• Pacific Grove POA Joins Seaside in No-Confidence Vote

    Back in 2013 the Seaside Police Officers’ Association took a “no-confidence” vote against Police Chief Vicki Myers, the chief shared by Seaside and Pacific Grove under a shared services agreement. On April 16, 2014 Pacific Grove City Manager Tom Frutchey brought an item to City Council which expressed support for the chief and it passed with one abstention by Dan Miller. Casey Lucius said that she didn’t believe it was a matter for the particular forum of a city council meeting, but supported it. Mayor Kampe was absent.

    In an article published in the Monterey County Herald just before that vote, Sgt. Carl Lafata, then newly-elected president of the POA, defended the embattled chief and is quoted as saying, “Chief Myers and the city have been nothing but supportive.”

    Lafata said at the time that sentiments among the department’s remaining officers was growing more favorable.

    “A lot of people who work here now have a different view,” he said in the article. “A few people who left to go to greener pastures have inquired about coming back. I know there’s a lot of negativity out there, but not here.”

    He’s singing a different song now, more than a year later.

    At a press conference held on the lawn at Lovers Point on Monday morning, July 6, Lafata joined with a representative of the Seaside POA to reaffirm the Seaside group’s no-confidence vote of a year and a half ago. He said a recent vote was unanimous in Pacific Grove.

    In a letter sent to the city managers of each city, the police group stated their belief that Chief Myers does not have the “knowledge, skills, or abilities to serve as chief of police” and they ask that her contract not be renewed when it comes up next fall.

    Lafata pointed out that both departments are short-staffed but that neither can recruit experienced officers, due in part to Chief Myers’ reputation. “We are therefore left with hiring recruits who must be put through the academy at great expense,” he said. “Given the current working conditions, those academy graduates are likely to leave for better-run departments immediately upon completion of their probationary year.”

    The union representatives also pointed out that crime is on the rise in both cities and that a chief who is willing to go out on patrol is needed.

    The letter is advisory and no immediate action was requested. Chief Myers’ contract is with the City of Seaside, and Pacific Grove contracts with Seaside for the services of a chief. That agreement began in 2012. Chief Myers was sworn in as chief in July, 2012.

    Coincidently, Carl Lafata announced that he is leaving the police service to take a teaching position at a state university. He said that he had searched out that position a while ago, and he emphasized that he is not taking the position on the no-confidence vote out of a desire to rise through the ranks at Pacific Grove Police Department. He also states that the no-confidence vote is not related to salary talks which have been extended over a number of months

    posted to Cedar Street Times on July 6, 2015

    Topics: Front PG News, Police Log

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