Are The Cops Well Fed?

Anaheim Lux Loncheria – courtesy of the OC Weekly

We all have seen the stereotypical cop, eating a fresh donut from DK’s Donuts (hey, they are the best) and washing it down with a cup of hot coffee. The latest version to be put forth is the Values.com “Pass it On” commercial, where the sterotypical punk kid with the nose ring, sneer and skateboard at the bus stop picks up a left-behind purse of some stereotypical poor African American woman, chases down the bus and returns the purse to said grateful woman (sans reward), all under the watchful eye of two cops who just happened to have a box full of donuts in their squad car and offer up one of the delicacies as a replacement reward. Wow. Makes me feel good just watching it.

Of course, if they wanted to be politically correct, they would have replaced the coffee and donut with a latte and chocolate croissant from Starbucks. I rarely see cops hitting the donut shop these days but I often run into the city’s finest at the Starbucks in Larwin square. I’m sure the proximity to the station is a factor. And, before you say anything, yes, I am a law enforcement officer (I even used to be a cop) and I rarely eat donuts…unless they are just staring me in the face.

But law enforcement has seemingly changed their style and not even Starbucks is good enough for some. In a series of stories, the OC Weekly reported on the protests in Anaheim on July 29th and other days. In fact, most of their reporting force was out on the mean streets looking for a story. And, they found much to report on. R. Scott Moxely, Brandon Ferguson and even Chief Editor, Gustavo Arellano came out to sniff out the news.

Much was said regarding the presence of the police. Initially showing up at the original protest in riot gear, we learned that officers came from as far away as Los Angeles County and that, even though Anaheim has a police helicopter program, other choppers were called in from Orange County and Los Angeles Sheriffs Departments. The Weekly also got a hold of the “Anaheim Incident Action Plan”, a 43 page super-secret document which outlines a massive multi-agency response by the police as Ferguson put it, “…as if the city’s finest were anticipating the assassination of Mickey Mouse himself”. From the Weekly:

In case you were wondering, cops don’t voluntarily share these sort of things with the media–in fact, recipients of the document were expressly warned not to share it with anyone outside of a “need-to-know” basis. After use, it was to be destroyed in accordance with “Department of Homeland Security policy.”

Wow. That sounds ominous. Well, through many layers, links and promises to a couple of low-level bureaucrasts in shadow governments, we came up with our very own copy of the Plan. It is thorough and comprehensive, to say the least. As Ferguson of the Weekly said, there is too much to go over in one post. And, as we are primarily Our Town Tustin with just a little Orange County at-large thrown in, this will probably be our only post on it.

Although the Weekly attributed Incident Command to failed sheriff’s candidate and Deputy Chief, Craig Hunter, the Plan actually lists several in-charge people tasked with the overall mandate to allow protesters their First Amendment Rights while maintaining law and order. It puts all officers on high alert and called out ten neighborhoods named after major streets as hot zones that called for, you guessed it, “Hot Zone Protocol” to be used in those areas. The areas, of course, are primarily where working class Mexican Americans live. Others sometimes have referred to it as the “Flatlands”. I’m sure there are more derogatory terms, but I digress.

You see, it was the meals I was interested in (riots are a dime a dozen. I’ve been through two of them). The saying goes, an army travels on its stomach. So, does better food make better riot police? The Incident Plan included a section on “Rest and Rehabilitation” of the troops. It said, “Meals will be provided to all personnel assigned to the incident and may be obtained at the La Palma Park Staging Area”. Personnel were also encouraged to bring their own water and snacks (I don’t make this stuff up. I have proof). So, what did they get for lunch?

According to Gustavo Arellano and the folks at the OC Weekly, they ate quite well. In a report by Moxely, Arellano -who had recorded several arrests in his posts- saw riot police stuffing their face at a gourmet food truck called BACONMania. Also hosting the event participants was the Rolling Sushi Van. Both of these trucks have been at multiple food events in and around Orange County and I have even had the pleasure of sampling BACONMania. The cops had a real treat here, complete with such appetizing delicacies as ChiChee Fries, Chili con Bacon and the ever popular Chili Mac, among other foodstuff, I’m sure. And, who picked up the tab? Most likely, the city did. The real question is, at what cost? In this case, the city probably got a deal. The trucks are a convenient way of feeding the troops who, by the looks of things, numbered in the hundreds. Everything is self-contained so, if things went sideways and the protestors overran the command post, they could just pick up and move to the new command post location without running over too many citizens.

So, my question to Chief Scott Jordan is, if we ever had a riot here in Tustin, what food trucks would you choose? Would you allow input from your troops,…uh I mean, officers? Maybe it is not too soon to start planning. I could offer some suggestions for the Tustin Police Incident Plan. I am completely qualified having eaten both donuts and croissants. I do food trucks on a regular basis, as well.

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