concerned citizen has a great post up. As tax paying, concerned citizens and parents we have a right and an obligation to ensure that there is real oversight of our local governance. Thankfully, this concept is not unique to our community but is being addressed all over the country. More later…..
Lack of professionalism is offensive to me in any profession but in law enforcement it can have devastating, long lasting effects on the lives of those that come into contact with it. Among the complaints told to me entail releasing information, often about juveniles, that should be held in confidence. Police are often guilty of drawing conclusions in a case early on and never veering from that position regardless of evidence to the contrary. Voicing their ‘expert’ bias to the public can have horrible effects on the reputations of young juveniles.
After reviewing many of the posts here and at concerned citizen a couple of points appear to be consistent throughout and that is that Chief Reaves does not posess the personality or social skills required to be a public servant. Many are calling for his resignation and I am of the opinion that his presence has so contaminated the culture of the police force that no other option is likely to undo the damage done within the community. Like many others, I believe city manager O’Connor should go as well for having condoned this behavior for so long. (There are other reasons, unrelated to the police department that a change of city manager might be prudent as well)
Nevertheless, the aim is to improve the quality of life for all citizens of Coquille and to undertake this requires a methodical well thought out approach from concerned parents and citizens. Perhaps a citizen review board empowered to score the performance of both the PD and the city manager should be installed. Much of this should fall within the purview of the city council and if we feel that the council is not giving adequate weight to these concerns, a recall may be required. Someone told me that Mayor Steve Britton was famously quoted several years ago as saying “this town needs an enema!”. Maybe Coquille is constipated again.
Other communities have wrestled with these same problems and we can research how they have addressed them, present suggestions or plans to the city council and start from there. More meetings will be required with citizens to work out these issues before we present anything to the city council, I believe.