As the crime wave in Eureka continues, EPD Chief Andy Mills continues to try keeping all of our heads buried in the sand. A look at the Eureka Police website shows that EPD has only 2 official press releases this year; “Operation Safe Tweets” and “Neighborhood Input Meetings”. A look through the older press releases shows a significant drop in the amount of information being put out to the public, even in the dark days of Murl Hapham’s tenor.
Yesterday, Lost Coast Outpost reporter Hank Sims got the scoop on an early morning stabbing on California Street in Eureka:
Thank goodness the Outpost got the scoop, otherwise we might never have known about the violent assault. EPD released very little information about the stabbing, other than the victims information and that it might have been gang related. One of the victims was Thomas Frank. You might remember him from another possibly gang related incident involving a shooting:
The Examiner did some asking around, and learned fairly quickly that Thomas Frank is reportedly a dangerous member of the 18th Street gang, who was released from prison within the past 2 years. This is the same gang that has been accused of committing numerous violent acts in Eureka, including murders, but the public is basically unaware of this serious situation because of the lack of information from EPD.
All that the public has to do is look around Eureka and see the amount of gang graffiti to see how prevalent the problem is. Driving by the crime scene at the corner of California and Harris, Examiner staff were able to see numerous gang related tags on fences and buildings. The same types of graffiti could be seen in the area around the Royal Inn, where a gang related murder took place last year:
What is EPD doing to address the local gang violence and crime? Should we all stay inside with our doors locked, for fear of being attacked? How many crimes in Eureka are actually gang related? These questions are pretty difficult to answer, given the total blackout of information from the supposedly transparent police department.
It’s time for Andy Mills to start practicing what he preaches. Community Oriented Policing involves keeping the public informed and engaged.