Tag Archives: Fullerton Police Chief

Bob Dunn – Killing of Kelly Thomas a “deep wound” – to the Fullerton Police Department

You have got to be kidding me.

Friday’s edition of the Orange County Register has a puff piece on how much progress Fullerton’s Police Department made in dealing with the homeless population. I can’t comment on the quality of the article, however, because I was unable to make it past this quote from Bob Dunn in the very first paragraph:

“Eight years have passed since the fatal beating of a homeless, schizophrenic Kelly Thomas by Fullerton police, but the tragedy remains a “deep wound” in the department’s psyche, says the city’s new police chief.”

Since our Police Chief is apparently unfamiliar with the meaning of the word “perspective”, allow me to provide some.

Kelly Thomas was a troubled individual, but he was a human being, and on July 5, 2011 he was essentially tortured to death in full view of hundreds of witnesses, all while apologizing and begging for his father. THAT is tragedy of Kelly Thomas, not the psychic boo boos the Police Department may have suffered.

Some things never change.

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City Refuses to Learn from Mistakes

On Tuesday our City Manager, Ken Domer, wants Council to award Acting Chief Dunn with an Interim Chief gig. With this new gig comes a new contract as the new council decides who to put in the role “permanently”. Like all things in government there are already some serious questions in how this is playing out legally. Let’s see if you can spot an obvious problem in the contract.

Ok, I’ll give you a hint (emphasis added):

SECTION 12 – CONFIDENTIALITY AND NON-DISPARAGEMENT
Except as otherwise required by law, in the event the City terminates Employee with or without cause, City and Employee agree that no member of the City Council, the city management staff, nor Employee shall make any written, oral, or electronic statement to any member of the public, the press, or any City employee concerning Employee’s termination except in the form of a joint press release or statement, which is mutually agreeable to City and Employee. The joint press release or statement shall not contain any text or information that is disparaging to either City or Employee. Either City or Employee may verbally repeat the substance of the joint press release or statement in response to any inquiry.

 

What’s the problem, you ask?

Your right to know how the most senior members of Fullerton’s government behave is being voted away, again, by our City Council on Tuesday. Watch it pass 5-0. Bureaucracy Commandment #3: Protect thyself and thy brethren. I’m actually a little surprised this contract wasn’t buried in the Consent Calendar in the hopes nobody would even notice.

Take a look at Fullerton’s track record. Our previous city manager and 2 of our last 3 Police Chiefs resigned in disgrace — City Manager Felz hit a tree allegedly driving drunk, Chief Sellers went on medical leave in the midst of the Kelly Thomas scandal and most recently Chief Hendricks left after allegedly battering an EMT.

With contracts like this one, you have no right to know about any of it.  That of course means you have no right to pressure City Council to do anything about it, either.

See the sickness?

When Hendricks resigned the city lied by omission and gave you nothing but a puff piece about how awesome he was for Fullerton. When I called the City’s Public Information Officer I was told, laughably, that Hendrick’s alleged battery for which he went on admin leave was unrelated to his resignation.

This contract is written so poorly that Dunn could shoot somebody in the face and BY CONTRACT nobody from the council or city could tell the public, media or other city employees why he was fired.

More to come on this outstanding contract at a later date.  In the mean time, remember, your right to know stops where an employee’s paycheck begins.

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HENDRICKS QUITS

It’s official.

Once again, Fullerton is without a Police Chief.

This morning, city officials issued a press release announcing Fullerton’s top cop had departed. Per Chief Hendrick’s contract, no disparaging remarks are included in the release, which summarizes some accomplishments in the short tenure of Mr. Hendricks.

— Improved Morale

— Improved Retention

— Improved Response Time

— Online Crime Blotter Reporting

— Homeless Support

— Streamlined investigations and documentation for complaints

Not a single mention as to why the Chief Resigned, namely any confirmation or denial that the Chief did in fact assault a uniformed female emergency response technician.

In any case, after collecting $60,000 on a paid vacation covering two and a half months after the incident, Fullerton taxpayers have yet another interim chief, no shortage of sign thieves, stabbings, shootings, double digit arrests every weekend downtown, and absolutely no answers whatsoever concerning what the hell happened at a concert down in Irvine involving two of Fullerton’s top brass.