Stepping back into the batter’s box after finishing twelve years as a Los Alamitos City Councilman, Troy Edgar walloped a fast ball out of the stadium in Thursday’s Orange County Register: “Cal Chiefs must take their responsibility for SB 54.”
On the night he finished his term on the Los Alamitos City Council, I asked Mr. Edgar what he would do next. He runs his own company — that should be more than enough to keep him busy! His children are now grown (one son attended the meeting, along with Edgar’s wife). Did he have further political plans? His answer was noncommittal.
He is not noncommittal in taking on the coalition of Chiefs of Police in the State of California that struck a deal with Jerry Brown to support SB 54, which bans cooperation between local police departments and the federal Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):
[The California Police Chiefs Association (Cal Chiefs)], along with the California State Sheriffs’ Association, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, and the California Peace Officers Association, are important law enforcement associations that have significant sway with our liberal state Legislature and normally act as a balance for good policy.
In 2017, when this sanctuary legislation was on the ropes, the governor reached out to these organizations to get support and reach a deal.
Initially, both Cal Chiefs and the Sheriffs’ Association were adamantly opposed. The governor realized that there was no deal to be made with the Sheriffs’ Association. The Sheriffs’ Association understood what was at stake and would not give in.
But Cal Chiefs had other plans.
The association leadership and political operatives focused on maintaining their power and influence with the governor and key legislators and cut a deal to end their opposition. Their critical endorsement provided certain lawmakers and the governor, who was on the fence, the needed political cover to justify supporting and signing SB 54.
The immediate launching point of Edgar’s editorial is the recent fatal shooting of Newton Police Corporal Ronil Singh, allegedly by a man in the United States illegally. The man arrested and accused, Gustavo Perez Arriaga aka Pablo Virgen Mendoza, had been arrested prior to the shooting. He is a Mexican national. His defense attorneys have been granted their request that he be evaluated for mental competency.
Mr. Edgar firmly calls out Cal Chiefs for its roll in the passage of SB 54. He wants them to switch sides, and work toward cooperation with federal authorities to deport criminal illegal aliens:
I respectfully request that all police chiefs across California demand that their association work together with the entire law enforcement community to adamantly fight and abolish the sanctuary state law.
Please support law enforcement by supporting good policies.
(Regarding his noncomittal response to my question about his political future: I think maybe Mr. Edgar has bigger plans than to quietly settle back behind the desk at his company. Two reasons. First, he did not have to write the editorial at all. Second, he submitted it to the Orange County Register rather than, say, the Event News Enterprise or (cough) Orange County Breeze.)
The featured photo is a cropped version of a photo taken on December 10, 2018. With Los Alamitos Mayor Pro Tem Warren Kusumoto looking on, Tim Whitacker presents a proclamation of recognition to outgoing Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar. Mr. Whitacker took the opportunity to roundly praise Mayor Edgar’s active opposition to SB 54. (He represents Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel, who led County-level opposition to SB 54.)
If Mayor Pro Tem Kusumoto looks a bit thoughtful, it is partly an accident of still photography — the camera click caught him when he wasn’t smiling. He also had a lot to think about — for instance, the Council re-organization the same night. (He was elected mayor, with Richard Murphy as mayor pro tem.) Also, it was Warren Kusumoto’s initial effort to draft an ordinance exempting the City from SB 54 — everyone else on the Council just voted yes (Edgar, Shelley Hasselbrink, and Murphy) or no (a lonely Mark Chirco).