FORTUNA FAVET FORTIBUS
By way of background, during my 12-year tenure on the Pasadena City Council I was the biggest champion of the Pasadena Police Department. During a time of budget reductions I insisted that our department be maintained at full strength, that our officers were among the highest paid in our region and also ensured that our police sergeants were treated similarly.
I made sure that the weapons training facility in Eaton Canyon, under the watchful eye of our late Range master Jack Preston, was kept open so that our officers could maintain the highest standards in lethal force training. And when my constituents objected to the noise from gunfire I secured federal funding to install a sound baffling system so that the weapons training could continue unabated.
My legacy on the council lives on in this very meeting that you are having today (June 4). I led the move for the establishment of the Public Safety Committee and served as its first chairperson (filling the position that my dear friend John Kennedy now holds) precisely because I believed then, and still do now, that public safety should be our highest priority as elected public officials.
As a practicing attorney in Pasadena for 40 years, I am aware of the painful examples of police misconduct that have unfortunately occurred over the years in the Crown City. Some of these examples have even reached to the command staff of the Pasadena Police Department.
Our current chief of police, John Perez, is doing an outstanding job providing much needed sound leadership to our Police Department. There’s a photograph of him actually directing traffic for the protest that took place Tuesday afternoon at City Hall and he was quoted as saying:
“Nobody’s going to hijack this event, and take this right, this constitutional right, to make the change they want to see in policing. There is no police officer who has not seen that video, and there is no one who is not bothered by what we see. That’s not what we stand for, that is not our culture.”
The question of whether or not to finally establish civilian oversight of the Pasadena Police Department is going to be a real test of your political fortitude. I know what it means to have the support of the Pasadena Police Officers Association. Along with the firefighters union, they are the largest single campaign contributors in local elections. Their support can make or break a candidate. I know this well, because I had their support each time that I got elected to the City Council. None of you want to incur their wrath if you are ever planning on running for political office again.
“Fortuna Favet Fortibus” in English means “Fortune favors the brave.”
If there was ever a time in your political careers to rise to the occasion and be brave, this is that time. This will not be easy for you to do. But when the history of the current era in our city’s political history, and indeed our nation, is recorded you will be remembered for what you do today, tomorrow, and next week on the question of finally establishing civilian oversight of the Pasadena Police Department.
FORMER MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEMBER
FORMER CHAIR OF THE PASADENA PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE
“If we let our desire to prematurely get back to normal, we can only get ourselves right back in the same hole we were in a few weeks ago,” reports Dr. Anthony Fauci.
From our president we hear get back to work, open schools. It’s the governors’ decision, except when he decides to write an executive order to force meat plants to open, even though many deaths exist and workers are not safe. I thought governors were in charge.
I see this isn’t about the health and safety of the people you serve, it’s about YOU!
What’s a few more lost lives compared to an improved economy, thus your re-election.
I do not know about you and the sycophants who follow your every wish, and yes, our attorney general who threatened the governors who want to do what is right, but it’s apparent this coronavirus is a serious disease. Besides a lasting respiratory disorder, it creates devastating mental health problems. It can also affect your heart, liver, kidney and endocrine system. Surviving the possibility of death is just one obstacle. Next is the possible long-term damage.
So, who are you going to listen to?
Our expert health officials who only care about your health and safety, or our president and his followers who have turned out to be incompetent and liars. We have a president who 85 percent of Americans do not trust or believe is honest, and he is running to be re-elected.?
~DR. RICHARD A. FRENCH
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