The Police Officers Association (POA) announced their endorsement of political candidates Pat Paul for mayor and John Kanno, Jason Howard and Bill Camp for Oakdale City Council in the upcoming Nov. 2 election.
Oakdale POA President Joseph Parreira said they were open to listening to all the candidates but only the aforementioned candidates sought their stamp of approval.
“What is interesting about this is all of these candidates came to us and asked to speak to our membership. After they shared their views and we shared ours, we agreed to support them. None of the other candidates asked to speak with us,” Parreira said.
With the recent discord within the police department and the City of Oakdale, Parreira said the radio silence from the other candidates “spoke volumes.”
“Everyone knows there are disagreements between the police department and the city,” Parreira said. “You would think the candidates would want to try to understand the issues. Farrell Jackson, Mike Brennan, and Mike Murray have never sat down with the OPOA to try to understand our issues. Yet each of them says that communication is key. To me this does not equal out.”
Parreira said the OPOA would’ve liked to hear from the other candidates as it makes it hard to approve of them without speaking to the issues they stand for or against.
“Our basic issue right now is the importance that needs to be placed on law enforcement,” Parreira stated. “It is the opinion of the OPOA that the citizens of Oakdale do not enjoy the benefits of a safe community. The current council has made it clear that they value money in the bank over cops on the street. This is a fundamental difference we have with each other. Even with this said, we are willing to work together with anyone that is elected by the citizens. We realize we work for the citizens so this is where we focus our concerns.”
The Oakdale Firefighter’s Association was given the same opportunity as the OPOA to respond with their local endorsements but as of press time had not responded.