By Joey Patton
On Sept. 22, the San Dimas City Council voted to donate $10,000 to the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs C.A.R.E.S. Foundation, a nonprofit organization designed to take care of officers and their families in times of emergency. This donation was made in support of two Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies who were shot while on duty in Compton, California.
The deputies, a 31-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, were shot while seated in a parked patrol car on Sept. 12. The female deputy was shot in the face while her male counterpart was shot in the upper body.
The $10,000 donation passed with a 4-1 vote among the City Council, with Council Member John Ebiner casting the only nay vote. Council Member Ebiner, however, did make a personal donation to the fund and only disapproved of the city’s donation out of concern for the precedent it could set.
“It was a tough vote,” Ebiner explained. “We haven’t made that kind of donation before for individuals that are in trouble that I can remember. I really thought it was setting a new precedent, and it makes it hard for us to answer to other people with similar circumstances.”
During the Sept. 22 City Council meeting, several community members called in to voice their support for the city making the donation.
“I am in very much agreement that as a city, we should help contribute towards the deputies recently ambushed in Compton. Both deputies have ties with San Dimas and deserve our support like they protected us,” said a caller who identified himself as a San Dimas resident and commented during the Council meeting.
While some callers shared their support, the donation was also met with some concerns.
“This is sounding like we are going to be using some of our taxpayer money for this,” said San Dimas resident Janine Brummer, who also called into the meeting. “I don’t know that the city even has funds that we can allocate toward such a thing, especially during the time of COVID.”
Ebiner said he does not believe that the Council will make future donations every time there is an incident.
“I don’t see that happening again,” Ebiner said. “This was an ad hoc request that just came up.”
Since the vote passed, Ebiner says the majority of feedback he’s heard from the community has been positive. However, Ebiner thinks there should be a formal policy to determine how the city responds to requests for donations.
“We need to discuss a policy on how to respond to requests for donations, especially if they’re benefiting individuals in hard times,” Ebiner said.
During the Sept. 22 City Council meeting, Council Member Eric Weber echoed Ebiner’s recommendation that the city develop a formalized policy.
Efforts by the San Dimas Community Post to reach Weber, Council Members Vienna and Bertone and Mayor Badar for comment were unsuccessful.