Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Police unions and municipal decision-making

It's very hard for politicians to criticize police officers (and fire fighters) and it's hard not to acquiesce to their wage and pension demands--after all, they put their lives on the line.

Plus, the unions make donations to political campaigns.

But at the same time, the union represents police officers as laborers, and they aren't usually focused on police department management and managers as working to reduce crime and improve public safety as much as they think of them as evil overseers.

In Stockton, budget cuts to the police department are being fought by the police officers union with incendiary billboards and other very direct tactics. See "Debt-ridden Stockton a battleground for police union, City Hall" from the Los Angeles Times.
Steve Anderson from Anderson Signs installed one of five signs depicting Stockton as a dangerous place around Stockton for the Stockton Police Officers association
Steve Anderson installs one of the billboards the police union is using in its fight over cutbacks. The police union also bought the house next to City Manager Bob Deis. (Craig Sanders, The Record / December 29, 2011)

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