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December 9, 2023

Stop the bait-and-switch with your tax dollars, save Scotts Valley Police Department

By Scotts Valley Police Officers’ Association 

Our fellow community members, tax payers and friends, your dedicated Police Officers’ Association can no longer remain silent about a lack of transparency regarding the critical status of your police department, the dramatic decrease in services (resulting in spiking crime trends) and the allocation of your tax dollars which are not consistent with your expressed intentions.

We are in the process of drafting a document to explain all of these in great detail and will make this available for your review on the Scotts Valley Police Officer Association Facebook page and our Instagram. The following is a short example of some of the information contained therein.

The City of Scotts Valley recognized a staffing emergency at the police department due to exorbitantly low pay (28% less than next comparable) and they came to the voters to pass Measure Z to prevent a reduction in police services.  Our community overwhelmingly supported this measure as they value living in a safe community.

Since the passage of this measure in March:

  • 0 cents have been given to SVPD or their officers
  • 0 detectives are in the department’s Investigations Unit because of an increasing staffing crisis
  • 0 traffic enforcement officers
  • Staffing is down to 50% of budgeted positions and the majority of our experienced, tenured officers have lateralled elsewhere, including two Sergeants going to other agencies as officers

The City Finance Director had an abrupt departure from employment with the City with minimal explanation. 

One staggering statistic: in 2019 burglary calls for the year in Scotts Valley numbered 48 and nearing the end of 2020 we currently have 87.

As our entire community struggles to navigate all of the challenges of Covid-19, we are right beside you and understand many of the unforeseen hardships. Many of your officers have spouses who have lost jobs, have children at home participating in distance education and have the constant worry of inadvertently bringing the virus home and infecting their families. Many of your officers were forced to evacuate their homes during the recent fires while still working double time to protect the citizens and their property. We suffer and we fight right alongside the amazing members of this community.

The POA and the City entered into contract negotiations in March of this year, immediately after the passage of Measure Z. Due to the unknown impact of Covid-19, and despite their promises to the community and their officers, the City chose to offer 0% pay raises. Discussions continued past the contract end date in July with no changes. The POA has been working without a contract since that time. At our most recent discussion, the actual impact of Covid-19 on the financial outlook of Scotts Valley, which was initially presented as extremely dire, has dramatically improved and our financial reserves, initially estimated to drop down to 17% (still much higher than all other jurisdictions in this county), will be approximately 32% at the end of this year.

We want to inform the community about these glaring issues, our critically low staffing levels and explain them all in greater detail while addressing how this has and will continue to impact the safety and security of Scotts Valley.  Please go to our SVPOA Facebook page for a link to more detailed information. facebook.com/scottsvalleyPOA/.

The Scotts Valley Police Officers’ Association is a nonprofit organization that represents the Scotts Valley Police Department Officers. The views of the organization are its own, and not necessarily those of the Press Banner.

Tony Nuñez
Tony Nuñez
Tony Nuñez is a longtime member of the Watsonville community who served as Sports Editor of The Pajaronian for five years and three years as Managing Editor. He is a Watsonville High, Cabrillo College and San Jose State University alumnus.


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