Statement from the Chief:
September 3, 2020
Residents, City Staff, and Visitors of Pacific Grove:
It is the Pacific Grove Police Department's policy to provide law enforcement services and enforce the law equally, fairly, objectively, and without discrimination toward any individual or group. Personally, and as a Department, we take our mission, values, and motto seriously.
In light of the incident, the Mayor and Councilmembers created a Police Sub-Committee, chaired by Mrs. McAdams and Mr. Amelio. The Police Sub-Committee held a town hall meeting that was well attended. During the meeting, we received input from our community. Based on that input, the City has reviewed and revised its parking permit protocol.
From the onset of this incident and throughout its investigation, it has been difficult and frustrating for me as your Chief because the personnel process has not allowed me to be fully transparent or to discuss details of the matter with community members.
According to law, personnel matters are confidential and can only be discussed with limited exceptions. One of those exceptions applies when the affected Officer willingly participates in the process. In this case I am thankful to report the Officer has decided to fully participate. As is clear from the affected Officer's statement, and as evidenced by our internal investigation, the Officer is not a member of any militia group is deeply sorry for any turmoil this matter caused.
This incident created divisiveness in our community and reawakened a stigma of bias and stereotypes from over a decade ago. As Chief, I assure you that every member of this department is committed to our mission of providing exceptional public safety service and enhancing the quality of life in our community, and our vision of achieving a culture of excellence by partnering with our community, respecting the rights and dignity of all people, and providing professional public safety service through integrity and accountability.
As a Department, we appreciate the support of our community and don't take it lightly. We know it took years to build trust and this quality can be lost in an instant. We understand earning our community's support, and respect, is a never-ending process. We have learned from this incident, and plan to move forward and heal together as a community.
Chief Cathy Madalene
Statement from the Officer:
In late May, the Police Department received a complaint concerning decals on a Pacific Grove Police Officer's personal vehicle. The complaint focused on three decals, a Three Percenter logo, a decal with the words, LIBERTY, GUNS, BEER, TRUMP, and a "Punisher" logo.
Based on the complaint, the City retained an independent third-party investigator to conduct an investigation. The comprehensive investigation is now complete.
The investigation revealed that the Officer is not a member of any hate or militia group. The Officer placed the "Three Percenter" decal on the vehicle with a sincere belief and understanding that the Three Percenter organization supports the United States Constitution—especially the Second Amendment. Moreover, the Officer is not a white male and clearly does not support any white supremacy group.
The investigation also revealed that the Punisher decal references to a comic book character, not any hate or militia group.
Lastly, the investigation revealed the Officer did not intend to convey any anti-gay message with the LIBERTY, GUNS, BEER ,TRUMP decal.
The Officer removed all decals from the vehicle immediately upon learning that some public members perceived them negatively.
The Officer believes in protecting and serving the entire community of Pacific Grove, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual preference, gender identity, or political affiliation. The Officer also understands how persons of color and members of the LGBTQ community may have felt about the decals, and for that, the Officer is deeply sorry.
Based on the investigation's findings, the City has determined the Officer did not violate any City or Police Department policy or law. The Department considers this matter closed.