Public Safety Committee Meeting 10/30/08 About CV Police
The e-mail said that the Christian Morales case would be discussed but when we got there we were informed that Captain Wedge would do a 40 minute Power Point about the police complaint procedure instead. There were a lot of media there and no one was happy with the substitution. Some of the media did get some of the information they had asked for previously the next day. Apparently there is a video, which the police seized of another beating case outside of a 7/11 in Bonita.
12/25/08 Union Tribune The kind of story we all want to read about the many fantastic officers we have in the Chula Vista Police force:
It started with a neighbor who realized a family with three children had no electricity or food at their rented house. When the neighbor asked Chula Vista police to check on them Monday, officers didn't just take a report. They collected $650 in cash among themselves, paid the gas and electric bill, delivered groceries and a fully decorated Christmas tree, wrangled donated store and restaurant gift cards and drove the family out for dinner.
“It was overwhelming and it was wonderful,” said Barbara Love, 38, who described her family as “being in a bit of a bind” for the past 18 months. A job for her husband, David, fell through. Last Christmas they were living in a car with their daughter, 14, and sons ages 12 and 10. David Love, 48, now suffers a disabling medical condition and his wife works part time at a Michael's store. They had to give up their car, but found a house to rent. Barbara said the police had hassled them when they lived in the car, waking them in the middle of the night and telling them to leave.
“We met a lot of unfriendly police officers,” she recalled. “ Now we see a whole new side of Chula Vista police officers. The kids will definitely have a good Christmas this year.” When Officer Lamar Barrett was sent to the Love's house Monday, the family had been without heat or light for two weeks, and no running water for two days. They couldn't cook what little food they had. The children couldn't do homework after dark. They all slept on mattresses on the floor of the master bedroom to stay warm at night.
Barrett “got the ball rolling,” Officer Curtis Chancellor said. “He bought them groceries with his own money. Our 3 p.m. swing-shift officers and dispatchers passed the hat and collected about $650.” “There have been a lot of good people helping this family,” Chancellor said. “It sounds like they had a tough life.”
Chancellor's partner, registered nurse Victoria DiCaprio, a Psychological Emergency Response Team clinician, contacted the Salvation Army and other social service agencies. She also persuaded SDG&E to turn on power to the house right away. “When SDG&E arrived, the youngest boy was out near the street waiting for the Christmas lights to come on the house,” Chancellor said.
Officer Valley Coleman started working local businesses, getting the donated Christmas tree and gift cards from Wal-Mart, Target, Henry's, Trader Joe's and Red Lobster. The Cheesecake Factory gave the family a free dinner Monday. Coleman and Chancellor acted as chauffeurs. Barbara Love said she hasn't been able to work as a certified nursing assistant because she can't get to jobs. She rides a bus two hours each way to work at Michael's.
“My biggest problem is getting my husband to and from medical appointments,” she said. “The only thing we can do is keep going and see what happens.” As an officer for 2½ years, Chancellor said he's never seen such a case of extreme need. But he has a vague memory of a similar situation for another family – his own. “We were helped by law enforcement at Christmas,” said Chancellor, who grew up in Chula Vista. “We weren't poor, but we didn't have as much money as everyone else. There is a little bit of a memory there. I was pretty young. “This is the reason I got into this job. I'd say it's possible that a lot of people are falling through the cracks like this family, and no one notices. In this case, someone did.”
Chris Moran: (619) 498-6637; firstname.lastname@example.org