The Culture of Vodka, Vomit & Vehicular Mayhem (Part Two); or The Parasites Have Found a Host

Business is booming…

In the first installment of this two-part series we saw examples of how a mere two downtown Fullerton bars (one illegally operating as a night club) had racked up a massive inventory of misdeeds, amounting to hundreds of cop calls in a few years. Just imagine how tough it is for the Fullerton Police Department to manage all this madness, night after night. And what happens to cop service calls in the rest of the city. Poor cops, right?

Yet before we shed any tears over the FPD and the horrible burden they bear, let us contemplate a “story” from the cop union website that glowingly talks about the special relationship that exists between downtown booze peddlers and our boyz in blue. Here are some choice quotations from the article:

Business in downtown Fullerton is booming.

Thousands of people flock from all over Southern California for the food and atmosphere – and to have a good time.

Police officials want to keep it that way.

In downtown Fullerton last year, officers made 562 drunken driving arrests, including 13 DUI crashes. There were also dozens of assaults.

“We could put 100 cops downtown, but we’d be swatting flies,” said Lt. Andrew Goodrich. “We want to work together to solve this.”

Added Police Chief Dan Hughes: “We want downtown to continue to flourish.”

Slidebar owner Jeremy Popoff had already convened a group of owners, calling it the “Downtown Restaurant Association.”

Do you see the absurd disconnect? Booming, flourishing business? Sandwiched between the happy horseshit talk are the startling statistics of our downtown, open-air saloon. The police are not only tolerating Crazytown, a situation they admit they can’t control, they are aiding-and-abetting it. Why? We certainly know that some bar owners like Popoff are politically connected – his place operates without the CUP the City legally requires of a night club. Then there are the recurring and disturbing stories about cops getting free food and drink at some of these bars – like Popoff’s place. These are stories that nobody has denied.

So are the cops just trying to make the best of a bad situation, or has the culture of the department finally become as gin-pickled with downtown booze as the rest of the City political establishment? I believe the department has enjoined a pretty sick symbiotic relationship with the downtown culture. And notice how the good ladies of MADD, the FPDs 5th Column,  have never been mobilized against this massive affront to sober driving? Coincidence? I think not.

The closer you look, the worse it looks…

It’s obvious that there is zero political will from our city council to do a damn thing about the problem they created over the years. Just the reverse, in fact. Notice how our council unanimously agreed to carving up downtown among five separate council districts so as to dilute the influence of actual voters in that undeniable “community of interest?” The ballot statement supporting that mess was written by none other than our Lobbyist-Mayor, Jennifer Fitzgerald. Hmm.

The sign of fine dining. And drinks. Don’t forget the drinks. That’s where the real dough is.

As for Popoff, he can join with his fellow merchants of martinis and call themselves a”restaurant association;” they can pretend to play nice even while they are racking up ever-lengthening lists of police calls; what they can’t do, at least now that people are finally paying attention, is pretend that their operations aren’t draining financial resources from the average Fullerton family and putting it in their own bank accounts.

The annual downtown fiscal deficit to the taxpayer is well over a $1,500,000 – that’s ten bucks for every man, woman and child in Fullerton; somehow business is booming – but not the City’s General Fund.

And now, returning to the “article” cited, above: let’s have our new amigo, Mr. Gregg Honour, the control-your-bars consultant, whose attention has been drawn to downtown Fullerton and to FFFF, take us home:

Gregg Hanour, former owner of the Shark Club in Costa Mesa and author of “A Business Approach to Reducing Drunk Driving,” said police departments typically conduct undercover stings to build a case to remove a troubled bar.

“You’re lucky,” he told the bar owners. “Your police department wants to work with you.”

12 Replies to “The Culture of Vodka, Vomit & Vehicular Mayhem (Part Two); or The Parasites Have Found a Host”

  1. The bars are not lucky. They just insinuated themselves into a political culture where there is no accountability for anything.

    The operative word in DTF is “free.” As in free for all.

  2. It’s cronyism.

    We see it in Anaheim all the time. The city council gives away millions to corporations who invest a small bit of it back into political campaigns to elect compliant stooges. In Fullerton the subsidy is smaller, but has it has been well-pointed out in this post it is a subsidy, none the less. The taxpayers are subsidizing the cost of your drink tank culture and the bar owners make the bank.

  3. Heres the deal; give/donate as much money, food and drinks to charities and of course politicians, and everyone will love you. That’s exactly what Popoff does, and thats what Bourbon St. & Florentines does. Guess what? It works.

    1. I don’t mind the drinking and reveling, but some of the joints mentioned above have bought their way into special treatment by the police and code enforcement. Restaurants run by outsiders have to follow all of the rules, while Popoff and Company do not. It’s disgusting. It’s unfair to other downtown business owners. It’s unfair to residents.

  4. Another view
    Most of our jobs are stressful. I still have to come across a general good job classification
    scaled by degree of stressfulness. I suspect it would raise many eyebrows. I will grant you the
    dangerousness aspect, keeping in mind the common thought that police officers are police officers by choice.
    Dear another view, your scheme of thought has fallen and befallen victim to the simplistic politic dichotomies of our times. Therefore your view (which is not another individual view but the mainstream result of a mass manipulative orthodox) can not go beyond the “POLICING AS IT IS IN FULLERTON IS GOOD/THE REST WOULD BE BAD AND CHAOS”. The problem I have with your glorifying the FPD is that you implicitly are blessing that THERE IS NOT ANOTHER WAY FOR THE FPD TO EXIST OR DO THINGS. Does the necessity of “policing” make the current state of policing necessary? Evidently not. Keep on approving the dysfunctional FPD,
    I will continue talking to and acting with my fellow citizens until achieving an FPD which will be the authentic pride of Fullerton.

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