Sunday, January 24, 2016

KCAL9 News: Sierra Madre Residents Worry About Police Officer Shortage - (And More)

Mod: Kind of a vanilla "TV News Lite" report on what is up with the mass SMPD cop exodus. A pretty typical representation of why local television news isn't all that good. But at least the word is getting out to the big world. But is it the right word? I've posted the video link below this screenshot.

Link to this news video and more here.

The meme developed here is the SMPD is deserting in large numbers because the pay is not that good. Rather than the more accurate story, which is this town is quite possibly looking to drastically reduce the effects of what is a huge financial burden for 11,000 people. Possibly by contracting with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The Sierra Madre Police Department now consumes just under 50% of the city's entire General Fund, which means taxpayers here are forced to pay far more than they can afford for public safety services. And the pressure to vote for more in taxes is both intense and never ending.

But for whatever the reason none of that comes out in this KCAL9 News report. Here is what they  are reporting on their news site. 


The full compensation figures on the Transparent California website (link) detail just how much each officer actually costs the taxpayers. While the salaries quoted in the KCAL piece are merely above average for employees from this part of the world, it is the benefits, and especially the CalPERS hit, that makes the cost of propping up a financially unsustainable boutique police department like the SMPD so cost prohibitive. 


The real issue here is not salaries, it is the average of $40,000 per officer in total benefits that tips the scale. Most of which is in CalPERS costs. When people talk about how the LA County Sheriffs would save the City of Sierra Madre nearly $800,000 dollars in taxpayer money it no longer has, CalPERS is one of the major reasons for such savings. 

Overtime, of course, would be another. Combine the benefits and overtime costs of some SMPD officers and that total exceeds their salaries.

The Mountain Views News is also pushing this message

Not that anyone should be surprised.


Isn't it strange that Pasadena Now ran the exact same story as the MVN?

Apparently some of our local news media are publishing only what they are being spoon fed by City Hall (link).


You can also add SierraMadreNews.net to the list as well (link).

So where do these valiant guardians of the public weal get this stuff?

Straight off the City of Sierra Madre website, of course (link).


It's a regular cloned media blitz. All the mynah birds are singing the exact same song. Does the lack of an attribution from either the MVN or Pasadena Now constitute plagiarism? Or is it just really unfortunate examples of publicity release "journalism?"

Apparently the publicity folks at Sierra Madre City Hall have been working quite hard to try and control the message going out to the public on this story. But to what purpose? And who is calling the shots on this messaging?

My theory is that Mayor Capoccia, Mayor Pro Tem Goss and police union buddy boy Councilmember Harabedian will offer a solution Tuesday evening that calls for raising police salaries. Done in the name of being able to entice trained officers to come here and work for the SMPD.

This rather than hiring the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, despite the huge savings to the taxpayers it would bring.

Most solutions at City Hall involve the spending of more money. I guess we'll have to wait and see if that pattern holds Tuesday evening. My guess is it will.


sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

29 comments:

  1. To the city's credit, it is being honest.

    It is going to take the $1 million uut tax increase and hand it to the police union, therby settling john harabedian's political debt.

    ps: what about the lead in our water?

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  2. I guess that old saying,"You can't fight city hall."is true.

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    Replies
    1. But you can quit giving it your tax dollars to waste!

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    2. You can fight city hall. But they will do everything they can to ignore you.

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    3. Lower the UUT because that is not the issue. Its an absence of leadership.

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    4. Starve the beast.

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  3. It's just too much to a ask for, to have the mannequins in the tv news do any research beyond a hand out from city hall.

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  4. Do we know the names of the officers who are still here? Are they still here because they want to be, or because they're the ones who nobody from other departments would hire?

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  5. The ones who left the 'sinking ship' were employable elsewhere or retired(very,very comfortably thanks to the Sierra Madre taxpayers)
    The remainder would not pass the Sheriffs test or are too close to retirement to care.
    Yes, folks, this is the price for having an ill informed and apathetic electorate.
    Next we need to start doing the same fine work on the Public Works Dept.

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    Replies
    1. It's time! Welcome to Sierra Madre, Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department. Let me be the first to apologize for the rude, oafish behavior of the unrepresentative people who lambasted the LA Co SD at the City Council meeting where Sheriff's proposal presented. We are truely sorry for their ignorance and belligerence.

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    2. I agree. As as far as bring the LASD on, if not now, when? How bad do things have to get?

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    3. Good question. How can things get any worse than they are now?

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  6. Damn good post 8:14
    If the majority electorate was as perceptive as you...we wouldn't be in this mess.

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  7. Years of bad decision making got us to this point. Hopefully the city council will make a good one Tuesday night.

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  8. For every new officer city hall hires, city hall is Creating More Unfunded liabilities and pensions. City hall is The Problem, not the officers because the taxpayers don't have to hire them. If you want to get rid of the cancer, city hall thinking must go!

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    1. Yet somehow the same old inept people survive year after year at City Hall. They never leave. The water department falls apart, the police department collapses under the weight of its own greed, debt increases year after year, as do taxes, fees and permits. Yet the same incapable people continue to run the place. How can that be? Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same things over and over yet expecting different results? If so, then Sierra Madre is Bedlam.

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    2. Less than 10% of the Sierra Madre Electorate actually vote.Many are misinformed .It creates situations like this in 2008:
      "Joffe earned 1139 votes, only slightly ahead of Kevin Paschall who got 1134 votes and largely ahead of “Eagle” Bill Tice who earned 132 votes.

      “Obviously I’m very deeply disappointed that I didn’t win,” said Joffe. “There were many reasons but I think one of the primary reasons was people were spreading mistruths about me. I am very proud that the Utility Users Tax passed and that was probably my biggest accomplishment—that after 10 years of acrimony I got the police to negotiate. I feel comfortable that I left a good legacy and left the city in better condition than I found it.”

      Joffe now plans to focus more on her solar energy business and does not know yet if she will run for office in the future."

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    3. Enid sold this city out to the cop union big time. Many of Sierra Madre's current financial problems can be traced back to her capitulation.

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    4. I bet she'd call a "do-over" on that if she could.

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    5. One of the worst decisions ever made by a Sierra Madre Mayor.

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  9. Let the Sheriffs contract being at midnight ASAP.

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  10. Isn't it common practice when employees retire or leave for another job to post the positions as they become open and not wait until staffing levels fall way below the organization's staffing needs? Why wait?

    Surely, there must be some experienced police officers in SoCal who will accept less pay for the far less risk of policing in Mayberry. How long could it possibly take to train an experienced PO to learn the nuances of small town policing?

    I sure hope this is not a cynical attempt to frighten residents into believing they are now unsafe, or, even worse, practically inviting criminals to come to SM to commit crimes, crimes that show how indispensable the PD is.

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  11. Why not ask the Sheriff to provide the temporary night patrol? This could be a sort of test run for us to see how good the Sheriff is. I think we would all be pleasantly surprised.

    Barry Gold

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    Replies
    1. Mr. Gold,
      I think that is a very good idea.

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    2. It would be a great test run for the city. I feel funny about having cops from the city that stole our water patrolling our streets.

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    3. It will never happen. Mayor Capoccia is afraid off the Pig Lady.

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  12. There is never a shortage if you contract with the Sheriffs Department.

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  13. If any of you did your homework and looked beyond the first contacted years, you would see it will cost the city more in about 5 years. LA Co will be partially at Sierra Madre and partially temple city. If we stay contacting out our city, we lose any control we have. We need to keep our city ours!

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