Politics And Policing Do Not Reflect Santa Cruz Values: Say No To Homeland Security Grant

Not in Santa Cruz

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Sign the Letter Below!

Add your signature to this letter (for complete language,click READ THE PETITION in petition box or below) requesting Santa Cruz City Council rescind their vote to partner with Homeland Security.

The militarization of Santa Cruz, California, like many cities across the nation, is being called into question, as well as the transparency between the police, the elected council members, and their constituents.

Stop The Militarization Of Santa Cruz Police Department

This petition is now closed.

End date: Mar 31, 2015

Signatures collected: 116

116 signatures

Latest Signatures
116Melissa OtteleFeb 02, 2015
115Cameron ZachresonJan 21, 2015
114Jay VisbalJan 21, 2015
113nate saucierJan 15, 2015
112Dawn Schott-NorrisJan 14, 2015
111Ann WrightJan 14, 2015
110Lisa MichelJan 14, 2015
109Judy WeaverJan 13, 2015
108kenneth SahmJan 13, 2015
107Geoffrey ShueyJan 13, 2015
106Debra GableJan 13, 2015
105Don CerowJan 13, 2015
104Don FaiaJan 13, 2015
103A. Jackson WolffeJan 13, 2015
102Lea ScarpelliJan 13, 2015
101Joe LeonardJan 13, 2015
100Kathleen CarterJan 13, 2015
99Jeannine BonstelleJan 13, 2015
98Larry SpejnaJan 13, 2015
97Carol GaabJan 13, 2015
96Anna OnegliaJan 13, 2015
95Hedy EpsteinJan 13, 2015
94Dolores BornsteinJan 13, 2015
93Julie Boudreau Jan 13, 2015
92Darrell YeaneyJan 13, 2015
91John KlusmireJan 13, 2015
90Brian SeymourJan 13, 2015
89Carol murryJan 13, 2015
88Nadya TannousJan 12, 2015
87Gail "Bergi" V. Larson-Fraley Jan 12, 2015
86Garrett LarsonJan 12, 2015
85Terresa LauerJan 12, 2015
84Ann SimontonJan 12, 2015
83Rabbi Borukh GoldbergJan 12, 2015
82Erik JacobsmeyerJan 12, 2015
81Rickey RamseurJan 12, 2015
80Tereza CoraggioJan 12, 2015
79LeAnne RavinaleJan 12, 2015
78Rahn DavisJan 12, 2015
77Karen CardJan 12, 2015
76Christopher MannJan 12, 2015
75Alexandra WhiteJan 12, 2015
74Ronald DunnJan 12, 2015
73Pete ShanksJan 12, 2015
72Douglas HullJan 12, 2015
71Martin WilliamsJan 12, 2015
70Margie KelleyJan 12, 2015
69Rebecca Mueller-WilleJan 12, 2015
68curt johnsonJan 12, 2015
67Mike VegliaJan 12, 2015

Footage of the SCPD request during the December 2014 meeting and the response by the few community members present, by Brent Adams

Petition Language

Dear Santa Cruz City Council,

We are fortunate to have many dedicated officers who are also community members and family friends. Like you, I appreciate their efforts to keep people safe, and like you, I mourned the loss of two officers, one of whom I knew personally.

These sentiments, however, should not be linked to the issue at hand: Santa Cruz accepting a grant to purchase a BEARCAT (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck) from Homeland Security.

To receive funding from Home Land Security for equipment from the Defense Department and to accept a grant that places a BEARCAT in the streets of Santa Cruz is inappropriate.

I interviewed the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) in September 2014 about their past, present, and future relationship to the Department of Defense 1033 Program. I was told that the department had participated in the past, accepting a minimal amount of protective gear, but had returned the gear due to bureaucratic challenges.

I was also told by SCPD that they had no intention of securing future equipment or supplies. I was assured that SCPD was no longer in possession of any Department of Defense 1033 Program equipment or supplies.

It is equally inappropriate for Santa Cruz families to see U.S. military equipment and militarized actions and attitudes in their streets as it is for families in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya, Yemen, and unfortunately, so many more.

My daughter and I, with the support of many Santa Cruz citizens, have spent years paying reparations to communities suffering from ongoing illegal U.S. military occupation and war. We simply cannot keep up with the numerous forms of debt militarization heaps onto the shoulders of civilians around the world and here at home.

Any attempt to normalize a piece of machinery generally made for and used in combat zones serves to perpetuate the escalation of militarized policing in an expanding global military industrial complex.

Militarization is not in keeping with Santa Cruz City values, nor does it protect our officers. I implore you and fellow city council members to re-think the council's position.

Please consider the many costs to the Santa Cruz Community by opening a door into this trend of accepting unnecessary military equipment for use by those who are meant to disrupt individual cases of violent crime: such a task can never be accomplished with an armored police vehicle designed to suppress crowds like the one represented by sentiments in this letter.

I have lived in Santa Cruz for twenty-five years and until recently, have had only positive experiences with SCPD. In October 2014, I witnessed two officers use excessive force by multiple tasings of an unarmed person, resulting in his hospitalization.

So disproportional was the use of force for the circumstance (Case #14S-08499), I was compelled to file a formal complaint following my conversation with the officers' supervisor.

According to The Committee Against Torture at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland November 13, 2014 it found “numerous and consistent” reports that US police have used tasers against unarmed people resisting arrest and condemned two recent cases of death in Florida and Illinois.

"Tasers should be used only in extreme cases to prevent loss of life or serious injury, the committee said."

Our police already possess lethal force, and with such force comes the inevitable occasions of excessive use. The BEARCAT is an additional technology that can only put our police at greater risk of such excesses.

According to my interview with SCPD, the commitment by the City Council to increase funding for the Police Department in 2013 provided, "What we needed; additional personnel." I was told that SCPD is fully equipped, staffed and trained without a BEARCAT.

Adding military equipment to growing communities will not address the underlying inequality that contributes to an increase in crime and violence at home and abroad. A BEARCAT cannot address any of these issues; only human beings can do that.

Our police can be appreciated and supported without adopting military equipment into their arsenal. They can continue to keep people safe without a BEARCAT.

We respectfully request SC City Council conduct an open, well-publicized community meeting to hear from more of their constituents. Most of us were unaware this matter was being brought before the council in December.

Thank you for considering our views and taking appropriate action to support the position of those who elected each of you into your position of service to this community.