San Bernardino City Manager Rob Field threatens future stability of police department, public safety

An open letter to San Bernardino city residents by Brian Lewis, President, San Bernardino Police Officers Association

Photo Manny B. Sandoval: San Bernardino City.
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The safety of San Bernardino’s residents and families is always the top priority of the men and women of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association.

The commitment has been demonstrated repeatedly during the last decade as we worked collaboratively with the City to keep the Police Department intact through the bankruptcy, supported the revised City Charter, and successfully worked to pass Measure S last November.

Unfortunately, this collaborative relationship we’ve built to improve community safety throughout San Bernardino is now being undermined by City Manager Rob Field.

Instead of working cooperatively with our association, Mr. Field has continually rebuffed our attempts to provide him with our professional insights on how to make San Bernardino a safer city. Most recently Mr. Field refused to even hear our input as he seeks to find the next police chief for the city.

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San Bernardino is a city with unique challenges that we as police officers are directly familiar with. Many of our police chiefs in the past did not understand these challenges. Not only did they fail to move the department forward, but it made San Bernardino much less safe.

The men and women of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association believe City Manager Rob Field is now repeating many mistakes of the past as he seeks the next police chief.

Should Mr. Field continue down this path we fear the progress that’s been made in our department in recent years will be reversed. Much worse, we fear a return to a time in the not too distant past where San Bernardino was consistently one of America’s most dangerous cities.

This is not something any member of our association wants to see happen. We hope that with the support of the community, Mr. Field will correct the reckless course he is now on. We desire to work with not only the city but also the residents of San Bernardino to find the best police chief possible – one who is ready for the job and understands the unique challenges facing San Bernardino.

As San Bernardino’s professional peace officers, we value the relationship we have with you. We want to continue our positive working relationship with you and the city as we seek a new police chief to move our department forward and strive to make the community safer.

We encourage you as concerned members of the community to please contact your city council member about the misguided actions currently being taken by City Manager Rob Field.

*Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of IECN

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