Does the change in the rules last night mean that your previous bad acts are forgiven?
The City of Eureka is up to their old antics again. This time, in the “pay for protection” realm. As we wrote about back in April, the Eureka Police Department had entered into a contract with the Bayshore Mall that put EPD cops on daily foot patrol in the mall. That used to be a regular tactic around these parts, except it was generally related to the police being paid as “strike breakers”. Chief “slick Andy” Mills brought the practice back, but seemed to try and backtrack away from the practice when he was confronted with questions about the secret agreement.
Thaddeus Greenson from the North Coast Journal interviewed Chief Mills about the foot patrols. Greenson asked Mills if a neighborhood watch group wanted some extra patrols would that be a possibility. According to Greenson, Mills seemed uncomfortable with the question. From the NCJ:
“I really hadn’t thought that far down the road,” he said. “I want to be careful we’re not, you know, providing special police services for those with the finances to pay. I think it’s important for us to police equally in all parts of the city. This was a special circumstance because of a couple of acts of violence that we needed to settle down.”
That was in April. Fast forward to July, and there’s an agenda item set for Tuesday which would create a new municipal code ensuring those with the finances to pay would receive extra police services. From the agenda summary:
“Some business entities within the City, such as the Bayshore Mall, have recently requested additional police services to combat increasing crime occurring near or on their premises……
Adding the proposed ordinance to the Eureka Municipal Code (EMC) would allow the City to provide additional Police services without increasing costs to the city…..As part of these agreements the requesting party would pay the costs of the additional police services including the officers pay and appropriate administrative costs….
The purpose of the ordinance is not to generate revenue for the City……..”
The ordinance won’t generate revenue for the city? That might be correct, but it sure will generate revenue for the cops who would work the overtime on those special assignments. Was this ordinance written as a “quid pro quo” for Chief Mills after Mills threw down Fire Chief Ken Woods in the public budget meetings?
There you have it Eureka. Private corporations can now pay for police protection. So can other groups or organizations. For instance neighborhood watch groups, if they can pony up the cash up front. Mills third world policing tactics have now expanded the role of big moneyed interests paying for police protection. Instead of just “Mall Cops”, some of the more well to do areas might be able to get the extra protections they can afford to pay for. The “Sequoia Park Soldiers” or the “Lumbar Hills Legion” might be coming sooner than we think. However, it’s unlikely that there will be enough cash of front to pay for the areas that really need extra patrols, so you won’t probably see the “West Side Warriors” around anytime soon.
In related nauseating EPD news:
Eureka Police Chief Mills announced the newly appointed panel members at the Eureka City Council meeting Tuesday: John Dalby, president, CEO and director of Redwood Capital Bank; Elan Firpo, an attorney and former Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney; Daniel Price, senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Eureka, who volunteers with Betty Chinn’s Blue Angels; Jeremiah Scott, a longtime Eureka attorney; Elizabeth Smith, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club and vice president of the Eureka branch of the NAACP; and Ginette Walker, a Spanish-English interpreter, mediator and volunteer for Latino Net.
“slick Andy” Mills, City Manager Greg Sparks and Mayor Frank Jager made the final selections from a pool of 15 applicants.
“The purpose is to (create the illusion) give oversight and counsel to the chief of police,” Mills told the city council. “This will be, I believe, a thorough and robust (controlled and choreographed) discussion.”
Essentially, Mills said, members of the panel will have access to nearly everything (barely anything) at the Eureka Police Department from policies to procedures to reports and more. Their mission is to provide feedback (cover for) to the chief and, in turn, the department.
“Nothing is off the table,” Mills said, “They’ll be able to look at virtually anything.”
And through that review, the panel will make recommendations to the chief.(which he can just ignore)
The hope is also for achieving a heightened sense of transparency around police operations. With the panel overseeing what police are doing at an intimate level, Mills said, it “should add to transparency legitimacy.” (unlike the Chief actually telling the whole truth in the first place)
“We’re trying hard to remove the stigma of the ‘old boys’ club,’” he said. (without actually removing the ‘old boys mentality)