Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada has released this response to the “no confidence” vote by the Anaheim Police Association:
Statement from Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada
Unfortunately, Anaheim PD has not been immune to the issues facing police departments across the nation during these turbulent times. In 2012, following days of unrest, we embarked on an ambitious-but-necessary journey to rebuild community confidence, especially among residents of Anaheim’s working-class neighborhoods.
As Anaheim’s new and first Latino Chief of Police, my number one priority was – and remains – community engagement. We’ve worked hard to improve transparency and accountability, provide better and more compassionate service based on mutual respect and positively impact Anaheim’s at-risk youth. Although our work is never done, I’m proud of the community trust we’ve built, and I’m also proud that we’ve made these improvements without experiencing significant spikes in crime that other California cities faced following the passage of Propositions 47 and 57.
Cultural change is difficult and often requires tough decisions and new ideas that can be scary to police employees accustomed to doing their jobs a certain way. We were the first police department in the region to deploy body-worn cameras. Our investment has led to less use of force, enhanced training and key evidence in false claims against us. The cameras also provide important evidence following accusations of misconduct, which, fortunately, are rare in Anaheim. We also use the cameras to hold officers accountable when mistakes inevitably occur. As you might imagine, our uptick in internal affairs investigations and disciplinary actions have not been embraced by the union.
Despite the union vote, I continue to have confidence in the men and women of APD. I can’t help but question whether no confidence votes against reform-minded police chiefs who have yet to hit retirement age are part of a new playbook some local police unions are using to attempt to strong arm cities and police agencies.
I will continue to listen to the union, police and city employees, the residents and visitors we serve, Anaheim’s Public Safety Board, the Chief’s Advisory Board, Chief’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, the City Council, the Youth Advisory Board, the business community — and anybody else who shares my goals of propelling us toward becoming the best police department we can possibly be while enhancing the lives of Anaheim residents
Finally, I would like to thank the many community members who’ve expressed their support for our positive changes. Your continued partnership is critical to our success. I invite you to visit our website or follow our social media to learn more about our programs aimed at engaging our community.