Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chief Joe Romero FIRED!!!


I have it from very reliable sources that an emergency meeting of the city council was called this morning to discuss a personnel matter. At that meeting Police Chief Joe Romero was fired. Since it takes 4 votes for such an action, and since newly elected councilperson Danielle Soto has not been sworn in yet, it appears that the votes to fire came from Mayor Rothman (who I'm sure is still smarting after being charged, and cleared, of DUI) and the three council persons who have objected to police checkpoints and other issues. As of this point I don't know if councilperson Paula Lantz was even part of that meeting as I earlier noted that she wasn't sworn in until this afternoon.

I personally want to thank Chief Romero for reaching out to the community. I find this to be a terrible loss for our city. We can only guess as to the "reasons" for the firing that created the need for a special meeting just before the holidays.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does the City Manager have hiring and firing powers over the Chief of Police, or is the Chief's position by appointment of the City Council?

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Oh my. I really, really, really hope this is mis-information (rarely do I hope for such things). Romero has done so much for the city, not the least of which is establishing personal connection with citizens.

John Clifford said...

I've now heard from a number of people who were at the monthly meeting that the chief holds with the neighborhood watch captains. Unfortunately, there was an announcement of the chief's firing at that meeting, which soon became the major topic of discussion.

Again, this is a VERY sad day for Pomona. I guess the question for all of us is, "what now?"

Anonymous said...

The likely "Master Plan" is to disband the Pomona Police Department and slide into a cosy contract with L.A. County Sheriff. How do you like THAT ???
Unions do deliver votes...
Shame Shame Shame Shame....
This was a Lynching!

Anonymous said...

Your story is partially correct. Unfortunately the Chief was fired, but the City Manager did the deed, not an emergency meeting of the City Council. No doubt direction was given to the City Mgr. from the City Council. Thinking back..there was a closed session meeting of the City Council last week dealing with the termination of one employee. The meeting followed the acceptance of the county vote and the council's decision to appoint council district 5's seat rather than a special election. In attendance that night were Rodriguez, Carrizosa, Atchley, and Rothman...perhaps then?

calwatch said...

December 4 meeting, 24 minutes devoted to it at the end... Hunter/Lantz excused, only Rothman, Carrizosa, Atchley, and Rodriguez were present. http://public-records.ci.pomona.ca.us/weblink7/DocView.aspx?id=39720

This is definitely shady, and supporters of the chief should start laying the groundwork for a recall should they be so inclined. Yes, the new mayor has to sit in office for 90 days before a recall is initiated, but remember Rothman did not get a majority of the votes. At least a recall effort may end up putting him on notice, much like the failed school board recall shaped up the board and the superintendent into delivering for students. I will be at dba Wednesday night after the mixer if anyone is interested, for those of you who know who I am.

rr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rr said...

Joe Romero is a good person, a great policeman and the best chief the city has had.

Mayor Rothman is probably behind the chief's firing because of his recent arrest for DUI. Other council members may have supported this because of the controversy surrounding DUI check points and the Chief's no nonsense attitude.

What a terrible decision to fire a man who has committed his life to the city and the community. He is one of a kind that was born, raised, worked, still lives and committed himself to the City of Pomona.

He was known and counted on by members of the Department to provide proactive street level patrol & support to various special enforcement details.

He was also very involved in the community and the development of the youth through special programs to prevent involvement in various crimes, drugs, alcohol and gangs.

There should be a demand and public outcry to know more about this tragic event. Specific details should be demanded and provided as to who and what the discharge was about with specific details.

This man and the community deserve this!

Anonymous said...

Recall Rothman.
Romero is one of our own and is indeed the best of our city.

Pomona Joe

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this will work, but this is the comment forum on the Daily Bulletin.
http://www.topix.net/forum/source/inland-valley-daily-bulletin/TO5GV9VG3KMCH0TFP#lastPost

Anonymous said...

This is just the begining of the nightmare that Rothman and his friends have planned for Pomona.
God help us.
Recall.

Ed said...

Sure wish he wasn't an at-will employee. The public has little opportunity to raise their voice with this type of arrangement. Unless Linda Lowry was one of his detractors, her administration of the city should certainly be questioned. If the whim of a majority of the Council is sufficient to dismiss a city employee, are we introducing cronyism into the police chief position or other city employee positions that should lie under the authority of the city manager. Does the dismissal of the police chief send the message to other department heads that they shouldn't rock the boat? Do my job or do what a Council member wants? The next time a Council member is pulled over will the officer think twice? Is this what we're looking for in a city manager/administration?

Unless he was fired for 'cause', I'm all for a recall.....at least Atchley and Rothman will know why they are being fired!

Pomona said...

It seems certain members of city government are counting on Pomonans to be too busy or disinterested to notice what is happening. The stench of special interests and cronyism are already filling the air.

Anonymous said...

I think we should begin the protesting tonight at the Chamber of Commerce Welcome Mixer for our Newly elected officials.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
5-7PM
Cal Poly Downtown Center
300 W. Second Street
Pomona, CA 91766

See you there.

meg said...

I've written to Paula, and I hope she'll be able to give us some further insight into what the hell is going on.

I'll make an effort to be at the mixer, and I'll definitely stop by dba afterwards -- I'll look for you, calwatch, and anyone else I recognize.

Anonymous said...

OUT with Rothman, Lowry, Carrizoza, Atchley, Rodriguez, Lantz and IN with HUNTER, ROMERO, MADRIGAL and CLIFFORD!!!!!

Anonymous said...

So....the new Mayor must sit in office for 90 days before a Recall can be mounted?
Well then if little Ethan Esparza's murder and all the other gang murders in Pomona are not solved and cleared within these 90 days.... and if Pomona is not 'cleaned up'.... and beautified.... and all the other pie in the sky promises being made to 'make this a wonderful city'..... then BYE BYE Rothman, Lowery, Carrizosa, Atchley, Rodriguez, et al.
Sure hope all the City Officials attending the Downtown Celebratory Mixer tonight are sober as they drive home from it !!!! ....

Anonymous said...

Please note: None of the previously listed (Hunter, Romero,Madrigal, Clifford) are interested in nor have been spoken with about running for or getting involved in any recall efforts..
My Bad.... (Anonymous) let it be...

Just let Joe go.... none of it matters.

busycrowstudio said...

Pomona is doomed; due to the ridiculous agenda of this new regime. Prepare to become the new sanctuary city of so california, where bad things can happen but no one gets punished, because of their 'rights'...

LinknPark said...

This is a really horrible mistake if its actually true. The San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department definitely isnt a sufficient alternative to a police force in Pomona, and they are spread way too thin as it is already. If this happens our city will devolve into Rialto or Fontana, and then what? How do we actually get a recall going for Rothman before he screws anything else up? This is a move rife with corruption and personal vendetta; this is the kind of crap that went on in Santa Ana before it took a major turn for the worse.

Paula said...

For the puposes of clarity, Meg asked me to share what I can, and that's not much. Obviously this is a Personnel matter, and I can't comment on anything directly related to the decision made yesterday. I can tell you that there was no Special Council Meeting or Session yesterday. To answer another question, the City Manager does hire the Police Chief, not the Council. Surprisingly enough, the Daily Bulletin is pretty accurate in its account. While this was legally confidential information given to Councilmembers yesterday morning, the Chief sent an email to his Department around 4 yesterday afternoon that soon made it to the School District and the Community at large.
My phones have rung off the hook, and all three of my email addresses are full. I take that as a positive sign that people care about their community and their Chief. According to his email, he is still the Chief, and working on a transition plan. He does not want this to turn into a "spectacle."

Anonymous said...

Look at the sign on the car dealership on Holt Blvd...just one door east of the gas station at Palomares.... north side of street.... The big sign facing the main street of Pomona boldly declares:
"No License? No Problem. "
(We will sell you a car")
"The NEW POMONA is NOW!

And if you believe that Linda Lowery fired the Chief all on her own idea you deserve to live here!

LinknPark said...

Anonymous, "the new Pomona is now" ? Pomona has been that way for quite some time now, the goal is cleaning up the status quo so that Pomona is a safe, nice forward progressing city for all citizens regardless of race or economic status. I am just wondering if this was the new mayor doing, our ex-mayor's fond farewell to the city or if it was the city council's influence. The city manager typically serves at the pleasure of the city council.

John Clifford said...

WOW, a lot of discussion and it seems that I'm not the only angry one out there.

A couple of points.

1)I'm not running for anything!!! For the time being I'm happy to be more of an involved citizen.

2) I apologize for some of the inaccuracies regarding what went down yesterday. Some of it was wrong information that was given to me. I tried to be as accurate as the info I had and still let the readers know that the Chief had, indeed, been fired. Thanks to calwatch for pointing to the actual city reference to the Dec. 4 meeting, and thanks for keeping me honest.

3) I actually heard other rumors that I decided not to pass on, as well as a lot of speculation.

4) Pomona is in LA County. So if there was a plan to bring in the sheriff's it would be the LA County Sheriff, not SB county.

5) With all due respect to Paula and the Chief, I don't know how it could NOT be a spectacle. It's more of a process that doesn't pass the "smell" test.

6) I know Paula just well enough to be sure that I don't believe that she was involved in whatever went on yesterday.

LinknPark said...

Sorry about that John, I meant L.A. County Sheriffs (forgot I lived on the border now instead of in the I.E.). According to my buddy that works down at Central in L.A. the L.A. Sheriffs Department is even more taxed than San Bernardino's. When are you going to call me about the Pomona Heritage Logo?

Anonymous said...

Why did JOE
Have to GO?

Oh NO
WHere's JOE?

Anonymous said...

The firing of Chief Romero is an unsolved murder !

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Council member Lantz, I can't imagine that the City Manager is in charge of selecting and hiring the Chief of Police? Typically the Chief is selected by the Council and the City Manager is in charge of executing the employment agreement, etc. Is Mrs. Lantz indicating that the Council does not select who will serve as the Chief of Police? ...not a challenge, a question.

If the City Manager was directed to fire Mr. Romero based on the discussion held December 4 in closed session, there may well be some issues for consideration.

A special meeting must be called either by the presiding officer of the legislative body(Mayor) or by a majority of the Council - however, in this case the meeting appears to have been called at the direction of Mr. Atchley?, which appears to fail the requirements set forth under the Brown Act.

calwatch said...

Let's answer some of these questions:

"With all due respect to Council member Lantz, I can't imagine that the City Manager is in charge of selecting and hiring the Chief of Police? Typically the Chief is selected by the Council and the City Manager is in charge of executing the employment agreement, etc. Is Mrs. Lantz indicating that the Council does not select who will serve as the Chief of Police? ...not a challenge, a question."

In a traditional city manager arrangement, the city manager is supposed to be the CEO and the council acts as the Board of Directors. Just as the board of GM can't directly fire vice presidents, the police chief cannot be directly fired by the council. However, it can be strongly suggested that the city manager fire the police chief, if the city manager wants to keep her job, which is apparently what happened. To answer the question officially, you would pull the police chief's contract, which is always a matter of public record. The City Council approved Romero's appointment by the City Manager on August 7, 2006. Note the language... the City Manager made the decision, the Council merely ratifies it.

See also section 603(a) of the charter, with duties of the City Manager "[t]o appoint, and when necessary, to suspend or remove, any or all officers and department heads of the City except elective officers and except those officers and department heads the power of whose appointment is vested in the Council. All such appointments and removals shall be subject to the approval of the Council before becoming effective. The performance of all officers and department heads appointed by the City Manager shall be reviewed by the City Manager at least annually."

Section 706: "(a) The City Manager, with the approval of a majority vote of the total membership of the Council, shall appoint a Police Chief whose function shall be the administration of the Pomona Police Department. The Chief of Police may not hold any other permanent or temporary managerial office.
(b) Within the departments established, police services as required by law shall be performed by Pomona City Police Department employees. The City may not contract for primary police services with the County of Los Angeles or other police agencies without a vote of the City's electorate. The City may contract for ancillary police-related services without a vote of the electorate."

"A special meeting must be called either by the presiding officer of the legislative body(Mayor) or by a majority of the Council - however, in this case the meeting appears to have been called at the direction of Mr. Atchley?, which appears to fail the requirements set forth under the Brown Act."

The special session is a rescheduling of the normal December 1 meeting. A council meeting had to be held after the election results were certified by the County Board of Supervisors on December 2. The Thursday, December 4, was the earliest available date that a quorum could be reached. The Vice Mayor could have called the meeting in the mayor's stead, or the mayor could have called the meeting and not attended.

As for department heads being at-will employees, that is fairly common. Department heads serve at the pleasure of the city council. Chief Romero will receive 100% of his pay because of the 3% of 50 pension that Pomona PD has. So don't worry about his family's paycheck. To me, working for free essentially shows how much he wanted to serve, but also how he wanted to do things that were right for the community, not for some politician.

Some had questions about when District 5's council member would be elected or appointed. The charter states "The Mayor and the members of the Council of the first, fourth and sixth Council districts shall be elected commencing in the year 2000 and in each fourth year thereafter. The members of the Council of the second, third and fifth Council districts shall be elected commencing in the year 2002, and in each fourth year thereafter." (section 401(e)) Thus, regardless of whether the replacement for the new mayor is elected or appointed, he shall stand for election in 2010.

And for the recall, I shared my thoughts about at dba tonight, and am happy to do so again should anyone be inclined in person. Please read this link before attempting a recall. Note that the minimum number of signatures for the notice of intention petition is 20, 120 days are provided for collection of signatures, 9,345 signatures are required for recall (although oddly enough, if 3,275 voters were registered, that number drops to 7,500, AND an additional 40 days would be given to collect signatures). The earliest opportunity to present a recall would be March 6, with the council meeting on March 16 for guaranteed service, although a close reading of the charter suggests that the councilmembers actually took office on November 10. However, it is safer to go by swearing in date.

cop wife said...

I've met Romero on a few occasions and he did indeed seem like a kind and caring individual. But my gosh, people, look around you!! Hookers in broad daylight, open drug deals on the street, rising gang problems, etc. That department just isn't equipped to deal with that city's problems. My suggestion is to go with the sheriff. Protect Pomona!

meg said...

@cop wife: It's my understanding that crime in the city has gone down in measurable ways since Romero became chief. I have no confidence that the downward trend would continue if we contracted out to the sheriff's dept., where we would have a revolving staff of junior sheriffs trying to work their way up the ladder to those cushy spots in West Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

".....and Mayor Eliot Rothman could not be reached for comment....."

cop wife said...

My H isn't with the sheriffs dept., but it is my understanding that they may have more and better resources to handle the types of crime issues Pomona faces. I am a former resident of Pomona, and I certainly don't miss the nightly police helicopters, gun shots, and home invasion robberies that occurred on a frequent basis in our neighborhood. But I am in Pomona on a daily basis and continue to see hookers walking down Holt, while watching police cars drive by. It is difficult to stop for gas or the local Rite Aid without being hit up for money by some scary-looking individuals. I could go on and on with specific examples, but the bottom line is that Pomona has a long way to go in suppressing its crime problems. I have no personal issues with Romero, but it is sad to see the same problems persisting since I moved six years ago. Even if crime has dropped as you say, is it enough?

Anonymous said...

Well I hope all of this is not true, I hope the city is not trying to eliminate the PPD and replace it with the LA County Sherriff’s Department. If so, it seems that there is a larger issue here than just police or sheriff departments. This seems to be more political than most of us realize. Beware, the city will sell this to the citizens as, “In making this transition the city will save astronomical amounts of money”. But would the citizens of Pomona see a tax cut? No they will not! They will not benefit from this at all. I hope that all of us open our eyes and see that this is not a good choice.

Even if the city wanted to make such a drastic move, what if it ended up not being happy with it? It is a hundred times easier for a city to disband its police department than it is to start one back.

If you think our quality of service from the PPD is bad now, the Sheriff’s Department will not be any better. Do you believe the response time will be quicker? Don’t let the city fool you, none of this will be true, the Sherriff’s Department will be covering larger territories. Nothing against the sheriff, but contracts end and sheriffs can change with elections. Nothing will be stable.
So before even considering that Pomona make such a move, learn more to make an educated opinion. We should all work with and do for each other, not seek what we can take and try to create division.

Ed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed said...

Cop Wife, thanks for offering a different perspective on the issue.
I might agree with your endorsement if I wasn't so troubled by the performance of the LA County Sheriff in Compton.

1. Compton is the 14th most dangerous city in the US.
2. Compton had 37 homicides and 42 rapes in 2007. Pomona had 27 and 32, but has almost 70% more people and is more than twice the land area of Compton.

If you can guarantee that our crime rate won't balloon to the level of Compton's then I might agree with you. Unfortunately, after we dismantle our police force, going back to Pomona PD won't be an option. As a Pomona RESIDENT, I don't see any reason at this point why I'd vote for the LA County sheriff.

Anonymous said...

Some Fifth District Phillips Ranch people are trying to say that Chief Romero is a gang sympathizer and should be thrown out....

These....are people too ashamed of Pomona to use the city name????? and go by the name of "Phillips Ranch !!!! ???? And they want to say how "POMONA" should be run ????!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's see if Linda Lowry has the nerve to show her face at the Youth Family Master Plan Meeting at the Ganesha Park Bandroom today Dec 11th at 3:30 p.m.

Let's see if the YFMP Board demands an accounting ????

Anonymous said...

Is anyone that frequents this blog going to the YFMP meeting today? If so, please give us an update.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

So Ed,

Comparatively speaking if we followed Compton's track record under the LACSD our stats would be:

62.9 Homicides
71.40 Rapes

HELL NO!

cop wife said...

Ed, I'm not sure if comparing Compton to Pomona is a fair assessment. Compton's scandals in its PD and local government coupled with the historical crime intensity in that area certainly provided quite a mess for the sheriff's to clean up. You're talking generations of gang activity.

On the flip side, it would also be unfair to make the comparison to Walnut for example, who is also under the sheriffs. They don't deal with the same issues as Pomona. So it appears that the sheriffs are doing a great job.

Maybe the point I'm trying to make is that Pomona PD may just be ill-equipped to deal with its problems. I've sat in on conversations with non-Pomona PD officers who've discussed potential tactics, surveillance techniques, number of vehicles per shift, etc. that Pomona could or should be using to effectively deal with its problems. Maybe they simply don't have adequate resources or access to ongoing training that larger departments do (please correct me if I'm wrong!) I feel bad for Romero because it sounds like he has a real connection with the community which is something that is sometimes lost with bigger city departments. I've heard that he drives around in patrol cars which I think is rare for a police chief! But if his only experience is with that one department, maybe he isn't offering a sufficient vision or tactical solutions that will affect change. Maybe they will be able to find an outside replacement who both understands "community policing" while being able to bring in better crime suppression solutions and tactics.

I personally think that Pomona has SO MUCH potential with its rich history and beautiful Victorian homes. But I also believe that its crime problems and poor performing school district will continue to hold back this city from reaching its true potential.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the last post...maybe some new thinking about crime tactics and strategies.

Ed said...

Cop Wife,

I guess my real criticism of your assessment is that it reflects the city as it existed perhaps when you lived here. In particular, your reference to the school district seems more appropriate to the conditions 6+ years ago, and doesn't reflect the situation that I see as a parent of a PUSD child.

Since you didn't like my comparison to Compton, could you provide an example of a city under their supervision that has similar demographics to Pomona? And I'm not sure it's reasonable to question the vision and effectiveness of Chief Romero's two years of policies and yet give the LA CO sheriff a pass for their eight years of Compton policing. Particularly, since you cite possible insufficient resources and training in Pomona PD as one of the benefits of going with the Sheriff's department. I would think an organization as large as LA CO Sheriff would have seen greater progress in stemming homicides in an area of only 10 square miles.

You might be right about moving to the Sheriff, but I'd feel better if you could give me some data.

Just from a quick glimpse, LA CO Sheriff seem to provide services to very few large cities. Palmdale, Lancaster, and Santa Clarita seemed to be the largest. Interestingly, Palmdale and Lancaster have shown increases in their homicide numbers in recent years. In their defense, the cities have grown substantially, so the rate may not have changed. On the other hand, even with an increasing population Pomona's homicide rate has been dropping.

John Clifford said...

Actually, Pomona has had a string of Police Chiefs who have come to us from larger forces. They've done some good, but not really understood the dynamic's of Pomona. What Joe brought to the PD was a guy with decades of experience with THIS force and all of the benefits of the past chiefs who implemented various programs that have worked in other locales.

I've felt (naively?) that the reason that things have been getting better is that our "locally grown" chief understood the community, reached out to the community, and got a good deal of community input. The definition of "community policing," which is what everyone seems to want.

If we were to hire another "outsider" chief (most of our chiefs have opted to live in other communities), or the Sheriff's department, would they understand what our citizens want? Would the leadership live in our community?

The fair comparison with Compton is: Did the situation get better when the Sheriffs took over? Is it worse or the same? With Joe we know that our crime rates were far less than perfect, but heading in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

Cop Wife,

I hate to correct you on so many different points but here we go:

We are talking generations of gang activity here in Pomona and as you can see the scandals in the local government here in Pomona keep reoccurring.

You are right to say that the PPD probably does not have the budget it needs to upgrade their equipment or add men to the force. But to insinuate that dismantling the department and bringing in the LACSD is a better idea is definitely a stretch.

Chief Romero is constantly interacting with other PDs to get updates on technology, tactics and crime solutions. Not only does he visit other PDs, other PDs visit PPD.

Pomona does have a huge amount of potential but the only way it will advance is with qualified council and department heads that due not think of their own best interest first. Pomona does not only offer large numbers of Victorian homes but also has historical Craftsman, Spanish, Tudor and Modern homes. From what I can guess is that you do not visit or know the city very well.

Pomona poor performing school district, as you call it, has 5 elementary schools that rank above 850 API with the highest being 971 API, 2 high schools that were recently named two of the best high schools nationwide by US News (out of more than 21,000 high schools) . Not to mention that our PUSD Superintendent was nominated as California’s Nominee for California Superintendent of the Year for 2008. This may not be much in your eyes but we are definitely headed in the right direction. Now all we need are more citizens who care and are willing to voice their opinion to the Council and City Manager.

Anonymous said...

Cop Wife,

I hate to correct you on so many different points but here we go:

We are talking generations of gang activity here in Pomona and as you can see the scandals in the local government here in Pomona keep reoccurring.

You are right to say that the PPD probably does not have the budget it needs to upgrade their equipment or add men to the force. But to insinuate that dismantling the department and bringing in the LACSD is a better idea is definitely a stretch.

Chief Romero is constantly interacting with other PDs to get updates on technology, tactics and crime solutions. Not only does he visit other PDs, other PDs visit PPD.

Pomona does have a huge amount of potential but the only way it will advance is with qualified council and department heads that due not think of their own best interest first. Pomona does not only offer large numbers of Victorian homes but also has historical Craftsman, Spanish, Tudor and Modern homes. From what I can guess is that you do not visit or know the city very well.

Pomona poor performing school district, as you call it, has 5 elementary schools that rank above 850 API with the highest being 971 API, 2 high schools that were recently named two of the best high schools nationwide by US News (out of more than 21,000 high schools) . Not to mention that our PUSD Superintendent was nominated as California’s Nominee for California Superintendent of the Year for 2008. This may not be much in your eyes but we are definitely headed in the right direction. Now all we need are more citizens who care and are willing to voice their opinion to the Council and City Manager.

Anonymous said...

I think it is too bad that Chief Romero had to walk lightly about DUI checkpoints.... had to back off a lot of enforcement issues re: "illegals"... which has made his officer force frustrated and angry at HIM... not at Christina Carrizosa, who is the REAL she-bitch here.

cop wife said...

Wow, I didn't realize what a politically charged board I stumbled onto! I am very impressed with the passion you all have for the city. Please realize that I can only speak from my own personal experiences and I realize that those experiences my be different from yours. So take it for what it's worth. I'll try to address as many points as possible.

In regards to the sheriffs, I am merely repeating what I have heard from other non-Pomona PD officers who currently live or have lived in Pomona. I think from their point of view, they may see a department that is ill-equipped to deal with its crime problems. Whether that means bringing in a different department or having the city increase funds--its not a decision to be taken lightly. And one has to wonder if either choice is even feasible right now given the current economic situation.

I recall a situation in La Puente several years ago where there were a number of apartment buildings in a small community similar to the area of Karesh/Kingsley. Drug trafficking and violence were out of control. The sherriffs came in with a task force that placed permanent blockades on some of the streets so as to eliminate street access escape routes should they need to go after suspects. From what I remember, they had round the clock patrolling in cars, motorcycles, on foot, as well as mounted police on horseback!! Of course this wasn't meant to be a permanent fixture, but it was kept up long enough to force those who were committing the worst crimes out.

Ok, now I 'm speaking VERY naively, but does Pomona PD even have a vice squad to deal with the hookers or some of the seedy motels? Is there a surveillance team that can spend quality time observing and tracking suspected drug traffickers and other career criminals? Are there any undercover officers in the schools?

As far as the architecture of the homes, I do realize that there are others...sorry for not being more specific.

Regarding the schools..I do have to give kudos to the new superintendent. I have met her and have heard her speak in public. She is the best thing to happen to that district since Leier(?) left. But she did indeed inherit a mess. I know there have been improvements although the latest data posted on the CDE website still note that Ganesha, Garey and Pomona still rank in the mid 600 range on API scores and that the overall district dropout rate is 23%. I hopefully expect those numbers to rise with more recent data. I know that Diamond Ranch is higher, but then again, how many of those students are from Diamond Bar and not Pomona?

Look, I am admittedly an outsider looking in at this point although as I mentioned previously I am in the city every day. But I do still know many residents and unfortunately some of the complaints and stories I currently hear from them are similar to what I experienced when I was there. So maybe datawise, there has been improvement, but its tough to see it from my point of view.

Ok, this is my last post. Sorry I couldn't address everypoint that was made! Good luck to you all, and hopefully all your departments will be able to work together to try to find some consensus for the good of the city! I sincerely wish you the best.

meg said...

Cop wife, please feel welcome to keep posting. We don't care if you live here, and you've done a good job of getting conversation going.

Anonymous said...

Agree ! Cop Wife -- please do keep writing.... makes us think and makes us defend our 'views' with reason.... this is a GOOD thing! Maybe you could be an 'honorary Pomonan' among 'ornery Pomonans!'

Pride in Garfield Park said...

It seems we the discussion is edging toward a false dichotomy -- isn't there a way to both keep Chief Romero and to get more policing resources? Does our beloved police chief really need to serve as a sacrificial lamb in order for more the city to secure more resources? It seems dismissing Joe Romero is a form of resource reduction -- reducing community support for city government, reducing access to the knowledge and know-how he's developed over the decades, etc.

I think we need to start a Joe Romero fan club on Facebook :)

Ginger's Mommy said...

to cop wife:

It does sound like you have some insight into the PPD that many of us do not. If reform in the department is needed, our officials have an obligation to look into it and do what must be done. I am quite saddened that for some unknown reason Chief Romero can't be a part of the reform. He is a super guy. A real citizen, responsive and involved. I have tremendous respect for him.

cop wife said...

Ok, I know I said it was my last post, but if anything I'm saying sparks helpful dialogue--maybe I can stick around for awhile. But some are asking me to quote stats, and I don't really have the time to go that deep into the subject.

To Ginger's mommy--I don't really have insight into PPD. I only have experience as someone married to a cop from a larger city (not sherriffs). I see and hear the resources, trainings, and tactical plans that they have access to. I also hear about them working with inter-agency cooperation with the sherriffs, FBI, Marshalls, DEA, and other local agencies to combat particular crime problems. As a former resident of Pomona and someone who is in Pomona on a daily basis--I often wonder if the city would have to put up with the TYPES of crimes it has if only the PPD was being run by another agency OR had additional resources. Of course what city is going to be crime-free?? None that I can think of. And definitely socio-economics play a large part in defining what types of crimes may be more probable in a given area.

But I think it is so important for the city council, city manager and PD of any city to be able to work together. I'm no expert, but its not exactly rocket science either. For example, people visit Victoria Gardens from all over and can walk freely even very late at night knowing that they are in a safe area. But I heard (correct me if I'm wrong) that the owner of VG was also the one who was going to revitalize the 2nd street area in Pomona. Do you think the same clientele that visits Rancho Cucamonga will do so in Pomona? My guess would be no, given security issues. But I admire those who are trying to bring new business and visitors to the city--everyone wins if it succeeds and is done without compromising the authenticity and heritage of that area. Jobs are created for local citizens and youth, the city creates new revenues, and maybe even home values rise. But if Pomona's image as an unsafe city pervails, then how can this venture have a chance of ever succeeding?

If anyone thinks that I am in someway involved in the PD, city government, sheriffs, or whatever--I'm definitely not. I'm not even sure what initially prompted me to make a comment in the first place. But I do have a lot of friends who still live there, so I hear bits and pieces of what is going on. I am jealous of those friends who live in the Lincoln Park area as I would love to consider the possibility of moving back and purchasing one of the historical homes. (preferably a VICTORIAN style, anonymous!)

But for now, I will have to settle for the honorary Pomonan title!

Respectfully yours,
cop wife

Anonymous said...

"Chief Joe Romero fired"

The value of stats/data comes from their ability to allow a more objective analysis of a subject. Opinions are great and anecdotal evidence can, at times, be accurate, but in the end, how do we really know if those perceptions represent reality.

I just think if you are willing to propose an idea as controversial as scrapping a city's police department, then your basis for that opinion should be something other than conversations with other people. "Cop wife" may be absolutely correct, so I'm disheartened to see that she isn't willing to check whether her opinion is correct. How hard would it be to see if the Sheriff's department contracts with any cities that have similar demographics and size to Pomona? I'll tell you what, how about I do that for a post and then we can all look at the numbers.

Opinions are great, and as most of the regular readers know, I have quite a few of my own. Some may be right, most may be wrong, but when they're questioned I certainly hope that I'm willing to look up "stats" to determine when they may not be right.

I'm almost done. "I know that Diamond Ranch is higher, but then again, how many of those students are from Diamond Bar and not Pomona." So, in other words, the scores don't reflect the school district, just where the students are from. Hmmm...there's an apples and oranges argument in there. Do Pomona, Garey, and Ganesha need to do better? Yes, but all three showed double digit gains from the year before. BTW, San Antonio High School in Claremont is in the 500s, so I guess those students must be from Pomona. Sorry, got a little inflammatory on that one.

Pomona PD and the use of interdepartmental task forces: Didn't Pomona PD conduct one to round up parole violators not long ago? Didn't Pomona PD also do one to squeeze the gangs a while back? Am I wrong?

Victoria Gardens: Funny, but when I first walked through VG it reminded me of Downtown Pomona. Of course, I don't know how a private developer could use that approach to redevelop 2nd street, since the buildings are individually owned. But hell, I'd love to hear any suggestions.

As far as fact-finding, I started the homicide maps to compare my opinion with actual data and was shocked to find San Gabriel Valley has more homicides than we do. My goal isn't to discourage people from expressing their opinions, but at the end of the day, I feel better when you're willing to support it with facts. So, please "Cop Wife" don't misconstrue my intent, I really was just interested in whether you could elaborate on your opinion beyond just referencing conversations with police officers.

Ed

VICKY O. said...

Here we go again. The city council of Pomona repeating itself just one more time! How many Police Chiefs will get fired and take the blame for the city council. It has been so many years since the city of Pomona had level headed, educated people with integrity to run her city. She (Pomona) has declined to the point of no return...not as we knew her. The council is suppose to be making the decisions and working with the Police Department to solve and manage. But the council finds itself always with special interest and unable to serve the people and quick to blame....
Joe Romero must have known that his fate with the city of Pomona would have been doomed from the beginning. The reputation of the city council has been crappy at best for many years. I was lucky enough to sell my business and get out of there as I watched the city decline. Look at he signage requirements for businesses! Look at the businesses that even what to open within the city! Look at the streets falling apart! Look at the infrastucture falling in to the gutter. My gosh, how did this happen you ask? Well, look at the smaller cities surrounding Pomona, like LaVerne and Claremont. They manage their cities without the fighting and blaming that the city of Pomona has done for 20 years now. Joe Romero you are too good to work there and maybe this is your deserved blessing!!! I can remember the chiefs of police that were fired in Pomona. I can not imagine for the life of me why ANYONE would want to work there and put their life in to a city that frankly does not give a damn!!

LinknPark said...

Wow Vicky, bitter much. Have you been to some of the incompetence laden City Council meetings in Chino Hills or Claremont, because I have, several times in fact, and if you think there isnt finger pointing (and name calling even), you are wrong. More often than not, self involved, power hungry, special interest mongering imbeciles float to the top in politics, regardless of what city you live in. I also own a business in Chino, and their signage requirements and small business stipulations (as well as a great many other surrounding cities) are ridiculous as well. Pomona needs help and good leadership from those who actually care. Y

Victoria O'Connor-Boden said...

Yep, Linknpark...I am bitter! I was born and raised in Pomona and have watched a once beautiful city crumble before my very eyes. Yes, bitter enough to move away, however my mother still lives in Pomona and it is all I can do to visit her because of the short drive through Pomona I must take to get to her house. Yes, bitter as I visit the cemetary where most of my family is and look around at the neighborhoods. Pomona has been in need of strong leadership for too many years to count and the demise of once again another good Police Chief...shows the leadership hasn't changed since I left.

meg said...

Our poor city has more than its fair share of woes, many of them self-generated, but I don't think it's fair to blame leadership for everything. The collapse of the Cold War and the loss of the aerospace industry was a big hit, and no amount of brilliant leadership could have spared us that blow (even if the blow might have been softened).

Most of us, I think, grew up during the Cold War and the race to space (hmmm, haven't seen Garrett around lately...). Until 1989 or so, how many of us thought that we'd see the end of that industrial push, and soon?

Anonymous said...

What the city needs to do is contract with the LA Sheriff Department to avoid future political problems and fix its real problems.

Anonymous said...

As a student at Marshall Jr. and Ganesh high in the 60's and early 70's I knew both Joe and his brother Mike...I was giving a presentation in a class on how desert auto shops ripped people off and had brought with permission from the teacher the required tools. Joe heard I had something in my locker and befriended me as I was trying to get into the police explorers, and then went to the principle and police with the items in my locker. Unfortunatly for him the teacher and counselor backed me up. However when I went to an explorer meeting he said I should not be allowed in because of the "contraband" he was a senior explorer and they went with him. I hope there is a special place for a fat rat like him! I have never wished ill on someone but for him, I hope his boday rots out from under him! Anytime you want to visit me Joe just look for a fun house mirror online you'll find me! By the way rat, I am retired from the military, so I must have been able to serve at least somewhat! My name is Jim and you rat no who this is! I now own a mid size corporation, and when approached by the inland empire to open facilities there, I remembered your arogance, and rattiness!