What can a police chief do?

Throughout the entire ongoing Fullerton police brutality-fest/fiasco, we’ve been led to believe that a big part of the problem is that officers are protected and shielded and there is nothing anybody can do about it.  It is said that they are shielded by their own, and by a set of laws and court cases which protect them: the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights and associated court decisions

What hasn’t been discussed much is what is actually possible to do.  Let’s say a citizen filed a complaint against the police because of the brutality of an arresting officer:  a Tong or a Thayer or a Hampton or a Ramos or a Cicinelli or… you get the idea, plenty to choose from.

What happens to that complaint?  In Fullerton it gets buried in an officer’s personnel file unless Internal Affairs made the determination that it was grounds for criminal prosecution.  Just think how often that must happen.

But what, if anything, can anybody in a supervisory position do when faced with misconduct by their officers?  Apparently you can fire them.  At least according to Anaheim Chief of Police John Welter.

See, reportedly under Welter when officers get out of line, by say not being very respectful to the citizenry, they are disciplined. “Every time they lose their cool and insult somebody or don’t act professional, we’ll hold them accountable. We discipline them. I’ve terminated probably 12 to 15 officers since I’ve been here.”

Trying to set aside my skepticism for a minute let’s take Chief Welter at his word.  If Welter can do it, why couldn’t Sellers, Hamilton, or Hughes fire every rogue cop in the Fullerton police department? Every cop guilty of abusing and harassing innocent members of the public?  Every cop who roughed up a prisoner just for fun?  Every officer who has harassed a female, been guilty of racism, beaten up someone they perceived as a “bum” or a “gang banger”, given someone a “screen test”?  Every one of the cops who beat Kelly Thomas to death? And maybe even a few cop blog commenters who  do little besides insult the public and are about as professional as a troop of stoned baboons?

I guess any of our chiefs could have.  They just didn’t want to.

Now, I don’t actually believe that Chief Welter means a word he says.  But let’s go ahead and hold him to the standard he claims to have.   Better start doing some more firing Chiefs.  And yes, that goes for Anaheim AND Fullerton.

64 Replies to “What can a police chief do?”

  1. How do you know Hughes hasn’t disciplined other officers besides those fired?

    Also, consider that Hughes has been acting chief for less than one year and he has fired, help me out here, how many? 4 or 5 employees? That doesn’t include those who have been demoted or suspended.

    Hughes has a lot to answer for but I’m not sure measuring a chief’s success or failure should be based strictly on the number of employees disciplined.

    1. Pay attention. Hughes let his boys run around unchecked for years. Do you think Kelly Thomas was the first time that his cops have kicked someones ass?

    2. I beg to differ D & C. In FPD’s case, with the amount of citizenry abuse, criminal behavior and thuggery going on in that department (just from what we KNOW about), there needed and still needs to be a hefty amount of disciplining within.
      It appears denial and covering up had been the only actions taken by the chiefs and other brass in this department with reported abuse and that’s an absolute failure.

    3. Who gave the (2) policemen Medals of Honor ????

      Read the following from a Fullerton resident.

      “As a lifelong resident of Fullerton, I continue to be astounded at the Fullerton Police Department’s utter lack of ability to tell the truth about anything.

      Recently, Corporal Mike Bova received the department’s Lifesaving Medal for supposedly rescuing a woman passenger from a burning car (see Fullerton Observer story below). That would be great if he had actually saved anyone from a burning car. The fact is, (2) citizens Dominic and Ruben Carnesi saved that woman from the burning car. Officer Bova did not show up to the scene until well after both the elderly driver and passenger of the car had been rescued.

      The mother of the (2) heroes was outraged and contacted the Fullerton Observer to let them know the actual story. The Observer subsequently printed the actual version of the story (also attached below). While the Fullerton Police Department will now be honoring the (2) heroes, I notice in the updated Fullerton Observer story that there is no mention of taking back the medal that Officer Bova disingenuously accepted. I am left to shake my head and wonder how in the world a man with any honor stands and accepts a medal that he knows he did not earn. Does Officer Bova have no integrity? Is there anyone in the Fullerton Police Department worthy of the trust and respect traditionally bestowed upon police officers? Sadly, it appears that the answer is no.

      Fullerton resident

      From the Mid-June 2012 Fullerton Observer – Page 8 (http://www.fullertonobserver.com/artman/uploads/fomidjune.pdf)
      Four Exceptional Police Officers Honored
      On the evening of February 5, 2012,
      Corporal Mike Bova was dispatched to a
      call of a traffic collision in the area of State
      College and Bastanchury Road. While
      enroute to the call, he was advised that a
      passenger in one of the involved vehicles
      was possibly trapped in the windshield of
      the car. Upon his arrival, he discovered
      that due to her extensive injuries which
      included a broken hip, leg and arm a
      female passenger was still trapped inside
      one of the cars and the engine compartment
      was engulfed in flames. Without
      regard to his own safety, Mike, along with
      his brother Patrick, who was on a ridealong,
      and two other unknown civilians,
      managed to remove the victim from the
      wreckage of the vehicle and move her to a
      safe location. According to Fire personnel
      on scene that night, Corporal Bova’s quick
      actions resulted in the passenger’s life
      being saved. For his actions, Corporal
      Mike Bova is being awarded the
      Department’s Lifesaving Medal.

      From the Mid-June 2012 Fullerton Observer – Page 3 (http://www.fullertonobserver.com/artman/uploads/fojuly_001.pdf)
      HEROES: Carnesi Brothers
      Save Couple from Burning Car
      The Mid-June Observer (page 8) carried
      a story about Officer Mike Bova
      and his brother Patrick who were honored
      for saving the life of a woman
      caught in the wreckage of a vehicle
      involved in an accident. Two
      “unknown civilians” were also credited
      for helping to remove the woman from
      the vehicle, which was engulfed in
      flames, and moving her to a safe
      place. The proud mother of those two
      individuals contacted the paper and
      offered the photos above of her sons,
      the other set of brothers who were the
      unidentified heroes in the story.
      “It was Super Bowl Night and my
      husband and two sons, Ruben and
      Dominic, witnessed an accident at St.
      College Blvd. and Bastanchury. They
      were the first ones at the scene. They
      got the woman, who was trapped in
      the car, free and safe of the burning car.
      When they got home they had red eyes
      and soot all over them.”
      Dominic described the scene. “The
      accident happened right in front of us.
      The engine compartment of the car
      was on fire and smoke was filling the
      car. My brother and I could see immediate
      action was necessary. We first
      helped the elderly man driving the car
      to a safe place. He was in shock but he
      could walk.
      The woman, however, was trapped
      by the dashboard and the passenger
      side door would not open. My brother
      Ruben tore out the dashboard freeing
      the woman, who was already disabled
      with a broken leg, so that we could pull
      her out of the driver’s side of the vehicle.
      My brother told her, “this is going to
      hurt.” She said, “I don’t care please get
      me out.” The car was filling with
      smoke. We got her out and were
      helped by other bystanders to carry her
      to a safe location away from the burning
      vehicle. Meanwhile, other
      bystanders were trying to put the
      engine fire out. It was a group effort,”
      said Dominic.
      Then the police arrived with fire
      dept. paramedics following. The officers
      asked us what happened. We told
      them and pointed out that the driver
      and two passengers of the vehicle that
      had hit the couple’s car had taken off
      running. Police later caught two men
      and a woman at the Summit and
      arrested them after we identified them.”

      1. Had the truth been told based on what’s in the revised report that cop would have never received the award. Did he get additional compensation for the award? That’s what I want to know. If he did he needs to reimburse the city forthwith and get punished. If the witness accounts and the revised report in the Observer are, in fact, true that award was accepted based on fraud. It needs to get remedied NOW and HUGHES is the responsible party who needs to do it.

        Only though your actions can you begin to show us that FPD is not a ‘culture of corruption’, Chief Hughes. Here’s your chance. Are you going to walk your talk? Or are you going to stick with the status quo? Step up to the plate, Danny. You’re on, buddy. Let’s see your true colors.

      1. I say there, Oink, the boy, that’s Oink has got no, I say he’s got no brains whatsoever. None I say. Oink that is.

      2. How about just firing his incompetent ass? Moving him back to Captain would be far too generous for what HE’s allowed to happen within the FPD.

  2. We are beating a dead horse here. With the police contract in place until 2014, the only thing we can do to fix this is by bankrupting the city. By bringing in the sheriffs only means longer response times for emergencies and a laundry list of personnel to contact to rectify resolutions from problematic situations.

    1. Wrong. We can fire the chief and hire a new one who swears to hold officers accountable for all of their actions and follows through. If they don’t follow through, fire them and start over. Repeat as necessary. Start immediately.

      1. Yea fire because you say? Lol you aren’t very smart. Hughes will be the Captain so that will show the level of confidence you will have.

        1. No, jackass. Because city council now represents the people. City council can replace the acting chief with a new chief. That chief will report directly back to city council. If city council is not happy with his/her performance, replace them. I understand that the nuances of actual democracy are hard to get through your pea-sized brain, but the people elect city council, city council selects the chief, and the chief can fire people at will. At least that what Welter says.

          1. Any chief can do that. They have to have a reason. A cop won’t get fired for small crap. Just like any other job. Keep screwing up you cam get fired. Yes we all know if they are late to work you want them fired. Ask Weller if he will fire them. Weller is old school. He gives fair chances for improvement. Just like any other human.

            1. To Weller Rules: First of all it’s Welter, and second of all,yes small things, like firing rubber bullets on non-violent protesters and unleashing attack weapon dogs on babies. Small things like having your Police department incite a riot just by their STINKING APPEARANCE. Small things like violating Human Beings Human Rights, and then trying to intimidate them, censor them and threaten them.

      2. Really? It took lawsuit after lawsuit for the tainted officers to be fired. It’s an uphill battle because of the union and POBOR.

        1. If Anaheim can fire and discipline officers for insulting people, which is exactly what Welter said in the interview with the OC Register yesterday (linked above) then Fullerton’s Chief can certainly fire cops for abusing the public. Simple. Unless of course Welter is lying, which wouldn’t be a surprise.

          1. Not once did he go into specifics for his definition of “insulting people”. And the officers involved are on PAL until the investigation is over. That is not an immediate firing. Plus, APD is under the law of Disney. And when did we start this entitlement theory of because they have it – we should have it. If you want what Anaheim offers, by all means move there.

            1. Does dyslexia run in your family? IF Anaheim’s Chief can fire officers based on his own internal criteria, which is exactly what he said to the Reg, then there is no reason Fullerton can’t too. Cowards like you don’t WANT them too. You want to protect the jobs of incompetent thugs. Unfortunately for you our city council doesn’t agree. Time to start looking for a new chief, chief.

              1. This is where you are wrong. I do not support officers whom break the law to enforce the law. If you would stop badgering citizens of this town for thinking differently than you, you would receive more respect. And yes, dyslexia runs in my family, and that DOESN’T mean I read everything backwards. I was responding to your lack of common sense editorial. If you are such an expert of Fullerton, as your pseudo name claims, you would know that is not how this city runs. And if you think because we have a new council will change how our city manages crime and emergencies…you have another thing coming. Wake up and pull your head out of your ass.

                1. Read the news much? The new council has already made changes so that the police chief reports to the council, not city manager. Business as usual is over. Tell me some more about that “other thing” I’ve got coming.

  3. Surprised you back Weller. Hes old school and said they are going to kick ass next riot. It’s great what requesting the Feds from the start will do. If Feds say all good no one is getting fired. Good shoot.

    1. “Now, I don’t actually believe that Chief Welter means a word he says.”

      Nobody said anything about backing Welter.

    1. Now that’s stupid even for you, Hog. This blog has run a dozen or more stories on different incidences of police brutality and little to nothing has happened to any of the perpetrators. Why, some of them have even been awarded “a metal”, remember?

    2. Hughes basically admitted it when he changed the way complaints were tracked in order to keep them from getting lost.

    1. Anaheim police on Friday morning again opened fire on a suspect — this time inside a car.

      Officers responded to a burglary alarm about 3:15 a.m. at a clubhouse in a residential area near Water and Melrose streets. As officers approached the building, a suspect fled, said Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn.

    1. Yep Weller is great. That’s why I was shocked there was any support for him at all. But it was just the fed request quick. I said that was a tactic every chief should use everytime no matter what. Let the Feds say no and get a jump. Kinda like Quirk and socks. Smoke and mirrors.

      1. Sure. What’s a little murder compared to publicizing some cops home address. What do you think that charge is, treason?

  4. It must be scary for all of the thug officers in Fullerton to know they will either shape up and honor the badge or have their asses hand to them by the new guard. As soon as you clear enough bad cops out the culture of corruption will dissipate faster than Sellers can abandon ship when the going gets tough.

    1. Brandon, I didnt hear from you when the 911 tape was released from the Slidebar. Not of peep from you. Cat got your tongue? That big cover up. The more time goes by, the more stupid you guys look. And the hits just keep on coming. Be prepare for more of the good stuff.

      1. Sadly, as time goes on you look exactly the same amount of stupid: Poopy stupid. It’s the rock bottom of the stupid scale.

        Poop, wipe, prophesize, post, repeat.

  5. Police chiefs have much more power over discipliary matters than they let on. Most do their best to cover up wrongdoings of their cops. They know that if they piss the rank ‘n file off it could result in the demise of their own careers. The apple is rotten from top to bottom, folks. The ones who demand obedience and compliance from you cover up their own egregious acts all the time. If you can’t figure that out by now give it up.

  6. By the way I’d like to apologize to any stoned baboons who may have been upset with my comparing them to cop trolls in my initial post

  7. They DO fire bad employees – Sellers was actually on quite a role cleaning up Fullerton in the very short time he was there and trying to get it functional. They still have to follow the Skelly process – so its not like private sector where you call them into your office and fire on the spot.

  8. The culture of police silence probably had more to do with the recent Anaheim riots than the actually recent alleged assasination death that happened there. People were left speculating whether the victim had a gun or not and if he fired it or when the hadcuffs were place on him.

    The same culture of police silence created a hazard for the homeless people in january 2011. While Itzcoatl was on the loose visciously stabbing homeless people up to fifty times per victim Chief Welters withheld information from the public by describing Itzcoatl as…”what we believe to be a serious, dangerous serial killer operating in Orange County.”


    What the homeless people needed to hear was the details of what was really happing so they could be fully aware. This information may have changed the outcome of the last victim John Berry in his decision to stay on the streets instead of going to a shelter . What also didn’t help was that the police department took a picture of John Berry probably against his permission while he was laying in his sleeping spot by the river. This photo was later his demise as Itzcoatl used this photo to find him.
    Another hard to understand item of the Anaheim PD investigation is why they didn’t make the connection after the first Killing. There was a previous stabbing incident by itzcoatl of Itzcioatls freinds family just blocks from where Itzcoatl lives. Two connections that could have put the pieces together early on by trained investigators. Only later at the police debrefing was it brought up that if he was not arrested it was just days before they would have been knocking at his door.
    Public information is important. The police seem to have a knack for holding back important details that leaves the public in the dark. Many times it is the public that puts the pieces together when they have information to go by that help solve the problems in the community and even catch the killer in their community.

  9. Why was my comment deleted?

    Let me ask Chief Hughes again –

    Are you going to step up to the plate and address this suspicious story, Chief Hughes?

    Or you are going to be just more of the same??

    This is your opportunity to show us that you are different than the ones in FPD’s past.

    Time to pick a side, Chief Hughes. Us or them.

    Do you serve the interests of the citizens or do you cover for shady cops?

    Which is it?

  10. Hughes will go the route of the medical disability. I see it coming quickly. An open and honest city council that wants to know exactly what is happening at FPD which is a major cost center in the budget, can be problematic to Chief Cover UP! He is getting ready to go at the first sign of trouble!

  11. Wow JD, for someone who spends 14 hours a day on here you’d think you could keep up with comments.

    The Slidebar tape proves nothing and the truth will come out in court. This is the last time I repost for you so pay attention

    “It will pretty interesting to see whether Ms. DeMarco lies under oath to protect the Slide Bar and the FPD murderers. I’m guessing she’ll crack under pressure from the prosecution and the whole world will know that Kelly Thomas was set up by the FPD/SlideBar.”

    1. Dont flater yourself. Tony blocks me all the time. You dont get my comments right away because he doesnt like what I write. He just likes what you and your loosers write. I spend all those hours here because like I have told you hundreds of times, I dont work. I dont have to. Get it.
      Ms DeMarco is not going to lie. She doesnt have to. Kelly was set up by FPD and The Slidebar. You are hlarious. Keep entertaining us!

      1. Hey loser, can your stools get any looser? Did you mean your toilet gets blocked all the time? It should, with all the crap you spew on a daily basis.

        Poop, wipe, post, repeat. The daily saga of John Doe.

  12. AC Hughes lacks the courage and verismilitude needed to oversee and reform the FPD culture. He’s largely been a puppet under the previous chief, though I imagine he saw the previous chief’s departing as his time to shine – the problem is at best he’s a dim light in a patch of very thick fog. He’s simply not effective. And given that he’s largely been under the thumb of his prev boss and city admin, he’s gotta go. What’s the solution? It ain’t him. And you just watch, he surely has been strategizing his exit – and like this ex-boss, he’ll walk away very well tended courtesy of the tax payers.

    1. Chief Hughes has a big heart and isn’t going anywhere. He said that if they choose to hire an outside Chief he will do his best job as the Captain of FPD. His contract reverts him back to Captain and he’s not anywhere. He loves Fullerton.

      1. Fine. I look forward to him enforcing the personnel policies of a Chief who, like Welter pretends, will discipline and fire officers for insulting and mistreating the citizens they serve. Enjoy firing your friends, Cap.

  13. @Fullertonista If you are familiar with Milgram, you know that half the population is predisposed to go along with authority. Unfortunately, many police departments know how to pick out the conformists. Then there are the minor SSOs that press this further into the system. Character comes packaged in the human genome in the form of empathy, which again half the people in the world don’t get it, and further left of this paradigm are the sociopath elite, eg Bill Gates, Rupert Murdock, George Soros, Barack Obama ANAI. With this in mind, in the past it has taken revolutions to forsake tyrants. Today we can vet these monsters BEFORE they actually get elected or placed, but to do this people have to be vigilant to this corruption, and they do not want the responsibility. They are lazy and would rather do candle prayer vigils and protests. tough issues for those of us who are awake. we are surrounded by people who are hearing the wake up alarm but are ignoring it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *