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Press Release

HB council to consider renewing chief’s contract in wake of critical report.

Original article written by Bradley Zint Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy’s contract is up for a five-year renewal at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. The meeting comes about a week after a report by Management Partners, a Costa Mesa-based consultant, noted “deep divisions” within the Police Department.  City staff, however, is recommending that Handy’s contract […]

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The recent turmoil within the Huntington Beach Police Department has left many members of the department frustrated with the people running the city. The City Council is not holding the City Manager accountable. The City Manager is not holding the Chief of Police accountable for the current working conditions at the department.
The following is a summation of the issue from a 20 year veteran police sergeant.
Huntington Beach City Manager wastes 52K of tax payer dollars to run cover for Chief Handy!
The much anticipated report from Management Partners was released on February 9th. The report mostly confirmed what those of us who work in the building with Chief Handy already knew; he lacks the ability to lead this department. This fact is reiterated throughout the report despite Fred Wilson rigging the game to protect his longtime friend and political ally. Prior to Management Partners being hired by Fred Wilson, he and Chief Handy met with Management Partners to determine the scope and direction of the assessment without input from the parties vested in fixing the problems occurring within the police department. While the POA can praise the report in many ways because it reaffirms many of the deficiencies in Chief Handy’s leadership, the glaringly obvious omission in the report was done by design, at the inception by Fred Wilson and Chief Handy. The report stated, “The City did not engage Management Partners to conduct a performance evaluation of the Chief.” That statement is in direct conflict with public statements made by the City Manager and his written statements made via emails to Police Department personnel, where he clearly made the point the assessment was being conducted in response to the Vote of No Confidence. Yet, he did not task the company being paid 52 thousand dollars to assess the performance of the Chief of Police?
The only part of this process that may be more shameful than the actions of the City Manager is Chief Handy’s response. Upon receiving the 16 item “To Do” list from Management Partners, Chief Handy started to attend briefings to address the findings of the report and the direction going forward. This was the first time he attempted to attend briefing since he did so preceding the Vote of No Confidence back in August of 2017. During his address he squarely placed the blame for his lack of success within the department on his “Command Staff” undermining him and breaking off into fractured camps. Chief Handy’s approach for a fresh start was to blame his Command Staff to the very people they supervise. The “Command Staff” term reminded me of the survey from Management Partners, where the entire survey referred to “Command Staff” throughout it and made no reference to the Chief. We find it more than a coincidence that Management Partners was not tasked with evaluating the Chief, coupled with Handy and Wilson setting the scope, the survey evaluating “Command Staff”, and now that theme is where the blame is being placed.
Chief Handy’s response to the report further supports the assertions made by the POA and PMA; he lacks the ability to lead and influence the men and women in this department and make the needed changes. Leaders do not need a “To Do” list from an outside entity telling them how to lead. Leaders do not undermine their Command Staff to their subordinates. Leaders shouldn’t have to be faced with a Vote of No Confidence to take action on items they were begged for years to complete. Leaders certainly do not have to conspire to avoid a self assessment and predetermine who takes the blame for his failures. While Chief Handy is very talented in his approach to the political aspect of his job, he is deficient in his ability to lead and influence a Police Department, which is what he was hired to do. The Chief of Police is not an elected position. If he were to put the Huntington Beach Police Department and the employees first in his priorities, his resume and political aspirations would take care of themselves.




Chief Rob Handy Has Got To Go
Here’s Why:

Our Huntington Beach community reflects the best of what California has to offer; beautiful beaches, good surfing, excellent schools, vibrant business community, great weather, strong sense of community and more. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that Huntington Beach was named the ”Best City to Live in Orange County” by Orange County Register readers. Unfortunately all of that is at stake due to the spike in crime, drug use, violence against police, and homelessness our community has seen in the last few years. What has changed? This slide began a few years back when the City Council hired Chief Rob Handy to head up the HBPD. Chief Handy cares more about his public image than providing officers the tools and resources we need to do our jobs and keep our community safe.

  • Huntington Beach is slipping down the wrong path with increasing, crime, homelessness, illicit drug use, and violent attacks on our police officers.
    -Seven Officer Involved Shootings this year
    -Rapes UP 20%
    -Robbery UP 17%
    -Aggravated assaults UP 18%
    -Violent Crime UP almost 18%
    -ID Theft UP 20%
    -Auto Theft UP 13%
    -Burglary UP 6%
  • The police department needs to be City Hall’s #1 priority with the resources and police leadership necessary to meet these challenges.
    -1988 police staffing levels in 2017
    -Police headquarters in disrepair
    -No police training facility
    -Police Chief and City Hall refuse to follow their own consultant’s recommendations.
    -Out-of-date technology infrastructure
  • Chief Handy’s poor management has resulted in a serious recruitment, retention and morale problem
    -Experienced personnel are leaving – 19 alone in 2016
    -HBPD is no longer a destination agency that attracts outside officers
  • Chief Handy is using body cameras, internal affairs investigations and contract negotiations as a smoke screen to cover his failures as a leader.
  • This community deserves a police leader who is transparent, responsive to community needs, and values the men and women putting their lives on the line everyday. Chief Handy has failed miserably in this regard.
  • Chief Handy did not visit an officer in the hospital after being attacked and does not visit an officer at the hospital after losing family in horrible traffic accident
  • No effort by Chief Handy to move on department needs spelled out in the Matrix report, which ranked the Huntington Beach Police Department one of the worst in their last 200 agencies assessed. “I didn’t like that report,” said the chief.
  • Most importantly, Chief Handy has lost the confidence of our rank and file officers. In fact, a staggering 92% of HBPD officers returned a vote of “No Confidence” in Chief Handy’s ability to continue to lead this organization.
  • Our goal is to bring in a new chief who will focus on public safety, selfless service, and provide solid leadership to our police department.


10-year-old Jacob R. recently sent a letter and superhero sticker to the Huntington Beach Police Department addressed to Officer Kennefick. Jacob recently learned on the news Kennefick was injured in a September 7, 2017 police involved shooting in Huntington Beach. Jacob has a history of reaching out to law enforcement in time of need. Jacob feels that police officers are like superheroes; they keep people safe even if people do something bad [police officers] still help them. They go out everyday and protect us. Officer Kennefick was touched by Jacob’s letter. Officer Kennefick and the Huntington Beach Police Officers’ Association will be putting items together to send to Jacob for his act of kindness.


 

Your local Huntington Beach Police Officers work day and night to keep us safe. Unfortunately, Police Chief Rob Handy and some at City Hall have failed us.

With crime on the rise and our morale, recruitment and retention so low, our officers’ are increasingly unable to perform their duties. The Huntington Beach Police Officers’ Association voted with 92% support on a “vote of no confidence” in current Police Chief Rob Handy. Public safety needs to be the #1 issue in Huntington Beach. It’s time to put an end to years of increased crime, decreased service, and poor management.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please fight to Protect Huntington Beach and move us forward. Together, we can work to return Huntington Beach to be the very best place to live, work, visit and raise a family.

Please get involved today!
Email City Hall
and make your voice heard!


Dear Huntington Beach Voters,

We love our city yet Huntington Beach can be an even better place to call home, work, raise your family and visit. The Huntington Beach Police Officers’ Association is always working in the community and now speaking out to protect the public and return it to a place much better than ever. We must make our police and your businesses, families and resident’s safety the #1 priority.
We believe it is our duty to not only protect our community and make it as strong and safe as possible but to speak out when it is not. When recruitment, retention, our being able to best tackle gangs, thefts, rising crime and worse is in jeopardy we will notify you to alert City Council and let them know. As part of our newly enhanced community outreach efforts and issue updates, we’d like to keep you up to date on critical matters affecting law enforcement in our community starting now. We are very concerned. It has been getting worse the past few years.

Thank you for your consideration and for helping us return Huntington Beach to not just before but make it the best it can be!


Building to Remember

hb-memorial
Huntington Beach 9/11 Memorial Completed

 

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