Operations Retreat – MPA Meeting Details

MPA attended the Operations Retreat last week and voiced membership concerns, reminded command staff of issues MPA was working on with Chief Gascon and future issues and solutions that Mesa police officers are faced with.

Education-based discipline:  MPA met with the founder of this idea for officers, Leroy Baca, Sheriff of Los Angeles County, in April of this year at Harvard University. MPA was given all materials related to implementation of this new policy on a CD. Sheriff Baca was also willing to talk to Chief Gascon about implementation in Mesa. MPA presented this idea to Gascon along with all the policies and procedures and asked that he talk to the Sheriff about it. Once he looked into it, he agreed to integrate it into Mesa’s discipline policy to the extent possible.  We are experiencing a delay due to accessibility of adequate training classes.  MPA has pushed for development of an IA discipline matrix to include no disciplinary probation (unless in extreme cases) and no unpaid suspension over three days.

Stimulus money: MPA reminded the command staff that Mesa was originally pushing for 100 officers instead of 25 and are working on a local and national level to address our staffing needs.  Originally this year the city was going to lose 52 officers through attrition, and we are essentially doing a balancing act with the 25 from stimulus money.  Additional sources of revenue need to be found in order to address the 400 officer shortage.

There are cities around the nation that are now questioning to accept stimulus money they were already approved for.  At the NAPO conference last week, MPA asked them to work with Obama, Biden and Holden to look into giving Mesa stimulus money that other agencies will not use.   Their direct lines to Washington might help resolve some of Mesa’s staffing issues.

Traffic Centralization: MPA is pushing still to make Traffic centralized in order to be more effective, increase DUI arrests and save more lives.  Over a year has gone by where options were presented by MPA with limited results, like leasing vehicles and receiving money from RICO funds and grants.  This is a top priority for MPA as our Mesa cops can be more effective on the streets. The MPA openly disagreed with decentralizing Traffic based on the fact that we just did not have the personnel to adequately staff all the districts. The MPA was the only organization to voice their opinion against decentralization of Traffic.

MPA representatives communicated to command staff that we are all working on the same goals – to make Mesa safe and get the staffing and equipment our officers need.  We can agree to disagree on many issues.  However, the lines of communication are with the command staff as MPA makes themselves available for issues that arise.  MPA hopes there is an increase of communication, not just from these formalized meetings, but expanding to commanders and their district MPA reps.