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”