Even as civic leaders have been talking about cracking down on crime in Monrovia neighborhoods, they are in a dispute with their cops. Over at the Foothill Cities Blog, RCJ Parry and Frazgo have done a nice job of putting the various pieces into context.
At exactly the moment when the City most needs our men and women in blue – when the anti-gang full-court-press is increasingly shifting from mutual aid agencies over to MPD – the City elects to post classless allegations against the Monrovia Police Officers Association on its Web site. The Citys statement, which was posted Friday, calls the MPOAs demands unrealistic and hints strongly that the City would go bankrupt and cut services to meet MPOAs positions.
Moreover, the City has made statements and claims without offering any substantive supporting information. Most specifically, the City claims its offer (a 16.5% raise over 3.5 years) will place MPD officers compensation in the top five of 13 surveyed San Gabriel Valley Cities. In other words, they will be in the middle 1/3 of other cities, hardly an unrealistic position. However, the City posts no data to support this claim.
Parry also picks up a graph from the MPOA’s website that points out the pay disparities. And there’s this from the MPOA itself, a list of former officers and where they’ve gone:
|Officers Who Have Left MPD||Agencies They Now Work For||Experience MPD Lost|
|McAvoy||Baldwin Park||5 Years|
|Harper||Baldwin Park||15 Years|
|Larsh||Riverside D.A. Office||15 Years|
|Velebil||Baldwin Park||10 Years|
|Perez||El Segundo||12 Years|
|Pederson||Palos Verdes||12 Years|
|Oropeza||Los Angeles PD||10 Years|
As for Frazgo, he’s one of the more passionate observers of Monrovia politics. Here’s a portion of his take:
Disagreements between the city and the MPOA are nothing new. 3 summers ago there were a series of articles referencing officer surveys showing overall job stress and satisfaction concerns. After some public outcry and a web site with some biting commentary by Cyrus Vance an outside source was brought in to review and report. The report basically said nothing was wrong, the claims of discrimination, harassment in the officer survey had no merit.
Following that we have had 2 officers successfully bring claims against the city for discrimination and harassment. Successful in that they received monetary compensation for their claims. Officers Solarez and Cobb were only the first in the last few years to bring suit. A retired MPD officer I recently spoke with advised one other office has a claim for similar damage pending against the city and will progress to a suit. He also advised that potentially there is one more claim pending and the officer no longer on the force will have to make his decision soon as his statute of limitations is running soon.
Needless to say. Monrovia has got to deal with this problem. The city can’t continue to ignore its crime problem and ignore its police department. Something will give and when it does it’s not going to be pretty.