STOCKTON (CBS13) — Stockton’s mayor is turning over controversial police-style badges for his private security detail pending an investigation into their use.
CBS13 learned the district attorney’s office is looking into the latest controversy on Stockton city hall.
Meanwhile, Mayor Anthony Silva is calling the investigation a big distraction from the real issues facing the bankrupt city of Stockton.
On March 17, Silva told CBS13 about his decision to buy police-style badges for his private security detail.
The move sparked controversy, because the badges look very similar to the badges actual Stockton Police officers carry. The security badges even come from the same supplier as the police department.
Now the district attorney’s office is looking into whether Silva possibly violated city code, and the mayor has handed the badges over to Stockton Police.
The police department released the following statement: “For the time being, the Police Department will hold on to the badges pending the outcome of the District Attorney’s investigation as well as some licensing and permitting issues.”
Silva told CBS13 he pays for his own security, because he visits Stockton’s most troubled neighborhoods.
But some residents are calling the badges inappropriate and confusing.
“I think he should be ashamed he came up with the idea to begin with,” said resident Victoria Bossi. “It’s disrespectful. If I was a Stockton Police officer, or a security guard for another company, I’d be upset about it.”
An unapologetic Silva refused to go on camera for this story. In a statement, the mayor says he and the city have more important things to worry about than some badges:
“I am disappointed but not surprised at the level of attention my private purchase has caused. I have done nothing wrong, but am concerned about the level of public resources that will be wasted in order to prove that.”
He says he hopes once the issue is behind him, he can focus on exiting bankruptcy, reducing crime and creating jobs.