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Public Invited to Meet with Banning Police Officers Association Tuesday Jan. 7

Patch file photo by Eric Reed
Patch file photo by Eric Reed
The Banning Police Officers Association plans to host a public meeting 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 7 at Russo's Italian Kitchen, "to update the community on the state of the Banning Police Department and to answer questions," according to organizers.

The BPOA is the union for all 24 sworn non-administration personnel who work for the Banning Police Department, said Banning police Cpl. Brandon Smith, an elected representative of the Banning Police Officers Association.

The event will be the first public meeting of the BPOA since former Chief Leonard Purvis left the police department, and since the department's acquisition and crash of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, which the city is investigating.

The Banning Police Department is currently without a chief. Lt. Mike West and Lt. Phil Holder have shared command since former Purvis went on leave in October. Purvis accepted a $300,000 settlement from the city in November and he was rehired by the Sheriff's Department in December.

There is limited seating for the meeting at Russo's, 1335 W. Ramsey St.

Johnny Russo has created a special menu for the event, organizer Jim Smith said. Dinner will be $8 per person, excluding tax and tip. To make a reservation email jim@jimsmith4banning.net.

For background see:

Banning's Employment Risk Management Attorney Weighs in on Purvis Settlement Debate

UPDATE: Councilman Blasts PD's Acquisition of MRAP Vehicle, City Manager 'Not Happy'

UPDATE: Banning Police Have No Chief, Purvis on Voluntary Paid Leave
Jim Smith January 06, 2014 at 10:08 PM
Carol...No Black Tie, just an $8.00 + tax & tip dinner that is optional. I have held back a few seats for the last minute folks. I would be happy to reserve a couple for you. Let me know... jim@jimsmith4banning.net...
Jeremiah January 06, 2014 at 10:47 PM
Carol - another thing. This isn't an event that Jim Smith is sponsoring it is an informational meeting being put on by the Banning Police Officer's Association to make the public aware that changes are being proposed as to how the new police chief will be hired. It is to get the community's input as to what they want as far as changes in the police department and to answer questions which the community has. It is an attempt to stop all the bickering between the department and the city and try to forge a new working relationship where both the city council and the department work together to serve the citizens. This is the first step in that process and in getting the citizens involved. I am sure that you will see a counterpart meeting by the city also addressing the citizen's concerns and answering questions. That is why I am truly sorry you cannot be there - the city needs people willing to get involved in their own behalf. I am very hopeful this will signal the end of any animosity between the PD and the Council and kick off a new era of working together. Just FYI - I know Jim took the video thing seriously and he is trying to get it done. Do you know if the city has anyone who videos events? If anyone reads this and has the ability to video the meeting and would like to do it contact jim@jimsmith4banning.net. I'm sure the Banning Police Officer's Association will figure a way to take care of anyone who could help out so greatly. **** Jeremiah
Jim Smith January 07, 2014 at 03:14 PM
I have spoken with representatives of the City of Banning. Because tonight’s Banning Police Officer Association Meeting could be considered political in nature, it is against Channel 10 Policy to video tape or broadcast the meeting. I have made arrangements to audio tape this evening's meeting and the CD will be made available to all of the media outlets to broadcast on their respective websites. Thank You Jim Smith
Jim Smith January 07, 2014 at 03:16 PM
There are still 5 or 6 seats available for tonight's BPOA Meeting at Russo's in Banning. The meeting will begin at 6:00 P.M. To reserve a seat please email me at jim@jimsmith4banning.net. I will accept the reservations as long as they last in the order they are received. Thank You...
Jim Smith January 08, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Last night's BPOA meeting at Russo's resulted in a "packed house." Thank You to Johnny Russo and the Association for providing very interesting information. And thank you to the 60 citizens who took the time to become better informed about a very important issue in our City...Public Safety. Look for stories on Patch, in the Record Gazette and the Press Enterprise. In addition, the event was covered by KESQ TV out of the Coachella Valley. An audio of the entire event will be provided to all media outlets. Stay Tuned!!!

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