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Mayor Tom Tait's City Council Meeting StatementANAHEIM, CA - (July 24, 2012) - I would like to take a minute to talk about the incidents that occurred over the weekend and how the city is addressing the community’s concerns.
The job of government is to protect the community at large, while ensuring that individual rights are also protected. People should be able to trust that law enforcement is there to keep them safe AND respect their rights.
Since Saturday, I have expressed my concern about what happened between the people attending the protest and the police who turned out to keep the peace. The federal government has agreed to help us conduct an impartial, independent investigation to sort out what exactly happened. We all need to be patient until all of the investigations are complete.
We need to let the process, to the facts, to the truth, take its course. Again, I ask for calm and patience.
As mayor, I need to be proactive on behalf of the people I serve. I have tremendous respect for our Chief Welter and the men and women who serve Anaheim as police officers. But if the incident on Saturday night threatens to harm the people’s respect for their city’s law enforcement, we must take steps to repair the damage and restore the public’s trust in those who protect and serve them.
I must also say that I am concerned for the safety of our officers. Police officers, firefighters and others who work to protect the public should and cannot be subjected to bottles and rocks being thrown at them while they are doing their duty. We all must be respectful of one another. We all must be kind.
While Anaheim is an extremely safe city, we do have areas that continue to have public safety issues. Many people in these troubled neighborhoods are working with city staff and the police department to make the neighborhoods safer for the families and children that live there. We will continue that work, through the Hi Neighbor program and other city efforts.
Resiliency is something that is important to me. Our city needs to have strong bonds, in our neighborhoods and between the people and their government, so that when trouble hits, we are resilient and can work through any challenge together. To the people in this city that are troubled about what happened, let me tell you that I am committed to keeping the lines of communication open and to keep the process completely transparent. We will look for ways to engage residents in every opportunity to have their valued input on how to keep our neighborhoods safe and connected to one another.
At this time, I’m going to ask my colleagues on the city council to join me in supporting a full investigation of recent events by the office of U.S. Attorney. This would provide another layer of review, above and beyond what is already taking place through our District Attorney’s office. I’d like to now open this up for questions or comments by the Council.
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