I am the daughter of a Mexican immigrant who came to this country in 1925 — learned to read, write and speak English and became a U.S. citizen. In one of many conversations surrounding the chief of police issue in our Edmonds community, the topic of just how diverse is our police force in terms of people of color, and gender has come up a number of times. A friend of mine found this article that was posted February 2020 in MEN. I totally missed it but am so glad my friend brought it to my attention. You will find that what Mayor Nelson, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, and three other city councilmembers have been telling us is completely false. They have fabricated and spread misinformation in an effort to prop themselves up as saviors of Edmonds. They have told us that Edmonds is basically a racist community, that we need a chief of police who is in tune with our community and needs to diversify our police force because we are sorely lacking. Apparently, according to Mayor Nelson’s actions in choosing a police chief, Acting Chief Lawless has failed in this area and therefore he [Mayor Nelson] needs to correct this injustice. This is patently false.
The article is linked here for you to read. It was written in February 2020 — that is about a year ago. But allow me to be a bit redundant and restate what was said by Josh McClure, Edmonds Police spokesperson in this February 2020 article. He stated “As of December 2019, the department’s 58 commissioned officers include nine who are women and 13 who are non-white. That’s nearly double the number of women (five) and officers of color (six) since 2009. It was an effort championed by long-time Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan, who retired in December, and is continued with the tenure of Acting Chief Jim Lawless, who is also strongly committed to the effort.”
So, the question is: Has Mayor Nelson been trying to take credit for the positive changes that had and were taking place under former Chief of Police Al Compann and Acting Chief of Police Jim Lawless? These positive changes have been going on for many years, well before Edmonds had ever heard the name Mike Nelson, let alone Mayor Mike Nelson. Was Mayor Nelson trying to capitalize on the national unrest we are witnessing, and trying to bring national attention to himself in an effort to prop himself up and taking credit for someone else’s work and accomplishments? This would indeed be shameful and be yet another example of how he has violated the public’s trust in the handling of his foremost duty — public safety — the appointment of our chief of police.
Theresa Campa Hutchison