Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Letter to the Editor

We, the undersigned, all Altadena Outstanding Citizens of the Year who continue to be deeply involved with and concerned for our community are writing in answer to the claims of the Altadena Town Council regarding police abuse and the expectation of reprisals printed in the Star News letters on May 30.

The facts, the documentation, and the racial make up of our station and patrol personnel--both past and present--stand in opposition to these claims as well as to any casual observations by Council members from wherever they work or reside. Whatever their perch at any given time of day they certainly don’t capture the larger view of what has occurred one block or one mile away in this community of nine square miles and more than 46,000 people.

The Altadena Station personnel, patrol deputies, volunteers, and command staff conduct community outreach on a level rarely seen elsewhere in the County of Los Angeles. The forums and organizations available to the community through the Sheriff’s station include Neighborhood Watch, Altadena Clergy Council, Sheriff’s Support Group of Altadena, Community Advisory Committee, Youth Activities League, Mountain Rescue, Volunteers on Patrol, and the Mounted Posse. Through the volunteer efforts of these groups and those working at the station we have our Summer Concert Series at Farnsworth Park, community barbeques, community presentations, and forums throughout the town all in an effort to reach out to the community to communicate and receive feedback. The folks from the station when conducting these forums relate to the community what is involved with law enforcement and the difficulties that Deputies face every day in their effort to keep us safe and protect our property. At these presentations they regularly reinforce the reporting procedures.

The Town Council exists to bring together community members and the government agencies that serve their needs in a proactive forum in order for information to be exchanged and so that difficulties on the part of anyone in town can be addressed by the appropriate representative. Blindsiding and grandstanding statements for the benefit of the cameras without giving sufficient notice so that the representative may present an informed response discredits the Council and its members and diminishes their effectiveness.

It behooves the members of the Altadena Town Council to become enlightened with all that is provided them by the Sheriff’s at our station and understand the recourse available on behalf of their constituents. They should endeavor to hone their communication abilities as well. As elected representatives of the community it is a small effort they should each undertake.

Jamie Bissner Cumi MacKenzie
Tecumseh Shackelford Ken Balder Sandra Thomas, PhD
Bob Klomburg Kathy Klomburg Tom Joyce

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great letter. Thanks!