‘Security Guards’ to Oversee Jail? City Council Agenda Draws Community Concerns

The August 10, 2020 Culver City Council meeting has an item listed on the ‘Consent Calendar’ that many in the community are saying needs much closer scrutiny – and no consent.

The consent calendar is a kind of filing system for items considered to be so bland, they don’t require discussion. Often the finalization of a contract for something like steam cleaning the downtown parking garages, or maintenance of parking meters, make the consent calendar.  But tonight’s item C-7 (C is for Consent) asks approval of more than $2 million to contract out services for the Culver City Jail. 

Falling as this does in the middle of both trying to spare the city budget from further strain under the pandemic, and reconsidering funds for the police department, dropping this in the consent calendar looks to be at best, inaccurate, and at worst, a total scam. 

The thought that the CCPD does not have enough trained staff to maintain the jail is a surprise in the staff report. The company being offered the contract, G4S Security Solutions, was the subject of a lengthy investigation by USA Today, and a smaller local paper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. This journalism turned up extensive reporting on abuse, neglect and violence inflicted by G4S staff, and hiring practices that clearly skirt standards.

From USA Today, “G4S hired ex-cops in Arizona who had been caught lying about their relationships with underage girls and hoarding stolen department ammunition. The company armed a 25-year-old in Colorado with a documented history of mental illness who used his G4S-issued gun to shoot his family and himself. An administrator at a G4S juvenile detention center in Florida discovered guards molesting kids, police said, and then hid it from state officials because she was worried about losing the contract.”

How this company is even being considered for a contract with Culver City is astonishing; why this is on the Consent Calendar requires explanation. 

Culver City voters on many social media platforms have shared with their own connections why this item needs to be called out tonight. 

 The meeting will be online, and instructions for virtual attendance and comment at provide by the city, here below – 

The City Council Meeting will take place via video conference. To combat the spread of COVID-19, the City proclaimed a local emergency on March 14, 2020 and issued subsequent public orders beginning March 16, 2020.  In accordance with such orders, City Hall has been closed to the public and in-person meetings have been discontinued until further notice.

How to Submit a Written Public Comment Prior to a Meeting: Find the active eComment link to the right of the agenda date, then add your comment to the agenda item you choose. Watch a video tutorial on How to make an eComment. Email your comments to [email protected]. Mail your comments to the attention of the City Clerk’s Office at 9770 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232.

How to Watch the Meeting: You can watch the meeting online, on the City’s YouTube channel or on the City cable channel.

How to Attend the Meeting Remotely: All attendees must Register to Attend on Webexafter which you will receive an email with directions and a link to join the meeting, once it has begun. Watch a video tutorial on how to register on Webex.

NEW: For those who wish to speak during the meeting:  For those registering in advance to attend the meeting, you must identify the agenda item(s) on which you wish to speak by indicating the section of the agenda followed by the number (for example A-1, PH-2, C-3).  At the start of each agenda item, staff will read aloud the names of those who have registered in advance and requested to speak on an agenda item.  For those who did not register for the meeting, but are in attendance, you may send a request to speak via the CHAT function by stating your name and the agenda item number. Requests to speak that are received after the start of the public comment period for that agenda item will not be considered.  If an internet connection is not available, or you think you may have other issues joining the meeting, please call 310.253.5851 in advance for assistance.

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