BPOA Response to Joseph Gunn

Taken from The Burbank Leader Mailbag dated July 2, 2016:

"Survey betrays union stance

As a former police commissioner in Burbank and a retired LAPD commander, it distresses me to see the attack by the Burbank police union on the upper staff of the department. Let's cut through all of the phony issues stated by the union and get to the crux of their complaints: For the first time they are not in a position of trying to manage the department.

Their opposition to predictive policing is contrary to the direction taken by every major professional department. Their wish to go back to undirected policing would lead to an upswing in crime. Their opposition to the promotion process comes from the fact that in the past promotions were given by seniority, not qualification, with the union having great sway on the process. Their opposition to fair, objective investigations of accusations of police misconduct is contrary to their expressed desire to serve the community.

The current chief and his staff are on the right track in leading the department in a cultural change that would hire a more diversified force, shift the department into a professional model and reduce crime and increase safety for the community. The police union has opposed the new chief since the first day of his hiring and this phony survey is nothing more than an attempt to force his removal. They would be better served by cooperating with the chief in his quest to make Burbank Police a better department. If they can't do that, it might be better for them to resign so that more professional officers can take their place.

Joseph Gunn


BPOA Board of Directors Response Sent to The Burbank Leader:

"We BPOA (the Board of Directors) have read Mr. Gunn's opinion letter to the Leader and find his comments very disturbing.   Quite frankly, we would expect a much more professional, articulated response from someone who is a retired law enforcement commander, and a former police commissioner.
The recent survey completed by 118 of our members was shared with Chief Scott LaChasse with the hope he would recognize the issues his personnel are facing.  We hope that sharing the results of the survey with Chief LaChasse will help bring forward positive and constructive changes to the Burbank Police Department.

Suggesting (without merit) that the survey is "phony" only seeks to dismiss valid issues that are of genuine concern since great efforts were made to ensure the survey was conducted objectively, accurately, and professionally. Suggesting that our officers should "resign" will certainly not help to allay the concerns of such a large segment of our membership.  We will give Mr. Gunn the benefit of the doubt since he was not able to review the survey in its entirety before making his comments.

As we are working with the Chief, we did not intend for the survey to be released to the public at this time.  We understand that Mr. Gunn may have some questions, so we would be open (when appropriate) to sit down with him to explain the survey and the concerns of our members in greater detail.  

While Mr. Gunn wants to portray your police force as bringing forward “phony" issues, we want to assure you that we (the BPOA) bring forward only real issues that significantly detract from our ability to provide effective and essential police services to our community.  We believe these issues are of significant public concern, and we hope our community will support our membership as we move forward.
Burbank Police Officers’ Association
Board of Directors"

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