With All Due Respect: "The Men''s Club"

With All Due Respect: "The Men's Club"

24/12/2021 12:55 PM

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Welcome to another episode of With All Due Respect
…the podcast where

…nobody told us
…there’d be days
…like these

…nobody told us
…there’d be days
…like these

Strange days indeed

Most peculiar momma

Whoa

Greetings I am John Lennon
with me as always
…is my co-host with the most
…my chief collaborator
…my Yoko Ono
…Mr Van Sanders

Mr. Sanders a very
…happy holidays to you sir


(Van answers)

Most excellent.


As always we’d like to thank the Anch Daily News…


On November 9
…Anchorage Deputy Police Chief Gerard Asselin.
…a twenty five year veteran of the department
…abruptly resigned his position
…without explanation.

Less than two weeks later….

On November 30
…Anchorage Police Chief Kenneth McCoy
…less than a year into a job
…he worked 26 years to achieve
…abruptly resigned his position
…without explanation.

Since those announcements
…there has been little
…said or shared about
…the back to back
…departures of Anchorage’s
…two top law enforcement officers

…but last week the information dam began to crack

The first revalations
…came from our good
…friend Jeff Landfield
…at the Alaska Landmine

…Landfield reporting anonymous sources
…describing a deteriorating atmosphere at APD
…as Mayor Bronson exerts undue influence
…over police department policy and direction

…now
…it’s not uncommon for the Mayor to give the chief direction
…for instance remember in 2014 when Anchorage downtown was
…was exploding with drunken violence at bar break

…well it was then Mayor Dan Sullivan who instructed the police chief
…to direct his officers not to go into downtown bars
…at the behest of bar owners
…who thought the police presence
…dampened drink sales

…But Landfield’s biggest bomb shell was that
…Mayor Bronson’s encroachment
…on the police force
…has been fueled by desire to
…wrestle control from the police chief
…and the entire police union
…and place them into the hands of
…of a select secret group

Now
…this sounds a little
…too conspiratorial doesn’t it?

…Sounds way too much like
… the movie Star Chamber right?


Ladies and gentlemen
…it is true.

Mayor Dave Bronson has cultivated
his own shadow police
force called  
“the men’s club”

And on this episode of With All Due Respect
…we are going to
…tell the story of
…how Mayor Dave Bronson’s
…shadow police force
…is aiding his attempts
…to take over both the
…police department leadership
…and the police union
…while silencing critics.

So
…Let’s talk some
…police politics

(Van plays politics bit)



Chapter 1.) The men’s club: Who are they?

Since the election of Dave Bronson
a secret shadowy group of active
and retired officers who
attend Anchorage Baptist Temple
have been approving the major
decisions at APD since day one.

The group is called the men’s club
and it gelled during Bronson’s run for office
and with Bronson now mayor
the group has manifested itself
into his APD star chamber

Although called the “men’s club”
the club has one women member
…Amy Demboski

In fact Demboski has even
asked to delay the public release
of certain police department information
until she quote
“meets with the men’s club”

This attempt to control
both the police department
and the union by Mayor Bronson
can be traced back to a column he wrote
eight years ago.


In a column where Bronson reasoned
Hitler wasn’t all bad
The mayor wrote about the conditions
that allow for tyranny to flourish

One of those conditions
…is according to Bronson quote
…”a powerful police force
…which swears fealty to
…the tyrant himself”

This is exactly what Bronson
…is attempting to accomplish
…with his takeover
…of both the police department
…and the police union

…Mayor Bronson and his men’s club
…want to control
…the entire public safety
…apparatus


Chapter 2.) The men’s club: Undue influence at APD

Over the last several months
…it’s been clear that the men’s club
…would have sway over key decisions

While traditionally the police chief
…gets to appoint his own leadership team
…Bronson refused to allow Chief McCoy
…to make the selection and instead
…insisted inserting himself and Demboski
…into the process
…with the ultimate approval given
…by the men’s club

A few weeks later when
…replacing a person in the command structure
…both Bronson and Demboski insisted on the Chief
…appointing an officer that was completely unqualified
…after the chief pushed back and informed the mayor
…there was a union process required for filling vacancies
…it took inviting Amy Demboski herself to
…to sit in on the interviews of the candidates
…before Demboksi was convinced by the chief
…the “men’s clubs” handpicked
…candidate wasn’t qualified

…Then
…after the decision had been made
…about who to hire for the position
…Demboski made APD wait to release
…the announcement
…until she quote
…“checked with the men’s club”

In fact
…Mayor Bronson’s love of cronyism
…and appointing unqualified applicants
…almost manifested itself in the hiring
…of an unqualified police chief recently

…After Chief McCoy’s resignation
…Bronson stunned APD leadership
…when he proposed appointing
…a retired detective
…to assume command
…of the Department

…quite possibly a member of the “men’s club”

In addition
…Bronson’s “men’s club”
…has taken an active role
…in attempting to take
…control of the police union

You remember the old legal adage
…the back door forbids
…what the front door doesn’t allow

…Well the last conservative mayor
…was locked out of the front door
…after trying to destroy the police union
…with AO37
…after Anchorage voters
…soundly defeat the attempt

…Well
…now the next conservative mayor
…and his men’s club
…are kicking down the back door
…trying to destroy union from within
…by stacking the board with Bronson allies

Bronson’s men’s club has also been
engaged in the department’s covid policies

When Bronson took office
he and Demboski mandated all
APD policies regarding Covid
had to be blessed by city hall

Now
…before Bronson was elected
-masks were mandated by Chief McCoy

- once a suspect is arrested
…they are tested for Covid at the jail

- if positive
…the contacting officer must quarantine
but instead of the full 14 days
…the McCoy elected to follow
…the CDC guidance that
…if the officer was wearing a masked
…and had been vaccinated
…they only had to quarantine
…for seven days instead of the full fourteen


…meaning masked and vaxxed officers could
…return to the force faster


…However Bronson not only put a stop
…to the Chief’s mask mandate for officers
…but also forbid him from making allowances
…for those officers who were masked and vaxxed

…that meant even though
…an officer was eligible to return
…to the force after seven days
…Bronson forced them
…to take the full fourteen days

As a result of Bronson’s men’s club
…when protocols ended cases doubled
…At one time 18 officers were unavailable
...reportedly some officers used their forced
…quarantine time to take two week paid vacations
…while their longer absence from the job
…as a result of Bronson’s men’s club
…forced the police department
…to work short or pay overtime



Chapter 3.) The men’s club: Destroying the chain of command


On November 9
…Deputy Chief Gerard Asselin
…a dedicated officer of 25 years
…stepped down from his post
…as Deputy Chief of police.

Nothing publicly has been
…explained about
…why a talented officer
…who was just hired
…just five months ago
…by the mayor
…would
…take a self demotion
…and return to the front lines
…rather than continue to
…work with city hall?

Two words: Amy Demboski

Mayor Bronson creation
…of a shadow force
…has empowered men’s club
…members to go around
…the chain of command
…and complain directly
…to Demboski and Bronson

This has had
…the effect of crushing morale
…and trust
…at APD for those adhering
…to the traditional chain of command

Now
…Back to Deputy Chief Asselin

Some time before November 9
…an anonymous complaint was sent directly to Demboski
…that the deputy chief was handing out patrol assignments
…based on whether those officers wore masks

…the anonymous complaint said
…those officers who wore masks
…were rewarded with sweet patrol assignments
…like midtown or hillside
…while those officers who didn’t
…wear masks were given less
…desirable patrol assignments
…like downtown

However
…There was one really big problem
…with the anonymous complaint
…the Deputy Chief is not responsible
…for handing out patrol assignments
…there are layers of captains, sergeants, Leutenants
…who make these decisions
…not the deputy chief

So even though the anonymous complaint
…was patently false
…Demboski demanded Chief McCoy fire
…his Deputy Chief
…even though
…as I said
…the complaint was completely baseless

But this wasn’t about
…preferential patrols or masks
…this was about Amy Demboski
…attempting to get rid of the Deputy Chief
…at the behest of the men’s club



Chapter 4.)  The men’s club: The tipping point for Chief McCoy

On November 30 in a surprise announcement
…Anchorage Police Chief Kenneth McCoy
….less than a year into a job he worked 26 years to achieve
…abruptly resigned without any explanation.

The road to Chief McCoy’s resignation
…was paved by incident after incident
…where the police chief was being asked
…to take actions by Bronson and Demboski
…that were both inappropriate and illegal

It all began to unravel on the night of October 7
…during the most contentious assembly meetings
…in history
…over a proposed mask mandate

During the midst of that chaotic meeting
…the Mayor’s office in an attempt to intimidate the assembly
…inexplicably dismissed the private security contractors
…who help the Assembly maintain order in the chambers.

Bronson and Demboski then ordered
…Chief McCoy to instruct Anchorage Police Department officers
…to leave the Assembly chambers as well

But McCoy adamantly refused their demands
…stating that while APD could not perform crowd control
…their presence was required to protect
…public officials and respond to criminal activity.

Two days later
…on October 9
…McCoy again found himself
…dealing with an out of control mayor
…after the mayor’s legislative director
…was caught trying to sneak into
…Providence Hospital to create
…a scene to embarrass the hospital
…and the police were forced to get involved

The final straw for Chief Ken McCoy
…came on November 18
…when Mayor Bronson
…acting on bad information
…ordered Chief McCoy to send
…police officers into
…Providence Hospital under the guise
…of a wellness check
…to compel hospital staff
…to treat the man with Ivermectin


McCoy was instructed by the mayor
…to have doctors, nurses, or other hospital personnel
…who attempted to interfere with APD’s operation
…arrested.

Now
…of course Chief McCoy
…who has spent 26 years in a job
…that demands you to be able to
…defuse situations
…did just that

First he
…suggested they have a discussion
…with the city attorney
…and then he suggested Bronson
…reach out to Providence
…first before storming the hospital

However Mayor Bronson
…didn’t want to hear that
…from Chief McCoy

As you’ll remember
…since the start of his term
…just six months ago
…Bronson has consistently attacked
…Providence Hospital
…and it’s medical professional
…accusing them of
…lying about the
…hundreds of Covid deaths
…that occurred during the
…recent Delta surge

Also you’ll remember
…that just a month earlier
…one of Bronson’s staffers
…illegally attempted to enter
…Providence Hospital
…in an attempt to create
…a scene captured on video
…to embarrass the hospital

Thankfully
…Chief McCoy ended up being able
…to navigate the situation masterly
…buying enough time, until they finally realized
…the patient wasn’t at the main hospital
…but at a different Providence facility


Mayor Bronson
…ordering the chief of police
…to have officers force their way
… into Providence hospital
…suggesting they arrest any doctor or nurse
…who attempts to interfere with them
…without any legal justification
…should simply scare the
…hell out of us all

…and the fact that
…he didn’t even have
…the correct hospital
…before giving the order
…should show he is dangerous


The reason Chief Ken McCoy quit
…after investing 26 years
…in the Anchorage Police force
…was because he kept seeing
…the pattern of behaviors
…where he’d continue to be asked
…to carry out orders
…that he’d be at odds with

He saw a
…deteriorating environment
…of authority
…and constant meddling
…in police affairs by the mayor
…after being told
…he’d be left alone to run the department.

For twenty six years
…McCoy served his community
…working his way
…to become the first black chief of police
…in APD’s 100 year history.

He got there
…only to face the agonizing decision
…to continue working for a mayor
…that was consistently
…placing him in unwinnable positions
…where he’d have to take responsibility
…for police decision made by Bronson
…and his men’s club


Ladies and Gentlemen…
…the problem with shadow influence
…is when the bright lights
…are finally turned on
…the shadows disappear.

Imagine if McCoy had sent in those officers to the hospital
…and when things went sideways
…he’d be left to explain his decision
…when it wasn’t his decision to begin with.

No.

Chief Kenneth McCoy
…saw the writing on the wall
…and wanted to go out on his terms

For us
…the resignation of Chief McCoy
…is a news cycle
…it’s a one day story
…that we’ll forget
…and move on
…meanwhile Chief Kenneth McCoy
…will live it every day




Ladies and Gentlemen
…Where does it end?
…at what point
…do Bronson and Demboski
…go to far

…they’ve lied about tampering with public employees
…they’ve lied about tampering with public access
…they ‘ve lied about tampering with public water
…and now they’re lying about tampering with public safety

So again
…where does it end?
…when do voters decide
…the last five months of chaos
…has gone too far?

Never before has a mayor
…done so much damage during
…the first six months of their term

Never before has a mayor
…operated with such ignorance
…and arrogance
…while defying the law


…we’ve just witnessed five months
…of the most alarming behavior
…from a mayor who won by
…the slimmest margin in Anchorage history

My friends
…the attacks on democracy
…the attacks on accepted norms
…the attacks on health care
…and public safety officials
…it’s enough already

Ladies and Gentlemen
…the new year is upon us
…it’s time to start talking
…about recalling Mayor Dave Bronson

(Van plays politics/life/entertainment bit)

Closing Comments:

In closing comments
…some personal holiday thanks
…from Van and I

This year we have been
…so blessed with the response
…to our podcast
…Since launching in May
…we have aired 46 shows
…and have received over 66,000 downloads

…and to be honest
…some weeks we can’t
…get this done without
…your support


…today’s episode is a show
…that I struggled to script
…due to the breath of content
…the fear of failing to tell the right story
…and more importantly
…I couldn’t land on structure
…or form


…then Wednesday afternoon
…the log jam broke
…thanks to three listeners

First…
…I received a message from the spouse
…of an Anchorage Police Officer

…she had seen the promo for this episode
…on social media and she wanted to
…tell me that everything that was reported
…by in the Alaska Landmine was true,
…she was worried about her husband
…and she hoped I would tell
…the whole story

I won’t lie
…it was heart breaking

And then
…not an hour later
…my wonderful wife walked in with the mail
…and yours truly had received a card

This very sweet Christmas card
…came from two of our listeners
…named Brian and Jennifer
…who wrote in their card

These messages were both
…the wind I needed to clear the clouds
…and put this podcast together
…in a coherent fashion

So…Tracy, Jennifer and Brian
…thank you

…and to all of our listeners
…Van and I wish you a very Merry Christmas
…and Happy New Year

(Closing Music)


And there is the music
…we will be back
…next week with a
…year end show
so remember to subscribe
…to our podcast on your
…favorite platform
…and of course you
…can find them on the
…Anchorage Daily News website

Van
…any closing holiday thoughts?

(Van does bit)

Alright…that is our time today
…and we thank you for yours

Other recent stories from Andrew Halcro/With All Due Respect:

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