Update on Special Meeting

I attended the Public Safety, Finance and Strategic Support Committee evening meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 14th, sponsored by Independent Police Auditor (IPA) and the City Council in an effort to address the alleged racial profiling arrests downtown for pubic intoxication.  The meeting was a pleasant surprise after the rowdy, out-of-control meetings I’ve attended over the past several years on these issues. 

This was one of just two evening meetings to seek public input about our Police force.  The next one will be held in the Spring of 2010.  I will keep you informed.

The usual anti-police groups weren’t there in full force. The majority of the small crowd was respectful and supportive of the SJPD.  Those who didn’t like the police were low-key and respectful when expressing their concerns about policing practices.

The meeting was obviously designed by the City to avoid another emotionally charged re-enactment of past meetings. I was deeply grateful for that! It was actually a very short and focused meeting that felt productive.

A card was given out to each speaker that had three questions on it:

1. What reactions do you have to City efforts to date?

2. What ideas do you have to address policing issues?

3. What do you want to know about police services?

In summary, to the three questions asked, there were some very honest comments made and some great ideas shared.  Here are some of the comments and suggestions:

  • Include victim’s rights advocates, the POA, and the DA in these deliberations rather than just catering to anti-Police groups, club owners, and the media.
  • Include churches and schools as stakeholders so that they can provide drug/alcohol abuse services and other vital services to those who need the help.
  • Youth should be included as stakeholders.
  • Peer counseling by youth would be an effective tool in stopping some crimes committed by youth.
  • Have youth get to know police officers in a more casual environment.
  • Public outreach of these meetings needs improvement.
  • Bring these meetings to neighborhoods where more people could take part.
  • More “sunshine” oversight and accountability over the IPA Office because they haven’t been neutral or inclusive and do not fairly represent the views of the entire community on police practices.
  • Allow for more community policing programs.
  • Hold business owners more accountable for the element their establishments attract.

Comments from Raj Jayadev of De Bug included praise for our SJPD, but also the usual dramatic plea to the City to look at the underlying causes of the disproportionate arrests of Latinos in San Jose.

SJPOA President Bobby Lopez surprised the audience and committee members when he spoke about his meetings with Mr. Jayadev as well as Skyler Porras of the ACLU.  He mentioned that he had met with them in an effort to try and work in a more collaborative way.  Judging by the expressions on council members’ faces, clearly Mr. Jayadev and Ms. Porras never disclosed these meetings took place.

All in all, the entire meeting was a good one.  I felt that City Manager Debra Figone did an excellent job of highlighting the positive changes the Police Chief and the Department have made in trying to respond to criticism by groups like De Bug, the ACLU, the NAACP, and others.  She also did a wonderful job of listening to speakers, asked staff to follow up on their suggestions, and assured us that she would try to improve on public outreach pertaining to community notification of these meetings.

My hope is that all future meetings on police practices will be as respectful as this one, but given recent events, I fear that won’t happen. Until then, stay safe.

Comments

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F&B,
Thank you for your kind words, but the SJPD are the true "Guardian Angels." Every day you put your lives on the line for us and everyday the thankless public takes your hard work for granted. The media putting out misinformation to sell papers and ad space, and politicians allowing the race card to intimidate them into acquiescing to these so called community activists is sad indeed, but one day the tables will turn and victim's voices will out weigh these criminal apologists and then God help these politicians at the voting poles.

People like Raj fight for criminals, and I fight for victims. May the best man/woman win! Stay safe out there!

My Response To Raj\'s Comments

What I really find sad and greatly disturbing about Raj is the way he twists the facts and leaves vital information out of his articles. He really is doing a disservice to people who believe in him. He talks about the IPA but doesn’t disclose that he practically lived in that office when Attard was there, he talks about Police violence, but he doesn’t disclose meeting with the President of the POA, or that these people were in the process of physically harming someone innocent, he talks about arrests of drunks in DT, and minorities in San Jose but never acknowledges there are a lot of them breaking the law and admitting to it, he talks about three cases were these people were in the commission of a crime and violating innocent people, but makes them look like victims, he talks about the DA not disclosing tapes and records but never acknowledges victim’s right to privacy, due process, or the costs of getting him and his fellow alarmists those records.

He never once explores what the “public” release of these tapes would do not only to the victims in these cases, but the offenders and their families as well, nor does he admit that when he and those groups who waged their own private agenda war and lost walked out of the Task Force, (a Task Force by the way that DID NOT have victim’s rights groups, MADD representatives, or other vital stakeholders on it), that due to the hard work and efforts of these remaining community leaders, changes to Police practices that he continues to bitch about were actually accomplished.

I honestly think the way Raj goes about communicating the facts about all these issues is not only dangerous but also irresponsible. If he is not careful he is going to incite a riot and get someone hurt. Then I want to see him justify his actions to the person who gets hurt because he isn’t mindful when presenting the “truth”. I challenge Raj to write just one completely factual, balanced article on this issue. Just ONE.

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Kathleen,
Thanks for being the Guardian Angel for the officers in blue. Being a victims advocate, you are the voice for those who cannot attend these meetings. I am glad you pointed out the reference of the SJPOA president speaking with the critics of the police. The idea of a Police President speaking with critics is another example of the leadership of the POA.

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Hi Kathleen,

Thanks again for your support of the police and victims.

If anyone wants to get sick to their stomach please read this new hit piece by Raj towards our officers. It is, in my opinion, absolutely destructive and disgusting.

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=06a051...

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Thanks for the update Kathleen. Sounds like Raj wants to keep everyone believing that Bobby is a racist unwilling to work with others. What a jerk.

Let's see if the City starts including the stakeholders you've listed. I think the city has caved into chicken littles like Raj for way too long now.