Transparent versus Invisible. The gospel according to the infallible Chief Mills.


Openness is an overarching concept or philosophy that is characterized by an emphasis on transparency and free unrestricted access to knowledge and information as well as collaborative or cooperative management and decision making rather than a central authority

After reading Thad’s take on Mills in the above article; we’ve got to give it to Chief Andy Mills, he is by far the best PR shill we’ve ever seen occupy the position of Chief in Eureka. He has successfully thwarted criticism in the mainstream local media through the age old and proven tactics of diversion and distraction.

Case in point; Eureka residents have been clamoring for years to get a functioning civilian review board. The reasons for an independent review board are obvious. On the top of that list is the fact that you are more likely to be killed by a police officer in Eureka than in the worst parts of Richmond or Los Angeles. This is not a statistical anomaly; it’s the way business has been done in the Eureka Police Department for decades.

On February 17th, Mills gave a staff report to the City Council. He praised the work of his very biased “shooting review board” and talked about how transparent the process was (in one short day his handpicked panel, using his handpicked material, found EPD followed policy when killing Tommy McClain).   He didn’t mention that 95% of the group was current or former law enforcement and most were either current or former Eureka employees.

After gloating about the transparency of that Board, he went on to talk about his “vision” for a “Chiefs Advisory Panel”. Mills stated that panel would be another “layer of transparency” for the police department. Strange since we haven’t even seen one layer of transparency, and now he’s talking about adding more. One of the biggest problems with this proposed panel is that it wouldn’t have any real power, other than “advising” the Chief. From what we have been told publicly, there is no mechanism in place to make sure that recommendations from Mills panel are ever made public.

(Remember Mills idea of transparency is; invisible in process and action, whereas to everyone else transparent means all parts visible including the resultant action.)

In many areas, panels can recommend discipline or other corrective action. They can make recommendations for policy changes, along with ensuring that the entire process is transparent to the public. Mills panel sounds pretty similar to Eureka’s rubber stamp finance advisory committee. They will have no power, and will not be able to recommend any discipline for Officers who violate policy or break the law.

Who would be in the panel? People (probably cronies) hand selected by Mills, Mayor Frank Jager and City Manager Greg Sparks. The panel would not be chosen by the City Council. That seems pretty odd. Having two non-elected employees choosing panel members who may be in an adversarial position to themselves sounds like a pretty dysfunctional plan. Totally ineffective and without any power, seems to be the design of Mills plan.

It seems clear that Mills really, really, really wants to divert attention from the two wrongful deaths and ensuing lawsuits that happened while he was Chief. Instead of addressing the current horrible practices of the department, he has been diverting attention by saying he wants to look into the Police Departments shootings from before he was Chief. Instead of true police review, he diverts attention by talking about an “advisory” panel.

Unfortunately, it seems that many in the media and even on the City Council have bought Mills lies and distractions. We really hope they wake up to the reality of Chief Mills soon. Otherwise, we fear that the City will go bankrupt pay out more and more millions to families whose loved ones will have been abused and murdered with almost absolute impunity. The City of Eureka has been called in an independent study and in the North Coast Journal, the “state’s deadliest city for killings by law enforcement“.


19 thoughts on “Transparent versus Invisible. The gospel according to the infallible Chief Mills.

  1. this is a good article because it points to the big difference between PR and action. keep up the good work!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Eureka as the “state’s deadliest city for killings by law enforcement“. That should be above the fold news….not just a brief reference in a couple blogs posts. Geez.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It is time to have independent review of EPD. Handling things “in house” has been a failed policy. Mills “advisors” on a panel put together by him would be continuing the status quo. It’s time to accept that the past practices of EPD have failed to hold officers accountable, or make things at all transparent to the community. Don’t believe the misdirection of Chief Mills. Demand an independent civilian review board!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. TE…..first you shit on the NCJ, then you hold them up as the gospel in the next thread. Really?


    • Huh? Did you even read yesterdays post? It was about ANOTHER blog and that blogs criticism of the NCJ. Take some time to think about your comments prior to just spewing out your garbage.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I personally happen to agree with most of this item but this topic is really about politics, specifically Eureka politics. There no question that police are under the direct control of city elected officials. Just like voters in the county for many years have opted for forbearance and tolerance of pot growing, Eureka voters have largely voted for greater latitude for police to carry out summary punishment of people who behave with contempt for them.

    What I see is the Eureka electorate has a fairly strong ‘law and order’ orientation, but with the twist. In Eureka you can do just about anything you want but if the police confront you, you must demonstrate absolute submission.


    • I won’t address the ‘summary punishment’ remark, hopefully someone else will.

      NAN, I appreciate you putting your opinion here to be argued with….but this bit gave me a sad chuckle.
      ‘There no question that police are under the direct control of city elected officials’…

      ….yeah, a lot like my brother and his wife have ‘direct control’ of their wild 13 year old.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I understand your dismay but the line of reporting and accountability is clear. The police chief reports to the City Council and at their pleasure. Sorry if it bursts your bubble but the majority of the council(I’d say they’re unanimous) support the police being in absolute control when they have encounters with the public.


      • Not A Native:

        Actually, just to be annoyingly precise, in Eureka the Police Chief answers to the City Manager. The City Manager may fire the Police Chief at his own whim but the Eureka City Council can not.

        Sounds goofy? I think so too…

        I guess the real question then is who calls the shots in the City of Eureka… the adults or the 13 year old kids?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Well NAN, I’d guess the whole point of this emphasis here at TE seems to be that the police should indeed be ‘under the control of the elected civilians’, so I’m glad we agree on that.

      However the path of control, police should not be free to gun citizens down without satisfactory review via those very SAME civilian lines of authority, and that those of us who criticize EPD * …and that’s basically where we diverge..the meanings of the EPD being ‘under the control of the elected civilians.’

      *…( and we also praise them, and we also support them, we also count on them, we also pay for them…..we, at least I certainly don’t ‘hate’ Chief Mills nor any of the EPD I have met and interacted with over the years)

      You and others keep trying to polarize this issue: sure, it’s a long time contentious issue, but polarizing to some crisis and breakdown is not going to work…or then again, there’s the Oakland/ Seattle/ Ferguson Solution, to name a very few, where things get so awful, things get so out of civilian control that the federal government gets involved.

      Why would anyone want that the be the only solution left to us?


      • Marmaduke, I think you’re simply shooting the messenger. The polarization exists within the Eureka public. The peaceful method to manage that polarization is through politics. For some time, the politics in Eureka has fallen decisively into the ‘crack down on people who aren’t economically and psychologically secure because they are likely to commit future crimes’, (check Mills’ statements to the Council in the latest TE post).

        The Government(of which the police are a part) has large discretion in enforcing the laws, and the law has few ‘bright lines’ mostly at the highest level(civil rights). I disagree with the tactics Eureka police have adopted, but I believe they’re legal. Elected officials, not the police, set policy. And elected officials remain in office if the voters feel more or less satisfied. If you’re dissatisfied, don’t blame me, blame Eureka voters .


  6. I thought transparent means something yo can see through, but is still visible, whereas invisible cannot be seen. Oh well, I just hope that observation didn’t put me on the wrong side of the thin blue line…

    Liked by 1 person

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