Friday, September 28, 2012

The Sierra Madre Police Association Gets Its Odd On

In one of the strangest attempts at community outreach seen here in quite some time, the Sierra Madre Police Association (the city employee union formerly known as the Sierra Madre Police Officers Association or SMPOA) has delivered to the mailboxes of Sierra Madre a four page document they simply call The Report. Despite all of the lawsuits against the City initiated by the SMPA, with the considerable legal expenses involved coming straight out of the pockets of we the taxpayers, they apparently want to make it known that they care about you.

The Report kicks off with a message from the President of the SMPA, Ed Delcoure. Ed, who is pictured above, was featured on a John Harabedian for City Council postcard in uniform, and with his SMPD patches provocatively removed. This matter has been the subject of an ongoing investigation by the City for quite some time now. Police Officers appearing in uniform on campaign material, and as such an inferred city funded departmental endorsement of a candidate, is an egregious violation of applicable California state law.

Or at least it is our assumption that an investigation is ongoing since the City has yet to issue any reports about this matter. The City of Sierra Madre most famously never discusses any of its findings until after its investigations have been completed. And since we very rarely hear the results of any of these investigations, it must be assumed that the folks at City Hall are still quite busy with a whole flotilla of them. After all, truly transparent government always recognizes the peoples' right to know.

But I digress. Here is a passage from Officer Ed's "Message from the President:"

On the front of your newsletter you should have seen information about Crime Stoppers with their motto "Make the Call...Stay Anonymous." Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization that plays a vital part in our ability to solve crimes. Anonymous web, test, and phone tips are all possible through this organization.

It would seem to me that an important part of police work would be knowing the difference between the front and back of something. And the Crime Stoppers blurb that Officer Ed Delcoure speaks of here is actually found on the back of this newsletter. Officer Ed's smiling picture is on the front. A picture taken on City Hall property, I might add. Speaking of inferred endorsements.

That said, there is also the stated assumption that crimes are being solved here in Sierra Madre. I have yet to hear much about any solved crimes. Have you? I know that the investigation into the robbery of my home two years ago is still ongoing because I have yet to see a report about it. Of course, even getting the SMPD to return a phone call can be tough.

One thing we always do hear about is whether the crime victim had left a door or window unsecured. That being the one part of the investigation that is always shared with the public right away since it helps to establish the notion that the SMPD was not at fault. In Sierra Madre the paramount need is to assure us that any problems that may occur are the responsibility of the residents. Government can't do everything, you know. No matter how hard they may claim to try.

City Councilman John Harabedian is the subject of fulsome praise throughout The Report. So much so that I have to wonder if he even knew about this in advance. Frankly I would think that he'd find this both embarrassing and somewhat inappropriate. Here is one of the many passages describing the soaring virtues of the Councilman:

Councilmember John Harabedian is representative of the fine Sierra Madre natives who continue to have a positive influence in our community by serving others, ensuring our safety and leading our city.

I have to ask here, is it appropriate to refer to Councilman Harabedian as a "native?" The use of that term does have colonialist connotations that historically are deemed patronizing and pejorative. Unless, of course, the word is being used to describe drought resistant plants. There is also the insinuation that "natives" are a kind of recognized elite in town, and only those who are Sierra Madre born and bred can be seen as possessing superior virtues.

The law firm that supplies the intellectual muscle behind the 120 or so police organizations in our portion of California (including this town) is Lackie, Dammeier & McGill. The partners at this law firm are all former police officers themselves, and it is an organization known for its militant and at times extreme tactics. The constant lawsuits that we face from the SMPA being one of those tactics. In addition to enriching the law firm itself, they serve as a way of exerting fiscally punishing pressure upon this city government to fork over the pay raises and pension benefits that are a constant goal of this bunch.

Until recently Lackie Dammeier & McGill had prominently displayed on its website something they called the "POA Playbook." Recent controversies involving the use of the kinds of tactics described there have caused LD&M to pull this noisome list from its website. Fortunately this document has been preserved in an article posted to the Friends Of Fullerton's Future website called "The Cop Playbook: Public Safety Has Nothing To Do With It." It can be accessed by clicking here. This truly is a frightening little piece of work. Here is one passage from it:

Public Message: Always keep this in mind. The public could care less about your pay, medical coverage and pension plan. All they want to know is "what's in it for them." Any public positions or statements by the association should always keep that focus. The message should always be public safety first. You do not want wage increases for yourself, but simply to attract better qualified candidates and to keep more experienced officers from leaving. 

Two issues of burning local importance are raised in The Report. The first is the topic of traffic tickets, something everyone in town seems to be aware of. The claim in The Report is that the large increase in traffic tickets issued here in Sierra Madre is not part of a drive to increase revenues at a City Hall that has spent itself into a fiscal crisis, but rather to prevent traffic accidents and keep the public safe. In a town where the traffic limit tops out at 30 mph and there are no traffic lights, I am not sure Sierra Madre has ever been known for having too much trouble with these kinds of problems.

Of course, and as I am certain you know, the focus on public safety is right out of the POA Playbook.

The other issue is also right out of the POA Playbook. You remember that bit about retaining "better qualified candidates and keeping more experienced officers from leaving," right? Something very similar to that can be found in Officer Ed's "The Report."

Under the rubric "Understanding Your Sierra Madre Police Officers," here is how this is put:

Many experts agree that today's law enforcement officer is one of the most complex and demanding occupations there is. Even in our small town of Sierra Madre we face an ever sophisticated criminal element that requires constant training updates for our officers ... Many other departments seek out our officers because of the many tasks our officers perform. We feel that losing an officer to another agency is detrimental to our long-term success and ends up costing the taxpayers money.

The message here is clear. Unless you give the SMPA the cash raises it is demanding from the City, officers from the SMPD will leave for the many other departments that crave people having their skills and training. And that should we fail to up their pay scale we will find ourselves unprotected from a crime wave that will then consume the town. All of which is patently absurd. Nobody wants our cops. And besides, at 53% of Sierra Madre's General Fund, exactly how much more can we be expected to spend on a police force whose only real talent appears to be issuing traffic citations?

One last point before I wrap this up. "The Report" is hardly a unique document. Rather it is the work of a company called FPS Media. And if you go to their site (click here) you will find that the template used for the SMPA's colorful little flyer is actually quite generic and common to many other police departments as well. This apparently is a very cookie cutter public relations operation, and because of that puts into severe doubt the authenticity of much of what Officer Ed has (supposedly) written here.

And wouldn't you know it, listed first among the endorsers of FPS Media is none other than Dieter Dammeier, the Managing Partner of Lackie, Dammeier & McGill. Here is his advice:

"Now more than ever, I recommend positive public relations outreach to all of my clients and FPS Media is where I refer them."

Quite obviously Officer Ed Delcoure and his SMPA know how to take orders, and who they should take them from.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

65 comments:

  1. The fact that Harabedian violated the rules of election materials seems to have had no consequences, at all. Another one of those frustrating slips around the law that never get addressed here in Sierra Madrte.

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  2. You know, I am getting a bit weary of the fearmongering tactics of the police union.

    They are expendable.








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    1. You mean to say they are suggesting things could get even worse?

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  3. You know what's so funky about this?
    "a positive influence in our community by serving others, ensuring our safety and leading our city."
    Harabedian is really a newcomer to the real service of the city.
    There are a hundred volunteers who have done far more, hometown born or not.
    He's just starting.

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    1. Politicians will say WHATEVER IS NECESSARY to get elected, and so will their family and friends. I am a 2nd generation, native Sierra Madrean from a family that has volunteered in and contributed to Sierra Madre for over 60 years. I had never heard of John Harabedian until he ran for City council. Just like I had never heard of Joe Mosca before he ran for City council.

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  4. The Friends of Fullerton site introduces the playbook as: "paranoia, sheer cynicism and demonstration of unbridled self-interest." Ain't it the truth? What a vicious view of the public Lackie Dammeier & McGill have.

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    1. Unbridled self-interest? Sounds like the Realtors Association playbooks.

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    2. They all share in the same interest. Sucking as much money as possible out of the honest hard working residents.

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    3. Does anyone doubt that Dieter Dammeier and FPS Media have a deal?

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    4. I am sure Dieter owns a piece of that action.

      By the way, is it pronounced "deeter" or "dye-it-er"?

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    5. Deeeeetur, like cheater.

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  5. Another informative and important article by the TATTLER.

    All of us who read this blog and appreciate Mr. Crawford's efforts to inform us of the truth should lobby starting now, for the city 4th of July Parade to name Mr. John Crawford.....CITIZEN OF THE YEAR!!!!!!

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    1. A Tattler 4th of July float would certainly be a nice addition.

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  6. Thanks, Tattler, I saw that propaganda in the mail yesterday and told my husband let's not waste our time looking at it, let's wait for the Tattler analysis. Again, you have done a brilliant job exposing the mean-spirited, self-serving attitude of Harabedian's Men in Black.

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    1. How could you form an opinion without reading it? O yeah, it was from the SMPA . . . duh. The sad truth is that some people will fall for these airbrushed lies.

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    2. All the SMPA is accomplishing is helping make Dieter and his partners rich. I bet they don't even know it.

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  7. We received our mailer and read it. If I were the City Council and Elaine Aguilar I would be furious. The SMPA has tried an end run directly to the people - not much different than the banners and website of a few years back. The SMPA is made up of employees of Sierra Madre, union nonwithstanding, they are a department. Will we next see Public Works sending out a 4 page full color advertisement for water pipes and raises? How about the SM Treasurer hyping his handling of funds? Or Community Services soliciting donations to support its various projects? All without the apparent approval of the City Manager... I don't need one more list of City phone numbers or an oft repeated bio of John Harabedian. We all need appropriate law enforcement at the community level. Get Matheson registered as a sex offender for starters!

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    1. How do you suppose they got hold of the address list? Is that a legal use of the County voters' list?

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    2. Absolutely, 8:49.
      Where was the community-specific part of that newsletter "How to Deal with A Child Pornography Devotee in your Town."

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    3. I worry all the time about the young boys in Sierra Madre and elsewhere that may be victims of Matheson.

      Hey, Sierra Madre police department....we can always replace items lost by theft, but we can't get back a child's life that is forever marred by these Matheson type monsters.I hope to hell you police officers are keeping a close watch on this goblin/friend of Mosca, Matheson.

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    4. "We all need appropriate law enforcement at the community level. "

      At this point in time, I think we would be better off by protecting and defending ourselves and our property. As far as I am concerned ALL cops are stone cold criminals. They DO NOT enforce the law. They only enforce their will upon us, just like any other sociopath.

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  8. I believe what you are describing is Fraud and Extortion.In short,Racketeering.Sierra Madre appears to be an easy target.Pity the Taxpaying home owners.

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  9. Six Year Carpetbagging ResidentSeptember 28, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Let's see where we are.

    Before the SMPD union began its cold war against the people of Sierra Madre no one knew that we could save $1 to $1.5 million each and every year by hiring the sheriff. Now everyone does. And city staff have confirmed it.

    Having lost all leverage in negotiations, the union now tries to make nice. Don't believe it. If they really want to improve relations they should fire the thug law firm that represents them and which has insitituted baseless lawsuits against the city.

    And pity poor Harabedian. I'm a St. Rita's guy, and I voted for him. I trust he will try to be an honest broker in negotiations. But the union has done everything but come out and say "he's our concubine." Now he's screwed no matter what he does.


    Poor Harabedian. While the

    Don't believe it. We'll know they have changed when they fire ires its thug law firm as the Costa Mesa officers union did.

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    1. Very good points. And yeah, they're practically slobbering on poor John H. How he got suckered into the can of wiggly worms is beyond me. He may be smart, but he's hardly wise.

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    2. Stop "gliding the lily"..John H is not naive.Judge him by his record on the CC.The rest is irrelevant!

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    3. What record is that?

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    4. I doubt the SMPA sees it as being irrelevant...

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  10. This morning I saw crime stopping Officer Ed downtown. No, he was not basking in the glory of his new celebrity. To the contrary, he appeared to be snoozing in his cruiser. Well, maybe not snoozing. But his head was sagging and he was looking down. Probably texting a friend.

    While watching Officer Ed in action I was struck by his multiple chins as they cascaded over his collar. The guy is clearly very experienced, and he has the doughnut rolls to prove it. It would take years and lots of money for a young replacement officer to acquire such a set. We had better keep him. Even if we have to overpay to do it.

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  11. Turns out the address on the mailers is "Postal Patron". Print up a bunch, give them to the USPS, and wait for the raises to begin!

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  12. Ya gotta love that Lackie Law , supposedly a supporter of Police UNIONS, is using a non-UNION printer. I belonged to a UNION for several years.

    Lackie Law is not supporting the UNION Brotherhood. Shame on them.

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    1. Lackie etc is not a union. They're a business.

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    2. a hypocritical business

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  13. Off topic, but this is the Tattler. Patch hasn't had a new article up since Tuesday. Something happen at AOL?

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    1. Huh?
      Did you check other cities' Patches?
      I would, but I don't go on AOL because I get enough junk mail as it is.

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    2. No, just the local one. I can't look at them for too long. Gives me a headache. Kind of like what you might get from eating a steady diet of Twinkies.

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    3. Sierra Madre Patch is rolling out the Pasadena Patch - came online yesterday. I'm sure all their resources are focused on getting it up.

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  14. Maybe they read their own site and fell into a deep sleep.

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  15. Sierra Madre has been seen as a sitting duck because of these chumps and it goes all the way back to Police Chief Betts and Abernathy and we couldn't even get any attention on speeding in the canyon. Why it is not worse is that Arcadia is freeway easy on and off for getaways. Blend in and blast off. Years ago, on two different occassions, robberies were going on in back yards, the police were alerted by folks who could see the perps and the SMPD arrived just slow enough and lingered getting ready just long enough for the perp to get away, all as the folks who alerted them about the crime watch from next door.

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    1. As a (very) long time resident, it has been my observation and my personal experience that the Sierra Madre Police protect criminals from innocents. I have been told by several police officers over the years, in so many words, that it was essentially my/our fault for being victimized. I was also told that not only would the police not do anything to "enforce the law" but that the District Attorney had no interest in "enforcing the law" either.

      So, given that experience, it seems to me that the Police AND the District Attorney's office are all essentially welfare recipients that have turned against the people they allegedly serve.

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  16. Here is my question based on this obnoxious flyer: "The Sierra Madre Police Association CHARITIES is the portion of our organization fhat focuses on supporting charitable organizations in our community. Many of the organizations we support are local, some are broader, but all have a local impact. In this publication we are sharing the direct benefit the SMPA as had in our very own community.

    Looking throughout the publication, I see absolutely no mention of charitable organizations receiving any "direct benefit" of this group. If you find it, let the Tattler readers know, ok?

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  17. Hay Barney have you seen Andy, Gommer needs help. He's getting a ticket from the SMPD. Not again!!!

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  18. same old same old from the SMPD

    they still have a cop who shot an unarmed slumbering man in the back

    still following the same tactics as the old PD who hung a banner "Sierra Madre SUCKS" at the Wisteria Festival a few years ago

    same PD that has to contract out any investigations and when something significant happens in town, our PD is perimeter traffic control

    same PD that harrasses citizens with petty issues - have substandard officers and the primary function of our PD is "to protect and serve parking spaces"

    same PD that sues the city relentlessly

    same PD - nothing new - If I ever have a vote I will vote to replace the PD with the County Sheriff's dept

    bunch of BS and it's nice to know we've got another blowhard on the Council who doesn't care about ethics

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    1. "Blowhard"

      Is that a euphemism for "attorney?"

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  19. I never equate the SMPD and the word safety

    Still gives me shudders to recall the time the Keystone Cops got word of a massive break in of street thugs at the Nursing Facility and went in with guns drawn - pointed at the hard core criminals and had them lie prone on the ground

    and then let the bang of 11 year old kids go back home

    it's going to take our illprepared and untrained PD to kill someone before we take the seriousness of how inept our PD is and how it's ridiculous for the city to continue with the SMPD

    when a PD has to send out marketing and PR materials...well it's obvious that they know they have a problem with public perception and it's well deserved

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  20. I'm wondering how long they are going to tout the Kersting Court Movie Night they sponsored. Almost 2 months ago, and they're still bragging. Look at what a good thing we did!

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    1. When is the matheson matinee?

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  21. That little propaganda page must have cost a tidy sum of money. Between Bruce "the sky is falling down" Inman speech and the police trying to make nice, they are really laying the ground work for the next UUT vote and some other incrtease to pay for all of the so-called infrastructure upgrades. If indeed it is possible to run out of water in a year, then why aren't we on water rationing, having a building moratorium on new construction, and why are we now hearing about this pending disaster? Surely they knew about the one year supply of water 2 years ago.

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    1. I've heard "the sky is falling" mantra many times over the years.

      The most classic was during the Measure F campaign back in 2005-06. Bart Doyle and John Gillison, among other Doyle minions went around telling everyone that Sierra Madre would lose its Fire Department if property owners didn't agree to increase their property taxes.

      Then, low and behold, less than 2 years later, during John Buchanan's first term as Mayor, over a million dollars was "found." But we were still on the verge of bankruptcy, they said. Then the Fire Club spent that money replacing perfectly good Fire Engines, vehicles and equipment.

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    2. Right you are, 2:52.

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    3. all we get are lying Councilmen who openly distort the truth, create bogus public emergencies and despite being cowards with the truth, they are downright gleeful with their deceit

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  22. I didn't get one - lucky me!!!!!

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  23. just wonderful

    our cops openly violate state laws regarding endorsing a candidate in uniform

    then allow the candidate to photoshop out patches and deny that it happened

    and we are supposed to respect them?


    clowns with badges

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    1. Hey, baby, don't insult clowns...!

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  24. I wish all of you who supported SMPD were here now. It is sure that you critics are one in the same!

    First, you want "personal protection" from thieves after leaving your doors and windows unlocked. Then you complain about "nothing being resolved" and that the Sheriff's Department should take the tax burden. What do you want? Either learn to lock your houses, inviting thieves and stop leaving keys and other valuables in your car or:

    SMPD provides: Preventative policing, constant patrols and investigators (a lot of which are volunteer) and someone who will be at your doorstep in 3 or less minutes.

    Would would rather wait 20-30 minutes for a Sheriff's Deputy to come past the Michellinda Curtain after they are completed with their reports from a wreck on the 210? Oh, and good luck if you need a detective. That could take HOURS!

    Take your pick! I guarantee that the LASD would not cater to the discriminating demands of Sierra Madre! SMPD doesn't seem so bad, does it?

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    1. What makes you think the Sheriffs wouldn't use the police facility here in Sierra Madre? That would be part of the deal - they get to have another office in this area. No difference in response time.

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    2. 5:49, so to your way of thinking, it is too much to ask that a convicted child pornography user be identified to the community at large.
      It is too much to ask that the police assure all parents that the child pornography threat is under control?

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    3. SMPD will break us. There will be no money left for anything except the police. They are voracious.

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    4. Well, 5:49 p.m., you sound just like one of our Keystone Kops. I'm sure that Mary Ann MacGillivray's and John Crawford's homes were locked, but they were burglarized all the same, and the SMPD made little effort to investigate either robbery. Suspicious that these two households, of all the households in Sierra Madre, would be targeted by thieves and that the PD would then treat the incidents so carelessly.

      These officers have become expert traffic citation awarders. One of them comes up to the canyon each morning to mark tires and then returns two hours later to issue pricing parking tickets, even blocking in residents who are trying to move their vehicles long enough to ticket them. Their behavior is egregiously provocative and we cannot tolerate this as appropriate public service. The escalation of traffic ticket issuance (i.e., parking tickets and rolling stop signs moving violations) occurred immediately after the failure of Measure 12 on this last April's ballot. If we're not willing to pay the extra taxes to cover their salary increase, by God, they'll extract it from us some other way.

      Bottom line is that retaining our own police force in this town is no longer financially reasonable, not feasible, an economic travesty for the City of Sierra Madre, no matter what other preferences apply. Outsourcing these services is most probably the only solution.

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    5. Mathewson's arrest records are a matter of public record in Canada. Could a copy be obtained? And published?

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    6. @ 5:49

      That's the same crappy attitude we get from the Kops. You just ASSUME that the victims did nothing to protect themselves, do NO investigation and then, blame them for the crime. Oh and lest we forget, Don't write a report.

      Now I understand why some people in town feel that we would be better off on our own without any so-called "law enforcement" shaking us down. We've all been trained to rely on the police, yet when we call them for help all we get are LAME EXCUSES.

      Just ask the women on West Sierra Madre Blvd what they think of the police after numerous calls for assistance with a trespasser/peeping tom. Some of these women had to do their own investigation and pursue charges without any help from the police. The others just moved out of Sierra Madre. The best line I heard from one of the kops was, "oh, you only have one 'No Trespassing' sign?'

      I bet you didn't read about that in the "police blotter."

      As far as I'm concerned the Sierra Madre Police, or any department for that matter, is just a gang of thugs and should be treated as such.

      SIERRA MADRE = POLICE GANGLAND

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  25. In the end it will all come down to money. Do we spend the extra $1.5 million for the SMPD, or do we contract out for safety services and repair our water infrastructure while paying down all of that destructive bond debt? We can do a lot of good with that money, things that are essential for the survival of this city. Or we could have the SMPD.

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  26. Bring in the Sheriff's Department. That is who SMPD has to call when anything big happens anyway. Plus, we save 1.5 million a year that could be used for other services.

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  27. Harabedian born and bred in SM? If true, why won't he produce his birth certificate?

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    1. I don't see how he could have been born here. Sierra Madre doesn't have any hospitals.

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    2. it has plenty of chevys, gaw.

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