You should be proud of what EPD has accomplished this year. I could not be more proud of the work ethic, dedication and professional desire you show in thoughtfully moving this city forward toward greater safety and livability. EPD is the ONLY 7/24 service agency available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year in Eureka. While others sleep you prowl. While they slumber you stalk criminals and find help for those who need it. You have handled these tasks with intelligence, grace and skilled competence.
Over the past year and a half, EPD has done much to change and move the department in a purposeful forward-thinking direction. Looking back over the past year you can see all of the effort and hard work EPD has done to make the city safe, ensure the department is effective and efficient. We are firing on all chambers.
While we have much to learn and while big ships take time to turn, we are making progress and the ship is coming about. The future leaders of this department are those who are willing to throw in and help act as a rudder for this ship.
EPD – You expertly handled multiple high profile cases and incidents.
• A gunman in an elevated position with a rifle at Indianola.
• The murder investigation of Father Eric Freed, the arrest of Bullock and prosecution of the case.
• The arrest of a meth crazed and barricaded gunman who shot at a man from an elevated position at 2nd and C streets. His 3rd violent assault.
• The double murder investigation on Harris solved the same day by thorough police work.
• The arrest and prosecution of numerous dangerous and wanted felons such as Silverado Sanchez.
• The solicitation and execution of more than 50 search warrants.
• The seizure of over 125 firearms.
• The resolution of a controversial (to some) OIS in a positive manner. A first ever Citizens Shooting Review Board was convened who validated that EPD actions were within policy. The DA found no criminal liability.
• The investigation of a murder on 15th and Williams.
• The investigation of a murder of a 14 year old boy.
• You also worked and solved numerous other attempted murders, assaults with deadly weapons and rapes.
EPD – You re-organized the department. EPD looks much different than it did 1 year ago. Expect more changes as it will look much different tomorrow. Understand each big stride takes countless smaller steps in planning to execute a mission. It’s not always done perfectly, in fact sometimes change can be ugly, but we are moving in a very purposeful direction.
• EPD retired 5 high ranking leaders after an accumulative century and a half of service. Of course Murl was much of that dedication.
• EPD restructured the organization moving units under a captain and balancing the captain workload.
• EPD changed the expectation of leadership to mentor, guide and coach subordinates and provided training.
• EPD moved to a geographic policing concept creating two service areas.
• EPD has endeavored to work more closely with the community and see a vastly different paradigm in how we police.
• EPD has acquired a half million dollar CAD/RMS to reduce out of service time and increase efficiency. We will actually be able to look at data and give you direction on hot spots.
• EPD has begun the process of re-evaluating calls for service to determine what calls can be downgraded to a lower priority or given a different response.
EPD — Administratively you have reformed command and control, policy and internal issues.
• EPOA no longer works 42 hour weeks getting paid for 40 hours!
• EPD and EPOA settled an FSLA lawsuit without bloodletting.
• EPD ended a claim with a sergeant who used excessive force.
• EPD had a promotional process seat change including the inclusion of community members and LE subject matter experts in making recommendations for promotion. The process is designed to be fair, balanced and transparent to all, especially those striving for promotion.
• EPD promoted 6 people to positions of authority including two captains, a support services manager, two sergeants and a communications dispatch supervisor.
• EPD recruited, vetted and hired new clerical staff, dispatchers and police officers. For the first time in forever EPD was within sight of full staffing.
• EPD has gotten most of our injured officers back in the field. EPD went from 6 injured and 7 vacant positions to 2 out of the field and 2 vacant positions. (two frozen)
• EPD has re-written and updated the policy and procedural manual. More than 100 policies received overhaul. It was a gigantic effort by staff…especially Mary Kirby.
• EPD brought in combat first-aide training and bought gunshot kits.
• EPD has a formal IA protocol with collecting data.
• EPD IA investigations are down numerically from an average of 17 a year to 10. The findings are now more in line with the national averages, including an increase in exonerated findings.
EPD has several major initiatives coming this year.
- EPD is moving forward in the development of a Strategic Plan. Captain Stephen’s has the lead.
• EPD is implementing a Chief’s Advisory Panel (CAP) to examine budget, policy, training and personnel investigations.
• EPD will spend more time getting out of their cars, walking and talking with community members as opportunity arises. We are part of this community and they are an important part of us. Not just for information but rather for long-term cohesiveness and a unified Eureka.
• EPD is implementing de-confliction and de-escalation training as part of the CIT protocol. (Captain Watson has the lead)
• EPD suggested and is moving toward annual perishable skills at CR for all personnel countywide.
• EPD has begun purchasing additional bean bag shotguns and rounds for each person.
• EPD is updating Tasers™ to ensure each person has less lethal options immediately available.
• EPD is researching and moving toward implementation of body cameras.
• EPD and the EPOA are in labor negotiations.
• EPD and the EPOA are updating the MOU to reflect the best practices in personnel policy.
• EPD as staffing allows will move toward a two-officer, uniformed proactive team that helps with tough problems citywide.
While there is much I left out of this recounting, I want you to know just how much I appreciate what you did in just over a year. Incredible Effort! There will always be those who don’t like or want the police. In fact there are some who want to abolish the police.
The lion does not care what the sheep thinks…the lion hunts anyway. Having said that, we want and need the support of the community. We cannot successfully police without their support, contribution and complicity.
Please know the vast majority of Eurekan’s appreciate, respect and want to work with you. They clamor for your acceptance, approval and connection. Their respect for us and policing in general is built on our integrity, performance and treatment of them. Your efforts even though singular in nature can have a huge impact on the greater body of policing and governance nationally.
I promise in the future they will not be this lengthy!