Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Money, Fewer Cops

From Sheffo4council.com:

The North County Times has an article (”Police budgets rise as street presence declines” July 22) this morning about a study finding that North County cities have fewer cops per 1,000 residents compared to the national average, DESPITE THE FACT THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT BUDGETS CONTINUE TO GROW.

The article states:

Throughout the region, law enforcement budgets increased by 20 percent over the past five years, including 6 percent between fiscal years 2006-07 and 2007-08, which ended this month.

The report said the increases are being driven by rising expenses for retirement and health insurance benefits, workers’ compensation and training.

Of course, this imbalance is a direct result of the lopsided benefits that the local police unions have been able to squeeze from compliant politicians.

It’s also why I’ve made the conscious decision not to seek an endorsement from the police union, in our case the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association.

Of course the police argue that the below average cop presence hasn’t hurt public safety and that crime is actually down across the region.

While that’s true, it’s most likely the result of demographics rather than policing (fewer young people + more old people = less crime).

Unfortunately, demographics can always change. What happens if crime starts inching upwards and we don’t have enough cops on the street because cities can’t afford the high benefits unions demand?



  1. Hey Joe-

    The cops have a thankless job. You don't see people wanting their kids to become cops and the Cities can not get new good recruits without huge criminal records or kids with any IQ above 80.

    On the other hand, Firefighters make big money, get paid for sleeping, shopping, working out, watching movies and BBQing. They have 24 hour shifts. I would love to get paid for all those things.

    Everyone wants to be a fire fighter. They make the highest money and benefits in City Gov. Plenty over $100k and it’s a blue collar job. The real story is in the waiting list and applications for each firefighter job which are huge like thousands because the job is like hitting the lottery. Plus in Encinitas you get to hang out in $5Million dollar McMansion with all amenities including Oceanviews for most stations.

    Plus they give milfs and kids tours of the firestation regularly. And get brownies and other treats from the Milfs. Tell me they don’t have the tits job.

    Tell me are cops overpaid or firefighters? I think you may need to refine your focus.

    For starters, get the firefighters back to 8 hour shifts. Secondly, when they are not working, they should be cleaning the streets or landscaping or something productive. Not polishing a brass fire hydrants.

  2. Our cops are appreciated. Our council is the problem for not making sure we have enough of them.

    Economic times are turning and gang activity is on the rise.

    We need more cops not more trips to Japan.

  3. I concur. City Council is responsible for making sure Encinitas has adequate sheriff coverage.

    With close to 64,000 residents, we would benefit from more than 6 deputies on duty at any given time.

    A matter of spending priorities, residents need to ask why police protection is not a top priority.

  4. Hi Bob

    Since you are a business man and know about staying within budgets and out of debt maybe you can help our City Manager figure out priorities.

    The City has no excess cash. In fact sales tax revenues are dropping and will continue to drop over the next few years.

    If the City were to put more than 6 deputies in Encinitas at any given time which I support doing, where would the money come from?

    Don't be one of those promise everything politicians and then don't do shit, like Jerome Stocks.

    Tell us Bob, what budget should be cut to pay for more cops on our streets?

  5. For a journalist, this post has no apparent lede. What are you saying? What is the issue? Budget, overpayment, crime is down, tasers?

    Unfortunately, demographics can always change. What happens if crime starts inching upwards and we don’t have enough cops on the street because cities can’t afford the high benefits unions demand?

    Is this a dog whistle to call out racists?

    Of all the issues in this city, you seem to be seeking a hot button.

  6. Joe,

    Quit complaining and tell us what you will do if elected. You are not seeking endorsements from law enforcement because you probably couldn't get it without a plan. If you truly understood the issues you would have a plan. From your comments i for one know you don't understand. What have you done to try and understand the issues?

    Perhaps we need a volunteer (no pay) group to study law enforcement and code enforcement in our city and make recommendations to the council on how to improve it. I know, another study group, but it may shut-up uneducated whiners like yourself.

  7. Encinitas sheriffs need dashboard cameras. There was one notorious local cop who would have behaved much more professionally if he was recorded by a dashboard cam.

  8. We really do need more cops. A lot of important issues ie..smoking restrictions,dogs on beaches plastic bags, cell phone use while driving demand immediate enforcement. Hell if we don't do something dramatic we'll have total anarchy if we're left to our own devices.

  9. You guys are only half right. We don't need more cops, we need more detectives. Your car window got smashed and they stole your laptop while you were in Stater Bros, what the hell is a cop going to do besides take a report and be rude to you? Encinitas needs more detectives to track down the hoodlums and actually solve a crime or two.

  10. We need policemen that are responsible to us City residents) and not Bill Kolender. We have a few long time deputies but most are transient and don't know anything about our community.

  11. Does the train cop count as one of the six? Either way, could he be traded in for one that goes after taggers / vandals?

    Regarding money: Say a bunker costs $5M and a deputy costs $0.1M per year. That’s 50 deputy years per bunker.

  12. If I wanted to live in a police state, I could move to Carlsbad.

    Even living in Encinitas, the only 2 moving violations I've received in the last 20 years both occurred in Carlsbad.

    Anybody ever notice that practically every intersection in Carlsbad is outfitted with prison-yard type, video cameras?
    The criminals probably don't even know they are there, but they sure give me the heebeegeebees.

    So much for friendly, neighborhood ambiance . . .

    Police perform a difficult and necessary service, but police presence is not always a good thing.

  13. O.K. so the question is "what budget should be cut to pay for more cops on the streets?"

    First there is the issue of increasing sales revenue. This can be done by allowing business owners to fully recognize their economic potential free of short-sighted council directives.

    Increased sales means increased sales tax going into the city coffers. City government should welcome entrepreneurial success, not hinder it. A thriving Encinitas business community will contribute significantly to achiveing the needed level of police protection services.

    As for the budget cuts I would put the practice of hiring consultants to do the work of city staff at the top of the list. Paying staff and consultants to accomplish the same tasks makes no sense and should end immediatly.

    Money now paid to traffic consultants and civic facilitation consultants could be used to fund another sheriff patrol.

    The $95,000 budgeted for the 2nd Street Visitors Center would be better spent funding a downtown sheriff substation.

    It's a matter of priorities.

  14. The city needs a true cost/benefit analysis of the Sheriff's contract.

    Other cities in California have done it and found that it is cheaper to have their own police dept. or have found their county's police dept. more willing to renegotiate thier contracts.

    Nothing like threatening to take your money elsewhere to get people back to the bargining table.

    The city could even consider contracting with Carlsbad instead of the County sheriff's.

    But the boys on council won't even talk about it. Must be a macho thing.

  15. One time I walked into the Encinitas Visitor's Center looking for some local postcards to send out for Christmas. They didn't have any.

    In all of my worldly travels, I can't recall ever once stopping by a municipal "visitor's center" for information. It's not like people need topo maps of downtown.

    Now there's a target for a cost/benefit analysis.

  16. Leucadia- Lakeside by the Sea

  17. Where can we access crime stats on Encinitas?

  18. The Sheriff's office puts out a crime report (statistics) each year. It should be at city hall. Crime is down.

  19. look at sandag and arjis on the web for crime stats. You can probably get to them via the sheriff's web site.

  20. Or you can just ask Capt. Fowler

  21. Law enforcement is usually a good thing. What gets me is our red light cameras. They do the job of many cops and must pull in $1000 a day. Where does all that money go? And why would we have to cut some program to fund a few extra cops with our cash cow red light cameras flashing every 10 min.? Does anyone have any figures on these?

    Years ago, I was on a Crime Prevention Action Committee. When it was all over,I couldn't tell you if one crime had been prevented.

    RE W2 ..."If I wanted a police state I'd move to Carlsbad"
    You can say that again. An older real estate lady I know named Lael was mistreated by a lady cop in Cbad one night right at her realty office. The cop stood at the door and demanded Lael come outside. When Lael refused, she was handcuffed and arrested. When Lael showed the bruises on her wrists to her friend Bud Lewis. Lewis came back to her the next day saying: You better get a lawyer. Lotta help the mayor was! Lael did get a lawywer, sued for $75,000, won and donated all the money to a charity.

    But don't even get me started with the false forensics a Cbad cop pulled on my sister ending her up in prison for 26 to life for a crime she did not do.



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