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A kick in the balls for the SCPD
by brentugly
Wednesday Dec 15th, 2010 5:36 PM
In response to former sentinel editor Tom Honig's Goodtimes cover article telling of his riding along with the SCPD.
Here is a letter to the editor carried in this weekend's Goodtimes that will be out tomorrow.
Letters to the Editor

Seeing Blue

Tom Honig, as an embedded reporter with the police department in his cover article “SCPD Blue” (GT 12/9) reminds us of embedded reporters in Iraq. They didn’t really get a dynamic view of things outside of the PR interests of the military. Honig’s report reads like a glowing puff piece. Anyone who has been paying attention to our boys in blue understands things are more complex than this article articulates but I agree that riding shotgun in a cop car would be a good vantage point.

The SCPD seems to welcome ride-alongs. Their website encourages citizens to sign-up to see a cop’s beat from the passenger seat of a police car. Several months ago, I answered that call and was scheduled for an evening shift. I arrived expecting an eye-opening experience, but instead I was denied. Later, then Interim Chief of Police, Kevin Vogel, called me himself, to tell me it was because of prior “contact” with the department. What that meant I do not know. I was convicted on a misdemeanor charge many years ago, maybe that is the reason. I’m an upstanding and active member of the community and I was hoping to have an inside view to better understand things instead of my normal view that is usually colored by police who selectively enforce the laws and often act outside of the law.

The color “blue” is an interesting choice of theme here as it reminds us of news stories of the department’s past. The SCPD was once charged with harassing the Blue Lagoon. For years they would park their squad cars across the street with the headlights flooding into the entrance effectively scaring off the gay patrons of that establishment. They were ordered to pay “the Blue” a quarter of a million dollars. Also, a secret SCPD program called Code Blue had officers beating sleeping homeless people with baseball bats. The department avoided prosecution by firing the Chief of Police. While not mentioning anything “blue,” Honig’s puff piece does give a glimpse of how our local boys work when he tells us that they ran off some men who had done nothing wrong. I don’t have to sit in a police car to see blue. Outside of my own kitchen window I’ve seen the police harassing the gardeners of the Beach Flats Community Garden. An officer who is in the so-called “Gang Task Force” demonstrated which side of the conflict he is on when he upended crates of personal belongings of the peaceful gardeners. This Latino officer is obviously not impartial when it comes to the battles between the colors red and blue, which to me seems quite blue. While the police department profits from the May Day “riot” and saturates downtown as they harass anyone who doesn’t look like they’re shopping, our town has been draped in the color blue. I, too, am blue because this type of journalism is also color-coded. It is yellow.

Brent Adams

Santa Cruz
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
just another day at the officebrent adamsSaturday Dec 25th, 2010 4:46 PM
How pitifulSeriouslyWednesday Dec 22nd, 2010 12:30 PM
Officer Winston admits balls metaphorically kicked. OUCH!!brent's bootsWednesday Dec 22nd, 2010 1:51 AM
Santa Cruz, Where Are You Now?Bob LamonicaSunday Dec 19th, 2010 9:28 PM
Political Criteria for Ride-Along-Longs Reveals SCPD's Main Interest is PropagandaRobert NorsseSunday Dec 19th, 2010 8:07 PM
You say activist, they say pain in the buttKeep It RealFriday Dec 17th, 2010 6:02 PM
Just Keepin' it real.brentuglyFriday Dec 17th, 2010 2:43 AM
Upstanding?Keep It RealThursday Dec 16th, 2010 7:44 AM
What the SCPD is Doing With Its New Downtown PatrolsRobert NorseThursday Dec 16th, 2010 1:26 AM
thanksa friendWednesday Dec 15th, 2010 10:53 PM
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