Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm Back from the Break

I took a little break in hopes of losing some of the caustic thoughts swimming in my head over the past several weeks. I have tried several times to put some thoughts to words and had trouble over and over writing these thoughts and keeping them clean enough for posting and at the same time trying to keep to my promise to maintain a BLOG that anyone could read. When I started writing almost a year ago now the best feedback I received was the steer clear of the caustic, vulgar, offensive language and keep the personal attacks on the shelf.

Watching the actions of various so called leaders in this city has made keeping these promises very difficult. Seeing good people suffer while being forced out of jobs they love and then being completely eviscerated when told of the job they can "bump" into (golf starter, storm drain cleaner, lawnmower driver, janitor, water police, to name just a few) at a fraction of the pay, is frustrating and painful. Some, who do not understand the personal impact and tragedy of these circumstances, think their words of "Hey, at least you have a job" is in some way consoling and supportive. They are not!!!

These are people who have given their heart and soul to the citizens of San Diego and performed professional jobs that did more than support their sworn co-workers. Some are months from reaching the age for retirement and do not have the ability to "bump" into other positions. The jobs they performed for us and the citizens still must be done. The jobs, tasks, and responsibilities were not eliminated but shifted to sworn members of the department. The non-sworn, support professional was sent packing to save money and help close a budget deficit. To ensure these jobs, tasks and responsibilities are done, sworn officers were pulled from the field to fill these many positions.

An already dismally understaffed patrol force again feels the effects of losing more officers. There are those who will say that isn't so. There are officers from canine, the harbor unit, and horse patrol who have gone back to patrol because their positions were also cut. Yes, this is true. But let us not forget these officer WERE ALL part of what patrol does on a daily basis. Their positions being eliminated saved less than many of us paid in taxes this year. Who is kidding who here?

April Boling talked about the civic problems that concerned her most in a recent interview with the Voice of San Diego. In the interview, Boling made the following statement and observation; "As municipalities cut back services, criminal investigation and and crime prevention are affected. We should not delude ourselves into thinking that a reduction in reported crime equates to a reduction in crime." This is something many of us have been saying for a while now. Is anyone listening and more importantly does anyone care?

The mayor is playing duck and cover as the details of the so called "savings" from outsourcing the computer help desk duties for the City is being made public. In a Union Tribune article, it was disclosed that the company who was awarded the contract was not the lowest bidder and did not disclose the night time help would be provided from India. As pressure builds to keep the jobs in the United States, the company says to do so will cost an ADDITIONAL $80,000. So much for saving the taxpayers money. I can guarantee this is not the last we will hear about this issue. This is the first example of what is to come as more jobs are outsourced.

Did you hear the little rube was cited for talking on his cell phone while driving? It was reported in the Union Tribune the rube rolled a stop sign while talking on his cellular telephone and was stopped. The officer issued a "warning" for the stop sign violation and cited the rube for talking on the phone. This is an example of why the legislature found it important to create this law. Inattentive drivers, self absorbed in their world, talking on the telephone, not paying attention to their driving. What would have happened had a young child, running after a ball had run into the path of the rube's car? Would he have been able to stop or take evasive action? The answer is NO; not at all. His attention was not on driving, the world around him or the safety of others.

Brian Marvel, SDPOA President spoke this morning at the monthly Sergeant's Association meeting. He discussed the promotions process; negotiations; and the status of the POA. There is a lot going on and we are greatly disadvantaged by not having our President working full time on our behalf. The elimination of the "Presidential Leave" is just another example of the mayor doing everything within his power to hamper, hinder and eliminate employee advocates ability to advocate for the member. Brian has not been deterred and is working hard on behalf of the member.

Charles Kindred posted a quote from General H. Norman Schwarzkopf on his Facebook the other day. The quote went something like this; "You can't help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself."  I enjoyed a spirited exchange with this one. What do you think of this quote?

Well, it is time to close this rant and say good night. Be safe and have a good weekend.


Just Wondering said...

Regarding the quote "You can't help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself."

What a self-serving line of crap.

True leaders, ones who mentor, teach others and then get out of the way so they may lead the next generation.

No Mountain Climber Here said...

It's also hard to get others to the top when you are simply concerned with how you look and how it affects you. The entire leadership "TEAM" for the PD is so self absorbed and political it is not about helping others achieve or prepare, it about them.

I agree with Just Wondering in that the statement is a bunch of self serving crap.

The mountain we are facing is not a mountain to get to new heights, it is to get out of the dismal hole we have been shoved into. Getting to the top will simply allow us all to see ground level again. Climbing a mountain? Not in our lifetime.

Patrol Cop Forever said...

I disagree with that quote completely. A true leader strives to be the best he/she can be in everything they do. Getting to the top is a goal for a person with a huge ego which does not allow for them to be effective or respected leaders. The ego gets in the way of their ability to lead.

The SDPD is full of egomaniacs who care only for themselves. The seventh floor as well as most of our captains are so self serving, self effacing, they do not have the respect of even a fraction of the rest of us.

Politics and fear govern this department. Police work by rule is "A-Political" or should be. Allowing the mayor or anyone else to involve themselves in what we do is pathetic. The chief is not a leader in any measure used. He is a tyrant who has cast fear in the other chiefs, captains and lieutenants. It has become a joke to watch these puppets jump and run out of fear. Micro-managed supervision has eliminated risk taking or decision making during critical incidents which leads to a complacent and reactionary police department. We have gone from best to worst in a very short time. Sad.

Seldom a King Unit said...

Welcome back Steve. Can you provide more about negotiations and what Brian had to say about promotions?

I agree with those who say the quote is a bunch of crap. Especially around here. I have a good Lieutenant and my Sergeant is a joke. The captain is another story. I watch these people pat one another on the back and at the same time screw each other whenever they get a chance. There is no helping anyone to the top of any mountain from any of them.

I agree it is time for a change.

Anonymous said...

Going It Alone

Today, Monday, March 1st, was the first day without many of our support staff who were laid off under the Sanders' edict. So how is affecting you?

In one command, a Lieutenant, is brow beating R.S.V.P.s to staff the front counter. I thought front counters were supposed to be staffed by full duty officers, a direct result of the attempted murder of Officer Ron Manaigre who was assigned to Eastern's Front Counter as as light duty officer.

I also hear R.S.V.P.s are being asked to take reports at the Telephone Report Unit... Huh?

So when did it common practice for volunteers to do jobs normally done by sworn peace officers?

What does the P.O.A. have to say about this? What happens to a RSVP who suffers the same type of assault that Ron survived?

Does anyone think this is as wrong as it sounds? Does the 7th floor endorse this practic?

Anonymous said...

The disappearance of Chelsea King is horrible. As each day goes by, things are sounding worse. A few thoughts come to mind.

Chelsea King went missing in the City of San Diego, jurisdiction of the San Diego Police Department. SDPD should then be the lead agency in the investigation.

Why is it that the Sheriff stepped in and took charge? I heard that Sheriff Gore and Asst. Chief Long had words. Long was reportedly told that SDPD is short handed and does not have the necessary resources to conduct the investigation. Therefore, the Sheriff, lead law enforcement official, stepped in to ensure public safety.

SDPD has taken a back seat to this investigation. The Sheriff brought in all their resources, including a rapid DNA turn around by their Crime Lab. You know what, SDPD in incapable of conducting such a large scale operation without seriously impacting public safety throughout the City. SDPD would have to pull patrol and investigative personnel. They do not have support people to assist; they were laid off last week. SDPD does not have a good police reserve operation. SDPD is a dysfunctional law enforcement agency, below minimum staffing levels and just barely able to perform basic law enforcement functions. The various investigative units have either been disbanded or running a skeleton crews.

You would thing that Chief Lansdowne, Mayor Sanders, Carl DeMaio and other City of San Diego officials would take the lead in this case. They have not. Is it because they will save overtime and they know SDPD is incapable of handling such a scene? They know SDPD no longer has the resources to spring into action? SDPD is dysfunctional!

Is it true that there has been other assaults in the area that SDPD did not investigate? No investigation so they would not increase crime stats for the area? Crime is down?

Take note everyone; SDPD cannot adequately conduct a large scale, ongoing investigation of this type. For whatever reason (some say political with the upcoming Sheriff election) Sheriff Gore is providing the necessary resources from his agency to conduct a thorough investigation.

Pray for Chelsea King.

Anonymous said...

Why IS the Sheriff department handling a homicide case in the City of San Diego?

Did SDPD drop the ball?

Did SDPD drop the ball in December with the jogger attempt rape?

Just Wondering said...

All the King's Men...

Seems Jerry's rosy projections earlier this fiscal year were just another fabrication. That's right but most others call it a lie. But since he's politician he's expected to lie...a lot.

The City, as reported by the Voice of San Diego is coming up SHORT in its revenue projections. What a surprise!

The newest projections indicate a $60 Million dollar decline in sales and T.O.T. Remember TOT also funds or contributes monies to many programs, one in particular, the Convention Center Operations. The one Sanders says we need to spend 700+ Million expanding. He also wants a new City Hall and to subsidize a new Charger Stadium downtown.

...Can't put San Diego back together again.

Well to pay for all the monuments to his Administration, more layoff and cuts will be necessary.

Read it here

Anonymous said...

Did the San Diego Police Department investigate the Dec. 27th Attempted Rape? Did they make and post flyers in the hiking/jogging area. Was there a composite made of the suspect? Was there any evidence that they could have gotten DNA off of? Did the SDPD drop the ball in both of these investigations? Why'd the Sheriff come to the rescue? Was SDPD's under-staffing, budget constraints, and mediocre work the reason this suspect was not arrested before he murdered Chelsea King? The residents of San Diego are owed a comprehensive answer to these questions.

Anonymous said...

With the staffing issues throughout SDPD the problem is only going to get worse...

San Diego police Capt. Jim Collins said Gardner has been connected to a Dec. 27 attack on a female jogger in the same park, but it was not through DNA evidence. He declined to say how the link was made, but that they were working with police in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the jogger lives.

Over the weekend, the San Diego police crime lab had rushed to test a DNA swab taken from the elbow of the victim of the December attack. It did not have Gardner’s DNA, only the victim’s, Collins said.

The DNA sample was not tested earlier because it was considered an attempted robbery, which is not as high on the crime lab’s priority list as other violent crimes, Collins said.

As of December, the lab’s DNA unit was dealing with a backlog of about 500 cases.

Just Wondering said...

DeMaio Never Stops

Once again Carl (The L'il Rube) DeMaio is the whirling dervish of the City of San Diego. This time he's spinning the facts with his latest report "City Employee Compensation Analysis". In fact he hits new lows in manipulating numbers.

DeMaio takes on the compensation of hypothetical Police Officer II. He says total compensation is $122,144. But in examining how he reached that figure a few red flags are raised.

Why does he include benefits that are required by state and federal laws. For example for a Police Officer II in the City of San Diego he includes the following in compensation.

1. Risk Management Administration
2. Unemployment Insurance
3. Workers' Compensation
4. Disability Insurance
5. Medicare

These costs are all mandated by state and federal laws. They have nothing to do with negotiated benefits. In fact employers all over the nation pay these costs.

Then he adds in "Other Post-Employment Benefit"... no ones knows what this is? But it's $2,406 dollars. But how does our Rube, calculate this if an employee does not earn a retirement benefit? You know, he or she resigns or get fired before even vesting in SDCERS. See how he adds costs that may never really occur! It's the old three- card-monte and DeMaio is dealing the cards.

But the real eye opener is the "Unused sick leave" line. While it's only $45, it is an indicator on how far out of whack DeMaio's thought processes are and how far he goes ONCE AGAIN to fabricate and manipulate the dialog at any cost, if you'll pardon the very bad pun.

In this case adding 45 more dollars makes the reader believe all cops have this benefit. The truth is less than one percent of the cops have unused sick leave left on the books.

The city stopped paying "sick leave" over 25 years ago. But a hand full of "old timers" may have a few hours of that old sick leave left on account. Those hours were earned 20 or 30 years ago and if the City followed it own rules, the money for those hours was supposed to deposited to the leave bank trust. That means the city used that money for many many years, if, yes if they followed their own rules.

It also means those employees have rarely, if ever, called in sick over the years.

The point is DeMaio has well documented history of getting the facts wrong, exaggerating them or just plain lying. Then when caught, he blames others for the errors. Huh? DeMaio is a bomb thrower. He loves the attention it brings his way. His ethics, or lack thereof, should concern every voter. For a man who will say anything just to keep the light focus on himself is a narcissist.

Just Wondering said...

Why does he lie again and again?

Well maybe it not a deliberate lie but why does Mayor Sanders choose to look at City's budget through rose colored glasses, and then serve us the kool-aid?

In this weeks SD Reader, <a href=">another article</a> article chronicles the Mayor's ongoing budget woes. Letting us know those optimistic number he submitted to the Council were 11 to 12 million dollars wrong, AGAIN. Seems his projections on revenue were a tad to hopeful, AGAIN.

Why does Sanders keep spewing out these bogus reports?

Why does he feel he has to lie?

How can you produce a budget in December that's between 15 and 30 million dollars off by March, three months later?

Your either not up to the task, i.e. incompetence or your purposely concealing the truth.

Instead of trying to placate the masses and leave a growing problem to his successor, Sanders needs to lead and search for solutions.

Here a newsflash Jerry, there are no easy answers left anymore, it's going to take a variety of cuts <b>and</b> revenue increases to attack the growing structural deficit.

I'd like to know why Andrea Tevlin, the Council's Independent Budget Analyst, can see the growing deficits are a cancer on the body of the City, but you the Mayor and your so-call professional staff deny the truth?

Tevlin rightly points out the use of gimmicks like a 18 month budget document or tricks such as one time revenue sources will not stop the systemic bleeding of taxpayer dollars.

San Diegans should be reminding Jerry the City's first and foremost responsibility is to provide for the safety of it's citizens. So <b>public safety is Job One.</b> Included with this is water safety, both for clean water drinking and wastewater disposal.

It's time to push through a reasonable fee for trash collection or get out of the refuse collecting business all together. It time to own up and say the City can no longer afford to pay for this service and recover nothing from those who benefit from it.

Hey Jerry it's time to get off your rather corpulent rear end and do your job.

--MC-- said...

"I did my 30yrs and took an early parole..." [I only lasted 11 months in DROP]. That's how I explained my life at SDPD to a new officer the other day. I LOVED my job, in Comm, for the 1st 29yrs. That last year just about killed me. The work enviroment became so oppressive to me, I could't get out fast enough. Between the crap from City Hall to crap within our own walls, it was not an inviting place to work. And it's only gotten worse. [I hear Comm is even more of a snake pit, since I left.]I have real sympathy for ANY civilian working for this ungrateful city. Jerry has seen to it that alot of them got thrown out with the trash on March 1st.
I'm a VIP, not the glamorous title it sounds like, at Western. I started working there to help a friend of Investigative Aide. She was piled under with paper work, so I helped her with stuff she was to do in her...spare time! Now she is gone. "Demoted" [in my opinion] to a job she did years ago, but had no choice but to an even more reduce pay rate.
From the day it was announced that the 200 employees [give or take] were to be let go, reassigned and or retired, I've decided, in my own little twisted way, to let the citizens, who call Western, know just who they need to blame. If they have a problem with patrol response time or if they are unhappy because they call some offices and only get answering machines instead of humans, or want to talk to that reallly nice PSO that took their report the other day, only to be told they've been 'let go', then they need to address their concerns to the Mayor's office! It's suprising how many people actually take his phone number.
I also try to explain to callers how officers have been taken out of the field to do the work of the non sworn personnel, who were let go, and therefore are not available to answer radio calls. There are a lot of people who think I am kidding! "Why would the City do that?" one guy asked. Here, let me give you the Mayor's phone number and you can ask him!
This City has no appreciation for it's work force. Workers who have shown loyalty for YEARS, sticking through one crisis after another, only to be saddled with less pay, fewer benefits AND the accusations that it's THEIR fault the City is in debt.
Yet, he wants millions for a new City Hall and Charger stadium, among other things. And I think what ticks me off the most about that is the citizenry will vote YES to keep the Chargers, but not vote to tax themselves 1 red cent help fix the problems here. They'd rather bitch and complain about the lack of City services!

Ok, stepping off my soap box, before I fall and break something!