Volume 1501, Number 2
Oath — or Herd Mentality
Costa Mesa Police Officers swear (or affirm):
I WILL never . . . permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence . . . I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will . . .
The CMPD union’s law firm advised:
Work Slowdown – This . . . involves having members do (overly) thorough investigations, such as canvassing the entire neighborhood . . . and asking for a back-up unit on most calls (even if not needed).
It goes on to encourage creative uses of the slowdown:
Of course, other ideas that cops come up with are very imaginative. Just keep in mind, the idea is to show the decision makers that . . . it will only harm their public support by not prioritizing you and . . . to let them know that next time they should agree with you much sooner.
The law firm is gone, but the firm’s advice to bully decision makers instead of enforce laws . . . maybe not so much.
A couple of NextDoor (an internet neighbor-connecting system) comments:
Car was broken into last year about this time . . . had surveillance video footage, plus exact times that they attempted to use our credit cards . . . The police are understaffed . . . so it was not pursued. (And)
Sadly, with our dwindling police coverage these days, we may well experience more of this, this year.
This seems to be a common message from CMPD dispatchers.
(The implication is that crimes will be ignored because the Council majority wouldn’t let the department hire enough officers. The recommended number of officers, ~130, was advised when LEOs did a lot of the work now done by non-sworn personnel. So more LEOs are actually on the street even though the total sworn officer numbers declined.
CMPD LEO numbers dropped from interdepartmental transfers when the OCDA and FBI began their investigations of their union and its law firm. Some officers retired together because they had been hired at the same time. They are all being replaced. And LEOs who are “ill or injured” are off duty until their retirements come through; then they’ll be replaced.)
If the officers choose to make a political statement with a slowdown does that leave us helpless when we are robbed? No.
First, complaining about the lack of service to a Council majority member might have some benefit. They will pay attention.
Second, home and business security cameras are handy. It’s best to be sure that another copy of the video in question is available, in case any hard drives taken by the PD get lost.
Third, homeowner’s insurance investigators have a vested interest in seeing that the perpetrators are apprehended. They should be encouraged to contact the FBI/OCDA investigators if they find crimes are being ignored for political reasons.
We should expect to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our property – personally. If some police officers choose to honor their oaths, enforce laws and investigate crime, that’s great. Work slowdowns by other LEOs who don’t take their oaths very seriously are annoying – but not devastating.
A forensic audit of the PD might be cheap at any price.