Camarillo is Not Considering Defunding the Police

Camarillo City Press Release:

Camarillo, California – The City of Camarillo wishes to correct misinformation that is being circulated in the community—the City of Camarillo is not considering defunding the Camarillo Police Department.

At the July 8, 2020, City Council meeting, Councilmembers will discuss and provide direction on the proposed process for a presentation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office on the law enforcement services contract, policies, and procedures.

To review the City Council Agenda and the Agenda Report for the VCSO presentation, please visit the City’s website: https://www.cityofcamarillo.org/departments/city_clerk/cc_agendas_minutes_and_videos_2.php

We understand there are several reports of misinformation on social media. Please use caution when distributing or sharing unverified rumors you see online. For trusted and verified information, please follow:

  • City’s website: cityofcamarillo.org
  • Facebook: @CityofCamarilloGovernment
  • Nextdoor: @CamarilloPoliceDepartment

Published post of CouncilMember Charlotte Craven’s original email: Call to Action | Push back against Defunding the Camarillo Police Department

Response to CouncilMember Craven’s email/Citizens Journal Post by CouncilMember Shawn Mulchay to a resident of Camarillo

Hello, 

In the latest https://www.citizensjournal.us/call-to-action-push-back-against-defunding-the-camarillo-police-department/

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I recently wrote the city council about this and voiced my own opinion about the matter and they are claiming this article is misleading. Do you have a response to this? 
Below is the response :
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“ Hi ********
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Thank you for your email. I was equally shocked by my Council colleague’s assertions regarding BLM and “defunding” the police because both are not accurate. The “Call to Action” letter that sparked anger and likely your response regarding these items was written to manipulate and mislead the community and is not reflective of the City Council’s direction or desired action from where our deliberations last left off. To be clear: The Council has not and will not endorse the BLM Movement nor is there a consideration to “defund” the VC Sheriff. Assertions suggesting otherwise are simply untruthful. 
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BLM – It was discussed and agreed to at our Council meeting that any resolution would NOT support or endorse the BLM Movement or Organization. Most of us have recognized that racial inequalities exist/persist in the United States and that we, as elected officials, have an obligation to ensure we address such inequalities to the extent they exist in our own community. 
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“Defunding” the Police – This question is not under consideration and will NOT be on the July 8th Council agenda, as falsely implied, because this is not what was requested by the Council. What was discussed and requested was a copy of the contract between the City and VCSO so it can be reviewed, discussed, and better understood how the annual $18.1 million is spent with our Sheriff. It was revealed that this contract had not been formally reviewed or approved by the Council in OVER 30 YEARS. It had been simply allowed to “roll-over” from year to year with no oversight, insight, or review. This would rightly concern any taxpayer who desires transparency and accountability over how their tax dollars are allocated and spent. 
It was discussed that perhaps a public presentation would likely follow so we and the community could better understand our City’s largest budget line item (~48% of our annual general fund expenditures). Suggestions were also made about utilizing community town hall events to discuss or solicit feedback. Additionally, comments were made supportive of spending even more if we can correlate spending in certain programs that derive lower crime and recidivism outcomes. We can’t do that, though, because we as an elected body have no insight or data into how the contract is structured or how the money is budgeted with the VCSO. 
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I’m sorry to see that you were misled into thinking something that simply was not accurate or imminent. Many individuals appear to have been misled and reacted to inaccurate and misleading claims that have gone viral on Facebook and other social media platforms. 
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Thank you, again, for your email and for airing your concern. If you would like to watch either of the two Council sessions where we engage in discussion on these topics you can reference the links below. I suggest you watch them in their entirety as our deliberations evolve as we talk through issues and try to civilly resolve differing opinions and courses of action. 
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Thanks again. 
Shawn Mulchay
Camarillo City Council Member”
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Councilmember Charlotte Craven’s response to Councilmember Shawn Mulchay’s email:
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Dear Editor,

After reading Mr. Mulchay’s response to my email that was passed around, I listened to both the June 10 and June 24 Council meetings on YouTube to see if what I thought I heard was really that far off.  Bottom line is that I still believe the same, and below is why.  At the June 4th meeting Susan Santangelo, during Council Comments, read a 10 minute prepared statement on her feelings about systemic racism, as well as her feeling that we should examine the City’s contract with the Sheriff’s Office for police services.  Her comments begin at 6 hours, 04 minutes into the meeting.  While she said that she does support and respect the police, at 6 hours, 10 minutes into the meeting she stated that she believes we should shift funding away from the police for other services and then said that there should be a gradual, strategic re-allocation of resources and funding away from the police for roles “they were never trained to do,” such as deal with the mentally ill, drug abusers, spousal abuse and conflict resolution.  At 6 hours, 13 minutes into the meeting she asked the Council to adopt a resolution to support Black Lives Matter.

At 6 hours, 19 minutes into the June 4th meeting Shawn Mulchay began to talk to talk for 11 minutes.  After saying that he agreed with everything Susan said, mentioning police brutality and systemic racism, he said, “Black Lives Matter.  They do.  The Black Lives Matter movement is not the enemy.”  He mentioned that he has relatives who are police officers, but also repeated that he supported everything that Susan said.  To me, when he said that he supported everything that she said, it was everything, especially since she was so specific in stating her position.

That was all at the June 10th meeting.  Our next meeting was on June 24.  At 3 hours, 5 minutes into that meeting we began an agenda item about what direction we would give to staff regarding racism and social justice.  It was her item so Susan began by saying that on June 10 she must not have made herself clear.  She said that she doesn’t want to de-fund the police, but she wants changes.  She said she wanted to have a stakeholder group formed to examine the police contract and gave an example of how the police handled a girl at CASA Pacifica (where she works); she understood that they dealt with a suicide attempt the way they were trained by taking her to the hospital to be evaluated, but It was not handled the way she would have had it handled.  She added that she wanted the stakeholder group to delve into Sheriff Department practices, policies, procedures and hiring for racism, to see if they need better training, and to see if they have the proper funding on social justice.  She also said that “we” have de-funded mental health, social programs and education, and that some of the police money could go to support those programs so that those agencies could be called instead of police for certain circumstances.

At 3 hours, 26 minutes Shawn Mulchay began to ramble for 32 minutes, starting with, “I stand by each comment I made at the June 4 meeting.”  At times he read from a prepared statement and then he’d add comments, but went on to say that all of this is a local issue, not a national issue, and that de-funding the police doesn’t mean de-funding the police; it’s gotten a bad rap and is about making things better.  He said that he wants the Sheriff’s Department to provide reasonable solutions that mitigate some of the issues.  The example he gave was a drug addict friend of his who was hard on his luck and homeless, but has a job and needs a car to get to work.  He’s on probation from his drug activity so he and his car can be searched as a condition of the probation.  He has not had enough money to register his car and get current tags, and has been picked up by the police 19 times in one year, each time going again to jail because of the drugs in his car, and he has not been able to pay the $20,000 in court costs.  He did not say it outrightly, but he dwelled on this friend’s situation so much that I got the feeling that he considered it police harassment, but he did say that, instead of picking the guy up for a criminal offense, they should be saying, “We’re here to help you; how can we help you?”  So, while Mr. Mulchay did say that he supports the police, from the example and his statements that he stands by everything he said at the June 4 meeting and that he supports everything Susan said, I certainly got the idea that he was in favor of shifting money from the police contract to social services of some type.  Then at 3 hours 47 minutes into the meeting, Mr. Mulchay reiterated his support for Black Lives Matter and read a resolution he had jotted down for us to consider, which said We support Black Lives Matter. 

However, we did not take his resolution up for consideration because we did not have it in writing ahead of time.  The Mayor instructed Susan Santangelo to write a resolution and get it to the Council before a subsequent meeting, which I assume will be July 8, but I could be wrong on that because the agenda had not been published when I wrote this.  Mayor Trembley also explained to Susan that there is a big difference between supporting a concept of equality and supporting a political movement.  No vote was taken, so there was no agreement.  In my 32 ½ years on the City Council I have seen many times a general consensus to a concept at one meeting, followed up with very little support when the item returned, due to Councilmembers changing their minds, or due to what actually came back to be voted on was not what they majority of the Council had agreed to.  Since I have not seen what is coming to be voted on, I cannot comment, but I will not vote for anything that indicates that our City Council supports the political movement/organization Black Lives Matter—or any other political movement.  I also cannot support a resolution that says one, and only one, group matters.  In my opinion, all lives matter.  It’s just like with children; if you tell one of your children that he or she matters and not the others, you are really telling the others that they do not matter. 

But for the issue of de-funding the police, let’s get this straight:  if we took money away from the police contract and re-allocated it to social programs, we would have a lower level of police service.  That, in the current lingo, is de-funding the police.  After the proposal to form a stakeholder group to examine the city’s contract with the Sheriff for police services, I said, “No, if there is going to be an examination, it needs to begin with the Council.”  The Mayor and Mr. Kildee agreed, and in the end Mr. Mulchay and Mrs. Santangelo did, as well.  We delegated that to the City manager and it will be brought back at a time he thinks it is appropriate. 

However, after listening to the YouTube videos of the two Council meetings, and since Mrs. Santangelo has so specifically said that she wants to shift money from the Sheriff’s contract for police services to social programs, and later specifically said that she wants to re-allocate money from the contract to counsellors for drug users, mental health, schools and other things—and since Mr. Mulchay said at least three times that he agreed with everything she said, I still believe that they they expect that in scrutinizing the contract they will find places to shift money and reallocate it from the police to social services, and I do not support that.

Charlotte Craven,

Camarillo City Councilmember

 


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4 Responses to Camarillo is Not Considering Defunding the Police

  1. John Germann July 11, 2020 at 9:12 am

    I watched the entire July 8th meeting. Mrs. Craven was entirely right on her statements that defunding the sheriff’s department was clearly on the agenda for that meeting. Susan Santangelo and Mr. Mulchay put forward the defunding Camarillo Police, as well as promoting the city of Camarillo to back the Marxist-led BLM movement.
    Kevin Kildee and Mrs. Craven definitely stood against both matters. Mayor Trembly ultimately backed Kildee and Craven. For their definitely left wing political leanings, I would like to see them both recalled for the good of our city of Camarillo. We don’t need anarchists in our peaceful community.

    Reply
  2. Martin w July 9, 2020 at 10:21 am

    The two council members supporting a resolution by the Council to support BLM and take funds away from police budget it appears have softened their demands by denying they made these statements. It is our political tradition to allow politicians to deny what they said yesterday for political expediency. It appears too many are against their original statements.

    Similar to city council changing its course and not allowing the development of Conejo grade area after much outrage by citizens.

    Thank you to all who sent letters and responded on social media!

    Reply
  3. Citizen Reporter July 3, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Whether or not they were intending “defunding,” it’s looking less likely now. It’s a really bad idea considering everything going on.

    Reply
  4. Mike Smith July 3, 2020 at 12:32 am

    Three things, Councilmember Craven:

    1. Truth is not a left-wing value. You should know Shaun Mulchay and Susan Santangelo are leftists; they will always emote and ‘argue’ feelings – not logic, facts or consequences. The (unusually) clear statements made by Mulchay and Santangelo on this issue prove it. Less ability for VCSO deputies to serve and protect Camarillans in exchange for what Mulchay and Santangelo ‘want’ is a non-issue for left-wing regressive ‘progressives’.

    KNOW the opposition, Ma’am!

    2. Tony Trembley is Mayor. So why did YOU have to be the one to officially declare that examination of the VCSO police contract with the city shall begin with the Council; why did YOU have to be the one to create a Council consensus on this?

    For that matter, why does the Camarillo City Press Release published above contain a statement by Mr. Mulchay and yourself – but nothing from Mayor Trembley?

    3. “In my 32 ½ years on the City Council…” is an embarrassing admission to the constitutional conservative voters in your District. And rightly so. Longevity in elected office is not conservative of small government, Ms. Craven.

    If YOU think America’s Founders approved the idea of three-decades-tenured elected representatives, you should stop pretending to be for small government and join the Democrat Party.

    Of course, you could instead do the right thing and help find an uncompromising, America First conservative Camarillan to primary you in 2022 – and then retire from liberal establishment politics.

    Reply

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