Anaheim PD Paid Extra $5,000 to OC Human Relations Commission for Anaheim Anna Drive Work...at Suggestion of Commission

Rusty_Kennedy.jpg
Rusty Kennedy
Nice work if you can get it: in September of last year, OC Human Relations CEO/Executive Director Rusty Kennedy wrote an email to Anaheim Police Department Chief John Welter about invoicing their Police Community Reconciliation Program for the year to the previously agreed-upon amount of $5,000. Kennedy then noted the chief's desire to pay for "added crisis services" provided by OCHR during Anaheim's long, hot summer and suggested an additional check for $5,000.

The chief's response, in this age of austerity and budget cuts? Sure!

The official legalese justifies the $5,000 bonus for, as the request for check form describes, "added crises services rendered in connection with Anna Dr. neighborhood unrest and gang member arrests, etc."

The revelation comes by way of the Anaheim Investigator, the newest blog in town run by the desmadre-raising former city council candidate Duane Roberts. Oh boy...

The deployment of staff to Anna Drive in the immediate aftermath of Operation Halo, pre-shift briefings and consultations for the special August 8, 2012 meeting of the Anaheim City Council after several days of protest in late July were all mentioned. Canvassing done by OC Human Relations on Anna Drive, site of a controversial officer-involved shooting of 25 year-old Manuel Diaz, collected general observations from residents without full disclosure that they would be sent back to the police.

In a post-script, Kennedy wrote, "I would provide all of these things for the City of Anaheim and you without any compensation as long as we were able to do so. I only seek these funds to try and make our work sustainable." Within an hour, Welter responded by noting that his finance manager had already been instructed to send a check out ASAP for the Police Community Reconciliation Program funding as well as the request money for 'crisis services.'

"You mean you already approved $10,000?" Kennedy asked one minute later.  "Yes," Welter promptly responded.

The historical irony in all of this is that the OC Human Relations Commission was publicly opposed upon its creation in 1971 by the Orange County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association. Santa Ana Police Chief Edward Allen himself was especially critical at the time of the 1969 Grand Jury report calling for the establishment of a county entity.

The view of police departments towards OC Human Relations certainly has changed over the decades. In Anaheim's case, Roberts' blog has all the documents and invoices illustrating as much!

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