The letter reads like a national form letter that does not specifically reference Davis Police activities. And, while controversies have struck elsewhere, the community and the Davis Police have worked well together to avoid these kinds of national controversies.
However, the recent fundraising letter from the Davis Police Officers’ Association (DPOA), and its current president Mike Munoz, attempts to capitalize on the national climate, playing up the “war on cops” mantra to raise money locally for the DPOA.
Officer Munoz writes, “Today as I ask for your continued support of our community mission, we are mindful of the unprecedented wave of violence against our fellow officers in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York and especially the execution murder of a Texas Sheriff’s deputy. Combined with the double punch of California’s AB 109 (early release of some prisoners) and Prop 47 (making most property crimes, theft and non-violent drug crimes a misdemeanor) your future support is more critical than ever.”
The letter comes to light at the same time the Davis City Council voted to approve a 3 percent COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment) to the DPOA, among other bargaining units, in part because the DPOA has played ball and accepted concessions in the past. It comes at a time when the council may be looking at ways to add patrol officers and to make the department positions more attractive to new recruits.
It also comes at a time when many have been working with the Davis Police on ways to make the Davis Downtown safer for residents to enjoy the late night scene, as well coming on the heels of an agreement for an alternative conflict resolution process (ACR) and a discussion on the implementation of police body cameras.
Officer Munoz continues, “Knowing we are not alone and supported by you makes all the difference to us and our families. As the holidays are approaching, we are thankful for holding us up in your generosity.”
The letter continues, “Your contributions to the DPOA support our police officers and families of fallen officers, and are invested back into the community through our sponsorship of local programs. Donations are solely used to support the DPOA; this program is NOT political in nature.”
Of course, to our knowledge, there are no fallen officers locally and, while the programs may not be political in nature, the pitch certainly is.
Officer Munoz concludes, “Your solidarity with the men and women dedicated to protecting our city send an encouraging message to our youth and shouts a louder message to those criminals who might think no one cares. We know you do!”
—David M. Greenwald reporting