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Volume 2, Number 34
Have yourself a merry lil’ Christmas
Holiday Festivities to Ring in New Year
December 22nd, 2011
New Policies Enacted By FPD by Alex Stouffer
ormer Acting Police Chief, Kevin Hamilton, briefed council on Tuesday night with updates to the Fullerton Police Departments law enforcement methods. Employees throughout the entire department are being trained via a five point program. Every member of the police department dealing with the public has been trained using POST Telecourses on homelessness and mental illness. Additionally, field officers have taken an eight hour crisis intervention course administered from D-Prep. These officers have been required to test both before and after the course in order to assess performance.
After playing the 53rd Grammy Award show, and just after Christmas show with Persian superstar Mansour in Las Vegas Taiko project will close out the year in style at Orange County’s only First Night celebration in Fullerton.
arbor blvd at Chapman Ave and adjacent streets will be closed Dec 31st for Fullerton’s annual First Night celebration. The event draws thousands of revelers to the heart of our downtown for the only such event in Orange County. First Night celebrations were started in Boston in 1976 as a family friendly alternative new years celebration.
Sandy Kates belts out a rendition of “Rock Me Tonight” at Back Alley’s annual Toys for Tots event.
Officers have also been working with the training department on the policy regarding use of force and the proper use of Tasers. Since 2009, 14 officers have attended a two day course at Golden West College covering homelessness and mental illness. Seven more officers have enrolled for the Spring of 2012. Hamilton acknowledged that training 7 out of 144 officers within the department doesn’t seem like much, but that the class is in high demand from other law enforcement agencies, and is highly recommended by the Training Department. Fullerton PD has revised the methods for accepting citizen complaints. Previously if a person wished to file a complaint against an officer, they would first have to submit
Council Approves City Manager Agreement For Joe Felz by Alex Stouffer
City council accepted the recommendation from the Human Resources Department to approve the employment contract for city manager, Joe Felz. Payment of his $212,000 annual salary is retroactive from the date of July 9th, 2011. A couple speakers expressed concern that no survey was taken to assess other potential candidates for the position. Council Member Don Bankhead believed that hiring a consultant to research other candidates would be a waste of time and tax payer funds saying, “It would seem rather foolish that we do something like [surveying], because in the end we would wind up with Joe anyway… Quite frankly, I don’t think that there is anyone that would be more qualified to act as city manager for the city of Fullerton”. Bankhead’s recommendation comes from the city manager’s long standing knowledge of the city and its operations. However Bankhead’s belief was not unanimous on the council. Bruce Whitaker took the dissenting opinion during the council’s 4-1 vote expressing skepticism about rushing into the agreement. Whitaker stated that the, “City manager is a very powerful role in the city and has direct supervision responsibility for the entirety of the city government. In fact the only person that we on the council directly have supervisory authority over is the city manager, and then only at certain junctures. So it is really through the city manager that the operating aspects of city government occur”.
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even if Felz ended up being selected. Additionally, it is because of the questionable transparency and accountability regarding the Kelly Thomas case that such a selection process could be used to safeguard against future liabilities. Whitaker believes that Joe Felz should have operated under an ‘at will’ employment citing City Council Member Pat McKinley’s previous 16 year ‘at will’ employment as Chief of Fullerton Police Department. McKinley replied to Whitaker’s comments stating that most city managers work on contract. He later described a baseball analogy comparing Joe Felz as “the Albert Pujols of city managers”, and claimed that other head hunters have made competing offers. Although these offers have not been declared publically, the majority of the council believes that choosing to keep Felz was the best option. Perks to the employment agreement include: • One year of severance pay should Felz be fired without reason.
Whitaker claims that researching other • A $625 monthly car allowance. candidates would have validated who- • Salary is locked and can not be lowered. ever was selected from the process,
the complaint to an office supervisor. That office supervisor would then send it to the offending officer’s superior in order to have the actions corrected. Hamilton announced that the method allowed for complaints to fall through the cracks, and the new policy states that complaints must be sent directly to the involved officer, and from there notification moves up the chain of command until it reaches the watch commander. Digital audio recorders (DARs) are now required to be on while officers are responding to an incident and should remain on until finished. An amendment will also be added to the policy to have DAR audits conducted randomly. Policy changes are set to be implemented in early 2012.
Capt. Dan Hughes Promoted As New Acting Chief
by Ed Carrasco
he City of Fullerton appointed Capt. Dan Hughes, the patrol division commander of the Fullerton Police Department, as acting chief starting Jan. 3. Word about Hughes’ appointment to the acting chief position was announced via a press release from Sgt. Andrew Goodrich. Hughes will replace Kevin Hamilton, who took over in August after Chief Michael Sellers went on extended medical leave as the Kelly Thomas beating death. “Capt. Hamilton has done an outstanding job in assuming the acting police chief position at a very difficult time
for the department and the city,” City Manger Joe Felz said in the press release. “His efforts have been very much appreciated not only by the City Council and myself, but by the community as a whole.” Hughes has been with the police department since 1983, joining as a police cadet. According to the press release, one of the first things that Hughes said he would do upon assuming his duties would be to work “on improving community trust and confidence in their Police Department”--including a possible formation of a community advisory committee to the police chief.
A Response from Ron Thomas
Nerds for Hire
by Mark Stouffer
aptain Dan Hughes is an interesting pic for Police Chief in the wake of the fatal beating of Kelly Thomas. Among his many other qualifications he has been the most prominent representative of the police department at all subsequent city council meetings. He has certainly seen some extent of the public reaction to the fatal beating that took place in the middle of the Transportation Plaza.
Kelly’s Army. Him and I still talk nicely to each other. However, Capt. Hughes was and is the Captain directly over the Patrol Division. These are the same officers that all of the brutality, rape, theft, miss-conduct, and now murder charges/lawsuits are against.”
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In a public statement Ron Thomas calls into question whether such a move will correct the course of the embattled police department.
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But Ron Thomas, father of the de- “What I see for Fullerton’s future, is a ceased Kelly Thomas, does not sup- very good possibility of “business-asport this move. usual” with the same old fox guarding “I do not support this move by the City the hen house. I say this because even Manager. After my sons death when months after Kelly’s murder, new althe protest began, [Dan Hughes] was legations of misconduct and behavior indeed very helpful to myself and are still happening.”
Water Rates Questioned
he city’s water rates is another area that is receiving a lot of attention lately. committee member and former City Council candidate Greg Sebourn directs our attention to the millions of dollars collected as water service franchise tax that doesn’t get spent on water service. More at gregsebourn.blogspot.com
Turtles and Such Things by Max Wehner
Fullertonian Staff: Mark Stouffer Developer/ Editor email@example.com Twitter: @XGenX (714) 900-3710 Alex Stouffer Marketer/ Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @Stouff3r
email@example.com Ed Carrasco Writer/ Photographer Twitter: @edfcarrasco Morgan MacLauglin Writer Max Wehner Writer/ Illustrator Fullerton Printing 315 North Lemon Street (714) 870-7500
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