An Open Letter Regarding San Bernardino City Councilmember Sandra Ibarra

This is an open letter from the Board of Directors of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association on behalf of the police officers we represent regarding San Bernardino Councilmember Sandra Ibarra.

A PDF copy of the letter is available at this link:  San Bernardino Police Officers Letter RE Sandra Ibarra

 

At the June 3, 2020, city council meeting, Ms. Sandra Ibarra blatantly attacked the integrity of the men and women of the San Bernardino Police Department by leveraging a state emergency into what she described as ineffectiveness by her own city’s police officers.

The facts surrounding the riot that occurred on May 31, 2020 contradict the anecdote presented by Ms. Ibarra to her colleagues and the public.

In reality, our police department’s leadership forecast the need for additional personnel by staffing approximately 40 additional officers to assist with the needs of the planned protest. When rioters and looters took over the protest, San Bernardino police officers strategically addressed the chaos until the unrest became so great that additional law-enforcement agencies were summoned by way of mutual aid.

Prior to this measure, San Bernardino police officers had already begun retaking several businesses that were in the midst of being looted. While doing so, our police officers were physically attacked with bottles, rocks, improvised explosives, and in some instances, gunfire. These brave officers were not standing outside of businesses, but rather were on the inside making arrests and protecting city assets. Outside agencies were primarily tasked with traffic control and crowd dispersal around the perimeter of buildings.

By the time the dust settled, 32 arrests were made, including 12 for burglary and 11 for looting. Of the 32 arrested, 22 did not reside in our city. While the unrest unfolded, officers still responded to hundreds of calls for service not directly related to the riot.

Ms. Ibarra’s claim that the San Bernardino Police Department was ineffective is not only false, but it is disingenuous and speaks to her true character. While Ms. Ibarra’s top priority and focus appears to be the protection of property, our top priority was the protection of human lives. Vandalism, theft, and property destruction are serious crimes, which were being addressed, but objects can be replaced. That is not the case with human lives, which is why calls for service from the community were not ignored during the riots.

Sadly, this is merely the latest instance where Ms. Ibarra has misled the public with her uninformed statements. The seriousness of her remarks and the present atmosphere in our community and Country, made it necessary to address this matter publicly with the City and its elected leadership. Although the SBPOA endorsed Ms. Ibarra’s campaign for the second ward seat, we no longer tolerate or support her ineffectiveness as a city leader.

Respectfully,
San Bernardino Police Officer’s Association Leadership

San Bernardino Police Officers Association Supports Henry Nickel for City Council

The San Bernardino Police Officers Association is endorsing Henry Nickel for re-election to the San Bernardino City Council in Ward 5.

“Henry Nickel has been a steady hand on the San Bernardino City Council since his first election,” said Brian Lewis, President of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association.

“He helped guide our city out of bankruptcy and has worked closely with us to rebuild the San Bernardino Police Department. The residents of the 5th Ward can trust their Councilman, Henry Nickel, to make their safety a top priority,” Lewis continued.

“It’s a privilege to earn the endorsement of our city’s outstanding Police Officers,” said Nickel. “The people of San Bernardino are indebted for their service and sacrifice in working to keep us safe.”

Nickel, who represents the northern portion of San Bernardino was first elected to the Council in a 2014 special election and then re-elected with 67% of the vote.

He is the only San Bernardino Councilmember who holds regular town hall meetings with his constituents before each meeting of the City Council in order to receive community input about the upcoming Council agenda.

Nickel’s support for transparency and financial accountability has earned broad bipartisan support for his March 3rd re-election, including Democratic State Assemblyman James Ramos and Republican State Senator Mike Morrell.

SBPOA’s Statement on Proposed San Bernardino City Charter

The San Bernardino City Council recently approved a new proposed City Charter intended to improve the governance of San Bernardino.

The San Bernardino Police Officers Association initially had reservations about this proposed City Charter. As originally submitted to the Council, the proposed Charter was deficient, as it did not make the City’s commitment to the safety of its residents a clear priority.

Fortunately, City Councilmembers Virginia Marquez, Benito Barrios, John Valdivia, Henry Nickel, and Bessine Littlefield Richard voted to amend the proposed Charter before approving it. These five councilmembers demonstrated a commitment to residents safety by stating clearly San Bernardino’s commitment to maintaining its own Police Department, rather than contracting out for lesser services.

We are disappointed that Councilmembers Fred Shorett and James Mulvihill do not share their colleagues’ commitment to public safety. They voted against the wisdom of the majority of the City Council and the safety of their own constituents when they opposed the inclusion of the San Bernardino Police Department in the proposed City Charter.

Councilmembers Shorett and Mulvihill were apparently following the advice of former Mayor Pat Morris whose 8 years of failed leadership sent San Bernardino into bankruptcy and weakened the Police Department, both major contributing factors in rising crime. Hopefully Councilmembers Shorett and Mulvihill will pay more than lip service to the safety of San Bernardino’s residents in the future.

This proposed City Charter will be on the ballot for the voters to approve or reject in the November Election. The San Bernardino Police Officers Association has not yet taken a position on the proposed revised City Charter. Should SBPOA take a position prior to the Election, we will inform the public of that decision.

San Bernardino Police Officers Association’s Statement on City Recalls

The San Bernardino Police Officers Association opposes the recall of any City elected officials at this time.

The recall process is reserved for instances where an elected official’s misconduct in office is brazenly unethical or clearly illegal. In such cases it is in the best interest of the people to seek the removal of that person from office rather than wait until the next scheduled election.

Such circumstances do not exist at this time and a Special Election should not be called.

This is the same position the San Bernardino Police Officers Association held when recall petitions were circulated against City elected officials in 2013. If at the depths of San Bernardino’s bankruptcy we could not support recalls, it makes even less sense for our Association to do so today.

Additionally, were any recall to move forward it would be at an extravagant cost to San Bernardino’s taxpayers. It makes little sense for a bankrupt city to spend $100,000 or more for a Special Election that is not necessary.

Over the last five years the San Bernardino Police Department has been dreadfully understaffed. This directly affects our ability to enforce the law and prevent crime.  Rather than waste this money on an unnecessary recall election, the people of San Bernardino would be better served if their money was spent to reduce crime and make the city’s neighborhoods safer.

As always, the safety of San Bernardino’s residents remains our top priority.

San Bernardino Police Officers Association Endorses Bessine Littlefield Richard for City Council

Bessine profile

The San Bernardino Police Officers Association is endorsing Bessine Littlefield Richard for the City Council in Ward 6.

“Having met with and interviewed all four candidates running for the City Council in the Sixth Ward, the San Bernardino Police Officers Association firmly believes Bessine Littlefield Richard is the best and most qualified person for the job,” said Steve Turner, president of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association.

“As a lifelong resident of the West Side, Bessine has deep roots in the community,” Turner said.  “She knows the community.  She knows the people.  She will be a strong voice on the City Council for their needs and their interests, especially when it comes to making the neighborhoods and families of the Sixth Ward safer.”

“The San Bernardino Police Officers Association looks forward to working with Bessine Littlefield Richard on the City Council.  Her energy, ideas, and commitment to public service will go a long way towards improving the quality of life throughout San Bernardino, revitalizing the economy, and making our city and its residents safer.  We hope you will join us in supporting Bessine Littlefield Richard for City Council,” Turner said.

San Bernardino Police Officers Association Endorses City Councilmember Henry Nickel for Re-Election

The San Bernardino Police Officers Association is pleased to announce the endorsement of Henry Nickel for re-election to the San Bernardino City Council in Ward 5.

HenryNickel

“Henry Nickel brings a very strong work ethic, civility, and a high level of professionalism to the City Council,” said Steve Turner, president of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association.

“Councilmember Nickel has been a steady hand at City Hall during the multiple trials facing our city as it works through bankruptcy.  He has been unwavering in his commitment to making the residents and families of San Bernardino safer.  He has stood with the men and women of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association and we are honored to stand with him now in his re-election bid,” Turner said.

San Bernardino Police Officers Association Hosting City Council Candidate Forums

The San Bernardino Police Officers Association is pleased to announce it will be hosting candidate forums in the upcoming elections for San Bernardino City Council in Wards 6 and 7.

SBPOA_jpeg

“Based on the success of the Mayoral Candidates Forum we hosted in 2013, the SBPOA has decided to again hold public candidate forums for those running this year in the 6th and 7th City Council Wards,” said Steve Turner, president of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association.

The candidate forums will both be held on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at Cal State San Bernardino in the Santos Manuel Student Union Theatre.

The Ward 6 forum will begin at 1:30 PM and the Ward 7 forum will begin at 4:00 PM.   Brad Pomerance, host of Charter Communications’ California Edition, has graciously agreed to serve as the moderator for both forums.

Brad Pomerance, host of Charter's California Edition, will serve as moderator of SBPOA's City Council Candidate Forums.

Brad Pomerance, host of Charter’s California Edition, will serve as moderator of SBPOA’s City Council Candidate Forums.

“With the crowded fields in both of these races, the San Bernardino Police Officers Association wanted to provide this opportunity to allow the voters of these two wards to get to know the candidates, their backgrounds, and where they stand on the issues facing our city,” Turner said.

In City Council Ward 6, four candidates are seeking the seat currently held by Rikke Van Johnson.  Johnson is retiring from the City Council and not seeking re-election.

In City Council Ward 7 there are also five candidates.  City Councilmember James Mulvihill is seeking re-election and facing four challengers.

“All candidates in these two races have been invited to participate in the forums, whether or not they are seeking the endorsement of the Police Officers Association for their campaigns.”  Turner said.  “SBPOA has not endorsed any candidate in either council race.  If SBPOA chooses to endorse a candidate in either Ward 6 or Ward 7, such a decision will only be made after the candidate forums.”

The San Bernardino Police Officers Association will solicit questions from its members, community groups, and the voting public to be asked at the candidate forums.