Thursday, July 3, 2008
L.A. Sherriff's Commander Sends Letter To Cuppa Joe About ATB Cancellation
(This letter is being published in its entirety, unedited as it was submitted to me from Carl Deely, Commander with the Los Angeles Sherriff's Department)
"I want to thank you for mentioning another side of this issue.
I am very disappointed in what I have read elsewhere. People have been forming an opinion and going as far as to accuse Sheriff's Department personnel of racism and bigotry, based on partial and faulty information.
Does it truly make sense to you that after nearly two decades of the same event, the Sheriff’s Department has suddenly developed a bias and cancelled the “At the Beach” event?
The Sheriff’s Department did not cancel the event. As part of the permit process, which is controlled by Beaches and Harbors, we did ask for increased security and additional conditions to ensure the safety of all participants and everyone using the public beach area. These came as a result of actions which occurred at last year’s event, which placed the safety of participants and the general public in jeopardy.
I personally worked with the organizer of this event to explain the conditions and try and make them easier to implement. I also told him we would try and hire as many reserve deputies, at a reduced cost, as possible to ease the additional costs. I even extended our deadline for the organizer to make a decision and told him if the participants avoided the problems from last year, at this year’s event, we would work with him and see if we could reduce the security costs and conditions for 2009.
As part of the permit process, the requested money would be placed as a deposit, with the potential for a substantial refund if the event ended on time and the conditions were followed.Due to the disturbances last year and a failure to have shuttle buses, as agreed, to take the participants to the off-site parking, the costs went substantially over the budget. Those additional costs have yet to be paid.
These conditions were not last minute. The organizer missed a meeting with the involved government agencies in May and did not take advantage of an offered make-up meeting with Beaches and Harbors. As a result, the negitiations were handled by phone conversations and e-mails.The organizer chose not to accept the new costs and conditions, thus choosing to cancel the event.
As of last Friday, I thought a series of contacts between the organizer and me had ensured the event would continue this year. I believe those contacts were open and we had achieved mutual understanding, if not total agreement. I regret I was unable to solve the concerns to his satisfaction."
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department