Culver City Observer -

By Stephen Hadland
Observer Publisher 

City Pulls Police Rescue Vehicle from Agenda

Police Officers Association Expresses Outrage

 

August 29, 2019

The agenda item to approve the purchase order for the Lenco BearCat Emergency Response Rescue Vehicle was mysteriously removed for the agenda at Monday night's council meeting. The purchase has been previously approved as part of the 2019-20 city budget.

The only explanation issued was that the council wanted more community input.

Reacting swiftly in a strongly worded letter the Culver City Police Officers Association Board of Directors said, "We feel compelled to speak up regarding this critical piece of public safety equipment. We would like to share with you the POA's perspective and views on why the department must acquire a Rescue Vehicle.

From El Paso, TX to Dayton, Ohio to Gilroy, CA, there are way too many active shooters/mass shootings taking place across this nation; far too many to count. It is an epidemic. Recently, a Sacramento police officer was shot while investigating a domestic violence incident in the city. Due to the suspect's firepower, Officer Tara O'Sullivan could not be rescued for over 40 minutes. She met a lonely, cold and painful death. We can't help but wonder what would've been the outcome if a rescue vehicle could've gotten to her sooner and transported her to a hospital."

We've also been disturbed to hear comments from people that say that critical incidents don't happen in Culver City and that this is "Mayberry." Its comments like these that are just preposterous, ridiculous and quite frankly, they're insulting. Not several months ago, our officers responded to a welfare check at one of the local motels and were immediately greeted by a barrage of gunfire."

Thankfully, none of our officers were struck or injured but they were forced to take cover behind cars which offered minimal protection. They had to wait several hours for the LA County Sheriff's Department's Special Enforcement Bureau to arrive. With their Rescue Vehicle, mind you. The suspect was safely taken into custody without incident."

If Culver City is truly "Mayberry" then maybe our line officers should stop wearing their bulletproof vests. I mean, why wear that clunky, heavy piece of equipment if nothing really happens here.

The letter went on to say, "the data certainly doesn't lie in regards to mass shootings and officer deaths. As of Aug. 5, the 217th dav of. 2019, there have been 255 mass shootings. Moreover, over 75 police officers have been killed in this country in 2018. We are not Mayberry."

We know that the City Council cares about this city and its Police Officers; those that have taken an oath to swear and protect them. All we are asking is for a piece of equipment, a Rescue Vehicle, that will protect us as we run into harm's way."

The POA concluded on a positive note, "We are hopeful but confident, you're going to do what's right and the department will be able to acquire a Rescue Vehicle. We thank you for all that you do. Please keep up the great work and thank you for taking this opportunity to hear the POA on this very important matter. If you'd like to discuss this matter further, we would be happy to do so and would encourage the community to join us in dialogue."

Readers may remember the 1997 North Hollywood Bank of America robbery where two-armed bank robbers covered in heavily plated body armor with illegally modified heavy weapons engaged dozens of police officers in a shootout where over 2,000 rounds were discharged. The bullets penetrated the patrol vehicles. Twenty people were injured including 12 police officers. The police officers were forced to visit a nearby gun shop to get AR-15 style rifles as their guns were neffective against the robbers.

In the past when an issue was referred back for "community input" it meant that the council was looking for a reason to kill it.

 

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