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Cerritos Residents Blast Mayor pro tem Naresh Solanki and Councilwoman Carol Chen for Trying to Close Cerritos Sheriff’s Station

 

Cerritos Mayor port tem Naresh Solanki, Councilwoman Carol Chen and former Cerritos Mayor Bruce Barrows. Solanki and Chen voted to close the Cerritos Sheriff's station at a Council meeting and sources have told HMG-CN that Barrows is in favor of the closing. Photo courtesy trojancandy.com

(l-r) Cerritos Mayor pro tem Naresh Solanki, Councilwoman Carol Chen and former Cerritos Mayor Bruce Barrows. Solanki and Chen voted to close the Cerritos Sheriff’s station at a Council meeting last week and sources have told HMG-CN that Barrows is in favor of the closing. Photo courtesy trojancandy.com

 

By Brian Hews

The HMG-CN article published in print and online Friday pertaining to Cerritos Mayor pro tem Naresh Solanki and Councilwoman Carol Chen closing the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station has prompted outrage and anger from Cerritos residents.

Councilman Mark Pulido, a strong supporter of Cerritos Public Safety, posted a picture of the print article on his Facebook page; also many residents have emailed HMG-CN completely outraged about what Chen and Solanki attempted to accomplish using approval of the budget as a bargaining chip.

Many have called for the recall of both City officials.

When Pulido posted the article he asked residents for comments, which released a flood of anger in the form of Facebook posts.

Some of the posts are below:

This is completely unacceptable! There was already a 5-0 vote on this issue at the previous meeting. I don’t understand the motive here. After this and the disclosure of the Summary of Travel Expenses, I’m starting to worry about the actions and behaviors of some members of the Cerritos City Council. I think it behooves all Cerritos residents to pay much closer attention to Council business! Perhaps attending some Council meetings and independent investigations are in order.

This is nuts – can we have a referendum to recall these officials?

One only needs to look at some groups here, like the Cerritos Neighborhood Group, to see that safety and crime is a concern in the area. Seems that more due diligence is prudent before making a sweeping act, and certainly in the right order agreed upon. Further, seems that the council (recently, this year) committed $3 million toward the new museum via the Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund, right? Are those funds earmarked for things other than the general budget? Is it (the fund) limited in ways it can contribute on things the budget currently pays for? If not, it seems a misjudgment in allocation of resources.

Wow. Has there been any talk of recalling Chen and Solanki?

Very disappointed!!!

Very curious looks like someone was paid off!‬

Thanks for always staying on the side of Cerritos residents’ best interests Mark. To hear that this happened is quite worrisome.‬

This is very disturbing considering most people that I speak with cite having a local Sheriff’s station as a necessity. To remain a city that is both business & family friendly, you have to have adequate security in place. Cutting the Sheriff’s station would be a step towards dismantling what draws most people to live and work here.

A Sheriff Station is essential to keep crime low. It’s absurd to propose closing a Sheriff’s station.

Bro, they need a Sheriff’s station as I got my car broken into once already at the Walmart…. Did not take them long to come and make a report…. More safety patrols needs to be at that shopping center…. One of the Walmart workers mentioned that it does happen a lot at that area…

I was shocked when I read the article yesterday. Who does that? Especially when crime is on the rise nationwide and we are impacted more due to the addition of more businesses at the Mall bringing in more people to our city. Our sheriffs department is very unique for a city our size. Check out their response time. I’m sure if the residents of Cerritos were given the opportunity they would vote a big fat no! What were their real intentions to bring this matter up & in the manner that they did. Beverly Porter, Community Safety Committee member

Wake up Cerritos, we can no longer live in the “bubble”, times have changed. Thanks Mark, for looking out on many occasions. We stay abreast of what’s going on in our City by attending Council meetings or watching the council videos, first hand knowledge rules; secondhand knowledge may come too late.

‪Mark Pulido ‪thank you for your continued efforts to support our city, our families, our schools, and our recreational facilities. However, without your conscientious, protective endeavors to strengthen the support of our local law enforcement, the aforementioned would not be able to flourish and successfully sustain as they have and continue to do. Please let me know as a parent, Teacher, and taxpayer how our family can help to stand by you and with you.‬

Mark how does getting rid of our sheriffs make any sense? What about all the latest crimes being committed in our city lately? It’s only going to get worse with out the presence of our own sheriffs. That was one of the main reasons we moved here was because of safety. Cerritos has always been known to be a city that doesn’t mess around when it come to our safety due to our involved community working along with our sheriffs.

The plan or motion to close the Cerritos Sheriff’s station without due diligence and without consultation and/or feedback from the same residents that elected them to the office is a violation of public trust, a manifestation of their arrogance and abuse of authority. Shame on them!!

In situations where seconds may count, its interesting, probably more appalling that elected officials, that are supposed to look after the well being of the people, are choosing to add minutes to the average response times of the sheriffs department. Do city officials need to travel far and wide, spending large sums of money to possibly award city contracts to some outside company? Is there some other way to deal with the budget deficit? Businesses operate on deficits as long as they are able to cover their short term and variable costs, but eventually need to have a plan of true revenue growth to help cover those deficits as the market has already dictated the price it will tolerate for any given product or service.

Agree with Emmanuel Aguirre – Some Council members are abusive with the expenses using the City’s funds. It’s obvious. Eating foods at expensive restaurants, staying in expensive hotels, and unnecessary traveling to other states or cities. Come on ……

With all of the crime notifications in Cerritos we hear just on FB alone, it would seem to me that Cerritos needs to maintain the Sheriff substation here in Cerritos. Wouldn’t the city need to continue providing funds to the Lakewood station if it were to close the Cerritos substation? There are other services that the Cerritos station provides and it’s comforting to know we have officers in our city to maintain the peace and protect our property. I have never trusted Council member Chen. I don’t feel her actions in the past have benefited all citizens of Cerritos. Council member Solanki is new to the council and I gave him the benefit of the doubt to see what he would bring to the city. So far, I have not been very impressed. Either these two need to be voted out of office at the next election or there needs to be a recall election in the very near future.

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11 Responses to Cerritos Residents Blast Mayor pro tem Naresh Solanki and Councilwoman Carol Chen for Trying to Close Cerritos Sheriff’s Station

  1. Sheriff n Police Reply

    July 16, 2016 at 10:09 am

    This $25M lawsuit/ judgment was against the Cerritos Sheriff’s out of Lakewood office. The judgement had to be paid by Los Angeles County, and also by the city of Cerritos, so some of the funds came out of the Cerritos general funds at that time. The city of Cerritos had to pay quite a bit of legal expenses. Some of the sheriff involved in this judgement, still on payroll.

    One Cerritos staffer was part of the Los Angeles Rampart scandals, and then we hired him and lot of the Cerritos staff and sheriffs were not happy that the scandals tarnished the good name. Some of the sheriffs who were part of this $25M judgment, are stil employed in system. When Cer Sheriff sub station was closed, ( Los Cer Mall) we absorbed them in to counter help, at no cost to the mall. OUCH!!!

    What I don’t like about the situation, every time there’s a judgement in Los Angeles County, all the cities sharing the sheriff Services have to pay for this.

    A few cities to the north of us, have stopped using the sheriff’s, gone on their own, and save quite a bit of money, because we don’t have to absorb the lawsuits for the entire countywide sheriff.

    If we moved our sheriff station back to Lakewood baseline; we would save between $3 to 4 million dollars a year in the building space. Also we could rent out the sheriff station for something else and make some profit from the empty offices.

    Example the city told me, they used to be about a quarter of a million dollars per year for a couple of Sheriff, now with the new pricing, it is almost 1 million dollars each policemen per 24 hour shift. That’s how insurance rates have escalated Sky High.

    I do not want Cerritos Police Department, I’m afraid it’s going to get very corrupt, and be orchestrated by the Chinese Police Department. I don’t think the city wants that. RET. Grace Hu wants Chinese POlice, I say no no no………….

    Do think city needs its own alarm board monitoring station, so 15,000 homes can be tied to one station and have 911 auto called by computers, this would decrease home burglaries and fires.

    I was talking with HOA, they don’t use the services much, they feel that we could probably be equally served out of Lakewood, but just have a certain amount of cars stationed out of Cerritos, and not have this big Administration office, the jail, the gym, the community safety and all the other things, underground parking.

    The Cerritos Community safety is also bleeding Cerritos General funds, just for the overnight parking ordinance is a half million dollars, plus 3 million dollars for code enforcement. That’s something we need to seriously look at, do we need it anymore? Think code enforcement could be combined with the planning department simultaneously. City can not afford to prosecute property owners via the courts anymore!!!

    Also feel that about 25% all of our sheriff labor force are being used by the two shopping centers, and neither shopping center pays towards their service, I think both shopping centres should chip in and help with the finances of the sheriff department. Did you know, we subsidized the new theaters and Dicks sporting good, of $5m, to encourage them to build on Cerritos soft soil. Now we have to pay to police them, not fair for us residents to absorb this.

    We’re only using the helicopter for a couple hours a day, so we are being serviced by three helicopters which I think is overkill. Just for the couple of hours night we are spending about a quarter of a million dollars for shared helicopter. Helicopter is free by SD & FD too.

    I always thought it might be beneficial for La Palma/ Cerritos to combine, but since there’s two county lines, 2 court houses that will never happen. La Palma pays aprox 56% budget on LP PD.

    Also think we need to eliminate the sheriff’s motorcycle, we pay extra for the motorcycle services and every time there’s an accident we pay for the motorcycle service medical bills.

    We have one Sheriff captain and two or three watch commanders, each one is costing the city extra about a third of a million dollars, I don’t think that’s money well spent. If we combined with Lakewood, we wouldn’t need the watch commanders nor the watch commanders.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlElPwMx870

    Today, some Cerritos residents want to vacate Cerritos Sheriffs.

    $25M judgement could of been used for public works, it the sheriffs were under control better

  2. Illegal Search Reply

    July 11, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Illegal Cerritos Search on Tape

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTPUe87fsL0

  3. LACSD & Knabe Reply

    July 8, 2016 at 7:21 am

    CERRITOS UPDATE:

    SHERIFFS + KNABE | LAUNCH WAR ON CHEN+ SOLANKI

    ————————————————————————

    Supervisor Don Knabe & Los Angeles County Sheriff Unions have launched a full-blown video attack against councilperson Carol Chen and N Solanki. Republicans in city are self destructing their own party.

    Both Carol Chen and Solanki want to terminate the services with the sheriff. In retaliation, the sheriff and Knabe created video demonstrating how good the sheriff’s are for Cerritos, and as they protect the Chinese, and make daily arrest against the Latino community.

    My opinion this is just a racist movie, as it appears that all Cerritos is Chinese home owners, and they only criminals in the city are the Latinos. It’s too bad now this is has launched into a race riot. I watched the video on Cerritos Channel 3, Thurs. 7/7/2016 at midnight.

    Hardly wait for La Palma Police to launch their video.

    Residents on the south side of Cerritos can remember back decade ago, when the 911 Emergency Re-sponders union attacked residents of South Cerritos, E Lakewood and La Palma, they used the MV sirens 24 hrs day, while going thru these cities, in order to upset the residents over Union contracts.

    Sheriff’s Dept. Loses $23-Million Appeal – latimes
    articles.latimes.com/1998/may/06/local/me-46810 |
    May 6, 1998 – A state appellate court Tuesday upheld a $23-million judgment against … County Sheriff’s Department for a 1989 incident in Cerritos in which a group of … for incident in which deputies were accused of brutalizing party-goers.

    60 Yrs of Cerritos History.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsARqqCzUkA&feature=youtu.be

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwmOsfN4TPw&feature=youtu.be

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp7Tuz2u_mo&feature=youtu.be

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8sT1NEWEUM&feature=youtu.be

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUO7aQkbD4Y&feature=youtu.be

  4. Firework Visitor Reply

    July 5, 2016 at 9:03 am

    CERRITOS FIREWORKS

    Unique visitor: Mr. McDonnell, visited Cerritos Fireworks and Let Freedom Ring, to cool down Solanki on 7/4/2016. Sheriff were in full force last night, but did a horrid job of controlling the M80’s in the southern section of Cerritos. Last 3 nites, southern section of Cerritos, suffered abuse from M-80’s until 1-2am Fri-Sat-Sun-Mondays. Fireworks are illegal in both Cerritos and La Palma, but legal in Haw Gardens and Lakewood.

    Jim McDonald told Solanki and Carol Chen, the city should consider district voting, as the sheriffs could be patrol districts compared to all over patrol.

    James “Jim” McDonnell (Born 1960) is the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, California. McDonnell was elected as L.A. County’s 32nd sheriff on November 4, 2014 defeating former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka. He replaced interim sheriff John Scott on December 1, 2014 when he was sworn in. Previously he served as the Chief of Police in Long Beach, California and before that in the Los Angeles Police Department, reaching the rank of Assistant Chief.

    Tanaka, Ret. Gardena Mayor, home to where Solanki Grocerty stores are located, is serving 5 yrs in prison for corrupt director of sheriff, earning more then $300K annually.

  5. Kerry Bossin Reply

    July 4, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I had a suspicious stranger come to the door claiming to be looking for a lost dog. Even though I didn’t open the door he kept hanging around. He had a small backpack over his left shoulder. After he left, I called the Cerritos Sheriffs who said they would send someone to check him out. They responded quickly. The backpack contained rope and burglary tools. Thank God and our Cerritos Sheriffs I wasn’t victimized and they kept him from victimizing anyone else.

  6. Comment Reply

    July 4, 2016 at 8:56 am

    When commissioner Solanki & commissioner Vo, were running on the Republican ticket, the Republicans swore that these (2) immigrants are the best of the best in the city of Cerritos. Both of them are immigrant trash. Solanki was so desperate to get voted, even said that he would work for free , I would still like to see the paperwork to see if he’s working for free.

    Solanki was Barrow’s boy toy and Vo was Carol’s boy toy.

    Solanki never said what he would do with the $9M Sheriff station improvements, once the substation was transferred back to Lakewood.

    During Solanki public speaking, his dialogs with staff is always full or errors and mistakes. What planet is this dude from? Staff and sheriffs keep saying: Solanki and Cho were the worst voted in official Cerritos has procured.

    Bet staff and the residents of Cerritos are talking behind Solanki back, this 4th July Freedom Party at city hall. I went there last night, lot of negative input about Solanki and the party had not begun.

  7. Taking Cerrios back! Reply

    July 3, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Correction: Should read $400,000.00 a year in deficit spending to support a new museum that was shut down in another city.

    • Taking Cerrios back! Reply

      July 3, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      Correction: 5 civilian community service officers to assist with clerical and technical functions

  8. Taking Cerrios back! Reply

    July 3, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    None of the council members come across as respecting the community, the residents, the tax dollars, the law, or just about anything else.

    It is because of the senseless philosophy of speeding “other people’s money” this city is in the financial mess it is.

    One previous councilman was not long ago quoted as saying, “the worst that happens is the city goes bankrupt.”

    $6 million a year in deficit spending for a poorly attended Performing Arts Center.
    $3 million a year in deficit spending to support a power plant that only sells electricity to certain city businesses.
    $7 million to rehab an old building only because the city council doesn’t want the state to have it.
    $4000,000 a year in deficit spending to support a new museum that was shut down in another city.

    Now, we have have another issue of tax paper money being poorly managed. $14.1 million for a yearly contract with the Sheriff’s department plus over $1 million more in non-contract related cost.

    I am in no way suggesting to close down the substation. It is just that – a substation. However, it is being used as a regular police station with 65 sworn deputies and 14 civilian employees. That’s about $179,000.00 per employee! Again, not including cost outside the sheriff’s contract.

    This is an item that should be agendized and the community allowed to participate. For Chen and Solanki to attempt to hijack the council meeting and budget is simply undemocratic.

    Why the concern with the sheriff budget and not the millions wasted every year on the Performing Arts Center, Power Plant, or New Museum? I’m sure residents would vote to close all three of those down before getting rid of the sheriff’s substation.

    This so called concern for the budget by Chen and Solanki appears to be a power play and something smells fishy. However, let’s not get too distracted from what needs to be done.
    1.) STOP the museum.
    2.) Sell or lease the Performing Arts Center.
    3.) Get out of the electric business.
    4.) Renegotiate the sheriff’s contract.
    5.) Get a serious neighborhood watch program going.
    6.) Fix the sidewalks and streets, and trim the trees
    7.) Bring back more community related programs with the Millions in savings.

    About the Sheriff’s contract:
    We probably only need about half of the 65 sworn deputies. Currently, we have 3-5 patrol cars on any given shift and 2-3 motorcycles assigned to traffic during the weekdays.

    What we need:
    30 deputies = Five patrol cars 24/7
    3 motor officers = 2 traffic motorcycles 8 hours 7-days a week
    5 detectives (burglaries, gang, and other investigations)
    65 civilian community service officers to assist with clerical and technical functions
    1 neighborhood watch coordinator
    3 civilian office workers

    There may be a few I missed; however, most everything else can be taken care of through shared cost at the Lakewood station – saving the city $3-$5 million every year. Those arrested can be taken to nearby Lakewood, records functions and dispatch can easily be centralized at Lakewood station.

    Command staff can merged with the Lakewood station. Included in the 30 deputies, each of patrols shifts in Cerritos can be assigned a Senior officer to function as the substation watch commander.

    We do not need all of the high paid brass at the Cerritos substation when we can easily merge with the Lakewood station and still receive the same professionalism and attention at a lower cost to our budget.

    This plan cuts 27 expensive sworn positions and 5 civilian positions that are not essential to the direct safety of our city and merges redundant positions with Lakewood station. Important for safety, it puts more patrol cars on our streets, gets going with a serious neighborhood watch program – all which directly reduces crime.

    This will not be the final plan, but it is a start. It’s a plan that needs to be openly and honestly discussion with resident input.

    Let’s get more deputies on streets, a real neighborhood watch program, and cut cost.

    $3-$5 million yearly savings form the sheriff’s contract
    $6 million yearly saving from Performing Art Center (will generate revenue if sold or leased)
    $3 million yearly savings getting out of the electricity businesses
    $400,000 yearly savings stopping the museum

    Over $12.4 million in annual savings that can trim trees, fix sidewalks and roads and provide a ton of residential programs for every youth, family, and senior resident.

    One last note: The Performing Arts Center cost the city over $60 million to build and has never turned a profit. As a result of never making a dime, it has cost tax payers $175 million over he past 23 years. Has it been worth it?

    To all past and present council members, kiss your lifetime benefits good by. The People are taking Cerritos back!

    It’s our city and not your personal bank account.

  9. 90703 sheriff & firemen. Reply

    July 3, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Q U E S T I O N S

    1. Why does the residents have to pay for the policing of the three malls, as a large part of the crime is taking place in the malls?

    2. Why can’t some of the mall owners compensate for the huge Sheriff’s budget? When the sheriff had a substation at the Los Cerritos mall, during the recession, the substation was dissolved, and the sheriff’s were relocated into the sheriff station in Cerritos. Why weren’t these employees laid off ?

    3. Why doesn’t the sheriff substation have a Central Station for all the burglar alarms in the city, as it seems it would be cheaper in the long run, to have residences alarm system wired into the sheriff station ?

    4. Why does so many sheriff’s car run idle in front of the Cerritos substation 24 hours a day, seems like every time I come to the library, there is always a couple empty sheriff’s cars running with no Sheriff navigating /staging the parked cars?

    5. Why do sheriffs have to hide behind buildings in order to make reports, why can’t those reports made in black and white cars, out of the open, so the black and white cars serve as a identify in the city.

    6. How does the fire department compare in this county budget?

    7. Why does the city subsidize sheriff motorcycles and enormous workers comps, seem like expensive form for patrolling.

    8. How much free time does the sheriffs give to Artesia, when they pass thru Artesia, servicing Cerritos call and patrol?

    9. Most cities have a free chaplin, why not Cerritos?

  10. Recall Reply

    July 3, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Well there is always a first for everything…………………..

    Cerritos shhhh group, said Solanki was put up to this by Bruce Barrows and Grace Hu, in order to jump start new Cerritos Police Station. Grace and Bruce are running in March 2017.

    Naresh Solanki has always been a lone star on the Council seat. When the other councils members give their Digest for their participation in the city, Solanki abstains, he never wants to get involved with the Inter-Community compared to other Council persons.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsARqqCzUkA&feature=youtu.be

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwmOsfN4TPw&feature=youtu.be

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp7Tuz2u_mo&feature=youtu.be

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8sT1NEWEUM&feature=youtu.be

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUO7aQkbD4Y&feature=youtu.be

    During the last neighborhood watch meeting, retired state legislator Sally Havice, got up and applauded Sheriff’s for their good work, and added that we needed more Sheriff’s on patrol, as Patrol is the only thing which can keep crime down. Other community members in the crowded room stated the same, we beg for more police presence.

    Councilmember Jim Edwards got up and applauded and shook the hands of Mrs Sally Havice, for supporting the Cerritos Sheriff. Sally has son, retired policeman so she knows firsthand the quality work our police and Sheriff give to the community.

    Solanki is employed in the Gardena area, Groceries Bus., and he knows nothing about Cerritos during the day; plus immigrants, didn’t enter into the United States until 1981. He does not know the problems we had in Cerritos from 1960’s-1980s, when we were faced with having a sheriff’s operating out of the City of Lakewood.

    I do agree, we need to have some public hearings on the sheriff’s, and there can be some areas where they can cut back and also increase. I do not like the increase in the sheriff budget, over the many cities, the sheriff have received litigation judgments. Do not like the revolving sheriff staff servicing Cerritos, as they reside and can come from Orange County, Los Angeles County, SBC and Riverside. Los Angeles has 88 cities, and the sheriff department services many of these cities. Many of the sheriff are not familiar with the lack of diversity for Cerritos or the irregular boundaries for Cerritos, as Cerritos had 9 surrounding cities; plus straddles 2 county line.

    Carol did make sense, 2 weeks before the final budget, budget could be revisited. All 5 members violated public trust and had a closed door budget hearings without being televised Bad-Bad- Bad….

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