Monday, April 16, 2012

Letter From Our New Chief of Police

I have come across, by an anonymous source, a letter from the new Chief of Police. Comment with your opinions, dear readers....

"I believe it is important to establish a good precedent with this project.  The ordinances can be two edged swords and we should approach carefully and with an open mind.
In one respect, it establishes the community's rules and boundaries for acceptable behavior along with the ability to communicate that to residents and visitors in many ways, signs, flyers, personal conversation, etc.
We need to be clear about what the community expects of the PD.  We are already working to overcome the perception of being heavy handed "enforcers" and do not want to be tasked with "strict enforcement" of extremely minor violations which would further damage our image.
If we view the ordinances as an opportunity to engage people in conversations and help them learn about our community standards, we have an "in" for positive public relations if done right.  The PD can also use the ordinances as a way of legitimately contacting potential troublemakers, drug dealers, and the like since smoking seems to parallel.  Again this must be done with tact and respect for the individual and community.  Onlookers should see an officer (initially) contacting a potential drug dealer with the same tone and respect as he would an unknowing tourist.
Ultimately, this is a quality of life issue for the community and makes sense that there are no smoking rules and reasonable hours for use of our parks.  I support the group bringing the ordinance discussion to the Council forum and having further community input.  I am interested in other's views on the matter.
On the whole, we also need to view our approach to these issues as a means to completely resolve the issue and not just move it to another part of the City." -Joe Ribeiro, Manitou Springs Chief of Police


  1. I like the overall tone this letter was written in. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out as the months go by. This may be a character that would be great under another administration, and he may be the kind of guy who is used to class profiling and enforcing the criminalization of being lower class and being present in town.

    It rubs me the wrong way that he says smoking and criminality go hand in hand, however. I am not a criminal, but I do smoke cigarettes, and I smoke them in the park. I don't smoke near playground equipment, and I don't really think that it should be allowed.

    I think a good compromise between the City and the people might be to ban smoking within 15 feet of the playground equipment.

    I notice, though, that all pretense of public health concerns are non-existent in this letter. It is being discussed as a way for police to stop people and issue citations for something. It is an excuse to stop and search people.

    The insinuation that smoking and criminality coincide is a joke, and we need to address this.

  2. "It is being discussed as a way for police to stop people and issue citations for something. It is an excuse to stop and search people."

    In other words, harass people. How many people in Manitou Springs smoke? Does anyone know? Or is it just about 5 or 10 people near Soda Springs park? 50?

    The actions of a few cause the majority to suffer.

    Meanwhile, traffic in town is increasing and as a consequence there has been a dramatic increase in smog, which is a gateway to asthma. Perhaps all diesels should be banned in town.

    By the way, has anyone noticed how fit the police department is lately? Overweight police officers are a health hazard.

  3. With the proposed smoking ban, there was a pretense of public health safety as the reason. At first. At the task force meeting. Now, with this letter, that pretense is thrown out the window. Smoking cigarettes does NOT, in fact, coincide with criminality. I am meeting with Mr. Joe Ribeiro today, actually, and I will mention that.

    How fit is the police dept.? Well, from what I hear, that is where Joe Ribeiro comes in with something good. Rumor has it that he is big on the police force being fit and healthy. If this rumor is true, he will have the officers walking the beat a lot more often, maybe even working out. This will also work to cut emissions from police cars, which will help with the actual public health safety issues around the park.

  4. Not to mention help increase revenue cause police deps will be pissed off they are being forced to be out walking around and will then start taking it out on people because they are out being white on tuesdays and other such criminal acts...

    The tone was a ruse and the leak was Im sure intentionally leaked so as to build good rapport about how the new Chief is a swell guy that is trying to rid the community of its dirty underhanded Smoking "Drug Dealers" as they obviously coincide with one another and so basically he is profiling whomevber he wants and working towards passing laws that will appear to help by banning smoking next to little kids all for the under lying purpose of Manitou police being able to stop people and search them simply because they can again huge misuse of power being covered up in underhanded deceiful ways so the Govt has signed documentation from us saying we no longer have constitutional rights :(

    1. Wow. It's okay to lapse into a comma now and then. There will be no permanent tissue damage, I promise.

  5. Deceitful* sorry typos bad this evening!

  6. I do want to make a point here. This 'leak' is leaked from me, personally. It was a forwarded email from someone else, who received it from the Chief of Police. I just wish not to state my source on this one. Also, I feel like you will be surprised by a few things once Joe Ribeiro starts his job. I met the man and he seemed very cool (See what I wrote about meeting him, in another post). As far as the Police feeling angry about walking the beat, I don't know that that will be the case, at least not with all of them. We have some very intelligent and respectful police officers here in Manitou Springs. Not all of them do a good job, of course, as there is always one rotten apple and sometimes a few. I do know there are some police officers who are going to be happy to be given the excuse to get into better shape and meet the local people, instead of only talking to them when they are enforcing. If the police officers can know everyone by name, and vice versa, I feel like everyone might get along at least a little better.