An Open Letter to the Residents of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland

As the presidents of the three largest police unions in the Bay Area, our overriding responsibility is to ensure that each and every police officer we represent makes it home to his or her family after every shift. Police officers must swear to uphold our constitution, and we also take seriously our responsibility to protect the First Amendment rights of the public we serve. Unfortunately recent events threaten to bring these two great responsibilities into conflict.

Our members and their families have been shaken to the core by the brutal slayings of two New York City police officers and a Tarpon Springs, Florida police officer. All of our members are on heightened alert. In the line of duty deaths of police officers are up significantly 120 police officers have already paid the ultimate price for protecting their communities in 2014.

The protests that followed the grand jury decisions in Missouri and New York are a legitimate expression of our First Amendment traditions. The reaction is not unexpected but the vilification of front-line public servants by some politicians and media pundits has been demoralizing and unjust. Public safety in the Bay Area and the nation will be a subject of major debate going forward and we will each participate vigorously in that debate.

But what few have acknowledged until now is that too often the legitimate expression of views has devolved into vilification and violence against this nation's front-line public safety servants. Demonstrators in New York chanted in unison: "What do we want?" Dead cops! When do we want it? Now! That was disgraceful. So, too, was witnessing protest marches in the Bay Area degenerate into violence, destruction and mob rule. Despite the efforts of organizers, too often protests were hijacked by shameful cowards who take refuge behind the truly law abiding demonstrators while destroying property and injuring our officers.

The overwhelming majority of our members-who represent the most diverse police departments in the nation-bear such malice in dignified silence. Even following the murder of three of their own our officers continue with their duty answer your calls, respond to your crises, fulfill their mission, and honor their commitment to the people of San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland.

In short, they will always be there when you need them. In return, as their "voices" we simply ask that you join them in a cooperative effort to keep our streets safe, and to engage in constructive dialogue that calls for a common sense approach to very complex issues.

May we all take this holiday season as a time to reflect and pray for one another and search for solutions together as the law enforcement community honors those who have fallen in the line of duty.

Martin Halloran                 Paul Kelly                             Barry Donelan

SFPOA President            San Jose POA                      POA President Elect

In Honor of Officer John Covelesk, Badge #70

On the night of November 15, 1950 Officer Covelesk was working a midnight walking beat in the downtown area. Officer Covalesk located a door at 42 East San Fernando that had been pried open. As Officer Covelesk entered the building, the suspect, who had been hiding inside, opened fire from 4-5 feet away striking Officer Covalesk twice in the chest. As he was going down, Officer Covalesk drew his revolver and returned fire 6 times striking the suspect twice.  The suspect then stood over the still-conscious Officer Covalesk and fired one more round killing him.

Vote for Dave Cortese for Mayor for A Safe San Jose

View the video on YouTube

Remembering San Jose Police Officer Jeffrey Fontana

Today we remember the life and service of fallen San Jose Police Officer Jeffrey Fontana. Officer Fontana was gunned down while making a routine traffic stop early in the morning on an Almaden street. Fontana was only on the police force for a few months before his murder. Approximately eight years after his death, a jury convicted DeShawn Campbell of 2nd degree murder for killing Officer Fontana. Prior to joining the San Jose Police Department, he worked as a volunteer in community policing centers.

Remembering Fallen San Jose Police Officer Desmond Casey

On October 25th, we remember fallen San Jose Police Officer Desmond Casey. On October 25, 1999 Officer Casey was killed while piloting the department's helicopter. 

Below is the department's official account of Officer Casey's story. 

Mayor Reed's Campaign Consultant Implicated In Pay to Play

Today, a former SJ police officer came forward with a declaration sworn under penalty of perjury that suggests Mayor Chuck Reed's political consultant Victor Ajlouny offered money and his San Jose police officer job back if the former officer would claim that the POA asked him to quit.

Click the below to view the YouTube link to the story.

Click here to read Aaron Ettinger sworn declaration of the events that transpired.

The Truth About Elyse Rivas Lie

The Mercury News should be ashamed of itself. This weekend, I found myself on the receiving end of an attack piece in the form of a Mercury News op-ed authored by former police cadet Elyse Rivas. I was not given the courtesy of a phone call or opportunity to respond to Ms. Rivas’s lies.  In her opinion piece, Rivas clearly and unequivocally stated that I told the recruits in her class on their first day of work that they should quit.  These are her words from the op-ed, “he told us that it would be better for the Department and for us if we would just quit, right then and there.”

To be clear, I never said that or anything like that. In fact, upon follow-up questioning by Mercury News reporter Eric Kurhi, Rivas herself now says that she could not say I used the word “quit”. In the op-ed, she says I did, upon further questioning, she’s not sure??? This stinks.  Here is a statement from two officers who escorted that academy class that day and heard my discussion with the recruits.

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