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Cerritos Council Candidate Bruce Barrows Refused to Fund Sky Knight Helicopter Program as Political Payback in 2012

Bruce Barrows used Cerritos’ Sky Knight helicopter program supporting the LA Sheriff’s Department and deputies on the ground in emergency situations as political payback threatening not to fund the program until Council advanced his personal political agenda.


By Brian Hews

Safety has been a big issue in Cerritos, brought to the forefront by Councilwoman Carol Chen’s questionable no vote denying Cerritos residents the chance to approve a sales tax for the City and fund the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station.




Cerritos Council candidate Bruce Barrows, a long-time Chen ally, holds the same view as Chen, once dangling Cerritos resident’s safety, the Sky Knight helicopter program, as a political football to advance his personal agenda.

In June of 2012, as documented in HMG-CN, then Mayor pro tem Bruce Barrows was involved in an incident where he physically assaulted Cerritos resident Jay Gray after a Council meeting.


Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Barrows involved in alleged assault involving resident, council critic Jay Gray


Gray told Hews Media Group-Community News in an exclusive interview at the time, that Barrows “grabbed me” and “threw me” and “yanked at my jacket and neck tie” after the meeting in dispute of Gray’s public comments about various city priorities for the upcoming fiscal year budget.

Barrows later appeared before the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for an “Office Hearing” regarding allegations of criminal misconduct of Penal Code 242 where Barrows reportedly settled the case along with Gray.

Barrows never minced words to anyone about his outrage that HMG-CN “dared to publish the assault story because it was a lie.” That statement was refuted by his meeting with the D.A. and final disposition of the case.




Mayor Pro Tem Barrows Battery Hearing Results in Mandate from Judge



Barrows later took his anger out on HMG-CN at the June 28, 2012 Council meeting, and did so holding the Sky Knight helicopter safety program hostage just “to get back at the HMG-CN.”

Barrows threatened to endanger Cerritos resident’s safety and cut the Sky Knight if Council did not cut the City’s advertising budget with HMG-CN.

At the June 28 meeting, Barrows told Councilman Mark Pulido, an outspoken Sky Knight supporter, “Mark this is to address your Sky Knight issue. I would like to have the council eliminate the city print advertising from the budget. If you do not vote to eliminate the city’s print advertising budget, I will not vote for Sky Knight.”

This and other statements are on the City’s website recorded on video.

After much debate, Barrows again chimed in and for the second time said, “ if we don’t cut the print advertising budget I won’t vote for Sky Knight.

Councilwomen Carol Chen echoed Barrow’s statements saying, “cut print advertising or I won’t approve the Sky Knight funding.”


Robinson R-44 used by the LASD Sky Knight program. Cerritos Public Safety Manager Daryl Evans said, “they are very valuable, the eye-in-the-sky for us, they help deputies on the ground, they keep suspects from escaping the area so we can capture them.


At the time, then Councilman Joseph Cho commented at the meeting “why are we talking about such small items when we have bigger things to talk about.”

Not wanting to cut the Sky Knight program, Pulido relinquished and voted to cut HMG-CN’s advertising budget to save the program.

Now the program is under scrutiny once again by the Council, mainly because of Chen’s no vote denying the sale tax initiative on the ballot.


(l-r) ABC Board Member Soo Yoo, Latha Vasan, ABC Board member Lynda Johnson with Bruce Barrows. Soo and Johnson are major supporters of Barrows and his policie; both Yoo and Johnson have played politics with certain ABC funding for political payback.


The Council will discuss the safety of Cerritos and the plight of the Sky Knight as well as the Cerritos Sheriff’s station during their Feb. 9 meeting.


  • 90703 Voters in Cerritos says:

    Need Transparent Community Safety Committee———–

    Not happy with the outcome for SHERIFFS BUDGET!

    Presentation was excellent, (A+++) everybody who watched the presentation on the sheriffs learned a lot. Cerritos reinstated the sheriff’s department/ helicopter. They’ll be no changes in the contract. A new Council being elected in future, can make changes, but this Council chose not to make changes, after examining the contract till midnight.

    But learned we have an extreme hybrid Sheriff’s Office, which feel has a lot of Overkill & top heavy on personnel and administration. There’s a lot of extras we don’t need to run the city, the size of the city of Cerritos. Still strongly feel, that we should keep some form of the sheriff station, but we should operate so it is financially feasible to run . This hybrid sheriff station, lacks utilitarian architecture and will continue to cost $16M-$17M, with a $1M E/O Ins to protect the sheriff’s unions, sheriffs out of control and abuse cases.

    The city council wants to study a proposal to have car reading license plates, so everybody driving in the city will be videotaped. Council feels they could keep a better eye on the criminals in the city. Personally, don’t like that kind of philosophy, an invasion of our privacy. CCC needs to hold a study session in order to custom organize the sheriff station, compared to dining in a cafeteria. CCC needs to pick and choose the architecture for the sheriff station, based on supporting programs to run the city most efficiently. Sheriffs stated the city net income from sheriff citations is $187K, well this does this city no good if crime and MVA are on the rise by 10%. We need a council, which is not divided by race or political party affiliations; be in tune to transparency of the sheriff station complete architecture.

    • Still will have the expensive over night parking ordinance.
    • Still no central monitoring station built in to the Cerritos Sheriff station, to monitor our homes.
    • AKA: Crime Helicopter still has no program for best prime hrs of operation, per crime waves.
    • Real winners are city of Artesia, they receive the benefits from Cerritos sheriff and helicopter at no cost. Artesia is island inside 90703.

    Republicans complain of the cost of unions, but this republican majority council has none nothing to curb the unions. City is still heading for BK within 6 yrs, we are $7M in red ink yearly. Unions are primes example, how they are holding us hostage, by these epic, pricey and hybrid contracts. They bill for everything poss, worse then going to hospital. Union have created many prejudices and bias of the system by the public voters.

    Bottom line, we are a sale tax driven city; sales tax derived from the mall. Revenue goes back to run the sheriffs and city staff. Residents see little benefit, towards our public works ( which are on minority status hold) . (3) malls contribute nothing towards the allotted sheriffs budget, but, 75% of the sheriffs budget is spent on patrolling and monitoring the ( 3) malls. The malls are bleeding the city budget and depleting the sheriffs budget to be equally dispersed for all sections of the city.

    90703 Voters need new council, enforce the term limit and abort the recycled council members from holding office in 90703.