Denise Barnes: Anaheim Police Department Lacks Kindness And Confidence of Public

The incipient Police Review Board was on the agenda at last week’s city council meeting, and a number of anti-police activists went to the podium to condemn the Anaheim Police Department as extraordinarily violent organization badly in need of severe oversight.

This is nothing new: the same activists have been leveling the same charges at city council meetings for the past few years. What was remarkable was District 1 Councilmember Denise Barnes comments equating the routine denunciations with a vote of no-confidence by the public in the Anaheim Police Department:

“I really heard tonight a vote of no confidence. That’s what I heard if we were to take a vote from what just happened tonight,” said Barnes. “Even though we try to bring improvements and counseling to the police, we still know that we are not a city of kindness within even our [police] department.”

Certainly these activists have no confidence in the Anaheim Police Department, or have a low opinion of police in general. And several of them have been experienced emotional shattering after having a loved one killed in a police shooting, regardless of the circumstances of the shooting. However, Barnes really misses the mark by construing sustained pressure tactics as representative of general public opinion. Does she honestly think the average Anaheim citizen has no confidence in their police department and consider it murderous and out of control?  If that is the case, she is seriously misreading public opinion.

Furthermore, has Barnes considered how her comments impact police morale? No police department can escape incidents of excessive force – they have to hire their officers from the human race.  However, given the thousands and thousands of interactions annually between Anaheim police and residents, use of force is sparing.  But these activists reflexively characterize officer-involved shootings as “murders.” In their world-view, the police are racists and murderers. The one-sided ACLU “report” was politically crafted and timed in order to influence the council regarding the Police Review Board and the selection of a new chief. What are Anaheim police officers – and the public at large – supposed to think when Councilmember Barnes ratifies the views of anti-police activists and states there is no kindness in the APD? Barnes remarks were woolly-headed and ill-considered, at best.


  1. Angry District 5 Resident

    Her comments remind me of a saying my Grandfather used to tell me. ‘Lil’ Angry District 5 Resident, don’t be like your dad. Always know the times when it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are an idiot than to open it and remove all doubt.’

  2. With how Anaheim is right now, is she REALLY siding with the homeless advocates? Can she just think of her districts needs first? With 4 police in that district, raging, uncontrollable crime and homelessness, and residents hating what has happened to the city, maybe putting down our beloved police dept shouldn’t be something she needs to say.

  3. Boy is Barnes out of touch. Her anti police comments, followed by an incoherent rant, are not representative of what most residents think. Are a handful of activists representatives of a population of 360,000?
    I think not. And this is who Tait endorsed? How embarrassing!

  4. Please put your foot in your mouth next time. Hope you don’t need to call the police for help anytime soon!

  5. The true vote of no confidence is in the “People’s Council”. They have completely failed the city. The same small group of activists have bellowed about the Police Department for years. Teary eyed Tait and his flunkies have been bamboozled by this group. Their family members were criminals that made poor choices and got themselves shot. Barnes is right on one thing, Anaheim is not a city of kindness. That is a silly child’s pipe dream. The Mayor’s kindness campaign is a joke. District 1 needs to recall Barnes, she is does not understand her district’s biggest issue.

  6. I can not believe Denise Barnes got elected. It shows how low Anaheim has gone. Has a recall been started?

    How dare she question the police like this, No confidence vote for our council especially the big three,

    moreno, barnes and tait.

  7. How does it occur people end up on the City Council that lack critical reasoning and objectivity? In too many cities, anti-law enforcement activists whine as if everyone is a victim of the police when that’s not remotely the case.

    City council members should NOT choose to interpret their so-called victimization as anything more than politically motivated grumbling. Claims or whining by protesters should not automatically lead to a broad no confidence conclusion in our LE, either. The only way anyone can draw that unfounded conclusion is if he or she lets bias mislead their judgment. Sounds as if District 1 Councilmember Denise Barnes has gone down that unfounded road.

    As well, those annoying activists do NOT represent Anaheim voter majority; therefore assailing our Anaheim PD with baseless accusations is not only essentially wrong but a huge misrepresentation of how Anaheim PD behaves day-to-day, in addition, it’s a civic distraction that’s unhealthy for how other cities and business leaders view Anaheim.

    Yep, you can say I am biased in support of all Law Enforcement, as they have a very difficult job to do with one hand tied behind their backs. Sure there are some problems that need to be dealt with, but that’s true everywhere, even Anaheim City Council. I don’t believe I am alone when saying, we should not expect our police department to play paddy-cake or overly sensitive when lethal force and lives are on the line while dealing with alleged or career criminal elements.

    All families should trust they can feel safe walking on streets or parks of Anaheim and SART. That can only occur if City Council supports our Anaheim Police Department and permits them to tactfully do their job as they best see fit.

    Last, but certainly not least. All council members on Anaheim City Council and the Mayor MUST realize this city does NOT belong to them or any pollical party. It belongs to all the hard-working men and women and businesses owners that live and do business within its boundaries.

    The above thoughts are mine only. In my opinion, it’s time to vote out what’s causing all the city council distractions and troubles and vote for people that actually care first and foremost about Anaheim’s best interest, its families and children, and businesses. John (JMac) Machiaverna for Mayor cares.

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