Remembering December 2, 2015

A year ago today a cloud of darkness descended upon our city. 14 innocent lives were taken and 22 innocents wounded in a senseless and unprovoked attack of terrorism.

That darkness however did not prevail. It was confronted by an incredible light —  a light generated by love, courage, compassion, and community. Such a light can never be extinguished and will always overcome whatever darkness comes against it.

The residents of our city, across our nation, and through out the world watched as the people of San Bernardino pulled together to respond to this barbaric act, to comfort the victims and their families, to mourn the innocent lives taken, and to stand fast to the principles of liberty, equality and justice that we hold so dear.

We will never forget what happened the day of December 2, 2015 — but more importantly we will never forget those we lost and those wounded on that terrible day. It is for all of them and their loved ones that we will continue to stand San Bernardino Strong.

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SBPOA President’s Statement on the Attacks Last Week in San Bernardino

The following is a statement by Steve Turner, President of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association:

For the last four years I’ve had the privilege of representing San Bernardino’s rank and file police officers as the president of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association.

What occurred in our city last Wednesday is unlike anything any of us have ever experienced as peace officers.

On behalf of the members of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims whose lives were brutally taken from them.  We want you to know how deeply saddened we are for your loss. We are here for you and we continue to pray for you during this time of incredible grief.

To the residents of San Bernardino, we want to thank you for all of your words and displays of support.  We also appreciate the prayers, love, support, and sympathy you have shown to the victims and their loved ones.  It is through your loving actions that our nation and the world has seen what San Bernardino is truly made of.

As President of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association I want to acknowledge the police officers who responded to last Wednesday’s terrorist attack.  The officers that responded to the calls for help did so demonstrating the highest degrees of professionalism and bravery. Their goal was to protect the lives of those inside the Inland Regional Center building and to prevent any further fatalities.

These officers arrived on scene and immediately focused on locating and protecting the innocent lives while searching for the attackers.  They arrived at a scene of absolute horror.   They faced victims, survivors, explosives, and a very real concern that the terrorists were still at the location.

With all of those obstacles, they remained calm and professional while rescuing individuals from the building, without allowing any one else to be harmed. The actions of these officers were nothing short of heroic.  I have never been so proud to represent these fine police officers than I am at this time.

The last five years have been difficult on the community of San Bernardino and its police department.  Bankruptcy and budget cuts have diminished services that residents of most cities take for granted, including law enforcement.

Throughout these challenges, the men and the women of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association remained committed to protecting the residents of the city we serve.

Our promise to San Bernardino’s residents has been and remains, “Your Safety Is Always Our Top Priority.”

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

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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.

 

 

Wishing You A Great 2015

As we begin 2015 we wanted to thank you for your continued support and for standing firmly with us in 2014.

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Your support for San Bernardino Police Officers was on full display with the outpouring of generosity and unending prayers for Police Officer Gabriel Garcia who was critically wounded in the line of duty, and when Police Officer Shaun Jarvis lost his life in an off duty traffic accident.

Your support and prayers for these members of our family will never be forgotten.

Officer Garcia is in the midst of a long recovery process and your continued prayers for his health are greatly appreciated.

We also wanted to thank you for your support in last November’s election.

Because of your support for us, Measure Q, which would have enabled the City to drastically cut the pay of San Bernardino Police Officers, was soundly defeated.  By stopping this misguided initiative residents helped prevent a mass exodus of experienced officers that would have greatly destabilized the Police Department.

As we head into 2015, let us affirm that we remain committed to your safety.  Keeping San Bernardino’s neighborhoods and families safe is always our top priority.

We will continue to seek ways to work collaboratively with the city to make San Bernardino safer and find ways to contain costs while ensuring the necessary level of police protection.

Thank you again for your unwavering support.

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.

San Bernardino Police Paid 19% Less Than Other Inland Metro Officers

The following is from Steve Turner, president of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association, in reply to an article in the San Bernardino Sun on October 23, 2014:

While the city points their finger at the police officers, while telling the community that it’s the fault of the “automatic raises” created by Charter 186, they do so with the hope that the community overlooks the obvious. IF… I will say it again, IF the police officers were paid an average wage, the costs of police salary increases may not be $1.3 million. And keep in mind, we are talking about an average salary in a city that has an above average crime problem.

What the city is not telling the community is that currently, San Bernardino Police Officers are 19% below the average of Inland Metro police agencies, in total compensation. When I say Inland Metro agencies, I’m talking about police agencies in the Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, not the cities included in the article. You will not get anyone from the city (Mayor, City Manager, etc) to dispute this because the numbers don’t lie.

And, what the city leaders want you to forget is that the San Bernardino Police Officers have not actually seen those salaries as indicated in the article. Let me remind you that several years ago the police officers agreed to a 10% salary concession. We agreed because we want to be a partner with the city in providing solutions. We continued those concessions for a few years. Then, as a thank you for agreeing to the concessions, the city decided to impose a 14% cut to our salaries. Despite the cuts, officers continued to work extremely hard to provide a quality service to the citizens.

Statement by Steve Turner, President of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association

The San Bernardino Police Officers Association congratulates Mayor-Elect Carey Davis, Councilmember-Elect Henry Nickel and Councilmember Fred Shorett on their victories in Tuesday’s elections.

There are many crucial issues facing our city – bankruptcy, unemployment, and rising crime.  For San Bernardino to become economically stable and for jobs to come here, we all agree that we must make our city a safer place for everyone who lives or works here.

If we are going to turn this city around then we must have an intense focus on preventing and reducing violent crime, burglaries, prostitution, and pan-handling that is eroding San Bernardino’s quality of life.

We stand ready to work with the city’s leaders to accomplish these goals vital to the safety of San Bernardino’s residents and our city’s economic turnaround.