Media Release: Chief's Video Statement Announcement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 13, 2021
Jocelyn Francis, Police Administrative Services Manager
City of Pacific Grove, Police Department
CHIEF’S VIDEO STATEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT
Pacific Grove, California:
Chief of Police Cathy Madalone published a video statement, notifying community members of an update to a personnel matter and an update on the Department. Today the video will be posted on the Department’s social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor. As well as Youtube and the City Website. To view the video, go to:
The full text is provided below.
“I am here today to provide an update regarding the investigation related to disparaging social media remarks made by an officer of this department. As of today, that officer is no longer employed by the City of Pacific Grove in any capacity.
Unfortunately, I am unable to disclose or comment any further due to legal constraints. I understand you would like to have more details, and I would like to provide them to you, but based on the law, I am prohibited from commenting any further on this personnel matter.
Please allow me a few moments to talk to you about our agency.
The mission of the PGPD is to provide exceptional public safety service and enhance the quality of life in our community. We serve this community with the utmost professionalism. We protect life, prevent crime, and provide support services with understanding, compassion, and integrity. We will continue to serve this community and provide professional police services while respecting the rights and dignity of all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other factor.
Regarding hiring practices, the City conducts very robust and comprehensive background investigations. Since I arrived in 2019, the police department has included a review of social media accounts for all applicants within the police department.
For training, our agency is in full compliance with California training requirements. In addition to perishable skills and continued professional training, members of the department attend advanced training on all aspects of law enforcement.
Since June of this year, our officers have attended more than 20 courses, including ethical decision making, bias, and racial profiling, de-escalation techniques, exploring racism and living the solution, law enforcement and the transgender community, LGBT Community awareness for law enforcement, social media and law enforcement, mental health training, and tactical communications.
In regards to policies, the City contracts with Lexipol, who employs subject matter experts in policy creation. Our department policies are constantly updated to ensure compliance with changing laws and “best practices.” In addition, the police department recently became the first law enforcement agency to be CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) within a three-county radius (Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito). National Accreditation is not a guarantee we will do everything perfect because we are not perfect. It is a framework and foundation for conducting business professionally and transparently. We are human. We make mistakes, but we strive to continuously improve, which is why we conduct regular training and use accountability and transparency tools such as body-worn cameras.
The department has made a concerted effort to be more transparent and have better communications with the community.
The police department participated with the Police Sub-Committee created by the Mayor and Council and worked with Councilmembers McAdams and Amelio, and held a public town hall meeting to hear concerns directly from community members.
The department continues to use our social media platforms, the City website, and our media partners to engage and inform our community.
Regarding accountability, we are accountable to ourselves, each other, and to the public.
The department takes every complaint seriously and investigates each one either internally or by contracting with a third-party expert. When an employee is found to have violated a policy, we act. Misconduct or mistreatment of any kind is not tolerated.
Moving forward, we will continuously review policies and procedures to ensure they comply with the law, CALEA standards, and police “best practices.”
I want to announce the City will be welcoming a new Police Commander, David Santos, who will begin work on January 25th. Commander Santos will bring 25 years of police experience to the department and the community. He has a proven track record of working with community stakeholders and expertise in all aspects of operations and investigations.
The department will continue to train our officers, provide them with the necessary tools to be successful, strive towards excellence in policing, maintain our Accreditation Certificate, and be as transparent as the law allows.
When COVID protocols are lifted, the department will hold a Citizen Police Academy. I encourage members of the community to participate so you can have the opportunity to get to know our officers and see firsthand the quality of their work and the professional manner in which they conduct themselves.
I am committed to this community and this department. I have worked twenty-six years in law enforcement, and whenever the badge is tarnished, it affects me deeply because I have dedicated half my life to this profession.
I thank the community for your understanding and patience as this matter went through the proper legal process. I fully understand we have work to do to restore the public trust, and we will be steadfast in our efforts. We hope you will participate in the rebuilding process. We need your help in keeping this community safe.
Thank you for watching this video and for allowing me to speak with you today. I wish everyone a safe and healthy 2021.”