Public Safety is and must always be an elected officials ongoing priority. Over the years we have developed a comprehensive and well-equipped Mammoth Lakes Police Department (MLPD). It is not my position to simply “throw the baby out with the bath water” by turning our community’s public safety over to the County. That idea first needs comprehensive analysis. Our police staff may have had or has a few “bad apples,” but personnel issues are something a strong administrator can resolve without getting rid of the department.
Folks, if our neighbor to the south, the little quiet town of Bishop, California, is able to recruit the high-quality Chief of Police they have recruited, then so can we.
We must have sensible, level-headed and informed decision processes to come to the conclusion on the MLPD highly debated issues.
I recommend the following actions take place to continue to ensure our public safety.
- Do not place our public safety in the hands of the County. We can initiate an analysis as to the pro’s and con’s of a County MLPD so the community can resolve their questions regarding the matter, but I am not in favor of turning over the MLPD to the county. I will give you a few of the many reasons for my position. A.) Response Times: at this time we have a rapid response time, if you’re having an emergency in the middle of the night you know that you can call and MLPD is there within minutes. B.) We currently have 24/7 service. Mono County Sheriff department is not 24/7. C.) We have a highly qualified sheriff in Rick Scholl. What happens when and if the sheriff position changes? What happens if its someone who doesn’t feel Mammoth deserves the level of service we’re used to? These and many other questions concern me and thus I do not support just handing over our MLPD to the County. I’d prefer the county help us with acquiring land for recreation fields and activities if the county has the money to help us with something.
- Develop and implement a “Police-Citizens Advisory Committee” just like many other municipalities have. The committee would review the department, receive claims against the department and make third party reviews of the claims. This committee would give the public the understanding and comfort that true transparency is within our police department. The committee should have minority, youth, business and retired representation and any other representation the Council deems necessary to have a transparent and open police department.
- With the current Chief retiring, we must do a comprehensive search for the best possible candidate to fill the position. We are also bringing on board a Interim Chief, who I believe has an outstanding public service record. We must give him the tools needed to address the issues the community has spoken out about. I believe he will also be instrumental in assisting our town to recruit a quality, community-minded Chief of Police. As I said, if Bishop can do it, so can we.
Folks, Public Safety is a priority for me and if elected I will ensure we have the highest level of public safety for the citizens and visitors of Mammoth Lakes.
I respectfully ask for your vote on June 8.