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February 14, 2012

DHS Police Officer Association Survey

A press release was sent out by Paul Tapia, President of the DHS Police Officers Association. The DHS POA retained the services of Lavell Communications, Inc. (no website) whose president is Jeffrey Monical. (You can read some information here about Jeffrey Monical's involvement in getting Dan Watson removed from his position as Chief of South Pasadena Police.)

The survey went to 26 rank and file members. Responses came back from 17 (65%).

  • 15 officers responding to the survey "believe trust has diminished between management and line personnel."
  • 15 officers answered yes to "given the opportunity, would you leave the DHS PD for another law enforcement agency?" [I wonder what lack of opportunity is keeping them here?]
  • 16 officers said that low officer morale was a problem.
  • The actual questions were not released to the public, but "For more information and complete results, contact Paul Tapia at (909) 289-6791."

From Chief Pat Williams:

Police Chief Response to Lavell Incorporated Survey

I hold our police officers in the highest regard for the sacrifices they make day in and day out in the service of our community.

As a strong advocate of our police officers I encourage any individual police officer, or any authorized member of the DHS POA, to engage with me in an open, honest and a healthy fact-based dialogue to promote a successful workplace. I have a history of soliciting the input of our employees to improve Departmental operations and I will continue to seek their guidance.

A press release provided by Jeffrey Monical of Lavell Incorporated, a paid pubic safety union consultant, represents the influence of politics that has seeped into our Department and promoted by some union members who are using big city labor tactics to harm our organization. Our Department will not be deterred, we have important work to do and our time and energy will be focused on delivering quality service to our residents.

Over the past four years we have increased wages and benefits, added staff, improved and modernized equipment and successfully integrated community policing to better the quality of life in Desert Hot Springs.

Our residents overwhelmingly have supported the Department with the successful passage of Measure A in 2009 and Measure G in 2010. The men and women of this organization honor that commitment by providing exceptional police service to our community.

Organizational change itself is difficult in many settings for employees and it is understandable that reactions to change are varied. The Department, like our community, has seen many positive changes over the past few years and more are to come.

From City Manager Rick Daniels:

Statement of Rick Daniels, Desert Hot Springs City Manager in Response to Media Questions About the Recently Released Union Survey

Rather than engage in a respectful and healthy dialogue, it appears that certain members of the union are attempting to wage a battle in the media in place of and instead of using the established and neutral protocols to properly air and consider workplace grievances of differences as called for in the recently adopted labor agreement.

The good and decent citizens of DHS have twice voted overwhelmingly to expand and empower their Police Department in their pursuit to protect and serve this community; a Department whose members are respected and supported in the community for what they do. The City Council has provided every available tool and technology at the disposal of the Police to protect this community. Public Safety is this community’s number one priority and we continue to work to reduce crime and improve the quality of life for our residents.

I can only conclude that this is an attempt to politically corrupt and create dissension from within the Department by misleading the public on what was portrayed to be an employee survey for discussing ways to improve the Department. I have great confidence in our Police Officers, command staff, and particularly Chief Patrick Williams.

Chief Williams has raised the bar as to the standards of performance excellence that is to be expected in the DHS PD in terms of honesty, humility, and proper behavior in the conduct of police work. Change has been tough for some as this organization continues to evolve towards what this community expects and to which it is entitled.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | February 14, 2012 at 08:07 PM


{{"Pat Williams is nothing but trouble. Check his past with Orange Pd (where he was fired), San Jacinto (where he was hated by his peers), Palm Springs (where he was forced out for falsifying grant records), Lompoc (where they hated him as well)."}}

Wow. You made a lot of (borderline slanderous) accusations there, "John". I did a web search to try and verify even one of these items, but couldn't. Chief Williams performance and record has been above and beyond expectations. Then came this power play by Tapia. For this officer to pull these shenanigans and try to stain the Chief's reputation is so far beyond the boundaries of acceptable "negotiation" tactics that it is utterly shameful and, in my opinion, a move that should have him drummed out of this Force or any other that might make the mistake of hiring him.

As for you, "John", let's see you back up your accusations.

Posted by: Nate at Feb 20, 2012 1:51:07 PM

Russ, My question was very clear, "can anyone tell me what Tapia wants?" You seem to be in support of Tapia - so I ask, what does he want from the city? You sat on the PSC and know that we don't get any more details than what is printed. Now it seem that the POA is distancing itself from Tapia...

Posted by: Jeff at Feb 20, 2012 12:58:02 PM

Russ, during the negotiations between the city and the POA the city council gets updates in closed session, don't they? If they do, then that would be some information the city council has that the public safety commission does not have.

Posted by: Ron's Log at Feb 19, 2012 9:09:54 PM

I'm not exactly sure what your question is. You are on the public safety commission and have received at least as much information as the city council has received regarding issues inside the department.

Regarding support for our officers, of course I support them. I'm surprised to hear you say you are as yet undecided on that score. I must be misunderstanding your post.

Russ Betts

Posted by: Russell Betts at Feb 19, 2012 8:54:07 PM

John, you're the one making these assertions. How about coming up with something to support them rather than just telling us to check it?

Posted by: Ron's Log at Feb 19, 2012 7:27:50 AM

Pat Williams is nothing but trouble. Check his past with Orange Pd (where he was fired), San Jacinto (where he was hated by his peers), Palm Springs (where he was forced out for falsifying grant records), Lompoc (where they hated him as well).

Posted by: John at Feb 18, 2012 10:05:55 PM

I've only heard Officer Tapia clearly request one thing: that when filling the Sergeant position, internal candidates be considered (or preferred). I believe the city agreed to that - at least in principle.

He has talked a lot about how all the police are working long hours and overtime, which seems to imply he wants them to be able to work fewer hours. I'm not sure if he just wants shorter work hours, or if he wants more police hired. I think 100% of the law abiding residents of DHS would agree we want more police, but that takes more money, too.

Posted by: Ron's Log at Feb 15, 2012 12:56:22 PM

Ron, (and other readers) can anyone tell me what Tapia wants? I've not seen any list of wants from the POA. Councilman Sanchez do you know? Councilman Betts do you know? Where has our city failed in its support of our police? When the folks were bused into our city for the "protest", their signs said: "Support DHS Police." What where they saying?

Betts, Sanchez please inform as you seem to support their cause. Perhaps I'd join in too, if I knew where the city was failing...

Jeff Bowman, Public Safety Commissioner.

Posted by: Jeff at Feb 15, 2012 10:42:17 AM

Very interesting. Monical was the Campaign Manager for a Councilman in S. Pasadena who's primary contributors were the POA? Seems like there could be some conflict of interest issues going on there. He provides info that makes the Police look untrusted, then ushers in a candidate to "save the day".

The quotes from the POA advisors on tactics are very interesting, and have a ring of familiarity here in DHS: (With a local fishwrap in mind)

“From “Negotiations After Impasse”: “Now is the time those political endorsements, favors, and friendships come into play.”

From “Political Option”: “The association should be like a quiet giant in the position of, `do as I ask and don’t (tick) me off.”‘

From “Let the Games Begin”: “Storm City Council”;

“Public Ridicule – Blunders by the City Manager, Mayor, or City Council members or wasteful spending should be highlighted and pointed out to the public at every opportunity.”

“Focus on an Individual: Avoid spreading your energy. Focus on a city manager, councilperson, mayor or police chief and keep the pressure up until that person assures you his loyalty and then move on to the next victim.”

Posted by: Nate at Feb 15, 2012 9:50:27 AM

Ron, great research into Monical and "Lavell Communications." There is more for those who care to dig. Truly an opportunist (i.e. gun for hire) and there isn't even a business website for them/him. What are HIS credentials? I don't see any other than political tomfoolery.

I've been a Public Safety Commissioner since 2004 and the change has been nothing short of FANTASTIC, thanks to Chief Pat Williams.

Posted by: Jeff at Feb 14, 2012 9:24:51 PM

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