Beachcombing

By: 
Robert Fox
It is generally advised never to make a negative comment about the police or the fire departments. Politics is a heavy axe, and has a tendency to chop the whistle blower, or the activist into bits. But, honor demands response, and God forbid I should be so afraid that I would not tell and speak the truth due to fear of reprisal or retaliation. So far, I have told you my truths and have somehow survived.
 
So with that spirit, I think finally I must speak about the obvious corruption and continuing cover-ups happening in our police department.
 
Again today, the Beachcomber outlined specific issues, incidents and verified content regarding one of our, “not so friendly or self managed” officers. Personally any employee of mine would be fired immediately for drinking on the job, and all I do is manage other people’s money. For a police officer to be drunk on the job while supposedly tasked to serve and protect the citizens of Long Beach, is unacceptable.
 
I am sick and tired of the upper management staff “covering up, circling the wagons, and stonewalling” any effort to bring such issues to the publics awareness.
 
There is simply no law that prevents the department from giving information (which is not personal) to the press. We have a 5th Estate decidedly to bring such issues into the open. If we actually believe in a Democratic Republic, then citizens must be educated about the facts in order to correctly select our representatives. Simple Logic.
 
The cover up of domestic violence, drinking, out of control anger and hostility issues, falsifying statements, or deleting statements, re-assigning officers to hide or divert salient facts is not acceptable.
 
As a long time resident of Long Beach, and having served on the South and East Division Police Advisory Boards, I know we used to have a strong, virtuous, responsible police department, led by a wonderful chief, Anthony Batts. The community came together to solve the crime of Long Beach by creating community policing together.
 
We have lost community policing. I don’t care what you call a pimple, it is still a pimple.
 
Now, no one from the neighborhood, no regular citizen, can even walk inside a police station (the excuse is they don’t have enough staff to man the front desk) I guess they forgot about us volunteers. But my guess is that they wish to hide their dishonorable behavior and cannot bear the light of exposure that regular citizen involvement would bring.
 
I have thought long and hard about this escalating situation with our police department, and I can find no other solution than to fire the chief of police. Begin a thorough investigation of corruption and cover-up by an outside agency, (even the state’s attorney general), and weed out the rot from this unresponsive, unreliable and dishonest cadre that put a bad light upon those within the department who strive for excellence and honor every day of their lives. 
 
I cannot imagine how hard it must be to know what is going on, and for fear of losing your job, your benefits, your pension, you must never breathe a word of what you have observed and know.
 
Now is the time to stop this slide into infamy. As we are making a nationwide search for the replacement for Amy Bodek, let us also do a nationwide search for an honest man or woman to head our police department.
 
No matter how good people below the higher rank are, they cannot maintain their honor with such fear and corruption present.
 
Robert Fox is a real estate broker and executive director of the Council of Neighborhood Organizations.

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Beachcomber

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