• EDITORIAL

    Is It Time to End the San Marino Police Department?

    Why does little San Marino even have its own police department? That
    question demanded an answer last Thursday evening when an army of anarchists of
    the ‘Occupy’ movement assaulted a private residence in the middle of San Marino
    for the third time.
    Obviously deferring to protesters who have apparently declared open season on
    San Marino’s homes, the officers from the San Marino Police Department and four
    other neighboring law enforcement agencies stood idly by as self-proclaimed
    ‘protesters’ again descended on the home of longtime resident, civic leader,
    youth soccer coach, Honorary Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and Tribune Citizen of
    the Year Tim Sloan. The ‘Occupy’ mob trapped his wife and daughter inside
    while they trespassed on the Sloan’s Woodstock Road property.
    San Marino had only three or four officers on duty at the time. When our police
    chief finally arrived (ninety minutes after the attack) the SMPD had to rely on
    mutual aid from Pasadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel before
    declaring an unlawful assembly two hours after protesters showed up! Were
    they lawful for the first two hours? How long is a mob allowed to threaten
    innocent women and children in San Marino? During the time it took the police
    to end the threat to the homeowner, you could toss an overnight bag into your
    car, cruise up the 101 Freeway, check into a bed & breakfast in Santa
    Barbara and sip a glass of wine on the patio before our police could decide
    what charges to file.
    This third infringement on the Sloan residence asks another question: Is
    everybody fair game in San Marino just because they have a good job?
    Three times now, and this was the worst. Three times!
    And what of our police department? Are they still operating under orders from
    the city council members “don’t do anything. Don’t chase the bad guys. Get them
    across city limits where they are someone else’s problem.”
    Are they prohibited from protecting us by a council’s fear of a lawsuit? That’s
    what The Tribune believes. Are they really told to circle the block two times
    with sirens blaring just to make sure the bad guys get away so our SMPD won’t
    catch anybody and maybe get sued?
    Since when did a private residence become a public protest area? Under the law,
    it is not, but apparently if you live in San Marino, have a job, pay taxes and
    are a responsible citizen you are a target for any group with a gripe. It’s
    high time for City Attorney Steve Dorsey to seek an injunction to keep people
    off the Sloan’s and any other local property these trouble-makers attempt to
    use as a platform for their ‘cause.’ If they want to protest here, let them get
    a permit for Lacy Park. That same group got permits to march around Downtown
    Los Angeles on Tuesday to celebrate the worldwide communist worker’s “May Day”
    observance.
    What about our San Marino Police Chief John Schaefer? Is he acting on orders
    from the city council to stand down or is this his attitude towards police
    work?
    Our men, women and children are now targets of any protester group that can get
    to San Marino. What is needed in response is a clear message from this police
    department and this city council to the anarchists: Enough is enough.
    If the San Marino Police Department won’t defend San Marino and our residents,
    it’s time to ask Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to take over. Sheriff Baca
    is a longtime San Marino resident. He raised his family here. He lives here.
    The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is not afraid to defend innocent
    women and children inside their homes. The SMPD apparently is afraid to do just
    that. Rest assured that the Beverly Hills Police Department would never allow
    any group to target one of its families and force a mom and daughter to hide in
    their own home while they stood and watched. Our sister newspaper, the Beverly
    Hills Courier, can attest to that.
    If the SMPD can’t (or won’t) defend a family from terrorists, it’s time to end
    the SMPD and bring in the Sheriff’s Department. Tell Mayor Richard Sun and the
    San Marino City Council, “Defend us or do away with our police department and
    get us some real law enforcement.”
    Call or write our city councilmembers. Tell them how you feel. Demand answers.
    If you don’t, maybe they’ll occupy your house and terrify your family.
    And, by the way, you don’t see Occupy protesters in La Cañada Flintridge where
    the Sheriff rides herd. That city has some rich people with jobs, too. If our
    city council cannot or will not fix this situation and make San Marino’s homes
    off limits to invaders, the city council must be recalled…now.
    Three strikes and you’re out.

    City Manager Matt Ballantyne 300-0718
    Police Chief John Schaefer 300-0723
    Mayor Richard
    Sun 512-9533
    Vice Mayor Richard Ward 795-9900
    Council Member Dennis Kneier 578-1109
    Council Member Eugene Sun 458-0216
    Council Member Allen Yung 308-3000

     
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