A diverse city needs a diverse police force. But San Diego’s police force has a ways to go to fully represent the people it serves, especially when it comes to women, Asian-Americans and Latinos.
In recent years, the bad economy prevented the police department from hiring much in the way of new officers, let alone try to recruit folks who aren’t white guys. But now, the police brass are back at it, and officials have sought diverse applicants at dozens of events and community fairs.
“It takes work to recruit minorities and women because minorities and women are suspicious about how they’re going to be treated when they join the police department,” a former police chief of Portland, Ore., tells us. Our story examines the challenges and provides details about how things are working out.
More Sprawl for Y’all? Otay Mesa in the Spotlight
Otay Mesa may seem like it should belong to Chula Vista, but it’s actually part of the city of San Diego. A big part: It’s six times as large as North Park, which is pretty large itself.
That’s not all: There’s lots of empty space down there by the Mexican border. What to do with it? The city has taken its sweet time to try to figure it out. Now, after 10 years, a new blueprint is just about ready for its close-up.
The big news in our new story: The blueprint calls for more homes. Lots of them.
San Diego, He Wrote: The Words of Neil Morgan
We’ve devoted a lot of words over the weekend to memories of the late Neil Morgan, a widely respected journalist who chronicled our city’s gangbusters growth and co-founded this publication. Now it’s time to let Morgan speak for himself.
In excerpts that we’ve collected here, Morgan reveals his powers of perception, his down-home sense of humor and his frustration when the beloved adopted town lost its way. In his final days as a writer in the mid-2000s, he became a kind of avenging angel — a perennially optimistic booster who saw another side of America’s Not-So-Finest City.
The words he wrote for Voice of San Diego in 2006 are as true today as they were then:
Many of our bedraggled civic needs could be served if we did what many lesser cities have managed to do: Get together more often to discuss civic affairs, listen carefully to each other, judge merits and the route to success and compromise.
But we San Diego voters can be a selfish and distracted crowd with narrow views focusing on our own partisan interests, not how those interests might become part of the larger civic interest. Islands of civic interest have built their own gimme-gimme lobbies at City Hall, effectively postponing regional negotiations on issues that can be solved at no other level.
City Pays to Track Sexual Assault Victim
“The city of San Diego paid for a private investigator to track, record and document the daily activities of a sexual assault victim. The victim has sued the city over a sexual assault suffered at the hands of an on-duty San Diego police officer,” 10News reports.
The city attorney’s office already got a black eye in the case by making a legal claim — and then backtracking — that the victim had bribed the officer with her panties.
Quick News Hits
• The New York Times explores the impact of what’s shaping up to be an epic drought, and the Climate Central website takes an in-depth look too. There’s a slight bit of good news, it says: “Although the forecasts don’t offer much hope for drought relief, a sudden end to the severe drought is possible. In fact, it may be normal for California droughts to end suddenly.”
Meanwhile, an L.A. Times editorial calls on officials to crack down on water use instead of just asking people to stop using so much.
• Inewsource examines why it’s not an easy task to uncover illegal campaign contributions. Fundraising gurus tell the news outlet that “the main reason … is the overwhelming number of donations that can pour into a campaign. You simply can’t screen every single one.”
•RIP, Santa Ysabel Casino. (U-T)
• Thanks to the wonders of technology, Internet users are now able to see the rain come this way live without the help of TV news (!!!StormWATCH2014!!!) and the latest Doppler 9405 or whatever.
I’m not talking about watching weather radar online, a hobby that’s entertained those of us without much better to do for quite some time. No, there’s something brand-new: Minute-by-minute forecasts. Accuweather has one called MinuteCast that aims to provide 60-second snapshots of weather over the next couple hours.
MinuteCast could have used a tune-up on Sunday night, when it failed to accurately track the strength of rain showers in my San Diego neighborhood. More wet stuff is due Thursday, and I’ll be taking another look at the computer as it comes near. And maybe I’ll go retro — call me crazy! — and actually look out the window.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.