Sunday, May 31, 2009

Yes, it was my idea, but that's not me.

Going on two years ago, I suggested on TOPIX, Kingsland that the county would be well served by a county police department in addition to the CCSO. Now, someone else has brought the idea back up on TOPIX. There is speculation that the latest comments on TOPIX are coming from me. They are not. I can not post on TOPIX from my ISP - and I would not go around the corner to post in that cesspool via another computer. However, the current poster, working from memory of my suggestion, has it not quite right. Ergo, let me restate the idea. As you all no doubt vividly remember, Big Thug Willie, in his capacity as a constitutional officer, answerable only to the governor, could tell the county commission to go piss up a rope - and did - repeatedly. By comparison, if we had a county police force, the HIRED - not elected - chief of the CCPD would answer directly to the county administrator who in turn does the bidding of the elected CCBOC who are in turn answerable to us, the voters. If a CCPD chief tried any of Smith's crap, he could be summarily fired. Note that we would have BOTH a CCSO and a CCPD. The CCSO would be tasked with running the jail, providing court house security, and serving warrants and legal service. All police functions in the county - traffic control, maintaining the peace, criminal investigations and arrests, etc., would be performed by the CCPD. State law - and the stipulations of the Shared Asset Program both allow for the transfer of cars and other equipment from the CCSO to the CCPD at the time of establishment of the CCPD. I've checked. Yes, technically, the CCSO could still perform all of those law enforcement services even after the establishment of the CCPD, but the law does not require the county to fund those activities in the CCSO budget request if they can show that they are being covered by the CCPD. Needless to say, many, if not all, patrol officers, detectives, and, perhaps, some administrative types from CCSO would transfer to CCPD at the time of establishment. However, another advantage is that you would hire the CCPD chief first, then let him review the records and interview all applicants - including current CCSO employees -to see which ones he wants. Now, having established a CCPD, you could transfer the control and operation of the 911 center over to them as well. Would the establishment of a CCPD necessarily mean the consolidation of all police services in the county? No, it would not. But, if the voters approved it in a referendum, it could. With a few changes in radio communication frequencies, repainting city police cars, and new uniforms for former city officers, you would be in business. Some, if not all, of the existing physical plants of the two city PDs could easily be used by the CCPD. The CCPD would of course cover Woodbine which currently has no P.D. and is covered - some say inadequately - by the CCSO. Oh, and by the way, given that the CCPD would be running drug interdiction on I-95, the federal seized asset revenue sharing would go to the CCPD for their use. With the guidance of the CCBOC, via the county administrator, after taking care of his own departmental need via the funds, the CCPD chief could then donate excess drug funds to the CCSO. Drug funds could still be used ONLY for the authorized law enforcement purposes allowed by the program guidelines and would NOT be available to the county's general fund. Should I decide to run for the District 4 seat and should I be elected I would definitely propose a CCPD and try to get it to a vote early on. Clearly, insofar as it would require some start up money, the implementation would have to wait until a combination of economic upturn and new drug money (once we get back into the program - and assuming Sheriff Gregory would turn loose of it - as I believe he would) would make it possible.


Anonymous said...

isnt this just creating more county jobs?
where would you get this start up money? the county is broke now

Jay Moreno said...

No, Sea Pro, it would not be creating more county jobs. The CCSO would retain only as many employees as needed to perform its greatly reduced mission (as was clearly explainerd in my post, if you will re-read it carefully.) The former CCSO employees who were performing the patrol and investigative duties would be transferred - along with their existing cars, radios, guns, etc., to the newly formed CCPD.

Now, if that is all that is doen and we do not consolidate all PD's in the county, the cost savings will be minimal, if at all. However, even with no cost dsavcings, the advantage is that we will never again in the future have the spectacle of a rogue sheriff doing whatever he damned well please against the will of the electorate, with utter contempt for the people's elected representatives. Nor will we see a rogue sheriff runnung barefooted throught millions is seized asset funds.

However, of the people of the county vote for consoildation of all police forces into the CCPD, we would certainly be able to decrease the number of managerial personnnel with resulting huge cost savings in salaries and benefits. Operations would also be more efficinet and efficacious with one agency.

Again, if you will carefully re-read the post, you will see that I have already answered your question regarding where the funds will come from - and when.

Morevoer the costs of new uniforms, adjusting radio frequencies, and repainting and re-decaling existing police cars would be largely - if not entirely - offset by reduced salary costs. We would need ONE chief, not two, and far fewer capatains, lieutenants,and sargeants than are now employed by the three law enforcement agencies extant in the county.

Jay Moreno said...

Sea Pro - was that you, or was it "no caps" Kingfish?

Anonymous said...

I think this idea should be implemented before anyone EVER considers elevating the millage rate. This will cure all of CCSO problems and effectively consoldate all police in the County. Afterwards we should follow suit with fire and public works.

At this time me must work more efficiently.

Jay Moreno said...

Well, if it were done tomorrow, it certainly would not cure the fiscal problems for FY-10. It would simply split them between the CCSO and the CCPD. I'm glad you see the benefits inherent in doing it in the not too distant future when funds are available, though.