Dear Editor – Response to CC Police Officers Association Statement on BearCat

Dear Editor:

Hopefully, in the near future and with minimal damage, the coronavirus will be in our rear-view mirror. Then, we will be back to tracking BearCats.
This letter responds to three of CCPOA’s claims and adds some new information.
First Claim: “Our organization prides itself on responding to emergency calls in less than four minutes.” Most probably, this refers to the time it takes for one of CCPD’s numerous one-or-two-person patrol cars to arrive at a crime scene. Unless, the CCPOA is unconsciously revealing that it foresees many BearCats prowling Culver City’s streets, CCPOA’s argument mixes apples with oranges. CCPOA does NOT affirmatively state that, if Culver City purchases a BearCat and implements its SWAT team, the BearCat would arrive in four minutes. If CCPOA so stated, we would demand objective proof of that claim.
Second Claim: “By the time a [BearCat] would arrive from an outside agency, too much time would have elapsed, and too much damage would have been inflicted.” CCPOA cites absolute NO evidence to support that claim. For at least 25 years, CCPD has relied on Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department SWAT, WITHOUT any extra cost to residents. CCPD has absolutely NO complaint as to qualify of the Sheriff’s services, including, but not limited to, its response time.
My recent Public Records Act request and Culver City’s response totally refute CCPOA’s claim:
“[Request:] For each instance in the past 15 years where Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deployed a BearCat in Culver City, each record or study showing that, had the BearCat arrived at the scene earlier, less harm to someone might have occurred.”
“Response: No such records exist.”
Third Claim: “We need to be self-sufficient in order to promptly, effectively, and properly safeguard the lives and safety of our citizens in such situations.” Is CCPOA impliedly stating that, for 25 years, CCPD has NOT “properly safeguarded” our lives, because CCPD relied on the Sheriff?
CCPD WANTS its own BearCat. However, neither CCPD nor CCPOA has presented one fact that CCPD NEEDS its own BearCat. We should stick with what has worked for at least 25 years, and not incur more needless expenses. This is especially true in times when the City Council has declared a fiscal emergency.
Lenco (the BearCat’s manufacturer) advertises a program to help Police Departments seek grants to finance the purchase of BearCats. However, CCPD has NOT applied for any such grant. Why should residents pay $200,000 from public funds when available grant money has not been requested? The City Council should table the discussion pending the results of CCPD’s application for grant funds.

Les Greenberg, Esquire

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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