FULLERTON (CBSLA.com) —Hundreds of residents protested the possible closure of the Fullerton Police Department at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
Councilmembers met to discuss whether to ask the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to take over foot patrols and other services in Fullerton in the wake of the fatal beating of homeless man Kelly Thomas that has resulted in widespread protests and national attention.
Three officers — Manuel Anthony Ramos, Joe Wolfe and Jay Cicinelli — also received letters of intent to terminate in May as they face charges including second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter for Thomas’ death.
Residents who protested said it’s not about money or the Thomas case. It’s about public safety.
“Once you make that cut, there’s no going back. No going back,” said a resident.
“Tell our Fullerton PD that they matter to us,” said a woman.
“Sometimes saving a buck isn’t necessarily in the best interest of our community in outsourcing our local police department,” said one man.
The preliminary analysis would cost the taxpayers nothing.
The 108-year-old city of 144,000 currently has almost 150 sworn officers and a budget of between $35 million and $37 million.