When I read the June 4 article in The World, concerning police conduct, I was very much relieved and pleased to find that other citizens, other parents were as concerned as I have been about this matter. A friend joined me and I attended only my third city council meeting with no intent to participate but to observe and hopefully meet up with some of these people. In the end, after listening to many horror stories ranging from unwarranted stops to ongoing harassment, I finally had to speak as well.
For privacy reasons I cannot yet reveal any names but several individual citizens have been documenting their experiences and together are preparing a complaint to state and federal agencies regarding ongoing civil rights abuses by the CPD as well as the Myrtle Point PD and, sadly, the Coos County Sheriff. We hope that our numbers will initiate investigations into these departments whereas individual complaints may be ignored. We all agree that we must undertake these steps to protect our childrens’ future.
Since the council meeting, four people who believe they have been victimized by the CPD have contacted me. These people were not concerned with petty traffic violations but by serious breaches of the public trust and we should all be deeply concerned that our fellow citizens are feeling this way.
Four people in one day! Two even spoke to me in whispers, lest they be overheard. Normal, decent, tax paying, hard working, law abiding citizens are afraid… Afraid of the local police! Something appears to be wrong and there can be nothing bad about having a healthy, open, impartial investigation into these concerns.
Personally, I would think only good would come from such an investigation. We all want our tax dollars invested wisely. Our tax investments should build a healthy infrastructure for our children to carry forward and build upon. The police department should have no objection to an independent investigation if the end results improve upon its performance.
The very transparency of undertaking an impartial investigation would do much to improve relations between the public and the police department and city hall in general. CPD, if they are confident in their conduct should welcome such an opportunity to reassure their fellow citizens.