These are difficult times. In the middle of the biggest pandemic in more than 100 years, we find that the problems resulting from racism are still rampant in our country. Too often we see reports of African Americans who have been murdered or lost their lives for no reason. Most recently George Floyd killed by a policeman’s knee to the neck while handcuffed, but before that there was Breonna Taylor who was killed by police while sleeping in her bed, and Ahmaud Arbery was shot while jogging.
This is wrong and simply unacceptable. It has resulted in a Black Lives Matter movement that many wrongly perceive as anti-police. The Black Lives Matter was, in turn, co-opted into an All Lives Matter slogan. But All Lives Matter is a false slogan unless all lives matter equally—and it seems that, for some, black and brown lives matter less.
We must stand against racism, and I support the peaceful protest seeking justice for all, including for the deaths of Floyd, Taylor and Arbery, whether the perpetrators are police or civilian. But I do not support the vandalism and rioting caused by a small number, for their own gain, that has marred the effort to obtain justice and equal treatment under the law.
I am fortunate to live in Chula Vista, and while we are not perfect, we are a city that has achieved national recognition for embracing and celebrating our diversity and for integrating immigrants in our society.
I am particularly proud of the relationship that we have developed between our police and the community-at-large. Every year SANDAG conducts a survey about residents’ satisfaction with their police department, and every time it finds that Chula Vistans are very satisfied with our police department. In 2019, 90% of Chula Vista residents surveyed indicated that they were satisfied with the performance of our police department.
Our department is a model of professionalism and continuous community outreach.
This is a tribute to every member of our police department and speaks to the fact that we hire the best candidates possible, train rigorously, provide outstanding leadership, set high standards and, most importantly, promptly weed out those that do not measure up.
No, we are not perfect, but our residents and our police department help make this a great place to live.