Eureka City Council Members,
This past week, the regular council meeting spent a large portion of time discussing and then voting on how to deal with the “Homeless Problem”. The conversation was robust, and heated, and at the end of the meeting a potential policy for dealing with the houseless behind the mall was passed (with Arroyo and Bergel dissenting). Many people spoke out at the meeting, identifying houseless people as Eureka’s main crime problem. Chief Mills wasn’t in attendance and didn’t speak on the subject, but he has guided the public debate and made it clear from his statements and the statements of his “citizens groups” that homeless people are the worst of the criminals around.
However in direct contradiction to that position, last night there was the 3rd murder in Eureka this year. The latest murder took place a few blocks from where another murder happened this year. The other murder was gang related. If this latest murder is gang related (which seems likely) then that would add up to 4 murders in two years being related to gang violence. That’s half of the murders in what seems to be a record breaking two years of violence in Eureka.
We believe that this council is intelligent, and really wants to do the right things for Eureka (even if we don’t always agree with the councils decisions from time to time). Given the intelligence and dedication of this council, we have to ask one obvious question: Why hasn’t Chief Mills made reducing gang violence a top priority for Eureka?
This question is obvious given that there have been at least 3 and now possibly 4 gang related murders. In fact, the question is so basic that it begs another question: While Chief Mills has been blaming the homeless for all of Eureka’s ills, why hasn’t he even once addressed or spoken publicly about the topic of gang violence while he’s been in office?
We feel that Chief Mills is distracting people away from the true major crime issues in Eureka and instead scapegoating the houseless and most disadvantaged in Eureka. Of the 8 murders, we know that at least 3 killings were gang related and 3 killings were related to severe mental illness issues. But those topics don’t seem to be high on Mills priority list, at least from the programs and strategies that he’s been discussing these past two years.
Eureka City Council, we respectfully request that you take some action to ensure that the Eureka Police Department is dealing with one of the leading factors in murders; Gangs. No amount of distractions or calls for the eviction of houseless folks from the “Devils Playground” will change the fact that most, if not all of Eureka’s murders are being committed by people with……houses. It is time for effective police work which addresses crime, instead of ineffective policing that blames the most unfortunate residents of Eureka for all the cities problems.
Further please insist that the Chief stop “cooking the books” with his bogus crime stats which is just muddying the waters when it comes to understanding and dealing with crime in this town.