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

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.

New Five-Year Contract A Good First Step Towards Rebuilding the San Bernardino Police Department

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The San Bernardino Police Officers Association and the City of San Bernardino reached agreement this week on the terms of a contract that will allow the City’s bankruptcy to move closer to finalization.

On Monday, City Council unanimously approved the five-year contract which has the overwhelming support of San Bernardino’s rank-and-file police officers.

“This agreement is both fair and reasonable given the current conditions facing our membership and that of the City,” said Steve Turner, president of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association.

“Keeping experienced officers working our streets, as well as the recruitment of new officers were some of the concerns of the police officers. This agreement should address those concerns and help to bring stability to the department, which has lost more than 33% of sworn and civilian staffing since the Bankruptcy filing, back in August of 2012,” Turner said.

“It is a good first step toward rebuilding our agency and will also help to reduce crime and violence on our streets,” Turner said, “It is our hope that the agreement will receive broad support from both the residents and the federal bankruptcy court.”

The agreement is comprehensive and will also see San Bernardino’s police officers continue to share the costs of retirement benefits and health care rates.

 

 

San Bernardino Voters Reject Measure Q

The following is the statement of Steve Turner, president of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association:

The men and women of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association must thank the residents of San Bernardino for their overwhelming support during the election.

The San Bernardino Police Department has a very long history of support from the hard working residents of our community.  We do not take for granted the value and depth of this support. Our officers will continue to provide the highest quality service to the residents of San Bernardino.

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A resounding message was sent to the Mayor and Common Council last evening. The voters are tired of the constant attacks on public safety and the defeat of Measure Q clearly directs to all involved that it is time to move forward.  This message must not be minimized or disregarded.

Though we do not see eye to eye on the exact process needed to modernize the City Charter, we do recognize and acknowledge that the Committee in support of Measure Q is equally committed to improving San Bernardino.   We sincerely appreciate their efforts and deeply believe that by working together, we can unite our community to the benefit of all residents.

As the voters have clearly stated, they expect the Mayor and Common Council to make public safety a top priority.  The San Bernardino Police Officers Association once again stands ready to work with the City in a collaborative fashion.  We believe that working together we can find the common ground to make San Bernardino safer and bring much needed stability to the men and women who are dedicated to residents safety, while also containing costs.

Once again we thank the residents of San Bernardino for their support. We will always be here for San Bernardino because the community’s safety is our top priority.

Murder Rate Remains Tragically High in 2013

The darkest mark on the record of outgoing San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris isn’t the city’s bankruptcy.

The number of murders in San Bernardino is the darkest mark on Pat Morris's record.

The number of murders in San Bernardino is the darkest mark on Pat Morris’s record.

It’s the horrific level of violent crime in the city Morris was twice elected to lead.

“San Bernardino ended 2013 with 46 homicides, one less than the year before,” The Sun reported at the start of this new year.

As Mayor, Pat Morris had the ability to make public safety and crime prevention his top priority.  He failed to do so and the residents of San Bernardino have suffered because it – especially after the economy collapsed.

Now as Pat Morris is leaving office, he is also leaving a huge mess for San Bernardino’s next mayor to clean up.

Not only is San Bernardino bankrupt, but crime is rampant throughout our community as  Pat Morris has turned his back on the Police Department

Should San Bernardino rebound economically, its going to need to attract job-creating business investment.

But businesses are not going to want to locate here if the city remains so unsafe.

Clearly the next mayor – whether it’s Wendy McCammack or Carey Davis – will need to have a completely different approach to dealing with crime than what we’ve had for the last eight years with Pat Morris.

If that doesn’t happen, then it will be extremely difficult to see how San Bernardino can turn itself around at all.

San Bernardino Deserves Better Than Fred Shorett

City Councilman Fred Shorett has failed the people of San Bernardino and they deserve better.

Shorett Head in the Sand

Fred Shorett failed to stop the city’s wasteful spending that drove the San Bernardino into bankruptcy.

Fred Shorett ignored the public safety needs of the community, now violent crime like murder is up 51% in San Bernardino.

Fred Shorett also failed to create an economic recovery program to bring jobs here.  Now 11,000 residents are out of work with 31% of San Bernardino living in poverty.

Shorett Head in Sand Back

San Bernardino residents deserve better leadership and service than what they’ve been getting from Fred Shorett.

The San Bernardino Police Officers Association encourages the voters in City Council Ward 4 to fire Fred Shorett and elect Anthony Jones this November 5th.

Crime and Poverty on the Rise in Bankrupt San Bernardino

For the elected officials and staff at San Bernardino City Hall, bankruptcy is the issue that preoccupies their minds.

Pat Morris's failures as Mayor are costing San Bernardino residents by deteriorating their safety and their quality of life.

Pat Morris’s failures as Mayor are costing San Bernardino residents by deteriorating their safety and their quality of life.

But if the bulk of the questions submitted by the public for last Saturday’s Mayoral Candidates Forum are any indication of what’s on the minds of San Bernardino’s residents, they’re preoccupied with rising crime and unemployment.

Federal statistics released this week validate the public’s concerns.

The Sun reported on the crime numbers compiled by the FBI:

The “Crime in the United States, 2012” report showed that violent crime across the nation increased 0.7 percent compared with 2011 statistics, and property crime had decreased 0.9 percent.

But the Inland Empire bucked the national trend in property crime.

San Bernardino showed a 24 percent increase in property crime, with Pomona at 13 percent and Redlands at 14 percent.

“We had significant increases across the board,” said San Bernardino Assistant Police Chief Jarrod Burguan. “Last year we had the 24 percent increase in property crimes, but through July of this year we’ve shown a 5.7 percent decrease.”

Burguan said there are several reasons behind the property crime increase in 2012.

“Personnel cuts, and significant restructuring are just a couple of reasons crime increased,” he said.

Homicides also jumped significantly in San Bernardino last year.

Cuts Keep Costing San Jose Police Officers

The City of San Jose, California may not have declared bankruptcy like Stockton and San Bernardino, but the financially troubled city is having huge problems keeping its police department staffed.

According to the San Jose Mercury News:

At first glance, a City Hall plan to add 200 officers over four years sounds like salvation for a depleted San Jose Police Department that dresses fewer than a thousand cops to fight rising crime in a city of nearly 1 million.

But San Jose might struggle to maintain the current number of street cops even with the additional positions, according to an analysis by this newspaper. If current trends continue, the number of officers leaving SJPD could well outnumber the prospective new cops the department hires.

“It’s a difficult time for us,” acting Chief Larry Esquivel said in an interview. “We’re always triaging. I know the city wants stability. Our community needs it.”

In 2011 and 2012, an average of at least 100 officers each year retired or left for other law enforcement agencies, and until the graduation this past spring of the first San Jose police academy in three years, there was scant relief.

This Labor Day, Remember the Men and Women in Uniform

It’s become fashionable in recent years for politicians to attack and scapegoat the working men and women of America for many of the economic problems our country is facing.

It’s true here in the City of San Bernardino where Mayor Pat Morris and his supporters have attempted to blame San Bernardino’s Police Officers as the source of our city’s financial woes.

These career politicians forget that the men and women of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association go to work every day, risking their lives, to protect San Bernardino’s neighborhoods and families from crime and violence.

They forget that the men and women in the uniform and behind the badge are they themselves someone’s parent, someone’s spouse, and someone’s child.

This video from Andy Hale does an excellent job of reminding us to look at our police officers and law enforcement professionals in this light.

To all those who go to work each day to serve and protect the people of their community, we thank you for your service.

 

 

An Interview With Mayoral Candidate Draymond Crawford

As part of our interview series with the candidates for Mayor of San Bernardino, San Bernardino City Bankruptcy recently conducted an online interview with mayoral candidate Draymond Crawford.

Draymond Crawford is a candidate for Mayor of San Bernardino this November.

Draymond Crawford is a candidate for Mayor of San Bernardino this November.

Mr. Crawford graciously discussed San Bernardino’s financial struggles, its crime problems, and his plans to revitalize our city’s struggling economy.

If you have a question for Draymond Crawford and the other candidates for Mayor, please submit it for consideration as a question for the Mayoral Candidate Forum on September 14th.

Here us our exclusive interview with Draymond Crawford:

Mr. Crawford thank you for your time today.

What do you believe the top priorities of the City of San Bernardino should be?

The top priorities of the City should reflect the expectations of its citizens.  In many cases those expectations are just the basic services each and every city should provide:

A.      A safe community                B.      Clean Streets                    C.      Good Schools

Public Safety

Public Safety is the  master link within the chain of services  to the public and potential economic growth  for our city.   The real and perceived reality of our public safety is the strongest force that affect the daily lives of all citizens and businesses alike.

I can speak from experience having worked for a city that went through a down turn in economic growth and officers that fled for greener pastures.  It took a change in leadership (city hall)  and a commitment from the public as a whole to place public safety as a priority.