Thursday, April 3, 2008

Badges? We don't need..Wait. Badges Don't Matter?

Our illustrious City Council decided best that people should be banned from bringing weapons to City Hall. That is a fantastic idea, except state law already prohibits arms from coming into government buildings, according to West Covina Police Chief Frank Wills.

A local ordinance duplicates state law when it is 'coextensive' with state law.[1] Although state law already prohibits the carrying of weapons in state or local government buildings, it also creates a number of exceptions to this prohibition.[2] The proposed ordinance narrows State law by narrowing the exceptions. For example, contrary to California law, the proposed ordinance prohibits individuals, such as off-duty and retired peace officers, from carrying weapons in City Hall and on adjacent City owned and operated property. As such, the proposed ordinance does not duplicate State law.

Essentially, this ordinance will prohibit off-duty and retired police officers from carrying weapons into City Hall. Thank God! I feel so much safer now that sworn officers who led their entire adult lives upholding the law and keeping communities safe are now unarmed.

Now, the three members of the Council who voted for this ban, Steve Herfert, Shelley Sanderson and Mayor Sherri Lane, will say it's because of safety and scary situations, like in Missouri when a nutjob opened fire on council members. That is scary. Too bad there weren't any other retired and off-duty police officers in the chambers to stop that guy before he started.

No one else will say it, but I will. Their true motive for this ordinance boils down to two words: Fredrick Sykes.

Sykes is an outspoken critic of the City Council and ran for office in November. He's been going to council meetings, speaking out and carrying a rad fanny pack that probably contains a weapon of some sort. He is, after all, a retired deputy sheriff with LA County.

And man, does he look like a badass. He is tall and built like an Iron Man. I bet that guy does nothing all day but drink protein shakes and work out. Well, in between council meetings and his job as a Human Resources Commissioner for the City of West Covina.

But why is Freddy so scary to the Council? They'll never admit they are, but I know better. And you probably do, too. They expect me to believe it's a coincidence this ordinance comes about when Fred is continuously at the meetings questioning their decisions? Why didn't they do this 10 years ago when a deranged ex-employee opened fire at Riverside City Hall. Herfert was on the council back then.

Now, how are we going to enforce this ban? The honor system? Well, if someone is crazy enough to shoot up City Hall, I seriously doubt an ordinance, and maybe a neat little NO GUNS sign, is going to stop him or her.

Metal detectors? E gad. They have enough problems with people not getting involved in the city. Metal detectors are just going to drive people away, that's why Riverside took out their metal detectors in 2004.

I guess we'll see. I'll be the guy sitting in the front row with a bowl of popcorn watching this play out. And I'll be unarmed.


1 comment:

Johnny "By-the-Book" Boombatz said...

Cowardly for the city to concoct such a ridiculous ordinance rife with vindictive ulterior motives. Off-duty concealed carry is a state and federally protected right of law enforcement officers. In addition to California state law allowing peace officers off-duty concealed carry rights, federal law HR 218 grants police personnel NATIONAL concealed carry rights. This was enacted in the interest of public safety: when something goes sideways and no black-and-white is there, we can take comfort in the fact that highly trained officers are armed and among us, ready to act if need be. As we've seen recently, things can go haywire in a council meeting -- which is precisely why you want MORE trained and qualified police personnel ready to take action, off-duty or otherwise. I see this ordinance dieing on the vine as it conflicts with existing law and in fact sacrifices public safety. Still, it's gross and offensive that they'd even think about enacting it.