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.
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.
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.
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.