Huntington Beach

Report on PD sees divisions, offers ideas

HUNTINGTON BEACH police units on the beach (HBPD photo).

A report praising the work of the Huntington Beach Police Department and also making suggestions for improvements has been submitted to city officials.

Although it noted progress in community policing, broad public support and a lower crime rate than in cities of comparable size, the report tackled unrest within the HBPD.

The report, issued Friday by the Management Partners firm, was commissioned after the Huntington Beach Police Officers Association reached a vote of “no confidence” in Police Chief Rob Handy in August 2017.

More recently, the Huntington Beach Police Management Association polled 92 percent expressing “no confidence.” The HBPMA represents HBPD management including captains and lieutenants.

Highlights of the 65-page report include recommendations of

  • team-building for the management team
  • participation in labor/management workshops
  • developing a strategic plan
  • creating enhanced leadership development and training
  • assessing facility needs
  • reviewing technology needs
  • exploring options for raising revenue to increase staffing.

The report claims that Handy was hired in 2013 in an effort to “enhance community-based policing, increase the use of technology and implement law enforcement best practices” in the HBPD, and that “some of those efforts have resulted in divisions within the management team and the rank and file.”

“I am 100 percent committed to improving my working relationships with HBPOA leadership and the management team,” said Chief Handy. “I also want to ensure that every employee understands and embraces our vision for the future and has a voice in our plan to get there.”

Last week, the HBPOA slammed Handy for a 20 percent increase in violent crime in Huntington Beach from the first half of 2016 to the first half of 2017.

“First, it was a vote of no confidence in Police Chief Rob Handy taken by rank-and-file police officers on the beat,” said Dave Humphreys, president of the HBPOA. “Next came the stunning vote taken by his own management team supporting an immediate change in the chief of police for his lack of performance as a manager, as a crime fighter, and for creating a toxic work environment. Now, comes more proof, the recently released FBI data showing Huntington Beach with one of the largest violent crime increases in California.”

The team which created the report for Management Partners included former Garden Grove Police Chief Joe Polisar.



Categories: Huntington Beach

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