Besides the regularly scheduled meeting to be held by the City Council Tuesday. February 9, the Council will also hold a Joint Meeting with the Burbank Police Commission to go over their recommendations.
During the last half of 2020, the Police Commission met monthly and discussed many topics with the Burbank Police Department and are making the following recommendations to the City Council per their staff report:
Recommendation #1 – Keep the Current School Resource Officer Program and, if possible, Consider Expansion of the Program
Recommendation #2 – Continue the Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET) Program and, if possible, Consider Expansion of the Program
Recommendation #3 – Establish a Law Enforcement Recognition Day in the City of Burbank
Recommendation #4 – Expeditiously Fund and Support the Necessary Technology to Collect Data That Will be Required for Reporting Under the Racial Identity and Profiling Act (RIPA) in 2023 to Collect the Data as Soon as Possible
Recommendation #5 – Appoint the Best Qualified Person(s) for the Commission Regardless of Any Consideration of Their Ethnicity, Color, Gender, Profession, or Any Other Factor That Might Exclude People from Serving
Recommendation #6 – Council to Make Determination Regarding the Size of the Police Commission
In a response letter to City Manager Justin Hess from Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse, he said he agreed with the Commission’s recommendations, “…the Police Commission understands that the journey for the Burbank Police Department has been one of self-reflection and the pursuit of implementing law enforcement best practices. The Department is continually harvesting best practices from a multitude of resources, to include but not limited to, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the National Institute of Justice, the National Police Foundation, the Police Executive Research Forum, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, in order to remain a leader in the provision of effective and professional police services. The Department’s Strategic Plan is continually evaluated and expanded to address new and/or emerging challenges and societal concerns.”
The Council will discuss the recommendations as well as the continued role of the Police Commission and their mission. There was nothing about ‘defunding’ the police department or the services to the community as several flyers and social media posts around town have mentioned.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on the joint meeting beforehand by calling 818 238-3335 during oral communications. The meeting will start at a special starting time of 4 pm.
After the joint meeting with the Police Commission, the Council will then hold their regular meeting with an update on homelessness efforts in the City of Burbank by the Community Development Department.
I have heard some pretty loud voices including that of Mr. Konstantine Anthony who want to defund the police. Let’s not put our head in the sand, many cities in Los Angeles look like a war zone. When I was in middle school, Officer Scott Graber, our School Resource Officer provided valuable advice including ongoing support to keep us away from drugs, avoid alcohol, he showed us with a clear chested mannequin the damaging effects of tar on the lungs and showed videos with car accident scenes. He was a positive influence. The SRO program is effective and Burbank’s Police Department has excellent officers in this program, I’ve spoken with them.
I am an outreach volunteer helping Burbank’s homeless and I assure you the majority of these individuals have mental issues caused by drug and alcohol abuse. The Mental Health Evaluation Team is a valuable community resource to help in difficult situations. As seen by the stolen City vehicle and nationally-televised car chase, mentally ill persons are sometimes a threat to safety and dealing with them sometimes requires specific expertise.
I do not recommend increasing any budgets until after COVID is somewhere behind us, but no cuts should be made in these two areas. The City can halt printed newsletters and fund an entire new officer for these projects! I’d rather have an officer than a newsletter in candor. Use the internet but don’t defund the police. Cut the COVID and Coyote warning signs we can do without…stop printing “we use recycled water” signs…whatever it takes to keep the officers on the ground helping us. That’s more important.
As for the ongoing narrative about “race”, I am a BIPOC person and I have spoken with my friends who all agree “race” is not an issue in our daily lives in Burbank. I cannot speak for other cities, but let’s focus on things that are a problem and that is not one here. You’ve hired qualified managers, let them manage. I see no need to keep talking about a national narrative that’s not only refuted as false, it isn’t an issue in our city. We are literally an oasis in the County. We are what every city wants to be. They envy us so much that radicals want to tear down our goodness by perpetuating a seemingly invincible narrative. Let’s not pander to the nonsense. Burbank welcomes any qualified person. Forget about skin color, focus on ability. Denzel Washington said the failure to take advantage of existing opportunities is the biggest issue facing people of color. Candace Owens says absent fathers is the leading cause of problems with people of color. Each have their own perspectives.
Recommendation #6 – Council to Make Determination Regarding the Size of the Police Commission.
I have served on Boards before. I was the Vice President of the Wilshire Community Police Council. I recommend the commission be reduced to three persons. Burbank is a small town with a small police department. We do not need five members of the commission. While I am sure that will upset people, I say cut it down. Too big.
When I serve on boards the larger they are, the less we get done.
Thanks for reading.
[…] Christopher Matthew Spencer February 8, 2021 At 7:52 pm […]
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