An open letter to Natalie Arroyo, Kim Bergel and Linda Atkins

city of eureka

Something needs to Change in Eureka….NOW!
We are deeply saddened by the tragic murder of a 14 year-old-boy in Eureka.  Our hearts go out to friends and family, we are truly saddened by your loss.

This marks the 5th (non-police) homicide in Eureka this year.  This is completely  unacceptable.  We here at the Examiner have been trying to raise awareness to the issue of violence in Eureka throughout the year, but the former conservative majority council seems to have had different priorities then addressing violent crime. With the new progressive majority on the council, it is time to hold Chief Mills accountable for this rash of homicides and violent crimes.  Shopping carts shouldn’t be EPD’s top priority.  Keeping people safe should.

Linda, Natalie, and Kim, people are being killed at an unprecedented rate in Eureka.  Eureka’s murder rate is greater per capita than many of the most “violent” large cities in the US.  Now is the time for action, and we believe that you are up to the task.  Chief Mills has been failing to address these problems.  As his boss, you can make sure that he starts addressing them…now!

This begs the obvious question; what should Chief Mills be doing differently to address this issue?

These are The Examiner’s suggestions:

There are 2 major strategies that can be taken immediately, with proven results from other areas and even Eureka in the past.
1)  There needs to be a concerted effort to address gang members and violent parolees/probationers.  Gang sweeps and probation/parole sweeps that are publicized, and routine.  EPD should use their resources to make it clear that those that have shown a proclivity to violence aren’t welcome in the city.  Just a few years ago, mugshots of gangsters and parolees were a regular occurrence in EPD press releases.  Those arrests were publicized and dangerous felons knew that proactive policing, gang sweeps, and consistent attention in the media was making it hard for them to operate in Eureka.  Chief Mills has gone away from that style of policing, but has it been effective? No.  The proof is in the pudding.  Just a few years ago using these type of targeted enforcement on violent criminals had the effect of…………lowering violent crime.  The data is there, and that is at the very least a good start.

2)  The mental health system is broken in Humboldt County.  While the Eureka City Council can’t totally fix that, they can make sure that Officers consistently receive the training and knowledge of the local system to make the most out of what resources there are.  Officers should have routine training with regards to assessing people who are in crisis, and formulating the most effective plan to get them the help that they need.  Gary Bullock was contacted by EPD, and as evidenced by his actions afterwards, was not assessed correctly or put in a place to keep the community safe.  Mills hasn’t done anything to address that systemic problem, and has instead chosen to place the blame on the jails release policy.  EPD cops need to be trained properly, and they need to know the resources available, however broken the system currently is.

Natalie, Kim and Linda, you should do your own outside research to find out what has been effective.  Chief Mills can tell you what he wants you to hear, but the results of his policies and directions have led to the highest homicide rate that many can remember.  Violent crime is rampant and petty crime hasn’t even been dented. As we said in the intro, “Something needs to Change in Eureka….NOW”


18 thoughts on “An open letter to Natalie Arroyo, Kim Bergel and Linda Atkins

  1. I would just like to point out the Police Chief works for the City Manager, the City Manager and the City Attorney work for the City Council. If there are things that need to be changed the City Council should set new priorities relay them to the City Manager who would direct staff to implement the changes.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. On the letter to council… ‘shopping cats should not be a priority’ city police states all calls shall be addressed and handled to the appropriate measure. So eureka citizens should stop calling stupid shit in to free up the cops to patrol more actively. They have to respond to all calls. Do call the freaking cops over shopping carts!


  3. I don’t have enough knowledge to say for sure, but the suggestions by the TE seem like a good start. Chief Mills has been doing the bidding of the last council, which seemed to me to be pretty backward. While going to prayer breakfasts and rotary meetings, he seems to have forgotten that his department is about “Public Safety”. It’s not about making already safe neighborhoods look better by keeping kids from riding bikes. It’s not about creating shopping cart “czars”.

    The first murder he was able to brush off by putting the blame on the jail, even though his officers dealt with the killer twice at the church before he committed the murder! The next two murders he put squarely in the lap of County Mental health. The fourth murder, he sidestepped by saying it may have been a justified killing. I’m sure he’ll have some excuse for the latest murder of a young boy in the city.

    In each case he has made an excuse, but looking at the whole picture it’s clear to see that the direction EPD has taken isn’t working. I agree with the TE. It’s time for change.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I think the biggest lesson to take from the short time Chief Gar Nelson had with the EPD is his attempt to turn the EPD into a community based police force… not the army of occupation the City of Eureka had before and since.

    Community Based Policing… where cops know the people in the area they patrol and gain the community’s respect and trust alleviates a lot of the problems Eureka has now. As shown in Richmond California… Community Based Policing works even in places formerly considered too dangerous for police to operate effectively.

    POP’s original mission was to look at specific problems in a neighborhood and deal with them (drug houses… nuisance neighbors… etc.). Now they appear to be an arm of drug enforcement. Drugs are frequently at the root of a lot of neighborhood problems… but drug busting in Ninja outfits does not really send the message the EPD wants to send.

    I don’t know how much of Chief Mills problems are based on trying to please a City Manager who had to please a conservative city council… and how much are a part of the Chief’s makeup as a person and an administrator.

    I just know that currently he’s not the person the EPD needs for their leadership.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This blog always tries to portray Chief Nelson as some kind of hero wearing a white hat, he had plenty of flaws. Ask the family of Martin Cotton what they think of the old chief.

      Chief Mills has been on the job for twelve months, the City Manager has been on the job for six months, this new City Council has been seated for less than a week. The problems in Eureka didn’t happen overnight and they cannot be solved in years time. If you want change, start by making your concerns and solutions known to your elected officials. Ask to form a citizens group, make your selves known, sit on that group. Become involved.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Change starts with me:

      I should have mentioned that when you look at the crime statistics of the past several years… the part where it goes down is during the Gar Nelson time.

      Could be just a coincidence…

      And no, Gar Nelson was not a faultless saint.

      As to the Martin Cotton incident: I can’t say anything because nothing about it had ever made sense to me. I can say that it happened near the beginning of Gar Nelson’s tenure and… by your own argument, “Change starts with me”, Chief Nelson should be given the free pass for which you offer to Chief Mills.

      I did not say Chief Mills should be fired… yet. I’m saying the approach used so far just doesn’t work and leaves the EPD open to criticism and derision… not praise.

      In fact… I had implied the hope that with the change at the top in Eureka a new approach could be in the offering.

      — “If you want change, start by making your concerns and solutions known to your elected officials.” —

      Good advice for any situation… but I think it should be added if our elected officials haven’t heard what is being said by now… they never will.

      They were elected to serve; not sit around passing the buck and waiting for someone with more guts than they have to fix problems for them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Gar was hired in March of 2007 and Cotton was murdered in August 2007 when Gar had been on the job for only 5 months.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There are five council members, right? Why address your letter to just three of them? City council members, County supervisors, sheriff & police, district attorney and courts must all work together to get to the root of this and fix it NOW. As law-abiding citizens. I believe that we all agree that things are out of hand in Eureka (and Humboldt County as well). We’ve got to implement early intervention for young offenders and get to the bottom of the cause of their anti-social behavior. Offenders need to have consequences for their crimes and repeat offenders need to have an increased level of consequences. Unfortunately, petty crimes most often lead to more serious crimes, including robbery, rape and murder. How can we, as a society, take a stand and require our leader to implement fair and firm consequences for anti-social behavior? .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe they have found that the other two’s voting history and public speeches have put them squarely against those types of positive change. Why keep addressing Council Members who have made it clear they aren’t listening?

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Someone get the ammonia and bring back Merle ASAP


  7. Maybe I’m out of touch. I don’t understand the certainty of cause and effect. I don’t know Chief Mills politics. I’m certainly glad we have Chief Mills rather than the person who might otherwise have taken his place. Wasn’t it an officer who was involved in the Cheri Moore killing?

    Obviously any chief cannot be held responsible for an uptick in violent crime, unless we want to begin treating our Police Chiefs like sport team’s owners treat their coaches. So much more is going on and unless there is a better case put forward for exactly why this or that Chief needs to be fired, I think we ought to consider the unintended consequences.

    Here are two that quickly come to mind. a) How will we look for future candidates? I don’t think there will be a line to fill this positsion b) What if, one day we have a police Chief we on the left respect. Would we hold her accountable for increased violent crime? I for one understand that there is so much more at play with responsibility to be spread thick and heavy to every single one of us.

    Having said all that, don’t construe this to be a carte blanche it’s not. From this lefty’s perspective you have not sold me on this crusade against Chief Mills – and I want to agree with you. Maybe you or Linda know stuff I don’t and I’ll allow for that, but it seems to me you are going to have to make a more detailed case for expelling someone who seems to be doing a decent job. Especially considering it could be a whole lot worst.

    “I believe that we all agree that things are out of hand in Eureka (and Humboldt County as well).” I do not want EPD or HCSO to be our social services. They have a hard enough job tasked with enforcing laws. Let’s begin to look at ourselves when addressing problems like “things getting out of hand”.

    I for one, would start with a moribund economy, wages that do not support a living for too many people, and a growing acceptance for growing weed. All of these have absolutely nothing to do with Chief Mills, the EPD, or HCSO.

    “Offenders need to have consequences for their crimes and repeat offenders need to have an increased level of consequences.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “We’ve got to implement early intervention for young offenders and get to the bottom of the cause of their anti-social behavior.” (Concerned
    December 18, 2014, 12:37 pm).

    Poverty commonly accompanies anti-social behavior.

    Maybe the Tuluwat Examiner can be the first to report on the Humboldt County Grand Jury Final report issued last July exposing how local law enforcement do not require Critical Intervention Training to handle children or teens, yet, are the first to respond.

    Are we manufacturing monsters when we send police to publicly handcuff children already suffering poverty and homeless-related PTSD, further aggravated by solitary confinement for 72 hours of “observation”!?

    In the past generation, our communities have replaced essential services for emancipation with punitive “arrests” and isolation, or what the U.N. defines as torture.

    Liked by 2 people

    • well said, and thanks for referring to that report.

      Two people here in comments have tried to shift blame and or responsibility for any ‘fix’ onto….us?..we citizens…That is crap, we have a say, we are saying it, sorry it doesn’t sound ‘nice’ enough for you. By our noises, our letters, our urging we are certainly doing what we can to ‘fix it’.

      Why they have suggested that is another story, but there is always someone representing the powers criticized that tries to hold up a mirror as if that will fix anything except to stop and deflect the criticism…

      As a ‘leftist’ that likes, supports, wishes well, and yet also vigorously criticizes Mills…I have no problem doing so…it’s a highly important job we are paying him to do, expecting him to sweep in and fix it is ridiculous, but he has done some pretty sad things imo.
      it takes time to change institutions and he would immediately be beseiged by the same old politicians and suckups that are always around….I hope he can see the forest and the trees.
      We also aren’t seeing much of the internal politics except the citizen input thing and the hiring and promotion hoohaa, a very clumsy thing. I hope it’s better than it looks from the outside.

      These are good suggestions TE, good for you for doing so.

      Such certainly isn’t coming from anywhere else here

      Maybe the liability insurance company will have something to say..

      Liked by 3 people

  9. I dont see anything changing with EPD
    Mills it going to take more then being transparent to fix the problem in side the police department.
    To say an officer made a mistakeis an understatement when a mistake involves taking a life. How ever you want to justify it.. even Mills statement of facts is a grave injustice.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Isnt officer steve watson the same officer involved in the killing of sherry more. and isn’t Kim Jones the same team Jones that was involved in the criminal beating of cotton case I believe there’s a heroin addict ada sexual assault officer. In the EPD


  11. Pingback: Tuluwat Examiner | EPD takes a step backwards and it’s a good thing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s