Remember when former SAPD Police Chief Walters cut gang violence by 40%?




 

Walters plaque unveiled

With all the talk about combating gang violence in Santa Ana we thought it would be worthwhile to revisit what our former, and far more capable, Police Chief, Paul Walters, accomplished a few years ago.

Walters was forced out of Santa Ana by the last City Council – and some of those Council members are still around, including David Benavides, Vince Sarmiento and Sal Tinajero.

Here is what the O.C. Register reported in 2013, about how effective Walters was:

Santa Ana police officials say they have seen a near 40 percent decrease in violent gang crime so far this year and hope to keep gang killings at levels not seen in more than a decade.

In 2011, the city saw a 45 percent drop in gang-related homicides, the most significant reduction since 2006.

To combat the growing gang violence, Walters formed Orange County’s first and only Gang Homicide Unit and partnered closely with parole and probation officers, the District Attorney’s Office and the FBI. Later, he hired an in-house firearms expert and formed a full-time SWAT team to deal with the most violent criminals.

Walters said the challenge is trying to keep evolving and adjusting crime-fighting techniques.

“It’s everything you can throw at them, because otherwise they’ll destroy your community and that’s true no matter what city you go to,” Walters said. “You shouldn’t be afraid of your life and terrorized by gangsters.”

After the last City Council majority fired Walters they replaced him with a Latino, Carlos Rojas, who had ZERO experience running a police department. But they didn’t care. They just wanted to hire a Latino.

Rojas went about undoing everything Walters accomplished including getting rid of the gang squad. And we know what has happened since that.

It is clearly time to dump Rojas and hire a Chief we can be proud of. We had that Chief once. Now that there is a new City Council majority it is time to start over – to go back to what we already know works.

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