In wake of Horrific Shooting, Emeryville Police address alleged tensions between Officers and Council

Published On February 19, 2018 | By Rob Arias | News & Commentary, Politics, Public Safety

The Emeryville Police Officers Association (EPOA) has issued a statement in response to recent online comments that they insist are not reflective of the current relationship with them and our local government. Some of these opinions, mostly expressed anonymously, noted some personal interactions and candid conversations with officers expressing disapproval of the level of support for them by our current council.

“Our police officers have always had a great relationship with and support from our elected city officials,” the association noted in a letter provided by EPOA President Lance Goodfellow. The statement is republished below in its entirety.


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Many of the comments implied the city was not doing all it could to support our police and public safety in our city. “City Council’s ‘progressive’ policies of undermining the police department” noted one of the many comments in this recent story. Several others noted a perceived emphasis on ‘compassion’ might be undermining good police work and compromising our public safety.

Resident dissatisfaction with our local government appears to be growing amid a spike in crime and ongoing quality of life issues. The anger has been stoked by some high-profile robberies including the recent randomly targeted shooting of Alex Madias who remains in an East Bay trauma unit following a gunshot wound to the head. Madias’ shooting is believed the first such ‘random’ incident in our city in a decade.

Property Crime reports in Emeryville have gone up 90% since 2014 and Violent Crime reports have gone up 57% (Data: Emeryville Police Crime Statistics).

The discussion seems reflective of an ongoing discord between Police Associations and “progressive” politicians that are pushing police oversight initiatives and criminal justice reforms that reduce criminal penalties.

The current anti law enforcement sentiment in our region has reduced the influence of police associations and has made it harder for them to find electable candidates to support. The influential San Francisco Police Union may pass on endorsing a mayoral candidate this election for the first time noting “none of the front-runner candidates matches its priorities” in this recent SF Chronicle article.

The Berkeley Police Association has recently gone on the offensive by waging a PR campaign at WheresMyBerkeleyCop.com to combat “anti-law enforcement sentiment” and draw attention to the reduction in officers that is adding challenges to their ability to enforce public safety in their city. Berkeleyside.com recently reported that as many as eighty percent of BFD’s officers are investigating leaving the force.

Despite these frictions in neighboring cities, The Emeryville Police Department have continued to receive high marks for their service with satisfaction levels consistently in the eightieth percentile.

To address our recent budget shortfall, our council voted unanimously to reduce the EPD’s staff by three including one officer, our only parking enforcement official and the elimination of 28 year EPD employee and Crime Analyst Adrienne Robinson’s position. Robinson prepares the monthly crime reports that we republish and provide the community vital information about crime trends in our city.

E’ville Eye editor Rob Arias and local resident Betsy Cooley both made impassioned pleas to retain Robinson’s position at the July 11th council meeting, but it was for naught. “To consider eliminating her position after 28 years would be really sad” Cooley noted during public comment. It is not clear what access the media and public will have to criminal statistics and reports when her position is eliminated.

John Bauters was the only Councilmember among the three winning candidates that EPOA endorsed in the 2016 election.


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February 16, 2018

Emeryville Police Officers’ Association Supports Elected Officials

It was recently brought to the attention of the Emeryville Police Officers’ Association Board of Directors that certain social media posts attributed statements to unidentified members of the Police Department which in some respects were critical to the relationship between the Emeryville Police Officers’ Association, the Mayor, and City Council.

While we continue to build upon our excellent relationship with the City and the community, we are not insensitive to the fact that members are always engaging in conversations with members of our community on various issues. Some members of the community have their own set of beliefs that may influence their account of contact with our members. We believe that our members exercise great restraint and discretion in engaging in conversation on topics that may be controversial. It is our belief members avoid disparaging our City government or the Police Department.

Although we do not have any specifics on what was actually said or who may have said it, we have reached out to all of our members asking them to be judicious and respectful in conversations about our Police Department and the city’s elected officials.

Our police officers have always had a great relationship with and support from our elected city officials. The police officers, sergeants and elected officials of Emeryville share interest in the safety of the community and are committed to working together to fight crime. In a small city like ours, EPOA membership has a unique opportunity, to make a significant contribution towards a better quality of life for our residents. It is only in continued cooperation and collaborative effort between the Mayor, City Council, and Emeryville Police Officers’ Association that we will be able to realize Emeryville’s true potential. It is in this unified effort that we believe: Our size is our strength.

Finally, we want to acknowledge that our membership has thousands and thousands of contacts with citizens each year. These recent negative posts represent a fraction of the number of comments made by citizens about us. By far and away the majority of our contact with our community is very positive and social media reflects the professionalism and integrity of our members.

We look forward to working with the residents, Mayor and City Council to continue growing the quality of life in Emeryville.

— Emeryville Police Officers’ Association

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

18 Responses to In wake of Horrific Shooting, Emeryville Police address alleged tensions between Officers and Council

  1. Anonymous says:

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jr., March 8, 1965

    Thanks to the officers who spoke up, who speak up, and who continue speaking up in the face of those who tell them to remain silent.

    We appreciate you more than you can ever know.

  2. Sarah says:

    While I appreciate the EPD’s invitation to think my thoughts for me about City Council, I must confess I have a preference for thinking for myself. I am dismayed and disappointed that their response to growing citizen concern is ask officers to stop engaging with people. Wow, really? If officers start stonewalling then people will stop being angry at City Council’s total lack of response to increasing crime? This concern is not the result of people sitting at Starbucks listening to some cops griping. There no fingers to point when you call the police about your $900 bike being stolen and they cite the codes that California won’t prosecute anything under $1200 so they are wasting everyone’s time by following up on it. Or when they respond to your call about the guy with a large knife in your building stealing packages before christmas by letting you know that since the value falls below the monetary threshold there is nothing to do, or when you call them because people are living in their car in a red zone with expired plates and tossing their venti cups of urine onto the sidewalk and they explain that they do not have the resources to follow up on nonviolent civil codes. Or when you call them because someone has set up their tent in your parking lot and they explain that Emeryville doesn’t have a no camping policy so technically there isn’t anything they can do, or when ten cars are broken into but the theives are driving “too dangerously” for them to pursue them or you look T the crime reports that I guess will no longer be published so we just won’t know how bad it is getting. This concern and anger at city council is born, at least for me, from direct experience, not from idle gossip or hearsay. It is from the fact that officers have been let go, budgets have been cut, there is an emphasis on “progressive” policies, there is red tape and bureaucratic challenges, a totally tone deaf response of “compassion” and mindfulness, there aren’t strong municiple codes that protect residents, and there isn’t a peep coming from City Hall. The silence of the council on crime, particularly violent crime as homicides and armed robberies has skyrocketed, speaks volumes.

  3. Tina says:

    Wow, that’s really a shame that Adrienne’s position was eliminated and she was let go. She was so good at her job and knew the city so well that she could actually predict crime spots before they happened.. Well done City Council yet again. This is not the time to be cutting back on EPD. There are more people in this town than ever before, and the reduced number of patrol officers just makes their job tougher and increases the distance between the officers and the people who live here. But yeah, let’s build a bridge over the freeway instead.

  4. Sarah says:

    The video of Adrienne speaking says volumes-thanks for providing this fottage.

    This EPOA statement comes across like a DV victim. “Everything is fine, no really, I’ve told officers not to tattle on their father, what silly imaginations they have. Sure the bduget was cut and three eployees were laid off in a healthy economy while crime was increasing and the homeless camps are setting building on fire and everyone around us is increasingly uncomfortable and someone was just shot in the head but really, things are better than ever, I swear!”

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a joke. Tejada shuts down public access to her Twitter account so she can spend several days crafting this contrived PR statement.

    If she can’t handle criticisms from the public she serves, its no wonder why she focuses on meditation and letting go of bad juju and the like. If words are hard for her to accept, the reality of crime is definitely out of her league.

    She should go back to Sausalito and giving speeding tickets to Marin housewives for going two MPH over the speed limit. And then sharing with them how to breathe in and out so they are not in such a rush.

    Again, what a joke.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s interesting and ironic to note that Adrienne is wearing her SEIU1021 shirt. I wonder how she feels about the fact that Jennifer Lin (also SEIU) worked so hard to add a couple hundred thousand dollars in enforcement expense to the city’s budget, not to mention the impact on sales tax revenue, just to administer her Fair Workweek program. That one expense is more than enough to cover Adrienne’s salary.

    To sum up:
    We DO have money to enforce new labor laws that benefit the SEIU’s marketing efforts, but sadly,
    We DO NOT have money to pay your salary to protect residents from violence and property crime.

    Thank you for 28 years of service and here’s a nice purple T-shirt for your trouble.

    And guess who negotiated all those outrageous pensions that CalPERS can’t afford that are causing an escalating budget crisis for the next decade.

    Oh yeah, that was the SEIU as well.

    At least you get a T-shirt. The rest of us just get the crime.

    And in all seriousness, every longstanding Emeryville employee should be looking at Adrienne’s situation and seeing their future. Most of Emeryville’s senior staff is already out the door.

    You’re next.

    Oh, and Adrienne, the EPOA kindly requests that you avoid disparaging the City Council.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I hope the phrase, “judicious and respectful in conversations about our Police Department and the city’s elected officials,” doesn’t actually mean “keep your opinions to yourself.” I have always found EPD to be respectful and considerate. EPD representatives have always been open with information, when asked, and their suggestions to improve community security have always useful. This is why EPD has such high community approval ratings. Holding back on ways to make the community safer will hurt, not help, their standing in the community.

    The EPOA’s response doesn’t address the issues raised by the readers/commentors of this site. All I saw was: EPD respects the council; EPD have told their members to be more “judicious and respectful” of the council; and Emeryville loves us, so we’re doing a good job.

    No, EPD, we love the fact that we get the sense that your members care about the community and are trying to do their best to serve and protect us. The fact that information or methods or proactively policing are being buried does not make us feel like you’re doing all that you can to protect us. Instead of quieting your members, you should be telling us WHY the approach EPD is taking is better than a proactive approach to policing. The crime stats suggest the current method isn’t working. Please tell us why we’re wrong to question this more “compassionate” approach.

  8. AL says:

    A guy was shooting up today (11:45am) at the skateboard park.
    Why isn’t Public Safety Job One ?
    There’s money for Bike Paths & Art.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry, they’re likely finding money for safe injection sites because that’s what all the cool progressive kids are doing in their cool progressive cities.

      Soon, someone from RULE and/or SEIU can add that bulletpoint to their resume.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s not just money for art, there’s $11M allocated and an ongoing bidding process to build an Arts and Culture Center including possibly a “theatre, gallery, office space, courtyard, café, [and] retail store” (!!!)

      https://www.ci.emeryville.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/10399

      I imagine there will be theatre productions and passionate art exhibits about the suffering of the downtrodden there. And we’ll be able to talk about the misery inflicted on the poor by the oppressors while having avocado toast at the café.

      Can’t wait.

      • Anonymous says:

        Possibly is a key word, keeping in mind the continuous watering down of the ECCL.

        Possibly is also a key word, keeping in mind the office space may be passed over by employers who want to attract employees but not be limited by subpar public transit and parking options.

        Possibly is also a key word, keeping in mind that the café and retail store will likely remain vacant along with the plethora of vacant café and retail establishments in the city.

        Can’t fool people when the proof is right in front of their eyes.

        Of course, City Council will spend countless hours and resources demonstrating how well they can whip the developer into shape.

        It makes for good theatrics.

    • Anonymous says:

      Shooting up is the preferred type of shooting in Emeryville.

  9. Anonymous says:

    A few more details on the shooting thanks to ABCnews…
    http://abc7news.com/amp/software-engineer-shot-in-back-of-head-near-emeryville-amtrak/3115719/?__twitter_impression=true

    Shot in the back of the head, bullet exited out front. Robber demanded money without victims realizing he was armed. Victim kept walking. Then was shot.

    And finally a description: dark skinned male, 18-25, wearing dark clothing.

    Lights facing the street on the building under construction nearby were added pointing out toward the crime scene location, and EPD has been leaving an empty patrol car across the street in the taxi zone.

    • Sarah says:

      An empty patrol car because we don’t have the officers available to actually serve these areas because EPD doesn’t have the budget because City Council is decreasing their budget.

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