"No one disputes that an on-duty Irvine police officer got an erection and ejaculated on a motorist during an early-morning traffic stop in Laguna Beach. The female driver reported it, DNA testing confirmed it and officer David Alex Park finally admitted it."
Feb 2, 2007
[ Wikipedia -
Bribery is a crime implying a sum or gift given alters the behavior of the
person in ways not consistent with the duties of that person. It is defined by
Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or
soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions as an official or other
person in discharge of a public or legal duty. The bribe is the gift bestowed to
influence the receiver's conduct. It may be any money, good, right in action,
property, preferment, privilege, emolument, object of value, advantage, or any
promise or undertaking to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of
a person in an official or public capacity.]
Community Service/Policing Award
Lisa Peasley, police officer
David Park, police officer
A former Orange County judge was barred from ever working for a state court for
berating those in her courtroom and jeopardizing parties' rights to a fair
trial, including a criminal case that was reversed partly because of her
behavior, a state commission found Thursday.
Grand Jury Slams Irvine's Control of
Agreeing to disavow Taiwan puts
Irvine at center of uproar
Taiwanese people would like you to know - Taiwan has never been part of Communist China - and likely - never will be.
"Hey Hey Mayor Krom - what-do-you-say - if you like Communist China - move there
By Gillian Flaccus
Irvine Set to Take Control of Great Park
At the inception of the park, city officials had said that an independent entity would build it. Critics say one city shouldn't hold the reins.
By Jean O. Pasco, Times Staff Writer
April 25, 2006
The city of Irvine is preparing to retreat from a pledge to transfer control of the Orange County Great Park to an independent countywide panel that has been overseeing its development for three years.
The Irvine City Council, whose members have squabbled for years over the vision of the park and who should control it, tonight is expected to vote to relegate the Orange County Great Park Corp. to an advisory role.
The change would mean the city alone would control about $380 million in developer fees earmarked to build the park.
That would not be the way the park idea was sold after Orange County voters killed plans in 2002 for an international airport on the site of the former El Toro Marine base.
City officials said creating a separate entity to build the park would protect Irvine taxpayers if costs soared beyond what was envisioned.
Since then, the Great Park corporation, comprising the five Irvine council members and four directors from outside the city, has spent about $30 million to hire a master park designer, an administrative staff and public relations consultants.
Mayor Beth Krom, who is pushing the proposed city takeover, said the corporation would function as a city department. Recent contracts, including hiring New York City landscape architect Ken Smith to design the park, would be sent to the council for ratification.
"Anything that happens there is going to have an impact on our city," she said of the park.
"The city has ultimate responsibility for this resource. It's not just some power trip we're on."
Critics of the park plan have argued against allowing such a large public resource - one of the biggest tracts of open land in Orange County - to be controlled by a single city.
The park will cover about 1,300 acres.
An additional 2,400 acres of the former Marine base will be developed into homes and businesses, and 1,000 acres will be preserved for wildlife habitat.
"This is the difference between great expectations and reality setting in," said Robert Stern with the center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles.
"The obvious difference is that now the park board becomes window dressing."
The council was set to vote last July on a lengthy operating agreement that spelled out the city's promise to lease the park land to the corporation for 99 years and to allow it to spend the millions in development and other money generated from the park.
But no vote was taken. A second draft circulated in October also wasn't acted upon.
Irvine Councilwoman Christina Shea, a frequent critic of how park funds have been spent, began pressing in January for a clear definition of how the city and corporation should function.
Making the board's role advisory "guts the entire purpose and authority for what it was created to do," Shea said. "We're totally going back on what we promised. This is really unethical."
Irvine Councilman Larry Agran, who is the park board's chairman, is expected to support the change.
He couldn't be reached for comment Monday.
The prospect of the park board losing its authority caught some surrounding government officials by surprise.
"I hadn't heard about this," said Laguna Hills Councilman L. Allan Songstad Jr., who still chairs a coalition of 10 South County cities that fought the airport and urged support for the Great Park.
"Surrounding cities still have an interest in how this public acreage is developed," he said. "I would hope that whatever structure they end up with and whatever advisory groups they have fulfill their promise of having significant input from around Orange County."
Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell, a finalist last month for a vacant park board seat, said he wasn't aware that the city intended to keep the land and the developer fees.
"That's a real change," he said.
Former park board member Richard Sim said he resigned last year in part because he felt the board should have greater representation from outside Irvine.
"If they do this, what they've done is lied to the people of Orange County," Sim said.
"It has just been promise one thing, do another, and that's why I left. They should change the name to the Irvine Great Park."
Deputy fire chief faces indecency charge
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 7, 2006 10:17 AM
Leroy Donald Johnson was caught this weekend in a barn with his pants down, literally, according to a sheriff's office report.
"You caught me ... I tried to (expletive) your sheep," Johnson told his neighbor, according to the report.
But the Mesa Fire Department deputy fire chief changed his story when a sheriff's deputy arrived on his doorstep minutes later, denying anything happened.
Johnson, 52, was jailed on suspicion of disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing after the neighbor told investigators he found Johnson, unzipped and holding a sheep down on its side.
That's the sanitized version. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office report released Monday night is a little more graphic.
Johnson's neighbor told sheriff's deputies he was called home Saturday afternoon when his 13-year-old daughter saw Johnson drag one of their sheep into a barn.
The teenager said Johnson had first knocked on the front and back door of the home in the 1200 block of East Catclaw Street, in a county island in Gilbert, before grabbing the small gray lamb, records showed.
One of the deputies noted that Johnson had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol, and neighbors who confronted him said he admitted everything.
According to the deputy's report, "(The owner) took me into the back yard and showed me where he and (neighbor) pulled up. He took me through the corral gate and I saw the victim for the first time. She was a small gray lamb about three feet tall and four feet long."
The men then told the deputy they walked over to the small barn, opened the door and "saw Leroy holding the lamb down on its side in the hay with his pants down trying to have sex with it. That's when he made the statement about (expletive) the lamb."
The men said Johnson stood up and zipped up his pants.
"The sheep ran out of the barn at that point," the report says.
Johnson apologized, according to the report, and said he'd had "too much to drink."
The Mesa Fire Department placed Johnson, on paid leave Monday pending an internal investigation. Johnson, deputy chief of technical services, has been with the Mesa Fire Department for nearly 26 years.
Assistant Fire Chief Mary Cameli said Johnson has been an "exemplary" employee with a spotless personnel record.
"We were all very surprised by this," Cameli added.
Johnson did not return a call for comment Monday.
When confronted by a deputy at his home, Johnson initially denied the incident, saying he had been at his neighbor's house to talk about annexation.
Johnson said he went into the barn after hearing noises. The deputy said to him, "I believe something more than that happened," and offered help.
Johnson responded, "I probably do need some help, but I don't know if this is the time or place for it," according to the report.
When asked how the animal got into the barn, Johnson said, "I'm not going there," then asked if he was going to be arrested and demanded to know his legal options.
He continued to deny that anything happened in the barn and was arrested.
"I think it's disgusting," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "I think of Ghandi who said you judge the morality of a country by the way they treat their animals. . . . I do look at (bestiality) as some type of animal cruelty.
March 15, 2006
Grand jury probing Great Park
IRVINE - The Orange County grand jury is looking into the dealings of
Irvine City Council members and other administrators of the Great Park
Great Park travel seen as possibly violating law
San Bernardino Sun
Rialto chooses sheriff!
RIALTO - The City Council decided Tuesday night to contract with
the Sheriff's Department for police services despite an overwhelming
majority of speakers who opposed the matter.
Accused officer off Irvine force
Perks fill out city managers' compensation
San Diego now "Enron by the Sea"
By John Ritter, USA TODAY
SAN DIEGO - This laid-back city seems to have it all - stunning beaches, best weather this side of Honolulu, a national image as a vacation playground and top convention destination.
A new ballpark and condo towers in the trendy Gaslamp Quarter, a Skid-Row section turned upscale shopping and dining, gives "America's Finest City" a lively, urban feel.
San Diego is also known as a tightwad. City Hall's Web site proclaims it "the most efficiently run big city in California." Howard Jarvis, architect of Proposition 13, California's landmark 1978 ballot measure capping property taxes, once said that if all cities were as financially prudent as San Diego, there'd be no need for a tax revolt.
That was then. This is now: a financial mess dragging the nation's seventh-largest city toward insolvency, federal investigators looking for evidence of corruption, a $1.7 billion gap in city workers' pension fund and retiree medical benefits brought on by years of mismanagement and alleged sweetheart deals.
The city manager and city auditor quit in disgrace. Allegations of conflicts of interest dog pension-fund trustees. The City Council and Mayor Dick Murphy, who's up for re-election Nov. 2, are accused of short-changing the pension plan to stem red ink and keep pet programs afloat, then shying from tough steps needed to close the gap.
"America's Finest City" has become "Enron by the Sea." Wall Street bond underwriters claim city officials duped them and balk at new loans until the scandal is cleared up. The city's credit rating tanked, costing it millions more in interest on its debt.
"If they had borrowed the money from loan sharks instead of Wall Street, there would already be bodies floating off Point Loma," says Michael Conger, a lawyer who won a class-action lawsuit against the city and the retirement fund. "Because there's no doubt what they did, and they did it on purpose." The city settled the lawsuit in July by agreeing to fully fund the pension system starting this year.
Murphy admits mistakes were made but thinks the city's woes are solvable, not the crisis that critics paint.
San Diego's situation is extreme, but many cities feel the burden of soaring pension costs. In a September survey by the National League of Cities, 79% of cities said pensions were eroding fiscal health. The economic downturn and stock market nosedive that cut income from pension-fund investments forced cities to cover gaps from general revenue. Many resorted to heavy borrowing.
Inflation also swelled pension-fund investments, so the city decided to give retirees annual bonus checks instead of setting the income aside for lean times.
When annual contributions to the pension fund began to squeeze the budget, the city in 1996 and again in 2002 went to the pension board seeking to make smaller payments. In return, the city granted even more generous retirement benefits. Both deals apparently violated state law barring cities from funding pensions below rates that outside financial experts recommend. Neither deal was disclosed to Wall Street.
When the stock market plunged, investment income plunged, too. The city's liability grew as a pension plan that for years had been 100% funded shrank to less than 70% funded. Wall Street gets nervous when the level slips below 90%.
This coastal city of 1.3 million has closed swimming pools, cut library hours and raised fees to control spending. Potholes go unfilled and police and firefighters complain that aging equipment isn't replaced. Critics warn of bigger cuts in services and layoffs.
Meanwhile, the average police officer, firefighter or clerk retiring after 30 years takes home a one-time $300,000 check from a much-criticized deferred retirement program established in 1997, plus a $50,000 annual pension for life, inflation adjusted. A few top officials have left with $1 million deferred-retirement checks and $144,000 a year for life.
San Diego's benefits are "certainly on the high end of the spectrum," says April Boling, head of a pension-reform committee created by City Council.
The depth of the city's financial hole is unclear. Murphy says the current budget is balanced, but the city hasn't released financial audits the last two years and a new auditing firm's report won't be out until after the election.
"The mayor doesn't know if the budget's balanced," says Ron Roberts, a San Diego County supervisor trying to unseat Murphy. "To balance the budget, they didn't make full payments to the pension plan. They just pushed a lot of debt off."
Nearly a decade of fiscal shenanigans came to light when Diann Shipione, a pension board trustee, blew the whistle. But it took some doing. She wrote letters to the mayor, city officials and fellow trustees. She spoke up at City Council meetings. She wrote opinion columns in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
But the City Council and the trustees ignored her. At one point the pension board bought an ad in the Union-Tribune that scoffed, "Chicken Little Would Be Proud."
Only in September 2003, when Shipione alerted a lawyer handling a municipal sewer bond sale to facts the city hadn't disclosed, did Wall Street pull the plug. The bond issue was canceled. Soon the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI and the U.S. attorney were asking questions. In January, the city admitted errors and omissions in its financial statements.
"The city's conservative image is completely false," Shipione says. "It's reckless, it spends wildly and lavishly, it saves nothing and it hides the truth."
Last month, the reform committee urged raising the retirement age to 62 from 55, dropping the deferred-retirement program and borrowing $600 million. City Council watered down a key recommendation to prevent conflicts of interest by purging the pension board of city employees who have a financial interest in its decisions. Critics want stronger medicine, including a rollback of lucrative pension benefits.
To avoid falling further behind, the city needs to add $259 million to the pension fund next year, about a tenth of its annual budget.
Murphy wants to freeze salaries and says he'll ask unions to accept reduced pension benefits, but they've rejected that before. He proposed borrowing the $600 million but didn't say how he'd persuade Wall Street.
Many think the scandal, arcane as it is, resonates. "It hits home," Boling says. "People in both public and private pension plans are very concerned about the stability of their retirement."
20 Pct. of Oakland Workers Made $100K
OAKLAND, Calif. -
More than 800 people who work for the financially strapped City of Oakland made at least $100,000 in the last fiscal year, according to records released following a court order obtained by a newspaper.
The total represents about 18 percent of the city's work force of about 4,500 from July 2003 through July 2004. About three-quarters of the employees were in the police and fire departments.
Oakland is facing a projected deficit of more than $45 million over the next two years that threatens basic city services. The deficit is partly due to pay raises and improved benefits approved during the economic boom of the 1990s.
About two-thirds of the top earners had salaries set under $100,000, but earned more due to extras, such as overtime. One police officer made $177,311 during the period, although his base salary was $73,188, according to the records.
The number of employees making $100,000 or more in salaries and overtime is similar to the 813 The Washington Times found last year in the District of Columbia, which has a much larger work force of about 34,000. A majority of those district workers were making more than $100,000 without overtime.
The city released the salary records to The Contra Costa Times and Montclarion newspapers after initially turning down a public records request. A judge ordered the city to release the information last month.
Officials said they are hiring an auditor to review police spending, though City Administrator Deborah Edgerly said costs may have risen due to officers working overtime to cover for sick colleagues, special events or chronic crime. She said the fire department did not exceed its overtime budget because it has been understaffed.
Mayor Jerry Brown welcomed the audit, telling the San Francisco Chronicle he hoped much of the overtime could be reduced by "looking the whole structure of the Police Department with fresh eyes and making changes."
Last month, voters approved a parcel tax that calls for hiring as many as 70 more police officers as well as additional firefighters.
City turns over the key to her castle!
By Laylan Connelly Irvine World News
Patty Koss talks about her experience buying a home Wednesday morning. Koss is the first person to qualify for the city's first-time home buyer program. Patty Koss jumped up and down with excitement, her eyes brimming with tears. She had just walked into her new home and had already neatly placed her shoes near the front door, making sure she wouldn't track dirt onto her off-white rug. Despite the absence of furniture and pictures on the walls, mail on the kitchen counter and a small plant near the sink signified that the home was taken.
Koss on Tuesday was given a small home-warming by city employees and Jamboree Housing Corp. at her one-bedroom condo to celebrate a moment that unlocked a door for first-time, low-income home buyers in Irvine. Koss is the first person to get a $50,000 down payment loan through a new city program. She couldn't sleep the night before. Her 17-year-old son Tuesday morning packed up a truck to move their belongings.
It's a bit tighter than her previous residence. The night prior, Koss and her three teenage sons slept in a two-bedroom apartment. Now, her three boys will pile into one bedroom, while she will sleep on a fold-out couch in the living room. But the trade-off meant a give-and-take. "Pride of ownership," she reasoned, grinning continuously throughout the morning. "It's very overwhelming. I feel like I won the lottery or something," Koss said. "I would like to paint the walls and actually hang things.
They're my walls and I can do what I want with them." The city's first-time home buyer assistance program is financed with $500,000 in federal funds. Six people have been approved for the loans. Three more would-be buyers are in the process of getting documents in order and are looking for housing, and a total of 20 people have been told to contact the lender to see if they qualify.
The lender does the credit checks. But actually getting into a home has been a task in itself. First, a list of 250 applicants must wait behind city employees, Irvine school district teachers and Orange County Fire Authority employees who live outside Irvine. The Irvine City Council set it up that way to help low-income employees live closer to their place of employment. Three of the first group approved met those criteria. Koss is a recreational programmer with the city's Senior Services Department.
Even Koss thought the odds were against her. When the initial consideration list of 12 people came back, she came back as "lucky number 13." "Well, that's never going to happen. I'm out," she told a representative from Jamboree Housing. She was told not to lose hope. While she was eventually put onto a list that would move her forward in the process, another struggle came when she went to look for a home. She originally looked at a different condo, but another buyer took it. "The hard part was finding a place.
There's not much on the market," she said. Irvine has a lot of competition for housing, said Dianne Russell, director of social services with Jamboree Housing, which administered the program. One- and two-bedroom condos are at a premium, she said. "At any given time there are maybe three condos in Irvine, and we have two or three people looking, that kind of competition can raise the price of housing," said Russell. Therefore, housing priced below the maximum allowed under the city's program, $278,125, may not be available.
On top of that, a person who qualifies as very low income, with a household income of $33,150, has yet to qualify for the assistance program. A person still needs to qualify with a conventional lender, meaning they have to make enough money to make a monthly mortgage payment and also need to have credit in good standing. Twelve out of an initial 20 applicants were very low income. The only applicants gaining approval are those who fit into the low-income bracket, or a household income of $47,250.
The city began discussing the program two years ago, and asked the nonprofit Jamboree Housing Corp. to administer the program. Last summer, they announced the program and received a total of 250 applicants by Sept. 20. The down-payment loans are to be paid back when the owners move out or after they pay off their mortgage. For more information of Irvine's first-time homebuyer assistance program contact Dianne Russell: (949) 263-8676. Contact the reporter: Laylan Connelly at (949) 553-2911 or Lconnelly@ocregister.com.
Do we really need Cadillac Cops in small-town Bisbee...
The Bisbee combined police budget for this year is about $1.6 million. This figure does not include another $200,000 or so from federal COPS grants. The $1.6 million figure works out to $267.57 per capita; that is, for each and every person in Bisbee the police force costs about $268. Contrast the Bisbee per capita police cost with the per capita cost in Sierra Vista, which happens to be $134.25. It turns out, by applying not too much arithmetic, that the Bisbee police cost twice as much per capita as Sierra Vista police. Another way to look at it might be to see what portion of each town's general fund is allocated to police. In Sierra Vista, the police get a little over 6 percent of the general fund. In Bisbee the figure could reach 28 percent.
Last year the Bisbee police budget was a shade or two less, but even so there were overruns notably in overtime. For fiscal year 1999-2000, the one that ended this past August, I compared the budgets of nearly two dozen municipal police forces using cost per capita and percentage of the general fund as criteria. By these combined measures, the Bisbee Police Department costs more than just about any police department I looked at. More than Show Low, where the population effectively doubles for half the year. More than Sedona, where they really can afford Cadillac cops. Almost as much as Phoenix, in the middle of their incredible crime wave. But it gets worse.
I made these comparisons without including the infamous auction fund. When you add in the portion of that fund that went to the police last year-which is most of it - you may well wind up with a police budget that exceeds Phoenix's in terms of cost per capita. Why is this so? Why, for example, are we financing a department with a budget larger than Sedona's department? Sedona has more than twice the population of Bisbee, and it covers a lot of area. And the people of Sedona have the per capita income to afford any and all the security they might feel they need. Another way to compare police cost-benefit performance is to look at numbers of employees per thousand of population, and numbers of badges per thousand of population.
I talked to a police commander in Calexico, Calif., a few weeks ago who told me they have half a million people going through their town every day and they only have about 1.2 badges per thousand population. Those folks need some more badges. The average in the cities of the Western states is 1.8 badges per thousand. According to the Sierra Vista police chief the number there is about 1.3 badges per thousand. Bisbee maintains 3 badges per thousand population.
These are tough times for Bisbee. I was at a budget meeting last summer
when citizens were pleading with the council not to eliminate a full time
animal control officer. Money was finally found that had been allocated
for refurbishing the council chamber, and the animal control officers job
was safe for another year. At the same meeting the council approved a
record high police budget that included money for four new cars. Voters
have done their part to make this incredibly expensive sewer project a
reality by resoundingly approving the sales tax hike. But the council
needs to do more. Taxation is only one side of the fiscal formula. The
other is reduced spending. We need to give up our
Placentia residents urge city to keep police force Hundreds gather at City Hall to oppose proposal to disband department. City has sought bids for takeover of police services.
By PATRICK VUONG The Orange County Register
PLACENTIA - An overflow crowd had to watch on television Tuesday night as dozens of residents and police officers threatened the City Council with a recall election if it disbands the Police Department.
"This (proposal) is a knee-jerk reaction to the state budget crisis," resident Gary Eaton told the council. "Is this evidence that you can't manage your finances?" Eaton and dozens of other angry speakers, some armed with picket signs, urged council members to withdraw a request sent Thursday to Anaheim, Brea, Fullerton and the county for bids to take over the city's police services. Off-duty police officers estimated that 1,200 to 1,500 people were on hand Tuesday. Some of those who couldn't fit inside City Hall watched the proceedings on television inside the Police Department. Police officers have rallied the residents over the past two weeks, distributing more than 35,000 fliers asking people to attend the council meeting if they had concerns about the bids, which are due April 10.
Placentia has had its own police force since it was incorporated in 1926. The city spends about $9 million a year for 56 officers to patrol seven square miles and serve about 47,000 people. Councilman Norman Eckenrode initiated the effort after voters rejected a proposal to increase the utility users tax in the Nov. 5 municipal election. The tax boost was meant to fund a 7 percent raise the city said it couldn't afford to give officers. City officials said the bid requests are a means to scrutinize city finances during tight economic times.
"No one on this council back then in December or since then want to disband the Placentia Police Department," Mayor Scott Brady said. Eckenrode has cited Yorba Linda's contract with the Brea Police Department as an example of savings. The city pays Brea $6.4 million annually to handle about 17 square miles and 60,000 people. But to many residents, the issue isn't about economics. "There are major intangibles that you cannot put a price on," John Cullum said. "You cannot put a price or value on public safety." In 1993, the same issue sparked heated debate in San Clemente when that city swapped local service for the Sheriff's Department.
Tom Lorch, then a San Clemente City Council member, said residents feared losing local control. He was the lone opponent on the council when service was switched. Lorch, however, changed his opinion after Sheriff's Patrols began, saying the city was getting more officers for less money plus access to the county department's helicopter. He joined the majority when it came time to renew the police contract. "I didn't see any reason to vote no. All the things that had been promised had materialized," he said Tuesday. "If you stack up the positives and negatives, I think the positives are a bigger stack than the negatives, and I think that's true today, too.
(In 1993-94, San Clemente paid the county $5.8 million, a $2.1 million savings.) Now with a population of about 50,000, the city pays about $7.76 million a year for services that include 42 sworn officers. Stanton, which has more than 37,000 residents, switched from local to county control in 1988. Today, the city pays about $5.7 million annually to the Sheriff's Department for 32 sworn officers. In its first year with the county deputies, the city reduced its police costs from $2.9 million annually to about $2.6 million a year.
(Twenty-one county cities maintain their own police departments.) Councilwoman Judy Dickinson said the city will not make any hasty decisions. "When we get the information back," she said, "the staff will present it as a forum and a lot of people will look at it. ... It's not some arbitrary decision we're going to make." City Manager Robert D'Amato said the council will examine the bids and take action, if any, in May.
Thursday, March 6, 2003 Placentia residents fight City Hall And they win, when the City Council drops its proposal to replace the Police Department with outside law enforcement.
By PATRICK VUONG The Orange County Register
The change at the police station from Tuesday to Wednesday mirrored the weather - from gray to sunny in 24 hours. Tuesday, many of Placentia's 56 officers thought they could be unemployed by summer, Sgt. Dale Carlson said. But by Wednesday, they were all smiles, trading high-fives as they arrived for work. More than 1,200 people had flooded City Hall the night before to support the Police Department and pressure the City Council to drop its idea of replacing Placentia's officers with outside law enforcement to save money.
The council unanimously made the about- face, casting an emergency vote after more than four hours of often emotional speeches by residents, some of whom threatened a recall. "We're feeling touched by the outpouring of community support," said Sgt. John Armstrong, "and we're feeling very happy about the outcome." Councilman Norman Eckenrode, who initiated the bidding idea last year, was influenced Tuesday by his council colleagues. "Three council members had already made up their mind from public input that police protection was more paramount than a fiscally responsible government," he said, noting that the city has the most expensive police force in Orange County on a per-capita basis. Placentia's price tag for police services is about $9 million a year.
The department serves about 47,000 people. Mayor Scott Brady said Wednesday that he underestimated how threatened the officers would feel by the city's idea. He said the city was merely scrutinizing its largest personnel and not trying to infuriate officers or residents. "Why divide the city?" he said. "Why anger the Police Department over a process that has become inherently flawed?" Fearing that their department could be disbanded, officers launched a community relations campaign in recent weeks. They canvassed the town, sent out mass e-mails, supplied 388 picket signs and 2,000 bumper stickers, and distributed more than 35,000 fliers.
Carlson, 36, said he spent eight to 10 hours a day on three Saturdays going door to door to hand out the notices. One day, he rolled around on his 6-year-old daughter's scooter to cover more homes. Detective Tracy Elwood said the two police unions and some police employees spent $2,000 on the fliers and bumper stickers, while the picket signs were donated by a printing company. Gary Eaton, who spoke at the council meeting, said Wednesday that Placentia officers are irreplaceable, adding that he has seen them in action after having his garage burglarized last week and his car stolen three years ago. "They do their job in a professional manner," he said. "They're efficient; they take their complaints seriously, whereas police in other jurisdictions don't."