Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Response to My Post About the Police

In response to my post from yesterday about the lack of community police efforts in North Bay Village, a commenter at LEOAFFAIRS posted the following:

Vericker blog
Postby Get a grip » 11/28/12 20:05:16
Wow,how sad about the blog from Mr. Vericker. He knows he sees the Officers patrol by his house every day,about once an hour at least. Too bad he does not see all of the elderly welfare checks done,the watch orders done, the special area checks done. The Officers are checking the parks, going to all sick and injured calls, handling all issued calls for service, writing reports, writing citations, movers, parkers, city ordnance issues. Basically keeping the crime rate one of the lowest in the County. Oh by the ways about the cars that were bought with non resident funds, well too bad most people do not know there are only several police certified type of models available to agencies to keep the liability down. Mr. Vericker prisoner cages and all the other equipment needed to keep you safe are not made but for the few types of these cars, but too bad you did not ask.
All this and more and yes the Officers do have a great response time on top of all of that. Don't worry though I am sure they will keep protecting you and all the other residents, even the elderly. Ho my gosh almost forgot, the police do know where the elderly live when all of the residents were asked over the last several to register.
PS you want PAL go ask the schools police, maybe they have money.
I'm not a big fan of Leo Affairs as it almost always anonymous and often inflammatory for the sake of being inflammatory.  The poster here though brings up some points that it is only fair to address.   

Starting with the PS:  The PD budget has included money for PAL now for two years running.   This money is entirely under the control of the PD and it was the Chief who decided to end the program.   

As regards the only statement that actually speaks to my point about community policing, "the police do know where the elderly live" my question is how?   With no active outreach programs, no surveys by the city, nowhere on the web site to register and no newsletters, this is a hit or miss proposition.  Community Policing is clear, visible and consistent.   

Which speaks to the larger issue.  "Get A Grip" talks about the number of responses, patrols,  and other functions.  For years, the commission has asked the chief for a useful breakdown of activities and instead gets a pile of numbers each meeting that doesn't tell them anything about what the PD is doing (e.g. responded to xx number of service calls, rendered yy number of assistance to medical issues, apprehended ## number of suspects.)  As recently as two months ago, the police chief did not know the statistics on robberies.   

"Get A Grip" has a point.  The police do a lot and it's not the rank and file that concern me.  Quite the opposite.  A surprising number of the PD members talk to me regularly, and they are deeply frustrated that their efforts go unreported, and several have shared that they are actively discouraged from developing community relations.  It's the management that does not promote and engage with the community.   

I take exception to where "Get A Grip" say the cars were bought with "non-resident" money.  No, it was our money.  That it came from the LETF rather than the general fund does not change whose it is, and that's my point.   We purchased more cars and more expensive cars than were needed.   When you buy one thing, you don't buy another, and the programs that would make this a better place to live have been ignored.  

The two cops laid off could have been funded by LETF money if they were assigned to community policing activities such as PAL, Outreach to the Elderly, Crime Prevention, Gang Watches. Keeping the staff and improving the community are more urgent than many of the choices made and our PD Management have to answer to that. 

Kevin Vericker
Nov 29 , 2012 

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