The Weekly Dump 10.15.21

Adios Andy Mills

This week, Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills announced he’s leaving the SCPD at the end of the month to take a similar position as the police chief of Palm Springs. I was pretty shocked and surprised when I heard it. I hadn’t heard any rumors about him leaving so quickly, but the writing was on the wall for him here. He reports directly to the city manager, and any new city manager the city hires would likely want to have the ability to hire their own chief of police instead of inheriting Mills and the mess he’s made in the 5 years he’s been here. I could make a laundry list of his failures and shortcomings but the easiest way to do that is to type his name in the search box here and hit search.

On a personal level, I wish him the best in the future. I know his heart was in the right place. It also often got in the way of doing the right thing. He stuck to his convictions (pun intended) about how he wanted to run the department, and his laissez-faire policies of non-enforcement exacerbated a problem that was already out of and beyond our control.

Being a cop, never mind being the police chief, is a thankless job in Santa Cruz. There’s always some progressive kook with a camera phone in your face, wanting to know your name and badge number for just doing your job. Morale sucks. I’ve heard it over and over. Attrition is high. People leave for other local police departments. Head counts have been cut and are lower than they’ve ever been, and nobody ever fights for the police budget. That was evident when they just cut the Rangers while the POA protected the union members. I hope the next city manager (and the next police chief) find a way to create a paradigm shift in how we approach systemic public safety issues that have plagued Santa Cruz for decades, and seemingly get worse every year because of inaction and a lack of vision.

Carrying Loaded Guns in Your Car Gets a Pass in Santa Cruz

Last Saturday morning around 2:30AM, Watsonville Police arrested a 29 year old female and a 28 year old male on the 100 block of Miles Lane and charged both of them with carrying a concealed and loaded gun, having a loaded weapon in a vehicle, and having an occupant with a concealed and loaded weapon in a vehicle. They weren’t in jail for long. “Emergency Bail Release” got both of them out of jail for nothing.

Squeeze Box

Saturday morning around 3:30AM, deputies from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department responded to the Boulder Creek Library on the 200 block of Lorenzo Street where they found a 24 year old male sleeping inside a vehicle.  He had outstanding warrants and they charged him with stuff like possession of a bomb, having a loaded gun in a vehicle, possession of a controlled substance while armed, burglary, grand theft, and drug possession. He was on local probation. He was let out of jail for nothing. “Emergency Bail Release”. They go in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out.

That’s A Temporary Wrap

Last Saturday around 1AM, SCPD responded to the 2500 block of Mission Street where they got a report of a transient walking down the street starting random fires. The suspect led police on a short chase before he resisted arrest and continued to fight with police after being shackled and handcuffed. Eventually, they put him in a WRAP, basically a kind of straight jacket for cops. They arrested a 39 year old male and charged him with arson, resisting arrest, battery on a peace officer, and a felony probation violation. He’s no longer in jail.

Bumosas For Breakfast

Thursday morning around 9AM, some transient bum thought it was a good idea to steal some booze from the CVS on Front Street. After walking out with a couple bottles, SCPD picked him up as he was walking towards the Metro, which started a foot pursuit along the levee. They caught up to him near University Copy where they arrested him before taking him to county jail. He was on on parole.

Flash in the Can

Last Saturday morning around 9AM, Watsonville Police responded to the 900 block of Main Street where they arrested a 26 year old male and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon, flashing a weapon, resisting arrest, and assault on a peace officer. His bail was set at $25K and last check he’s still in county jail.

Slash in the Can

This past Tuesday, Watsonville Police responded to a business in the area of Lake Avenue and Rodriguez Street after getting reports of a man accused of threatening to slash a business owner’s throat. After they arrived and spotted the suspect, a brief foot chase led to his arrest. He was charged with making criminal threats, flashing a weapon, and resisting arrest. Last check he’s still in jail on a $10K bond.

The Wild Wild Western Drive

Tuesday night around 10PM, SCPD responded to the 300 block of Western Drive for some kind of domestic violence incident. Witnesses heard a woman screaming for help. SCPD seems to have a pretty good idea who the suspect is but nobody seemed to have been arrested or in jail. The woman needed medical attention for her injuries and she was granted an emergency protective order by a local judge.

Ryan Coonerty Wants to be the Next Santa Cruz City Manager

I guess it’s kind of official now that he publicly admitted he applied for Martin Bernal’s old job. He was on some local radio show apparently and one of the hosts asked him directly and he said yes. I know Bratton has been slobbering all over himself about “scooping” this story, but I heard a number of different rumors about it before he ran his story. I just usually don’t run rumors. Now the bigger questions come out. Will they pick him? They meaning the current city council, the people who decide this by vote, the same group he helped five of them get elected. Quid pro quo? I don’t know! The optics of I helped you so now it’s your turn to help me don’t look great. But the fact is, he’s definitely qualified for the job, and if he wants to do it why shouldn’t he apply? he obviously loves Santa Cruz. He’s heavily vested in it, both from a family and business perspective.

And if they picked him, how good would he be? Another good big question. My two cents. Ryan won’t be better or worse than Bernal. He won’t do anything drastically different. It’s not his style to rock the boat. Will he try some different things? I think he would. One thing to consider if he does become the next city manager is he won’t have to worry about making the job a popularity contest. Bernal was city manager for something like 15 years, he worked with at least 8 different iterations of the city council and he was always the constant. He’ll have plenty of job security to make difficult decisions, or at least champion new ideas and policies that he can can sell to a majority of the city council (did I mention he helped get 5 of them elected?). Ryan is the safe bet. We could do much worse than Ryan.

Feds Give Us Three Million Dollars to Waste on Homelessness

This week, it was announced that the County of Santa Cruz Behavioral Health received a $3 million grant to address mental health-related issues for people experiencing homelessness. It’s a two-year grant that is supposed to go towards “helping people experiencing homelessness and connect them with services in a path to recovery, whether that’s addressing substance use, mental illness, or both”. According to the county’s Behavioral Health Director, “This will allow us to take a compassionate approach to care including comprehensive contacts in the community through a multidisciplinary team who will work together to support the individual in getting the help they need and deserve.”

God what a bunch of cliche corporate-speak nonsense. Will it reduce the number of homeless people in Santa Cruz? If so how? Simple questions. The first one is yes or no. Here, let me answer for him. No. No need to answer the 2nd question. Here’s a suggestion. Use that money to clean up San Lorenzo Park. Reimburse the city of Santa Cruz for all money spent on “homeless services” in San Lorenzo Park since the bum squat began before any of that money is spent on anything new. Clean up the mess you already made before making a bigger mess!

Get Your Swagger On!

I have swag! I’m working with Spreadshirt and have my own shop. I just put some basic products up to start with for now with the new logo. You can also click “Customize” and “Products” and pick from other products not currently available in my store. Contact me with any questions or issues. Nothing would make me happier than to see people out and about with my swag. I want photos! I’ve never asked for money, and I still plan to continue to do the Weekly Dump each week and make it available for free, without any paywall or ads or spam (or salary). Think of this as a way of donating to the effort and getting something back for your donation (I only make a few bucks on each item sold). I’d love to do more with Santa Mierda if I had the means to do so. This will help provide the means to do so. And it helps get the word out. The hell with the coronavirus, let’s make this viral. Being stuck inside is the perfect time for online shopping! I’ll love you long time if you buy my swag.

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  1. Can’t we please have a City Manager who is not politically entrenched locally, someone from outside our little bubble, who is aware of the way that other cities are moving in the right direction? When there are so many contentious projects that exhaust and frustrate concerned residents and city staff alike, maybe that indicates that the “top down” approach and ideas of city department heads (under direction of the City Manager) are not in touch with those of the majority of community members.

    • I agree. A manager needs to take unpopular positions if the long term goal is in the city’s benefit. Ryan has shown that he’s unwilling to stick his neck out. He’s not the right man for the job.

    • In reality the City Manager and all department heads serve at the pleasure of the Council, not the public. He is not an elected official. They answer to the council.

  2. Our city council is so f-ed up they couldn’t fall off of a boat and hit water.

  3. Nancy Maynard

    Last week a friend was in the parking lot next to her office downtown talking to a friend. Some guy approached them yelling and threatening them. She went into her office… locked the door. He then started banging on the door and yelling. She called the cops and was told they were busy… Later he called her office threatening her… The name of the business was on the door. She does not know him. She is afraid that if she says things…that she will be targeted. So now they need to move their office. So not right… the police station is 5 min. away.

  4. I agree that law enforcement is a thankless job, but under Chief Mills the homeless drug addict mess proliferated. Yes, there are multiple causes, but Mills has been one of them. I can’t believe that Palm Springs wasn’t aware of the mess in Santa Cruz when they hired Mills. I thought Palm Springs was a fairly conservative community. Perhaps it has changed. Sonny Bono must be rolling over in his grave. Maybe some of our drug addicts and dealers will follow Mills to Palm Springs for a change of scenery. However, I doubt Sonny will be singing “I got you babe” to Mills.

    • MuyDeplorable

      It may well be that Mills will do better in a community with different issues than we have here. Although Palm Springs may be more ‘conservative,” it may also be that the crime and vagrancy clientele are fewer, with the remainder doing bigger crimes that are more effectively policed. Also, the area has fewer weekend tourists or college-aged students, and fewer means of access.

      As for that guy caught stealing from the CVD: Didn’t he know that up in SF, he could have brought a shopping cart?

    • Not all cities have the social/transient/mentally ill problems that plague Santa Cruz.

  5. I agree. A manager needs to take unpopular positions if the long term goal is in the city’s benefit. Ryan has shown that he’s unwilling to stick his neck out. He’s not the right man for the job.

  6. WOW! 3 Million on top 10 million,not to mention part of the 12 million from CA.- I might have chosen the wrong career!

    • Roy McAlister

      That’s right…human despair seems to be the fastest growing industry in Santa Cruz. There are simply too many people in Santa Cruz whose ability to afford a roof over their head is contingent on someone else who can’t.

  7. Moosely Dunn

    I’ve been in SC my whole life. The older I get the more the thought of just getting the hell out is appealing. Things are getting worse, not better. $3,000,000? Buy a warehouse somewhere for getting people off the street. With plenty of beds, there would be no excuse to not enforce the camping ban.

    • FormerlyFromSC

      We made our exit about two years ago. Best decision we ever made! We’re SC natives, it will always be a part of us, and we have loved ones still there that we miss dearly. So we check-in here once in a while to see what’s going on since this is the best source for unvarnished news in SC. What we don’t miss one bit is all the mierda!

  8. Nancy Maynard

    I have a great SCPD photo… how do I get it to you

  9. Be great to get this many or even MORE comments to MEIRDA every week. I’m hoping Bens efforts help spark areal Anti-Criminal/Anti-drug Addicts and HOMELESS BY CHOICE!! Movement Ben has the reporting down I’m sure people have videos on the smart phone to post on Social media I know I do. Take Back SC I’m guessing didn’t work. I’m willing to do my part and repost my vids, I’m also the security Gaurd that got a knife pulled in my by a “homeless guy” early January 2021 that Ben reported on. I lost my job and when I asked SCPD if they found the knife the guy pulled on me all he said was and I QUOTE- “ You know all these people on the street carry Knifes” guy got to walk off I got fired- or more PC Terminated. But hey I no longer HAVE to go to SC especially down town so now I’m ready to Repost my vids fro my experience working security at the Galleria. But I’d rather send them to someone else for them to post cause the city of SC were the ones to make me take down my YouTube vids or else they’d Sue me or some crap like that. This is Dave but I’d rather go by IH8SC

  10. Dave the Security Gaurd!!!! I’ve been wondering where you have been.

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