Early on during the six-hour long Anaheim city council meeting last night, retiring police chief John Welter received a formal recognition from the dais. His nine-year career as head of the force effectively ends tomorrow; deputy chief Raul Quezada--surprise, surprise: a Mexi!--will take his place on a interim basis.
Meanwhile, somewhere behind the OC Register's paywall last week dropped an article about plans by councilwoman Lucille Kring to have the Orange County Family Justice Center--formerly known by its Anaheim identifier--christened in Welter's honor.
But all the adulation doesn't stop there. Jose Moreno--Los Amigos President, Anaheim City School District (ACSD) board member, and a member of the Weekly's 2012 Scariest People issue--wants in on the action, too!
Pouring through the minutes of previous ACSD board meetings for another story, the Weekly came across the proof. During the April 8 board discussions, Moreno is quoted as having "spoke[n] about Anaheim Police Chief John Welter who will be retiring soon," and how Moreno "hopes the District and the Board can find a way to honor him."
What does Welter have to do with the district, anyway? Well, the ACSD does have a formal partnership with APD under its Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (GRIP) program. Its truancy sweeps allow for corporate media to show young Latinos being escorted back to school in handcuffs. Telling imaging indeed...
The suggestion at the board meeting came after the Reggie ran an in-depth article blasting the Anaheim Police Department's plummeting violent crime-solving statistics largely under Welter's tenure. The Weekly later put self-appointed Latino leaders on blast for largely staying by his side especially during the city's long, hot summer.
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Moreno, of course, served on the Chief's Advisory Board before Welter concluded his final meeting with the group. Staying silent is one thing, but suggesting that the ACSD and Board honor Welter is a whole 'nother thing! And lest Moreno whine about us twisting facts as he has for our other stories on him, the minutes offer an accurate-enough recounting of whatever happened on April 8--Moreno currently serves as the board's clerk, meaning he literally signed off on them.
There's one groundbreaking ceremony definitely worthy of the effort: The John Welter School of Public Relations and Latino Co-optation! It's like my tío once told me about his ol' days in El Paso: If these are the guys that are going to lead us out of the wilderness, I'm going back in!
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz