To; SAPOA Membership
Hello everyone. My name is Carlos Garcia Jr and I am a SAPOA member currently assigned to Central Patrol. My wife Catherine is a teacher and works at an elementary school. My son is in high school and my daughter is in middle school.
I am taking this opportunity, with the permission of our SAPOA President Danny Diaz, to address the membership regarding the May 1 City election, but more specifically, Proposition B. It is of dire importance that all SAPOA members living within the City limits are registered to vote against Proposition B.
What is Proposition B? To make a long story short, it is basically a defunding mechanism that will reduce each member's quality of life outside the disciplinary process. It will put all of us, from a rookie patrol officer to an assistant chief, in a negative financial position. Something that has not occurred to the membership since the mid 70s.
My father graduated from the SAPD Training Academy in 1970. I have a photo of him and my mother the day Chief Bischell gave him his new badge. You can see that my mother was pregnant with me on that day. I like to tell people this story to let them know I have 50 plus years with the SAPD.
I was too young to remember the early 70s. I do remember we lived in a 2 bedroom 1 bath house in the shallow southside with no air condition and of course no cable back then. We did have two water coolers and a couple of old fans from the 1950s that helped cool us off a bit. There were no substations back then and roll calls occurred at the Traffic roll call room at the old headquarters at 214 W. Nueva. When my dad would check out for dinner, he would have to call the dispatcher's office to let the dispatcher know where he was in case he had a call because he didn't have an assigned radio like we do now.
My father would work extra jobs like crazy in order to feed his family. He told me a story of working an extra job for $5 an hour only to get undercut by another officer for $4 an hour who in turn got undercut by another officer for $3 an hour. Different times back then.
It wasn't until we got the 1988 contract that my dad's, my families, financial situation changed. The SAPD was the envy of every police department in the nation! If it weren't for retired Sgt Harold Flammia's negotiation skills and former Mayor Henry Cisneros' realization that a strong contract was needed for the safety of the City a lot of us would not be officers at all. With its checks and balances between management and the association and its recruiting benefits the 88 contract made us what we are today, the gold standard for Law Enforcement.
I came on when Chief Gibson was our chief. Chief Gibson steered us towards a Community Policing Model. Chief Phillipus created the SAFFE unit. Chief Ortiz enhanced our disciplinary procedures and now, Chief McManus, lead us into the 21st century by having one of the most progressive, diverse, and well trained police agencies in the country.
If we lose the election on May 1, life as we know it will change. I am calling for all SAPOA members, from rookies to Assistant Chiefs, to register to vote, get your families and friends to register to vote, to sign up to man these polling sites, and vote Against Proposition B. My family and I will be volunteering at the poll sites and voting against Proposition B.
This is our March 1836 moment. The day Colonel Travis took his sword out and drew a line in the sand and asked for volunteers to defend the Alamo.
If we do not get involved by voting against Proposition B and volunteering our time at the polling sites, the earth may still rotate and the sun may still rise and set, but our way of life as SAPD officers and as a community will not be the same.
Remember the Alamo. Remember the great work and sacrifices our retirees have done in the past, remember the great work our fallen officers have done for us and the community, and remember, there is still great work for us to do now and the future.
Carlos Garcia Jr.