheim for over 4 years. In fact: Michael Gennaco, who is the Chief Attorney at the Office of Independent Review, was recognized by the National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement at their annual conference in 2012 for his work in police oversight. The Anaheim Police Department is a leader in law enforcement when it comes to transparency and building community relationships and has recognized this for several years.
Question: Why does the police association oppose a civilian review board?
We oppose another layer of ineffective bureaucracy, not review of potentially inappropriate conduct. A citizens review board is actually a step backward that only tries to placate some people who scream louder, and some who simply do not have all the facts in a case. In Anaheim's case it is an attempt by a grandstanding elected official and his most vocal supporters that's real aim is to weaken the police force by implementing a system and procedures that could jeopardize the safety of our families. Officer’s decisions would no longer be judged based on law and policy, but rather based on the political motivation of a politically appointed review board. This approach will further divide our community when decisions are made based on the politics of a few. The APA believes that a group of trained investigators and attorneys would be more effective in police oversight and less political. The Office of Independent Review is made up of such specialized trained people and has been used by the Anaheim Police Department for a number of years with good result.
Question: Why isn't Mayor Tom Tait listening to the people of Anaheim?
Mayor Tait has a long standing alliance with certain members of the community who only care about politics and power, and not moving our city forward safely. He is attempting to bring more people to his side that will support unpopular and misguided issues by pushing the agenda of a small outspoken few who's latest issue is to create a civilian review board. They are not looking to solve problems, they are looking to enhance their position and gain power in the city by continuing to stir the pot. The APA believes we have a system that is fair, effective, and above all else holds people accountable. We need to stop wasting time on red herring issues and get down to the real issues that the council and mayor were elected to deal with.
Question: Didn't the Council vote 5-0 in favor of having the City Manager develop a Civilian Review Board?
No. This is another attempt by the Mayor to distort the issue for his own benefit. The vote by the Council was to direct the City Manager to research a variety of models regarding Citizen Review Boards to see if one was needed. Mayor Tait is the only outspoken Council member advocating for a civilian review board. In fact, his approach pre-judges the outcome even before the city manager can conduct his review.
Question: What can Anaheim Police supporters do to help?
You can express your opposition to the politically motivated agenda by Mayor Tom Tait at City Council Meetings. Currently, an allegiance of friends and relatives of suspects shot and killed by Anaheim Police Officers accuse our officers of murder and corruption. They completely ignore the facts and findings of independent investigations, continuously make false allegations and tell outright lies about our police department. Their comments are sickening and should not go unanswered any longer! Since July, their lies and accusations worsen and continually change, while the facts remain the same. Truth does not change.
If you cannot attend a City Council meeting, please express your opposition to Mayor Tait and these groups who lie about Anaheim public safety in an email to each Council member.
Sign our petition, like us on Facebook, and follow our website at Anaheimpa.com so we can keep you informed of this and other important issues!
Thank you for your continued support!
I lived in Riverside for a number of years and if you want to see how political a civilian review board can be all you have to do is take a look at their history.
Anaheim Police Association 508 N. Anaheim Blvd.Anaheim, CA 92805
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