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“.