Ulring “floored” by Miller’s remarks, has some of his own

The subject of police layoffs came up at Thursday’s meeting of the City Council’s budget and finance committee, during which Vice Mayor Kathy Miller said interim Police Chief Blair Ulring “feels very strongly and has assured the council that this is a doable reorganization that is not going to jeopardize public safety.”


Ulring, who was in the audience at that meeting, said, “I was floored.” He said he made no such assurance.


Ulring said this morning that he believed Miller was trying to deflect pressure from the dais to him (Miller said she was not). Then, perhaps unaware that the Freshman Four do not like being referred to as such, Ulring said, “I believe this is a couple of freshman council members that can see … they can see all these pending layoffs and the tremendous fallout that’s probably going to occur.”


For any other department head (particularly one bidding for a permanent appointment) that might be enough for one day. But Ulring rolled on. City Manager Gordon Palmer – the person deciding on the police chief appointment – had said, “In our discussions, 344 is kind of the minimum that we have to have in order to provide decent service out there.”


Ulring said, “We’re not going to provide decent service at 344.”


And what about that appointment?


“Now’s the time they’ve got to make a decision about who the chief of police is going to be in the city of Stockton,” Ulring said. “You’re either satisfied with the job that I’m doing or you go outside.”


Palmer, who interviewed candidates this month and announced two finalists had been chosen – Ulring and a candidate from outside the department – said, “We’re close on making a decision.”


A report is in the morning paper.

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