Full Probe Demanded Into EPD's Entrenched Culture: The Erosion of Law and Order Behind Humboldt County's "Redwood Curtain", by Jackie Wellbaum April 2011

Dear Redwood Curtain Cop Watch,
Does ‘Dereliction-of-Duty’ Just Happen Serendipitously?

Law enforcement personnel, police officers and department line-of-command should be held to a higher standard than civilians--not in terms of normalhuman foibles but in terms of law and order. They've gone to college in many cases, then onto the academy, taken sworn oaths, are sent annually totraining courses to keep up skills and acquire additional skills all to uphold complex laws and to work to keep communities more safe, morepeaceful. Law enforcement officers are considered 'experts' by the public and, given their years of specialized training, would be expected to understand what is right and wrong not only in spirit but by the letter ofthe law.

In my opinion the public should call for the immediate appointment of a Grand Jury to investigate EPD and DA management (or lack of management) ofthe entire matter. A Grand Jury would first be expected to receive a full set of the EPD's written policies and procedures. At this point, the GrandJury could compare and contrast all of the current evidence in the case in order to make a recommendation to indict one or more members of theentrenched EPD culture based upon who was responsible for both developing exceptional cops and for disciplining cops who aren’t able to live and workup to the high expectations this and any community has of their well-paid, well-insured and well-pensioned police force.

And one doesn't need to attend the police academy to know that the harmless homeless soul just walking across the wrong plaza at the wrong time of day is consistently approached under the auspices of local panhandling ordinances. Upon contact with the citizen, an ID is requested, a search for warrants conducted, a citation issued (or, worse, a visit downtown to finger-paint with print-grease). And given the particulars, most of us who have seen even a few crime dramas on the Lifetime channel know that bail is set and, if the citizen has no assets to post bail, countless numbers simply sit in tiny cells throughout the process, often for months. Most of the most vulnerable amongst us who are charged with non-violent offenses are never simply booked and released. For most of us, its strictly ‘by the book.’

An immediate probe into this matter by a Grand Jury will go along way towards re-establishing any trust the local community had for the Eureka Police Department before this matter became the scandal it is quickly becoming. At this point, the entire situation just doesn't smell right. Unless we search for and find the rotting source of the smell, the smell usually just gets worse.

Looks like a few folks got some 'splainin to do.

Given what is emerging daily surrounding this inexplicable matter, I’m calling on my fellow citizens to demand that a fair and impartial Grand Jury be assembled and appointed by the end of next week (22-Apr-2011). A Grand Jury, once appointed, would promptly examine whether or not behavior outside of the crimes alleged to have been committed by Officer Kalis might have contributed to a once valued police officer being denied the help he needed far earlier in the process and before the unknowing public was exposed to an Officer who it may turn out, was unfit for duty long before his departure from the department on April Fools day. Among other things, victims of Officer Kalis’ alleged crimes could have been spared their suffering and loss. And finally, the as-yet uncounted number of criminal cases in which Officer Kalis participated in seeing through to resolution must now all be re-examined by defendants’ attorneys, many of whom work as public defenders. Such individuals still serving time in prison may now petition the court to have their cases re-processed or dropped altogether. This all translates into a tremendous burden on local institutions when we are far from flush. And the embarrassment of it all.

Such an embarrassing scandal does NOT represent or promote the famed Humboldt brand and does not attract tourism or industry from outside the community nor does it inspire pride from within. Where oh where did this train veer so far off the tracks? And why? Weren’t there policies in place that were carefully followed and more carefully documented?

Only a Grand Jury will be able to tell us. I implore the county Board of Supervisors to call for an emergency meeting this next week in order to appoint an investigative body now, not later. If we’re lucky, all of this will be behind us soon and we can again look with pride upon those professionals who take on the dangerous, unpredictable task of keeping the Peace.

Respectfully submitted,


KMUD All Sides Now 15-Apr-2011 Transcript:


Go to Friday, April 15th at 6:30 PM time slot.

Click on Play (or download) but Play works well.

You'll hear the last 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the 6PM news. Unless you can forward through the timer on your player to the two minute, 15 second
spot, just sit and listen until the timer arrives at "00:02:16."