In short, as Police Officers we are expected to lead by example and follow the law.
You may be surprised to know that California law requires groups like ours, who want to have a voice in the political process, to form what is known as a Political Action Committee (PAC). PAC’s are required to file formal disclosures with the state regarding campaign funding and ensure our participation in the political process is transparent.
Again, due to California law, our association does not have many other options to consider when we feel like our members have been treated unfairly and our budgets cut to the point that our community will be put at risk. The courts in many California jurisdictions have ruled that “binding arbitration” is unlawful. Therefore, we can not appeal to an independent arbitrator. We can file a civil suit in some limited labor law violation cases, but this does not address our concerns with city budget priorities.
Therefore, the only recourse we have legally and practically, is to enter politics and plead our case to the “court of public opinion.”
As individuals who are sworn to uphold the law, we take our obligations seriously and respect the rights of everyone. The First Amendment is one of those rights, it is an inalienable right for everyone, and is one we staunchly defend.
Censorship of public employees, those who have the most intimate knowledge of the inner workings of city hall, is a mistake, and is just plain wrong. Who else is better equipped to provide transparency in government? Elected leaders are not working in our communities each day and interacting with the average citizen like we are. Secrecy in local government, also goes against the very founding principals of this country.
The WCPA feels everyone in this great community should have a voice in local politics. The opinion of our various neighborhood residents, the business community, and knowledgeable local employees all play an important role and serve to provide a complete and informed understanding of what is in the best interest of Walnut Creek.