Dark cloud will hang over next police chief
Worse yet, the new chief will have few meaningful guidelines to prevent a similar fate to Nielsen because the reasons for the firing were never made public. Instead City Manager Dave Tyson stuck to a bland explanation of “differences in management styles.”
But that sort of says it all — if the new chief differs with Tyson, who holds way too much power in the city of Eureka according to his vocal critics, he or she will get the heave-ho just the same.
As noted in today’s Times-Standard, Nielsen was hired to bring changes to EPD after a string of officer related shooting deaths left citizens outraged and scared of its under-trained, over-reactionary police force. Nielsen quickly became popular with people who began seeing improvements in their long-neglected neighborhoods.
To quell the anger that followed Nielsen’s firing, the city held a pair of public meetings to hear what people wanted in a new chief. The T-S reports:
The message was fairly consistent: Citizens said they wanted an educated, ethical leader with experience in community-oriented policing programs to effectively use limited resources and engage the community to tackle the city’s drug, crime and blight issues.
Problem is, Eureka had just that in Nielsen, but the city manager fired him. We can expect the same if the new chief fails to kowtow to the good old boy governance that has elevated Eureka to the shining example of backwardness that it is today.
Given this thinly coated steaming pile of crap, who in their right mind would apply for this job? Sure, insiders who like a wild west climate in the police department and know just how to soothe Tyson’s “management style” will throw their hats in. But an “educated” and “ethical leader” would no doubt find an inhospitable environment here.