In a recent post by the Northcoast Journal, the Eureka Police Chief laid out his plans for “overhauling the department”. In the article, he stated he was going to split the city in half and appoint Lt. Zanotti and Lt. Johnson as “acting captains”, each having command over half of the city. “The goal, Mills said, is also to make his department’s commanders more accountable.” Apparently, he believes that promoting the old school heavy handed cops at EPD is the way to move forward. Even more concerning, Zanotti was the commander in charge of the SWAT Team that murdered Cheri Moore. Zanotti was indicted for manslaughter, but faced no consequences. A Promotion and pay increases for bad cops seems like kind of a weird way to implement more accountability among his “commanders”.
Mills was also quoted as saying that the low staffing problem at the department was due to the poor treatment of officers at EPD. Funny, if officers and supervisors are treating other officers poorly, the examiner wonders how well they treat the public? The answer is pretty clear. Eureka cops have quite a track record of being “tough” and treating the public like shit. When and how will that change? Somehow Mills expects cops to get better even though he promotes some of the worst offenders in the department.
Mills talks a good game about shaking things in the police department. It seems that having prayer breakfasts, not dealing with the ‘Old Guard’ problem cops and promoting bad apples is his way of handling the long term institutional problems in his department. Jager must be proud. Only time will tell how well that works, but don’t hold your breath.