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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Costa Mesa police chief ‘heroic’ for challenging city budget proposals

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Costa Mesa Police Chief Rob Sharpnack speaks during a dinner presented by the Chamber of Commerce in 2018. In a recent memo to the City Council, Sharpnack raised many concerns about the city’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year.
(File Photo)

Re “Costa Mesa police chief blasts proposed city budget, saying it will ‘jeopardize safety,’” May 30): Costa Mesa has been on a roller coaster regarding our city and its goals for the Costa Mesa Police Department. Six years ago, under our former council, a massive effort to lay off city employees, including members of which included the CMPD, was attempted.

A hiring freeze was initiated, and the result was an understaffed police department, a surge in crime, drugs, addiction and property crimes. There wasn’t one neighborhood unaffected by these changes. Drugs were out of control.

Fast forward to 2019. A new council, elected on a law and order platform, is attempting through the budgeting process, to avoid the demands of the CMPD budget, to the extent of possible loss of staff.

In Police Chief Robert Sharpnack’s memo, he cites “a crisis in dispatch.” The recruiting and hiring have been unsuccessful, yet the hiring of three new positions for council aides and chief of staff, were accomplished in less than one month, at the yearly cost of $250,000. Are our priorities in the right place?

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Chief Sharpback did a heroic deed in writing this memo, addressing his concerns for his officers’ safety and the well being of our community. This must have been a difficult decision, but in the true character of the chief, he put others before his career and family.

Costa Mesa has always been supportive of CMPD and has rallied to support our officers. It is again time to support law and order and Chief Sharpnack. A note of support to CMPD and the chief would be timely and greatly appreciated, letting them know we have their 6 [a military term meaning “I have your back”]. Write rsharpnack@costamesaca.gov

Mary Spadoni

Costa Mesa

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Apodaca’s column raises important points

Patrice Apodaca’s May 28 column, “Schools must play a vital role in shaping our youth into upstanding citizens who embrace tolerance,” hit me hard. Unexpectedly hard.

Last year, when entertainer Ted Nugent publicly declared, “Democrats, the media and academics should be shot like rabid coyotes,” I was floored. As a lifelong Democrat and father of three, who never has espoused violence, Nugent’s comment made me wonder, “What has happened to civility? Should I be afraid for my safety?”

I asked a dozen family members and friends. They said maybe. I asked several of my USC fraternity brothers. They basically ignored the question. As the saying goes, “Their silence was deafening.”

It’s been said we live in strange times. If true, then it’s no wonder acts of violence and anti-Semitism are on the rise.

To Nugent, I say intelligence without character means little. To my fraternity brothers, I say the same goes for silence. Regardless of one’s political beliefs, both give rise to unacceptable, often illegal behavior.

I’m sure Apodaca would agree that we, as citizens and parents, are obliged to model for our kids what is right and wrong.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach

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How to get published: Email us at john.canalis@latimes.com. All correspondence must include full name, hometown and phone number (for verification purposes). The Pilot reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity and length.

How to get published: Email us at john.canalis@latimes.com. All correspondence must include full name, hometown and phone number (for verification purposes). The Pilot reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity and length.


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