City takes action to address a number of crises in Vallejo

City of Vallejo logoThe City of Vallejo is in dire need of swift action to meet a multitude of crises head-on. This year the City has faced unprecedented challenges from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic to a crisis of confidence in the Vallejo Police Department.

This year the City is currently on track to having one of the deadliest and most crime-ridden years on record since 1994. Even with the implementation of Operation P.E.A.C.E. this year to bring an immediate halt to shootings in the City, violent crime is still an ongoing issue that has created a public safety emergency. The lives and property of Vallejoans across the City are at risk. The Vallejo Police Department is in urgent need of increasing staffing levels with additional support at the executive level to meet the overwhelming demand brought on by a significant increase in crime.

Additionally, the Vallejo Police Department’s legitimacy and trust have been severely compromised in many parts of the Vallejo Community. Numerous officer-involved-shootings have occurred over the last several decades generating use-of-force concerns. Internal scandals, such as badge bending and the use of an image of a badge with a swastika symbol engraved into it, has pushed the community’s distrust and skepticism for the department to a new level.

The City also faces significant threats to its fiscal sustainability due to pending claims and litigation related to police actions. There are currently 24 federal civil rights cases pending in the courts and an additional 13 government tort claims arising from police conduct. With liability insurance providers substantially increasing premiums and deductibles for agencies across the State of California, Vallejo cannot afford additional penalties or cost increases, especially during this pandemic-induced recession.

What Does The Emergency Proclamation Allow The City To Do?

An Emergency Proclamation will allow the City to appoint personnel in vital positions quickly. More specifically, it will allow for the addition of critical management positions in the Police Department as part of the department’s reform plan.

The proclamation will also allow the City to implement key policies ahead of meeting and conferring with the Vallejo Police Officers Association (VPOA). The City still intends to meet and consult with the Association, but under the proclamation, it will not be required to do so before implementing policies that need to be expedited quickly to avert additional crises in the Vallejo Community.

What Does The Emergency Proclamation NOT Allow The City To Do?

The Emergency Proclamation will not allow the City to open up VPOA’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or disregard the state laws related to a bargaining and police officer’s discipline. Both the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) and Police Officer Bill of Rights (POBR) are California State laws that the City cannot violate or override under any conditions.