As is evidenced from the comments tonight, the comments from the last few city council meetings, the FPD protests, and the current city council agenda which is full of lawsuits which will cost the city millions of dollars, it’s obvious that there is a great deal of anger and mistrust towards the Fullerton Police Dept and the City of Fullerton.
A large number of negative incidents involving Fullerton police officers continue to come to light, ranging from alleged sexual misconduct of officers towards women whom they have stopped, to officers allegedly committing theft, to charges of false arrest, and so on. Our family experienced a mistaken raid on our home by armed undercover vice cops who were looking for the home next door.
Clearly, it is in the best interest of everyone for the FPD and the city council to work hard to win back the trust of people. In doing so it seems obvious that it would be Wise to Avoid Doing Things That Unnecessarily Increase Distrust.
THE CURRENT UNACCEPTABLE SITUATION
There is a situation in the FPD that can be corrected. Making this correction should take away some of the distrust.
Your current FPD Spokesperson / Public Information Officer has had, and still has, a major role in the Fullerton Police Officers union. (FPOA)
Here are three examples of his significance to the union:
- RECENT—On behalf of the police union, Mr. Goodrich was 1 of 3 signers of the 2009-2011 police union contract. (Signatures are found on pg 45 of the “ Fullerton Police Officers Association (FPOA)-Police Safety Unit” labor agreement, http://www.ci.fullerton.ca.us/depts/pers_serv/labor_agreements.asp
- CURRENT—On behalf of the police union, Mr. Goodrich is on the small negotiating team for the current police union contract. As a member of that team he would be trying, of course, to get the highest salary and best benefits possible for the union members. To do so, you would assume that he would be trying to put the officers in the best light possible.
- IN THE PAST— In 2003, Mr. Goodrich wrote a how-to article for union members entitled, “The Value of Political Involvement-Your Association’s Role in Local Politics.” This piece explained effective ways for the union to get their choice of candidates elected to the city council and WHY it is in the union’s best interest to do so. (Goodrich’s document is located within this article, “Peer into the Thought Process of the FPOA,” www.fullertonsfuture.org)
I think it is absurd for someone in a significant role in the police union to be the spokesperson for the Fullerton Police Department. This situation obviously causes distrust by many in the community and it makes the leadership of the FPD, the city manager, and the city council look foolish.
In his “union role”—Mr. Goodrich’s union task would be to put police officers in as positive of a light as possible.
In his spokesperson role”—when he is speaking on behalf of the FPD—putting police officers in as positive of a light as possible should not be his concern. His concern should be honesty, accuracy, and transparency.
HERE’S MY SUGGESTION:
The current FPD Spokesperson/Public Information Officer (Mr. Goodrich) should be reassigned to a different position and he should be replaced by an officer who has not had a major role in the Fullerton Police Officers Union.