MARC GARMAN - EDITOR

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Vallejo PD announces $10,000 reward for arrest and conviction of suspect in Christmas Eve hit and run that left 54 year old victim in critical condition. VPD press release HERE

 

 


 

Police, DOJ to hold series of Community Meetings



 

By Marc Garman

January 2, 2012


Changes happen slowly. Especially in institutions like Vallejo's Police Department. However, it is possible for change to happen. The need to improve the dialog between the police and the community has been underscored by a series of tragic and unfortunate fatal police shootings in recent years, specifically the shootings of Guy Jarreau and Mario Romero.


The tension between the Vallejo PD and members of the community has been building visibly for many years. Most Vallejo police officers don't live among us. We usually don't know them personally. Many community members see police as highly paid outsiders who come into our city, tell us what to do and sometimes kill us without satisfactory explanation. Whether this is true or not is largely a question of perspective, nonetheless it is hard to argue against a need for better communication as a vehicle for change. The recent appointment of Joseph Kreins as Vallejo Police Chief has already seen positive changes impossible under the tenure of former Police Chief Nichelini. Kreins has made a good start, but it will take ongoing community involvement in conjunction with Vallejo's police officers to make a difference. To that end, community members, city officials, Vallejo police officers and the Department of Justice have begun a series of community meetings. The first meeting is to be held at the Union Baptist Church, 128 Encerti Ave. Saturday January 12 from 10 AM to NOON. This is the neighborhood where Mario Romero lived and unfortunately died. The meeting is an open public meeting; however, a series of meetings will be held in each Vallejo neighborhood, so it is strongly recommended that you attend the meeting held in YOUR neighborhood to address YOUR neighborhood issues.

 

There are big challenges and changes for Vallejo PD and the city as a whole in 2013. Many police officers will be retiring ASAP with the prospect of a new and more conservative wage structure coming out of contract negotiations this year. The Vallejo Police Officers' Association (VPOA) also knows that the city council can ultimately impose provisions if need be, now that binding arbitration is no longer included in the Vallejo City Charter. As a result, we will undoubtedly see a police department stretched and challenged in new ways. However, with this pain will come the opportunity for change as new officers are hired and senior officers, accustomed to the old system retire.


Your input can be critical in shaping ideas and policy at this juncture. YOUR presence at the upcoming meetings is exceptionally important, especially if you live in the neighborhood where the meeting is held and especially if you have been impacted personally through either positive or negative experiences with Vallejo's police.


Let's work together to reach out and build bridges with the many honest and professional officers in Vallejo, and work to see problem policies and individuals leave our city.

 

As the editor of VIB, I make no apologies for having been frequently critical of Vallejo's police and fire departments. In the past there has been good reason, but we now have new leadership who appear to be aware of the changes in the economy, intent on listening to the needs of the community and sincere in their efforts to make changes for the better instead of propelling the damaging agendas of the past. The leadership of Vallejo's fire department has been exemplary in this regard in the form of Chief Paige Meyer and even the current leadership of the local IAFF union. I look forward to the implementation of recommendations from the Public Safety Review Committee, changes being started by Chief Kreins and your input making positive changes in our city.

  

 

Read the announcement for the meeting HERE

 


The organizers of this program are seeking volunteers from each neighborhood to act as meeting facilitators. If you are interested, contact:


Liat Meitzenheimer – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


or

Carol Russo, Senior Conciliation Specialist

Community relations Service, USDOJ


This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


415-744-6584