Council Passes Sweeping Police Re-Organization without Opposition

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By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – In the end the city council not only unanimously passed the city’s police reorganization plan, but did so without anything that resembled opposition—no emails, no public comments, no dissent.

“Today I am looking back on almost 50 years of listening to activists question community power structures, and asking how to rebalance those structures to lift the most vulnerable out of poverty and incarceration,” Mayor Gloria Partida said.

“I am incredibly proud to today to be at this end of it,” she said.  She was especially grateful to the staff “who understood that what we needed was how to get to ‘yes’ and made that happen.”

She noted that included the police department.

“Our community continues to reaffirm that we are a city that will not accept the status quo when it comes to standing up for what is right,” she added.  “There are many councils that would have found this too much of a reach.”

The new organization would include the following core areas: early intervention and prevention, mental health and crisis intervention, affordable housing, homeless services, code enforcement, data analysis and administration.

To that, the council on Tuesday added the renter resources.

The proposed new department would have seven full time positions and come at a cost of roughly $434,000 in et new recurring costs. In the current budget process, the council reserved about $790,000 in funds from the city’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation.

Positions would include three positions that are net new costs—Department Director, Affordable Housing Manager and Homeless Services Manager, which transitions from the current Police Services Specialist. They will also add positions with no new costs: Homeless Outreach Coordinator, Data Analyst and Management Analyst.

Three commissions—Social Services, Police Accountability, and Human Relations—provided the original report and recommendations for reimagining public safety to the city council in December 2020.

The group met over the course of several months and ultimately made nine recommendations to council.

In addition, a council subcommittee evaluated the Crisis Now model and, in September, the council voted to allocate $1.17 million to partner with Yolo County on the Crisis Now effort.

A separate subcommittee met to determine whether and which city services currently assigned to the police department should be assigned to other departments.

Josh Chapman related a situation that happened recently where a neighbor came to him concerned that they had a neighbor that they had not seen or heard from and were concerned they were going to take their own life.

“They didn’t want to call the police department,” he said.  “This provides this space space (and) has the ability to impact so many people’s lives.”

Both Will Arnold and Lucas Frerichs noted the ongoing nature of this work.

“Whether it’s the formation of the police accountability commission, enhanced role of the Independent Police Auditor, we recognized though that there was a need to do more—especially after the issues, last year, deaths and murder of George Floyd, Brianna Taylor and others,” said Vice Mayor Lucas Frerichs.

“I do appreciate the the references that were made to some of the work that we’ve done, that this body has done in various iterations over the years,” Councilmember Will Arnold said.  “Very progressive police reforms including the independent police auditor position, developing the alternative dispute resolution process, use of restorative justice practices, the surveillance technology ordinance that was based on ACLU model language, the surveillance, or the body camera video release policies that we took up a renewal of recently.

“We have taken steps to strategically re-invest the police department budget,” he added, noting investments in homeless outreach and services, mental health crisis intervention, and Crisis Now.

Dan Carson, while praising the efforts on policing, pointed out that this effort goes beyond that.

“Some of the things that we accomplish here go far beyond the police reform issue, but I think are clearly helpful there too,” Dan Carson said, noting that many of the upgrades could help make progress on issues like affordable housing.

Will Arnold added, “Our record as a body is quite robust when it comes to addressing police reform and addressing how best to provide community safety to the citizens we represent.”

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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32 thoughts on “Council Passes Sweeping Police Re-Organization without Opposition”

  1. Ron Oertel

    The proposed new department would have seven full time positions and come at a cost of roughly $434,000 in et new recurring costs. In the current budget process, the council reserved about $790,000 in funds from the city’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation.

    Just wait until that money runs out, and you’ll see how much “rejoicing” there is.  🙂

    $434,000 in new recurring costs. (Rising annually, I would assume.)

      1. Ron Oertel

        Your own citation describes them as recurring costs.

        In any case, what are the new, recurring costs?  How much extra will this cost the city each year, going forward? And where is that money coming from?

        1. Ron Oertel

          Thanks.

          And, how much is the full cost of that, going forward?  (And can you tell us what those positions are?)

          I realize I can look them up in the staff report, but I’m not inclined to do so at the moment.  In any case, perhaps some of your other readers will be interested, as well.

        2. Bill Marshall

          There is another “cost”… the $790 k spent on this, that could have been used for other purposes, other services… the choice to apportion that $$$ to this purpose either means other services have been forgone or the money to provide them will need to be provided in other ways, other revenues.

          At the end of the day, it was ‘found $$$’, and the only question is how it is spent… positions, equipment, etc., or actually making a difference in people’s lives… the ‘difference’ with the new alignment is speculative… might happen, might not… not saying it is a bad choice, just pointing out there could have been other choices for these expenditures.

          What is not addressed appears to be what actual services will be provided.  And the cost thereof.

          The die is cast in this game of chance… we’ll see how it plays out…

        3. Ron Oertel

          David: It looks like the $434,000/year is a recurring cost after all (presumably rising each year, as well) – per the “Fiscal Overview” that you provided.

          So unless this is an “experiment” using temporary money, those positions will either have to be eliminated once the funds are used up, or accounted for in the future. Which would then be paid for by a city that already claims to be experiencing fiscal challenges.

          Do you know what the two new positions are for?

          Also, do you know what they’re using the remaining balance of the $790,000 for? (In reference to the temporary/one-time funds.)

        4. Ron Oertel

          Positions would include three positions that are net new costs—Department Director, Affordable Housing Manager and Homeless Services Manager, which transitions from the current Police Services Specialist.

          The manner in which this is worded indicates that only the first two are the “new” positions, and that there are “two” net new positions, not “three”.  A “Director”, and a “Manager”, which are also shown on the organization chart.

          I also see what appears to be a new unfilled position (Rental Resources Staff Position).

          It would probably be useful to show a “before-and-after” organization chart.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            The two new positions are Department Director and Affordable Housing Manager. They’ll have to cut or reallocate to fund them. They might be able to get some grants as well.

        5. Ron Oertel

          I don’t see a high likelihood of cutting those positions, once they’re in place in this organizational chart.

          I also don’t really see what any of this has to do with “police reform”.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Point one: I didn’t mean to imply that they would cut those positions, but they could cut other positions, not fill retirements to fund it.

            Point two: They’ve move a number of positions outside of the police department. That means that the police will not be handling things like homeless services, mental health, code enforcement any more.

          2. Don Shor

            That means that the police will not be handling things like homeless services, mental health, code enforcement any more.

            So the next time a large homeless encampment is set up and there are persistent and increasing health and safety problems, who is going to handle the process of clearing it out?

        6. David Greenwald Post author

          I would probably argue that you shouldn’t be clearing out homeless sites by force.  All you do is push them to another part of town.  But, nothing in this prevents the police from doing it, it just means that the homeless coordinator(s) are not working for the police department.

        7. Alan Miller

          I would probably argue that you shouldn’t be clearing out homeless sites by force.

          I would argue that there is no other way for the majority of those in the encampments.  How would you propose clearing the camps, if not by force.  Specifically, for the site near my house that I call “New Graceland” – do you propose that the solution is to leave the camp there eternally?  That it be ever-growing (which is what happens if you don’t clear it out).  That the associate noise, fights, bike-theft, drug use, drug sales and assault just be ‘put up with’ for those unfortunate enough to live by drainage ditches, bike paths, railroads and other places the homeless set up?  Do you propose that until the day comes we can ‘house’ all the people, we let the crime, squalor and unsanitary conditions grow?  While there is no ‘solution’ as to where they go, why is the ‘solution’ to leave them in a place that isn’t working?

          Understand, I am not for ‘moving on’ people who are there because they can’t pay their rent or have mental health challenges.  Years ago, a homeless man with mental issues camped in the exact same spot.  The neighbors talked and decided we had no issue with his being there and no one felt threatened.  That is not the case of those who set up camp at New Graceland today.  We want them out because they are committing crimes, stealing bikes and in one case assaulted me (threw rocks at me) and got in a fight with a neighbor who ended up with reduced use of one hand from the altercation.  These things are not OK.

          And what of the fact almost none of those moved out of F Street took up the offer for services?  That is the experience universally when you are dealing with ‘meth addicts in tents’, whom some refer to as ‘the homeless’.

          the next time a large homeless encampment is set up and there are persistent and increasing health and safety problems, who is going to handle the process of clearing it out?

          I would argue small as well, because as we have seen, if you allow a small one to remain, you get a large one.

          nothing in this prevents the police from doing it, it just means that the homeless coordinator(s) are not working for the police department.

          That means that the police will not be handling things like homeless services, mental health, code enforcement any more.

          I was told (by someone we both know who can name themselves if they so choose) is that this not true regarding ‘code enforcement’ being moved and that the police will be still be handling ‘code enforcement’ regarding the clearing of camps.  What I was told is that the new department will have a code-enforcement position that will coordinate code enforcement between city departments.  That is the only reason I didn’t make a public comment against this last night as I trust the person who told me this.

          nothing in this prevents the police from doing it, it just means that the homeless coordinator(s) are not working for the police department.

          I am fine with the homeless coordinators not being in the police department, as they don’t belong in the police department.  What I am not OK with is if code enforcement activities that allow the police to clear out ‘homeless’ camps (especially those with criminal/sanity/safety issues) are no longer permitted to be performed by the police department.  My understanding is the police no longer are involved with homeless services, but are still involved in enforcement.  CORRECT?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            “I am fine with the homeless coordinators not being in the police department, as they don’t belong in the police department. What I am not OK with is if code enforcement activities that allow the police to clear out ‘homeless’ camps (especially those with criminal/sanity/safety issues) are no longer permitted to be performed by the police department. My understanding is the police no longer are involved with homeless services, but are still involved in enforcement. CORRECT?”

            I’m pretty sure that a clearing operation would involve the police. Just as a call to Crisis NOW could have the police accompany them if say the person had a knife.

        8. Keith Y Echols

          I would probably argue that you shouldn’t be clearing out homeless sites by force.  All you do is push them to another part of town.  

          If you keep pushing them out by force; many will eventually leave.  The homeless tend to settle where they can get comfortable and feel safe.

          Community ordinance/standards enforcement is a separate function from community outreach and rehabilitation. I’m all for helping people out. But I don’t think you should endure a nuisance or worse a hazard to the community because the community hasn’t figured out the best way to manage or help the homeless. It’s like not arresting people for crimes because the prosecuting attorney hasn’t figured out how to best charge the defendants.

    1. Richard_McCann

      Ron O

      As a Woodland resident with no stake in management of Davis affairs, what you might think about this isn’t particularly relevant to the discussion here. Your preferences carry no weight.

      1. Alan Miller

        RMcC, I understand you believe a non-resident’s comments have no weight.  That is not a viewpoint we all share.

        I do not know where all the commenters live, but I know not all of them are residents.  Through a very unfortunate incident, we know (or think we know) where RO lives.  I don’t believe we should perpetuate the doxxing incident by continuing to reference information gained from an immoral act.

      2. Keith Y Echols

        @Richard

        I don’t get why you’re so hung up on Ron’s residency.  It’s like you have no other way to interact with him at this point.  What difference does it make where he lives?  Just imagine that he represents the (dogmatic) no growth people in Davis…..there certainly are plenty of them.

  2. David Greenwald Post author

    He’s entitled to his opinion. You’re entitled to yours. I don’t think city of residence is overly violative of one’s privacy rights, if it were street address or housing coordinates, it would be removed.

    1. Alan Miller

      What I have issue with is that we gained this (supposed) knowledge due to a doxxing incident, and though that person was banned immediately, information so gleaned is still used against the person doxxed.  As that information was gained through doxxing and the person doesn’t want this constantly referenced, I suggest we respect that.  This is not about “opinions”; there is nothing in referencing someone’s residency that has to do with ‘opinion’.  Strange that we are supposed to consider ‘homeless’ people as neighbors and residents and respect that, but we can’t respect a commenter’s wish that their town of residence (supposedly), that we  gleaned through an immoral act, not be referenced.  But in your world, DG, bringing up where someone lives is an ‘opinion’.  On which of the 37 solar planets does that make sense?

      1. Bill Marshall

         that we gained this (supposed) knowledge due to a doxxing incident, and though that person was banned immediately, information so gleaned is still used against the person doxxed.

        Patently untrue… I knew about it long before “the incident”…

        And the “aggrieved” person implicitly referenced, has done the same thing, albeit without using physical address, or lat/long… that incident was truly egregious… the ‘aggrieved’ one has been more subtle, in a P/A manner… both should stop.

        However, if a person from Ithica, NY (anonymously) should opine in such a way that implies they are personally at interest, on how I act, and/or vote, how I ‘should feel’ about a Davis, or CA matter, they are fair game as to “you have no skin in this game”.

        Matters of fact are one thing… I don’t care where a poster comes from (literally or figuratively)… but invasive attempts to meddle (oft by questions, often with innuendo implied), without ‘showing your cards’, is to me, another… there are more than a few posters who have done that.  I typically ‘show my cards’ as to opinions, and as to facts.  Others do not.

        Goes to judging ‘credibility’, ‘motives’ of others…

         

        1. Keith Y Echols

           I don’t care where a poster comes from (literally or figuratively)… but invasive attempts to meddle (oft by questions, often with innuendo implied), without ‘showing your cards’, is to me, another… there are more than a few posters who have done that.  I typically ‘show my cards’ as to opinions, and as to facts.  Others do not.
          Goes to judging ‘credibility’, ‘motives’ of others…

          What difference does it make?  It’s the freakin internet.  None of the comments here matter or amount to anything.  If we are in a bar drinking beers and discussing all of this stuff…it would all be the same; a bunch of blowhards shouting a bunch of BS and thinking they’re right (which I am when I post).

        2. Alan Miller

          Patently untrue… I knew about it long before “the incident”…

          I didn’t know about . . . . . “it”

          Mia F. Culpa

          What difference does it make? It’s the freakin internet. None of the comments here matter or amount to anything. If we are in a bar drinking beers and discussing all of this stuff…it would all be the same; a bunch of blowhards shouting a bunch of BS and thinking they’re right .

          Truer words . . . 😐

      2. Bill Marshall

        Oh, and Alan M…  I quite respect you on many matters… but

        we gained this (supposed) knowledge [residency] 

        … is ‘public’ not supposed, factual… as is mine and yours… you can even look up most of my employment, pension info (suspect VG will take that up due to a op-ed piece by RRifkin in the Emptyprize today… was a good ‘fodder’ set of VG articles, in the past, which certain ‘frequent fliers’ loved to latch on to) [yes, that is a prediction]…

        One can even somewhat easily look up folk’s registered political party, definitely in CO… daughter is about to change that affiliation, she didn’t know it was “out there”… somewhat disturbed about it, in fact..

        Context is important… gratuitous “context” is not … implied context, as it were.  Depends on the topic, in my opinion… ex:  (old joke)… middle aged Italian, Catholic woman, asked about a papal directive banning contraception measures, “he no play-a the game, he no make-a the rules!”  [moderator… no racial/ethnic, religious, gender, sexual, etc., ‘insults’ intended…]

         

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