Patrick J. Furey
Mayor, City of Torrance
To Our Business Partners-
The recent articles in the LA Times reported troubling allegations against Torrance police officers. However, the City of Torrance wants all members of the community alike to be reassured that the City does not condone any member under our employ that expresses or condones behavior inconsistent with our mission to serve everyone in the community with respect and dignity. We will not tolerate any form of bigotry, racism, hate, or misconduct. An internal investigation is being conducted and the involved officers have been placed on administrative leave. However, I also have to let you know that me and my colleagues on the City Council must be careful not to speak to or pre-judge allegations against individual officers because under the Torrance Municipal Code disciplinary appeals can end up being heard by the City Council.
Trust that we understand your concerns regarding the allegations because we share the same concerns too.
In August, a press conference was held concerning charges of conspiracy and vandalism which were announced against two former Torrance Police Department officers. At that time, District Attorney George Gascón praised Chief Jay Hart and the Department for its full cooperation during their investigation, as it was the Torrance Police Department that initiated the criminal investigation as soon as it was made aware of the allegations. In fact, as a result of that investigation, the Torrance Police Department submitted a list of recommendations to the District Attorney’s Office that criminal charges be filed against the former officers.
Police accountability remains a top priority. We are taking immediate action to address the misconduct and regain the trust and respect of our community and business partners. I believe under the leadership of Chief Jay Hart we will be able to exceed the expectations of our community, heal, and return stronger. In fact, it was Chief Hart that took the initiative to reach out to the Attorney General Rob Bonta of the State of California and the state’s Department of Justice and requested a complete investigation of the issue.
Because of Chief Hart’s initiative, Attorney General Bonta announced an independent review of the Torrance Police Department. “Police departments are on the front lines of that fight every day as they work to protect the people of our state. However, where there is evidence of potentially pervasive bias or discrimination, it can undermine the trust that is critical for public safety and our justice system. I applaud Chief Jay Hart for being willing to engage with my office to tackle these concerns head-on.”
As Mayor, my promise to all of our residents, visitors, and loyal business partners; is to personally do everything I can to ensure that all people feel welcome, safe and protected in our community. This same commitment is shared by all members of the Torrance City Council and the City’s Management Team.
Please rest assured that we are actively addressing the issues at hand and the reported behavior in question does not reflect the vast majority of the men and women of the Torrance Police Department. On the contrary, the Police Department and the City as a whole remain committed to being transparent and reliable so that we can deliver quality services to all concerned.
A single source webpage is in development on TorranceCA.Gov and will be available in early 2022 for the latest information.