Support Eureka Police Chief Nielsen
The Eureka City Council will evaluate Police Chief Garr Nielsen during a closed session before its public meeting Tuesday. See the agenda here. Supporters of the Chief are asking residents to speak on his behalf during public comment.
“Since Chief Nielsen arrived in Eureka, people on the Westside can leave the safety of there homes and rejoin their community,” Councilmember Linda Atkins wrote in a widely circulated email this week. “We have a Problem Oriented Policing Unit that is taking on the drug dealers and major criminals in town. When we call the police, they come. These are basic things that every community should enjoy, but prior to Chief Nielsen, we didn’t.”
Nielsen’s contract with the City of Eureka is set to expire in 2013, and the City of Bend, Oregon is actively courting Nielsen to take over as Chief of Police.
You can’t blame them. Nielsen quickly turned around a police department in Eureka that was feared and loathed by residents following a string of police shootings that left a grieving grandmother and a 16-year old dead.
One would also be hard pressed to blame Nielsen if he wanted to put Eureka in the rear view mirror. The improvements he brought were strongly opposed by the old guard, who mounted an “insurrection” that looked like something conceived in a middle school locker room. The City’s failure to stop it led to a $200,000 settlement, half of which came out of city coffers.
Bend is also known for its progressive philosophy, whereas the Eureka City Council is pretty sure the last 60 years never happened.
Public comment starts shortly after 6pm.