We value to right for people to worship whatever higher being they believe in as well as not having to participate in religious activities someone doesn’t believe in. That is what has been so troubling about the tenor of Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills. Very early in his tenure, the Examiner was given notice that Mills was leading a Christian prayer breakfast during work hours, and encouraging Eureka Police Officers to attend (even if they were on duty).
The prayer lawsuit against Mayor Jager was mysteriously settled after the City lost a battle to keep Chief Mills from being deposed about his role in religious activity on duty.
Recently, we were informed that during the Sergeants promotional testing at the Police Department a citizen on an oral board asked what church they attended. Really? I’m sure that question was just an ad lib extra put forward by the citizen, but that goes to show who Chief Mills chose to evaluate the candidates.
Which makes the seemingly innocuous announcement in the Times-Standard all the more revealing about the direction of EPD:
“The third annual Men of Action Conference will be Nov. 14 and 15 at First Covenant Church, Carson and J streets in Eureka. The Nov. 14 event starts at 6 p.m. and the next day’s activities get underway at 9 a.m.
This year’s theme is “Courageous” encouraging the men of Humboldt County to be “men of courage.” The keynote speaker on Nov. 14 will be Tom Thompson, founder and director of Men of Action, and on Nov. 15 it will be Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills…..
Wives are welcome to come to the Saturday breakfast and service; (but not on Sunday!)”
Chief Mills has encouraged Officers to attend Christian events on duty. He has stacked his promotional oral board evaluators with people who think that attending church is a prerequisite for promotion. Now he is being featured as a keynote speaker at an all male Christian group. The question is…has he encouraged EPD officers to attend this meeting? His past history would lead us to guess that he has.
Obviously, there is a strong Christian influence in local government, and many citizens don’t see that as a bad thing. However, would these same people be supportive if Chief Mills was a Muslim and encouraged his officers to attend Islamic events? How about if EPD oral boards asked which Jewish temple applicants attended? There would be protests in the street, without a doubt.
Then there’s Rex Bohn’s pitiful effort to put “in god we trust” in the Court House.
That leaves us with a pretty clear picture of what the Supervisors and Eureka government are all about. Promoting Jesus and property rights, and not giving a damn about people’s civil rights.