Raths made the following statement:
“There is no question that George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin, and the other three Minneapolis officers were complicit in this murder. Floyd did not deserve to be killed and certainly not in such brutal fashion. When I was in the United States Marine Corps, the Uniform Code of Military Justice was swift and fair because we knew the importance of punishing and stopping those who abused the awesome power entrusted to us by the American people.
“That being said, calls to defund the police are an overreaction by extremists in our country. The vast majority of police officers and sheriff’s deputies are noble public servants who put their lives on the line to protect the public from criminals and assist people in need of help. We should honor their brave service. We need to make sure our law enforcement have the resources they need to protect our community from crime and to serve our law-abiding residents.
“It is important to encourage innovative and community-based policing, which strengthens the relationship between law enforcement and the community. Defunding discourages innovation. In Mission Viejo, our newest Sheriff’s Department contract adds patrols to our schools to ensure that students, teachers, and staff are safer at school, and students are able to have positive interactions with Sheriff’s deputies. Recognizing the changing needs of our community, the council voted to retain a homeless liaison deputy who has special training on mental illness and will work to connect the homeless with services and resources.”
Colonel Greg Raths, USMC (Ret.) is serving his second term on the Mission Viejo City Council and is the former Mayor. A combat decorated fighter pilot, Greg flew 75 combat missions in Iraq, Kuwait, and Somalia flying the F/A-18 Hornet. He was later selected to serve in the prestigious White House Military Office as Chief of Staff. After retiring from the Marine Corps in 2004, he flew for Jet Blue Airways as a commercial airline pilot, and then went into business as president of an Orange County company. Greg currently serves as president of the Mission Viejo Rotary Club. He is the Vice Chairman of the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council.
Greg earned his master’s degree from National Defense University, bachelor’s degrees from Arizona State University and Cal State Fullerton, and associate’s degrees from Saddleback College and Phoenix College. Greg moved to Orange County in 1977 when he was assigned to the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. Married since 1982, Greg and Luci have three children and six grandchildren.