PALM SPRINGS — “Officers and Sergeants of Palm Springs Police Officer’s Association continue to provide professional service to their community while city leaders decry ongoing police brutality and racism in Palm Springs.”
The men and women of the Palm Springs Police Officer’s Association stand with our community and support reforms to end injustices throughout our nation. This isn’t a position we’ve had for the better part of two weeks. We make it a part of our everyday reality. We provide scholarships to Palm Springs High School Seniors. We participate in numerous charity events to raise funds for local charities. We also take a very serious role in the politics within our community. Our city’s leadership guides the path for our community. Our officers place immense trust in our leadership as we walk that path together to provide safety to those who live, work and play here.
Three times a year, the Palm Springs Police Department hosts a Community Police Academy. This academy is open to all community members and consists of 14 weeks of once a week meetings from 6pm to 9pm. This is a great opportunity to learn how the Police Department works, the people who perform various duties and ask questions to get a better understanding of what we do and how we do it. This program has yet to be attended by our current city council. Decisions, statements and generalizations by our city council are made with little understanding of our department or its members.
What we will not do is stand idly while those city leaders vilify our officers and our department.
City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Christy Holstege published a statement on June 9th, 2020 stating The Palm Springs Police Department has an “Ongoing history of police brutality directed at Black communities and communities of color” and has a long history of “Racist city policies and policing.”
Read Holstege’s full letter here.
If this were the case, the Mayor Pro Tem and every City Council person has a responsibility to fire each and every one of our officers. Mayor Pro Tem Holstege has stood by for the past two years allowing these perceived racist ideologies within our city and department to continue. This has not been mentioned once and not one suggestion of reform has been brought forward by Mayor Pro Tem Holstege or any other city council member. In fact, we have received accolades from our city council members. Our city council, like our community, has been incredibly supportive in the past.
Mayor Pro Tem Holstege mentioned a study completed by Loma Linda University. I encourage you to review the study in its entirety for factual information. The study focuses mainly on health related issues specific to the Gateway Highland Estates Neighborhood. In regard to improved public safety, several residents were quoted as saying, “We want police presence in the neighborhood.” That quote was left out of the statement from Mayor Pro Tem Holstege. Would residents of a community comprised mostly of African American families specifically ask for the presence of racist police? Or, can we agree that the “History” of supposed racism is, in fact, history?
Mayor Pro Tem Holstege was given an opportunity to speak with us to help us understand her position and opinion. Unfortunately, she has yet to respond to our meeting request. The Palm Springs Police Officer’s Association will not wait another day to address Mayor Pro Tem Holstege’s comments.
Our officers and sergeants dutifully represent our department by attending meetings for the 47 organized neighborhoods in our community. Our department has received numerous compliments for our professionalism and our problem solving solutions. We’ve built strong working relationships with the Tribal Council for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Again, this is not something that has taken place over the course of two weeks. These types of relationships are built over years of work. The organized neighborhood program has been a successful endeavor by all accounts and our commitments to them remain. Our officers should be focused on public safety and service instead of having to deal with the repercussions of political grandstanding.
With so much uncertainty in the world, the officers and sergeants of the Palm Springs Police Officer’s Association look forward to working with our community toward a better future.
Loma Linda Study click here.
Palm Springs Police Department Policy Manual click here.
- Christy Holstege: Christy Holstege
- Fake news: Pixaby