Perhaps worried that a campaign mailer might strike a chord with voters, Councilmember Bernard C. Parks recently blustered and scrambled to distance himself from his poor record on public safety.
The mailer called out Parks for consistently voting against funding for police hiring, blaming those votes on the City’s financial constraints, and all the while collecting almost half a million dollars a year in combined retirement payments and city council compensation.
The truth is, ever since being let go as LAPD Chief, Parks has sought to settle the score by regularly opposing the hiring of more police officers to keep Los Angeles safe. In 2009, Parks cast a deciding vote in the Budget and Finance Committee, against Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s budget, to try and put an end to L.A.’s plan to hire 1,000 new officers. Last month, he opposed the Mayor’s plan to lease the City’s parking garages, which would’ve given our under-policed city the ability to continue hiring police officers at least to attrition.
We aren’t the only ones pointing out Parks’ long disdain for public safety. After his 2009 vote to stop the hiring of 1,000 new officers, the Mayor accused him of "devastating public safety."
Parks sees no irony in lamenting the City’s insufficient funding while collecting an annual $451,789 himself, with his pension and council salary combined. The Mayor and most councilmembers have taken salary cuts, and all City employees have been affected in one way or another, but not Parks. He was also the only councilmember to vote against giving $12 million from member-directed slush funds to the City’s budget so that the City could preserve important services like public safety.
The fact is that Parks’ votes mean fewer police officers on Los Angeles streets. His poor record on public safety – well documented in various newspaper stories – speaks for itself. He’s against hiring new officers, against keeping our neighborhoods safe, and only for protecting his own nest egg.
The more L.A. voters learn about his record, the likelier they are to echo the sentiments of LAPD officers who long ago rejected him as their leader.
Paid for the Los Angeles Police Protective League PAC. Major funding provided by the California Law and Order Independent Expenditure Committee sponsored by the Los Angeles Police Protective League. 1308 W 8th Street Los Angeles, CA 90017. Not Authorized by any City Candidate or City Candidate Controlled Committee.