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If you get a chance, check out page 15 of tomorrow’s newspaper. It’s a good read, despite the fact that it contains not a single article.
Page 15 features a full-page ad purchased by the Downey police unions. In the ad, the unions representing police management as well as rank-and-file officers distanced themselves from a ballot initiative that would allow the City Council to disband the police and fire departments and contract with L.A. County without voter approval.
The ad is framed as an open letter “to the citizens of Downey” and reads, in part: “In these tough economic times, it has been critical for us to work with the City to ensure police services remain up to your high standards. To do this, we have postponed scheduled pay raises for the past three years and made concessions to our medical and retirement benefits. Through these sacrifices, we have helped the City balance their budget while providing the same level of police services.
“We are proud to say that the outsourcing of police services has never been desired by our members. We do not believe it is our right to tell the City and the citizens whom we proudly service that they should be policed by an outside entity.
“With regards to the [ballot initiative], we question the underlying purpose as well as the driving source behind it. This amendment would reportedly cost the citizens $100,000 to put on a future special election and would take the important decision to outsource public safety from the citizens and give it to a council majority. We believe that past history has shown how you feel about public safety and this decision should remain in the hands of the citizens.”
It’s not often that Downey Police gets involved in local politics but the proposed charter amendment put them in an awkward position. Bravo to them for doing what’s right.