Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


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Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A few more drops

Isolated thunderstorms had been forecast for next week, but the skies will remain sunny, according to the latest report. However, a few more drops were added to the bucket.

The Riverside Police Department has once again moved its upper management personnel around. Capt. Pete Esquival has left his stint helming the Personnel and Training office and has been assigned to Special Operations at the new and finally opened, Magnolia Station. During his stint in Personnel and Training, Esquival and his staff members including Officer Cheryl Hayes had worked hard to recruit a diverse group of applicants to begin the process of becoming police officers. In July, they sponsored a forum where 120 men and 30 women appeared to take their written tests inside the Stratton Center, while their families and friends waited outside, watching demonstrations held by several canine officers.

He has been replaced by Capt. Michael Blakely. Maybe former officers Lee Wagner, Alex Tortes and Ron Orrantia can appreciate the irony of that more fully than the rest of us. Hopefully, Blakely will continue to implement and improve upon a recruitment program that ensures that the demographics of the department reflect those of the communities it serves.The community leaders plan to keep his feet to the fire on that one.

Blakely will also oversee the Internal Affairs Division. He will be supervised by new Deputy Chief John De La Rosa.

Salary negotiations still continue for many city employees even as the city's fire fighter union and employees represented by the SEIU have negotiated their contracts. City Manager Brad Hudson should remember that with everything, you get what you pay for, and that includes police officers. They need to be paid well, provided with good benefits and compensated when they retire. Also, if you want your police officers to Live Riverside and "Shop Riverside" like the rest of us, they need to be paid well enough to afford to pay the rising housing costs in this city. Give them a good contract and you will hopefully attract the best applicants. In the long run, attracting and hiring the wrong applicants is just so much more expensive.

The department's management union is currently in litigation with the city in Riverside County Superior Court. When Lt. Darryl Hurt, who heads it, tried to explain his bargaining unit's position at a city council meeting, Mayor Ron Loveridge cut him off. Bad form, mayor.

CPRA Watch: 37 days without a response. Second request submitted to the police department and City Attorney's office on Aug. 28 at 12:36 pm.


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