Monday, April 19, 2010

watching the meter click over

Well, aren't we a popular blog! The pageload statistics are through the roof, and the unique visitors are much more numerous than usual too. The really interesting factoid is where those visits are coming from. The statistics don't reveal the location of most homes and offices (Verizon, SBC, and other big service providers), but governmental organizations are clearly labeled. And I am quite amused to notice that we're getting more hits from neighboring city halls than from our own. Plus a huuuuuuge number of visits from the LAC Sheriff's Dept. Anyone care to interpret the data for us?

In his last post -- which I was very happy to see indeed, because I *heart* his level of expertise and good judgment -- Calwatch points out that we're only talking about a free Phase I study here, and even the Phase II study might not be that costly.

But I'll go ahead and plant my flag: It's a waste of time and effort (and ergo other people's money) to do even a Phase I study, because outsourcing is unacceptable, as long as we have the current PD.

The issue for me is community policing, something that supposedly is the most effective strategy, and which our PD has made some serious progress with over the last few years. I even understand that our crime rate is down in a statistically-significant way. If we outsource law enforcement, our police officers go from people building a career in a single city, working with the folks in that city, to building a career in a county-wide system and moving from location to location as staffing and personal needs dictate.

I want law enforcement officials who spend their careers learning the 23 square miles of our fair city like the backs of their hands, not ones who work in a system that covers 4000 square miles. That's community policing for you.

Moreover, someone whose career is based in a city system is much more likely to live in that city. I don't know what percentage of our police officers live in the city, but I can guarandamntee that it's more than the percentage of LAC sheriffs, were we to outsource. That adds extra force to my opposition to outsourcing public safety, because I'm pretty sure that at least some of our citizens would be out of a job with the handover.

Even a Phase I study is a pointless waste of time in my book. And have you ever been on a committee in the final stages of decision-making when someone raises a beginning-stage issue? Half the room (or more) turns to him, figuratively or literally, and growls, "The time to raise that concern was at the beginning of the process, jerkwad!!!"

I will not be that jerkwad; I'm saying it now, and I'll keep saying it. I want the issue dealt with NOW, not at Phase II or at the ballot box. If this is their belief, I want to hear city council tell us to our faces that possible financial savings is more important than a functioning community.

See y'all at council tonight!


John Clifford said...

Wow Meg . . . how do you really feel?

Yes, this can be an emotional issue. Perhaps Ed or Cal (those who are good at research) can find out how many county firefighters we have in Pomona who live in Pomona and what the average length of time they work in Pomona before moving on. How many of the senior staff in Pomona came up through the ranks in Pomona, etc.

Also, as far as a bargaining tactic. Wouldn't it be better to have our city bargaining with our police rather than TAKING whatever agreement comes from the LA County Supervisors and the much more powerful Sheriff's union?

If we have county fire, and county sheriff, why not just unincorporate and let the county do everything? That might be a real money saver. After all, the argument is that a bigger organization is so much more cost efficient.

John Clifford said...

Gee, I just had another thought. Maybe we could get San Bernardino Sheriff's and Orange County Sheriff's to also bid on our PD. Is the LACO Sheriff's our only option?

Anonymous said...

The Council Meeting was full of emotions, well founded concerns, and one hell of a lot of posturing. Unfortunately, there was nothing constructive added to the pool of idea's to plug the 8? 10? 15? million dollar gap.
At least we don't have to wonder any more why Romero was let go.