CHICO, Calif. - The Chico Police Officers Association took out a full-page ad in Thursday's Chico Enterprise-Record. It was an open letter to the citizens of Chico, explaining why it believes its officers should not face cuts in jobs and pay as the city tries to repair its budget.
Peter Durfee, the president of the Chico Police Officers Association thinks the letter will make a difference.
"Hopefully, the public will talk to the council, come to the council meetings, write letters and send emails," Durfee said. "[We want the public] to let them know that you want to be safe."
The open letter takes aim at City Manager Brian Nakamura, warning of the cuts he made as city manager in Hemet when that city's budget became bloated.
"I think it's been like a wrecking ball," said Durfee of Nakamura's handling of Chico's budget woes. "He's destroyed the town, making it difficult to get people to want to work for us and make it unsafe for citizens and for us on the street."
The letter makes comparisons with other California police departments and notes that Chico police respond to far more calls than Chico firefighters.
Police Chief Kirk Trostle will not speak about the letter itself, going only so far as to say that his 84 sworn officers are worth top dollar.
"What our police officers do for this community is what our citizens don't want to do," said Chico Police Chief Kirk Trostle. "That brings value to our position."
Efforts to hear from Nakamura were unsuccessful, as city employees said he was in meetings through the late afternoon.