As a retired police officer, I respect law enforcement.
However, I have found the Scottsdale Police Department not only non-responsive, but unaware of what’s going on with society.
On June 26, on my morning walk, I noticed four Scottsdale police vehicles parked in the lot on the northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Pinnacle Peak. The officers were all dining together at JJ’s Delicatessen and I wrote a friendly letter to the Scottsdale Chief of Police telling him that I was friendly, but the public perception of four cars at a restaurant is unacceptable. I didn’t receive a reply.
On Oct. 24, I observed seven police vehicles in the lot on the northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Pinnacle Peak. I took a photo of the seven vehicles. I sent a letter to the Chief of Police with a copy to the mayor and Scottsdale City Council.
I outlined how this would seem totally inappropriate to the general public and to do something like this when people are calling for police reform is ludicrous.
In both letters, I identified myself as a retired Santa Monica Police Lieutenant, which allowed only two cars at one restaurant at any one time.
On Oct. 27 I received a telephone call from the adjunct (a lieutenant) of the Commander of the Foothills Division. I didn’t catch his name, but he said the supervisor was “treating the officers to breakfast since they had done such good work. It was a team-building effort and they don’t see anything wrong with it.”
I asked him how many units they have on the street at 6:40 a.m. and he said, “I don’t know, but if we were fully staffed, it might be 24 units.”
I said, “So, it is acceptable to have 29% of your police officers all at the same restaurant?” He said something to the effect that he doesn’t see anything wrong with a “team-building get together.”
I really can’t believe the answer I received from the police department. Where I worked, we never would have provided such a non-informed or concerning message.
Editor’s Note: Bill Brown is a resident of Scottsdale.