I have viewed with dismay the conduct of the Downey Police Officers Assn. members and leadership. With these difficult times (affecting) police officers and departments, I have seen the association's leadership follow the same negative process that damaged and destroyed the Long Beach Police Department for a number of years. They are still recovering, and it appears that they are only recovering after the dissenting association president in Long Beach was finally removed from office.
I cannot understand how the Police Department believes that the process they are using to bring to attention their concerns can have any positive effect on the City Council or leadership of this community. The process has in effect only alienated the Police Department and further united the City Council much stronger behind the police chief. As was said by several council members, we are tired of hearing the innuendoes and perceptions with no facts. The questions must be raised: Where are the sour grapes coming from? Is there some officer who is high in leadership but low in judgment, who has not been selected for promotion? Is this officer, or are these officers going to take the department down at all costs for their own personal vendettas?
I would like to send one straight message out: I support and endorse our chief and management team, and unless and until I hear specifics, all the cries of poor management will fall on deaf ears. You can only cry "wolf" so many times before you have a serious problem and get no response.
I hope and pray for the best interests of our community that this small group of leaders will get the message and see the light.
As I encounter people throughout the city, it appears that these sour-grapes police officers are spreading dissension among their friends and contacts in the community. The eventual result is solely disruption of the fine-quality police service that Downey has been famous for and experienced over the last 20 years.
As a community leader, I don't know what the police want from their leadership, but if they expect us, on a whim, to allow the tail to wag the dog, and remove the police chief and the entire management team by applying pressure to our city manager, they are sorely incorrect and in for a surprise, even if they try to use their salary negotiations as an extortive device.
I understand by writing this letter I surely don't make friends and influence people in the Police Department, but I do believe, as a responsible individual in a leadership role, that I must make my voice and opinion heard.
ROY L. PAUL
Mayor, city of Downey