Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council:
Whether you are a parent, resident, business owner, employee, or have some other connection to the City of Santa Ana, you have to be appalled by the conduct of certain activists, few of whom live in our city. It is shameful that they use the heartbreaking and senseless death of George Floyd to advance their political rhetoric and baseless agenda calling for defunding the police. This is the time to confirm our commitment to the police department and level of service our community has voted for. It is not the time to close the police department or government; it is the time to dig in and do the hard work to make our institutions better.
Each of you was elected because your campaign platform focused on public safety. The majority of Santa Ana voters have spoken. By electing you they have said that they want to feel safe in their community. It is municipal government’s core service, so our children feel safe walking to school and so our businesses can flourish.
We ask to be safe while enduring a historic world pandemic. We ask to be safe while those demonstrating are given the space to do so. We ask to be safe while at the same time asking what our society truly values and how do we make it a reality for all. In this unprecedented time, we’re asking our police officers to do more than ever before.
These protests have created a huge financial burden for the City, requiring hundreds of hours in overtime staffing. Many officers have been required to work overtime on a daily basis; many have gone weeks without a day off. Ironically, those calling for defunding are forcing additional expenditures of monies that could be used to address their very issues.
We have a world class police department. Now, more than ever, is the time when the City needs to reaffirm its commitment to the bedrock principle of providing the best possible public safety service. We have to ensure that Santa Ana remains a safe place to live, work and visit. The voices screaming the loudest don’t necessarily represent those who want the best for our city. Don’t allow them to overpower the good sense that you exercise on behalf of the 500,000 plus residents, business stakeholders and daily visitors who support good governance, our police department and making public safety a priority in our community.
No to defunding or reducing our police department resources.