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Huntington Beach Police Chief’s Remarks Fuel Tense Situation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dave Humphreys, HBPOA President
Office: 1-714-842-8851 | Email: hbpoapresident@gmail.com

Huntington Beach Police Chief’s Remarks Fuel Tense Situation

Historically bad relations with rank-and-file officers threatening public’s protection

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Aug. 23, 2017—The Huntington Beach Police Officers Association today responded to Chief Rob Handy’s misleading statements, poor treatment of his own employees, misdirection tactics, and — now — attempt to cover up his disastrous policies by handpicking his own performance evaluator with the help of City Manager Fred Wilson.

Today’s response comes after HBPOA members voted this month by 92 percent that they have ‘No Confidence’ in the ability of Chief Rob Handy to lead the department.

“Chief Handy continues to mislead city leaders and the public by demonizing his employees in the media in an attempt to divert the public from the truth. Handy continues to promote a narrative of lies to avoid any accountability for his actions that have forced us down this path to take a vote of no confidence,” said Dave Humphreys HBPOA President.

“We will stand fast to protect our community and not allow Chief Handy to shield the public from the truth. Chief Handy continues to promote a false narrative that this vote was as the result of opposition to body-worn cameras, strong arm union tactics for contract negotiations, and to avoid officer accountability in investigations. These lies must be addressed to allow the truth to shine bright,” said Humphreys.

Body Worn Cameras (BWC) — Chief Handy has claimed the HBPOA did not agree with the implementation of BWC by officers. In fact, the HBPOA worked with police management to develop the current policy for the use of body-worn cameras. Furthermore, the HBPOA has spoken in public and on the record that they did not oppose the implementation of the BWC program. The HBPOA advocated for the proper resources to make the program successful and to consider fixing other pressing needs within the department prior implementation. A successful BWC program requires functional technology infrastructure, additional clerical support, and a permanent increase in the budget beyond grant funding. “If you want to build a house you must first pour a solid foundation,” said Humphreys.

Community Policing — Chief Handy has claimed the union and some officers have “resisted community policing.” The members of the HBPOA have always embraced the community we serve. In fact, many officers have long-standing and deep-rooted connections to the community and will always strive to deepen and strengthen these relationships. “Community outreach was here long before Chief Handy’s arrival four years ago,” said Humphreys.

Contract Negotiations — Chief Handy has claimed the vote of no confidence in him also resulted out of “stalled” labor negotiations. This could not be further from the truth. The HBPOA understands the challenges of our current city budget and will continue to be collaborative in solving problems while maintaining public safety. Chief Handy has walked towards this cliff for almost three years. The HBPOA has advocated maintaining our current competitive wages and benefits to attract the best personnel possible. Competitive wages and benefits are only one spoke in the wheel of a successful organization. “Sadly, we are slipping into becoming a second- or third-tier agency for recruitment and retention due to the hostile working environment Chief Handy has created,” said Humphreys.

Internal Affairs Investigations — Chief Handy has claimed there is discord over “allegations of misconduct that we have chosen to investigate.” How sad for a chief to smear his police force then not comment further, letting the uncertainty and vagueness of his comments take hold in the public arena. There is no discord over being held to account for our actions including to be disciplined, terminated, or prosecuted. “We take our position of public trust seriously and only ask that we are treated fairly and our constitutional rights and human dignity protected,” said Humphreys.

Chief Handy claimed he was not “allowed” to address the rank-and-file prior to the vote. The HBPOA does not control the chief and his ability to address his own staff. The fact of the matter is the chief rarely sought to interact with the rank-and-file since his appointment and was more concerned with his image in the community. You cannot be absent and effectively lead an organization with “Dear HBPD Family” emails. The rank-and-file see through his disingenuous words and actions. This is why, for the first time in the history of the HBPD, 98 percent of dispatchers, jail detention officer, police officers, and police sergeants turned out and voted 92 percent having ‘No Confidence’ in Chief Handy’s ability to lead his department.

Through it all, the HBPOA remains committed to protecting the community and department it loves and refuses to let anyone destroy the pillar of the city that allows Huntington Beach to thrive and remain safe.

Related News Releases

August 16—Staggering 92 Percent ‘No Confidence in Huntington Beach Police Chief

Staggering 92 Percent ‘No Confidence’ Vote

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