Thursday, December 17, 2009

So, about Garr Neilsen's My Word...

and the idea of 'investing' in law enforcement.... ummm, isn't that something we already do, Garr? And since the piece seems focused on letting criminals out of prison, aren't we 'investing' a shitload of money in prison guard pay? And even more than that in their retirement? Don't they get 90% of their wages, paid forever after after they retire? Seems to me we have invested to the point the state is broke. Seems that is siphoning off all the money that could go to maintaining a working law enforcement system.

But that isn't what strikes me most - what gets me is the moves AGAINST law enforcement in our own community, which has reached the point where you have to ask why not just shut it down? Entirely. Everybody hates the cops, from the CLMP to the Board who is voting to set someone up in business in case the cops screw up even though there is no incident, even though there are already several redundant review processes... why should we invest more when law enforcement is being hamstrung at every level?

And it is not just that - so we invest in your officers, and they send the case to the DA - then what? He diverts offenders into drug court? How is that different from "the wholesale release of inmates" exactly? By degrees only, if you ask me. When cases are being diverted, plead down or dismissed, all the investment in the world isn't going to help.

We certainly seem to be at a crossroads, a time where we have to decide where our values lie - are people so complacent that they side against law enforcement? It sure seems that way to me. We've reached a point where we seem to be deciding the choices of drug dealers take precedence, and are preferred.

And no matter how hard the cops work, they can't have any effect when they have to hand the case over to a DA like Gallegos.

That's where your argument - or the argument of whoever wrote the piece - breaks down. It sounds good on the surface, but it misses the real problem.

As it is, that opinion piece, on closer scrutiny, is kinda like the Kentucky Fried Chicken building plunked down in the middle of McKinleyville, completely out of place.


  1. There are persistent rumors of links between Gallegos and BIG POT. True? If so, a post on that would be very useful.

    SoHum refugee

  2. Garr Nielsen has done a fine job as police chief.He has helped restore some confidence with the public,that's who he works for.

    "Everybody hates the cops, from the CLMP to the Board who is voting to set someone up in business in case the cops screw up even though there is no incident, even though there are already several redundant review processes... why should we invest more when law enforcement is being hamstrung at every level?"

    It is true that many are fed up with the Sheriff's department,don't confuse that with the E.P.D.I'd suspect that most CLMPers would love to have Garr as sheriff.

  3. Right, CLMP is mostly Southern Humboldt, and their interaction would only be with the Sheriff.

    But don't try to tell me that there hasn't been a huge rage against EPD by the Ken Miller "progressives."

    Let's not rewrite history.

    And it would be stupid for Neilsen to run for Sheriff when he still has work to do at EPD.

    And, btw - I don't know where anon gets the idea conservatives don't like Garr - reactions to him are all over the map, conservative/liberal doesn't seem to be a factor EXCEPT that he seems to have aligned himself with the Neely contingent, and decided to be a political animal as opposed to being police chief first and foremost.

    Criticisms of him have more to do with that and the turmoil in his dept. than with 'conservative/liberal.' "Progressive" is another story, they do seem to be universally aligned with Neilsen, which can only mean they expect to get something out of him. So I'm not surprised you think CLMP wants him.

    Again, you're going to have to decide where your values lie. Do you want law enforcement that actually does its job, or do you just want figureheads who will let the pot growers do what they want? That's a bad road to go down. But if you want it - again - disband law enforcement. Why pay money if you won't let them do their job? Why ask them to enforce the law when you won't allow it?

  4. Rose, I gotta disagree on the 'my word' thang. Garr just wanted to get the position piece out. Police and jails are as much as an investment as schools and welfare. I don't think he was trying to fool the T-S into publishing it as his words, Maybe the T-S needs to have a written policy 'my word' submitters read and sign to make it clear. And if he did, so what, he's no a scholar or journalist. His job is to get the word out and get support. Just like officers can lie to get confessions from suspects, it is an ends justify the means world out there (unfortunately).

    Does the term 'my word' actually refer to it is my writing only, or does it refer to this is my point of view. conspiracy theory: knowing the T-S they probably knew it was a position paper but forced him into that venue because of length of submittal. You know, part of that acting against law enforcement thing, which I agree is occurring in this county.

  5. I agree - it looks to be an innocent mistake.

  6. Imagine if he actually wrote a piece addressing the real problems here - and said flat out this community experienced a rash of problems a couple years ago, shootings which seemed to follow the rule of threes, but look at the long view, all the years with no incidents, and the time since - these things happen, and while it is right to examine the circumstances, it is not right to pile on against law enforcement as a knee jerk reaction.

    What if he praised the men and women who work for him, and for us, who risk their lives for us every day so that we do not have to carry weapons, and so that we have actually been able to forget how to protect ourselves.

    What if he acknowledged that there are problems and internal strife without the us v. them and made the case for the community valuing their police force.

    Because the real investment that is needed is the SUPPORT, not financial, but the spirit, the caring, and the valuing instead of degrading. The standing behind them instead of attacking them.

    That's what he needs to write.

    And he himself needs to stand behind and beside his fellow law enforcement agencies. Stop the poliitical posturing.

    Just my opinion. He seems to side with the critics who attack his own men. That makes a certain contingent happy, but it does not a leader make.

  7. If you are reading - you see that Ben McLaughlin weighed in on the post below - expressing his frustration with my view of a case disposition.

    In many ways Ben McLaughlin is what I am talking about when I take exception to Garr Neilsen's 'investment' piece.

    He is one of many hard working public servants - the Deputy DA's - who put in long hours, with no overtime pay, who think the people for whom they work care about them and what they do.

    Come to find out - as we lost almost all of our experienced Deputy DA's, they found that the people didn't know, didn't care and wouldn't raise a finger, not to prevent their firing, protect them from bad treatment, or even to issue a farewell proclamation thanking them for their service as the Board of Supervisors routinely does.

    At the very least, you would have thought Bonnie Neely, who knew full well the measure and decency of people like Worth Dikeman and Allison Jackson, Rob Wade and Andrew Isaac would have made offered some acknowledgement.

    But then there's alot that makes no sense. These are the people who would fight for you, for your right to good treatment at work, yet they will not stand up for themselves, and would not speak out publicly about the turmoil in the DA's office because they did not want to hurt the people who were still there.

    I made a point of talking to people who left - in part to check my facts.

    What I found was these are people with a very high sense of the importance of their work and the importance of its impact on victims and society, and yes, even for the accused. There is a very high ethical standard, and they are deeply proud.

    The case loads are astronomically heavy, especially now that there are so few remaining to carry the load - and right now there are very few with the experience needed for murder cases.

    It's a thankless job.

    And last election, people chose the candidate who not only could not fix it, but refuses to fix it.

    And that is very sad, but it is an indicator of what people are choosing to 'invest' in.

    It isn't law enforcement, it isn't victim's rights - it's entertainment, it's 'causes' like 'get Palco' and sympathy for the offenders instead of those they harm.

    If this is going to CHANGE, it has to come from you the people. And there are only 163 days left til the June primary.

    Even then you'll be stuck with Gallegos til the following january.

    But you can fix this.

  8. thankless JOB?

    Rose, what do you do for a living?


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