During the Newport Beach City Council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 25, Councilmember Diane Dixon pulled Item 5, a Resolution Supporting the Newport Beach Police Department, for further discussion.
“It gives me great pleasure to have initiated, with full support from our councilmembers when we vote on this, a resolution to support the Newport Beach Police Department,” said Dixon.
Dixon proceeded to read the resolution:
- “Whereas the existence of law and order in any community most often results from a collaboration between the residents of that community and its law enforcement officers;
- Whereas recent national events have brought attention to the profession of law enforcement and the men and women who dedicate themselves – and their families – to said profession;
- Whereas the right to freedom of speech and peaceful protest must be protected and, we as a community, have witnessed how some national events have given way to violence, destruction of property, and an abandonment of community values and collaboration;
- Whereas the Newport Beach Police Department employs a work force comprised of highly trained and educated individuals who are committed to excellence and have the highest standard of ethics;
- Whereas on June 3, 2020, the Newport Beach Police Department was faced with five separate protests at five separate locations in the City of Newport Beach totaling approximately 2,500 protesters;
- Whereas to conclude the 12-hour day without any major incidents, property damage, or injuries to officers or protesters is a demonstration of the Newport Beach Police Department’s exceptional professionalism, preparation, and planning; and
- Whereas the fashion in which the Newport Beach Police Department maintained order and provided a safe environment for all participants is a testament to their commitment to community needs, desires, and values, and further embodies how the Newport Beach Police Department continues to be an extension and reflection of those they so proudly serve.
- Therefore, the City Council of the City of Newport Beach resolves as follows: The City Council does hereby express support for the members of the Newport Beach Police Department, in their efforts to connect with the community and create a safe environment for all people who reside, work, or play in the City of Newport Beach.”
“I want to say how important it is as I’ve just read for the city to say this, and for all of us to know how important our police department is,” said Dixon. “We’ve all heard comments from residents that this is the only city they know where they can wave and get a wave back from our police. Our community knows out police officers by name, and they feel comfortable enough to call the police chief at all hours of the day and night, or text him, because they know they can reach someone in the police department and record their concerns.”
Dixon recognized Chief Jon Lewis for his leadership and commitment to keeping Newport Beach safe. She also recognized the “women and men in blue” who serve Newport Beach.
Dixon also cited impressive statistics: Year to date, computer aided dispatch calls to the non-emergency number numbered 64,644. Total 911 calls were 28,602. Priority one response time was 2:51. The percent of 911 calls answered within 15 seconds was 99.6 percent. And Dixon noted that 98.4 percent of 911 calls were answered within 10 seconds, a national record.
“Our police department exemplifies the very best in community policing,” concluded Dixon, who noted that the Newport Beach Police Department includes 148 sworn officers, 84 non-sworn officers, 27 part time personnel and 53 volunteers. “Thank you for keeping our community peaceful and safe.”
“Your service has been so much more far reaching than just the protests,” said Councilmember Joy Brenner. “We have had mass baptisms on our beaches, we have had bioluminescence events that were advertised on social media and people were crowding our beaches at midnight, we’ve had so many different things going on during just the last few months and you always rise to the occasion and you treat everyone with such respect and dignity and we really appreciate that. It’s about community policing and you guys set the bar for that. We are so proud of you.”
Councilmember Kevin Muldoon commented on the day that Newport Beach had five separate protests on one day, which he called the most stressful say since he had joined the city council.
“The logistics and the calm professional demeaner and approachable philosophy that the chief and his team took really elevated Newport Beach,” said Muldoon. “It showed we are a city of law and order, but also a city of compassion, and we respect civil liberties.”