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VIDEO: Banning Police Union Members Respond to Questions on Staffing, MRAP

Banning-Beaumont Patch video by Guy McCarthy

Banning police Cpl. Joe Feola tells residents about why his department recently acquired a military surplus Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, Jan. 7, 2014. Banning-Beaumont Patch video by Guy McCarthy.
Banning police Cpl. Joe Feola tells residents about why his department recently acquired a military surplus Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, Jan. 7, 2014. Banning-Beaumont Patch video by Guy McCarthy.
Residents who met with Banning Police Officers Association members Tuesday night asked about staffing and the department's acquisition of a military surplus Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle.

Banning police Cpl. Joe Feola and Cpl. Brandon Smith were among police union members who answered questions Tuesday Jan. 7 at Russo's Italian Kitchen.

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

For more from the meeting see:

VIDEO: Residents Hear Banning Police Union Perspective at Russo's

VIDEO: Resident Asks Banning Police Officers About RR Crossing, Unsolved Homicides

For background on the Police Department's acquisition of the MRAP vehicle see:

Councilman Blasts PD's Acquisition of MRAP Vehicle, City Manager 'Not Happy'
Amanda Frye January 08, 2014 at 09:58 PM
If the Banning PD can't afford to adequately staff their police force then how can they afford to maintain and operate a MRAP military vehicle? The US government is dumping these MRAPs for a reason. Probably better for Banning to dump the MRAP and add more police since current police sound very overworked.
Jeremiah January 09, 2014 at 04:25 AM
If you had been at the meeting you would have the answer to that. It isn't the PD that can't adequately staff their police force - both they and the council would like to have more officers but Banning does not have the finances according to Ed Miller. This is not a "this side" or "that side" issue like some here on the Patch try to make it - it is an issue that must be resolved by the PD, the council, and the citizens working together. As far as the MRAP, an officer from the police department stated last night unequivocally that it will not cost Banning one cent in additional money to convert and keep the MRAP. Until you or anyone else can show factually that it will and that the officer lied, that has to stand - anything else is conjecture. **** The question you have to answer for yourself is whether you are going to be part of the problem or part of the solution - are you going to work to keep a split between the police and the council or are you going to work to heal the past wounds for the benefit of the citizens of Banning? **** Jeremiah
ATC January 09, 2014 at 12:18 PM
@Jeremiah: “…an officer from the police department stated last night unequivocally that it will not cost Banning one cent in additional money to convert…”  Really? Please elaborate, Jeremiah. Do we already have all of the paint, graphics, radios, lights, and gear sitting on a shelf somewhere unused, as well as unpaid laborers to install it all?
Jeremiah January 09, 2014 at 12:35 PM
I am not the proper one to address your question to, ATC. Until you have the facts in hand showing differently, the statement by the Banning police officer is the operative statement, unless you are publicly calling him a liar. **** I will post my response here to you from another thread concerning this subject since you don't appear to have seen it and you are once again using innuendo tp promote and carry on a problem rather than working to resolve it. **** Jeremiah
Jeremiah January 09, 2014 at 12:37 PM
ATC - I WAS at the meeting and your representation of what you think was said is completely out of line. There was no effort to "blame" the council for anything - in fact there was a good back and forth that showed agreement in principle that Banning does need more officers to properly police the city. Both sides (if there are sides, you seem to be one of the few trying to keep this going) agreed on that point and both agreed that the crux of the problem is that there is no money available for more officers without increasing taxes somewhere. Somehow you forget that Banning PD is a part of the city - this separation you keep trying to promote is a past issue. The new reality is a council and a PD and citizens who are trying to work together to resolve the issue. The question you have to answer for yourself is whether you are going to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. Contrary to your portrayal, the city council member at the meeting indicated a willingness to work together with the PD to provide better service to the community and both sides asked the citizens to make the council aware of what they want from them. This was NOT an adversarial meeting as you try so hard to spin it to be - it was a very positive first step to a solution. The next step will be for the council to hold a meeting to share more information with the community which I believe they will do. There was considerable discussion of whether the community thought Andy Takata should make the decision on the hiring of the new police chief or whether it should be done by the council with more people involved. A suggestion was made that there should be people from the community involved and it was agreed by both the council members present and the BPOA members present that this suggestion had validity and would be considered. You also need to understand that the PD cannot hold a meeting like this separate from the city because they fall under the umbrella of the city. No matter how much you would like to promote dissension, they are one of many departments of the city and the council is ultimately responsible for oversight, just as they are with the water and electric departments. Another thing - can you show factually that no one in the department has a license to operate that MRAP or is that a guess and conjecture on your part without any real knowledge? **** You need to back off a bit and stop trying to stir up the waters and give the council and the PD a chance to work together - what you are doing is causing people to take sides and point fingers at the council or the PD and that is not what is needed at this time. **** Jeremiah
ATC January 09, 2014 at 12:54 PM
Calm down, Jeremiah. I've called no one a liar, so stop trying to put words in my mouth; it's getting old. You made a claim about what the officer said; since I did not see that in the video, I'm asking for clarification, nothing more. Get the stick out of your ass.
Diego Rose January 09, 2014 at 02:08 PM
They have already spent over $50,000 due to the MARP and the accident and tire replacement. The idea that a vehicle of this nature won't cost a dime is like saying the golden gate bridge doesn't require any cost to up keep. It is simply unrealistic. It does and will cost money. NOW, if that money doesn't cost anyone in Banning a penny then I simply want to know, how?
Rina Sander January 09, 2014 at 02:43 PM
It sounds like it's about money cause it always is. Why not have code enforcement ratcheted up in a city filled with blight? It would enhance the city, bring in revenue and keep the peace; which seems to be in jeopardy. With some of the subjective thinking going around Banning, I wouldn't be surprised if someone doesn't tell the police department to write more tickets! that would bring people back to banning.

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