The city of San Diego can’t hire police officers as fast as they are retiring or bolting for other departments.
It hasn’t solved the problem. Now, the union representing local officers wants the city to be able to rehire officers who have already retired in hopes it will slow the rate at which the city is losing veteran officers.
Meanwhile, a wave of potential retirements is on the way, and the department is looking for ways to avoid it.
One policy under consideration would have an ancillary benefit, too: It might allow Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman to extend her stay as the city’s top cop.
Zimmerman is in a city program – the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP – that lets employees technically retire and collect a pension but continue to work and earn a salary for five years. It requires participants, however, to stop working completely after five years.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
David Alvarez' suggestion-blackmail in disguise-that crime rates will increase if cops are not retained is accurate. It is also wrong-headed because it lacks analysis and it reeks of the shallow thinking that marred FBI director's comments from a year ago;http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/24/us/politics/fbi-chief-links-scrutiny-of-police-with-rise-in-violent-crime.html?_r=0. Alvarez, an alleged victim of racial profiling should know and do better.
I daresay that some cops want nothing to do with the racism (the policing for profit schemes) that continues to be practised by the SDPD, as has been documented here. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2016/apr/13/report-racial-bias-suspended-drivers-license/
I daresay that some cops want nothing to do with the racism that continues to be practised by the SDPD, as has been documented by SDSU; the report on which has been suppressed by Falconer, Emerald and other members of the City Council.
Personally, I don't want my cops to have a squeaky clean dossier; they're too judgmental. It's OK if they've smoked this or that and done a line or two.
As long as they didn't inhale
This is a terrible idea. The retired need to remain retired. We need to create jobs for the younger generation. CREATE JOBS!!!
@alina smith We have lots of jobs with SDPD, unfortunately many in our younger generation are not prepared for them. SDPD takes 4 applicants for every 100 that apply and we have a 20 to 30% attrition rate for those we do take who can't complete the academy or field training process.
@jeff jordon This is a significant slap in the face to the majority of entry level applicants. It is common knowledge that a lot of applicants are screened out early in the process due to criminal history, drug use, etc, but what a lot of people don't know is that your department routinely turns away any applicant who doesn't have either an undergraduate degree or military experience. What this implies is that you agency doesn't see value in an individual who, for any number of reasons, may have chosen a different path. Maybe you ought to consider looking closer at these people instead of writing them off and then complaining about a lack of applicants. You may find that some of these people possess the qualities and the necessary skillset to be successful in academy training and FTO. And maybe some of these people would actually be grateful for the opportunity and demonstrate some loyalty to the department by sticking around for longer than 5 years. But you'll never know, will you?
@jeff jordon @alina smith 1. Sgt. ARTHUR SCOTT, in CASE NO.: 37-2015-00001940-CU-QE-CTL claims Racial discrimination, including the use of racial caricatures in training and as obstacles to advancement in the SDPD. Scott also alleges that the SDPD retaliated against him as a result of his complaining about its racial profiling practices. Of particular interest is Sgt. Scott’s claim that the offence occurred in a class taught by retired SDPD Lieutenant, Tom Giaquinto. The retiree’s depredations were not only targeted at Blacks. Chinese-Americans came under fire too. The racist cartoon also disparaged the Asian culture with this comment “"Even The Chink's Dog Beats It, To Safety," and, "He No Likee John China Man." The role of Assistant Chief Todd Jarvis in Sgt. Scotts ordeal should not go ignored.
I choose to believe him (Scott) rather than Jordan. Let Tom Giaquinto remain retired and unsung.
2. And, Former/Probationary Officer Matthew Francois, in CASE NO. 37-2016-00003251-CU-OE-CTL, alleges that he was subjected to the bigotry in the SDPD, and from his FTO, when he had the audacity to run a full enquiry on a White motorist. Instead, Francois was instructed they should only be run on people who "looked like criminals." At paragraph 10 of his complaint we see:
10. Francois was troubled by Messineo's words, not only because they were inconsistent with his past Field Training and the Blue Book, but also because he reasonably believed Messineo may have violated the City’s equal protection policies and constitutional principles against profiling. Francois shared his concerns with his mentor, Sgt. Art Scott. Sgt. Scott, also an FTO and a member tof the Black Police Officers Association, had encouraged Francois to contact him if he ever had Helion! When Sgt. Scott learned about Messineo's comments, he attempted to speak with Messineo's supervisor, Sgt. Christopher Sarot. However, Sgt. Vanessa Holland took Sgt. Scott’s call instead, and quickly took offense.
11. Sgt. Holland was upset because Sgt. Scott was calling on behalf of another black
officer. Sgt. Holland testified at a deposition (in Art Scott v. SDPD) that she believed Sgt. Scott was trying to "fire up" young black officers.
FTO Vito Messineo should be encouraged to retire too. Please beseech him “in the bowels of Christ” if that invocation would move him to comply.
These are but two officers who have issues with training processes of the SDPD and whose experiences have had impact on attrition. One of whom, was secure and tough enough to take it, the other who may very well be tough, but was not secure in his position.
Finally; simple data analysis of Vehicle Stops and post-stop outcomes, verifies Francois’ claim of the North of 8/South of 8 policing bias. In fact, in early December, my analysis revealed the disparities. As a result, I dubbed the highway, the line of demarcation, The Fateful Eight and notified far too many people.
Lord deliver us. Deliver us from the departed and departing police officers and their supervisors, who have brought us a culture of misconduct and one that promotes and practices racial profiling, to such an extent that when the SDSU data analysis was completed, the City Council had to bury it; using the flimsiest of excuses. I call on us to let them depart in peace. Cromwell said it well:
“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing lately…. Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God,—go!”
@rhylton sorry, but nothing indicates SDPD promotes or tolerates racial profiling. Also, I don't believe City Council or SDPD has anything to do with the data analysis being conducted and completed by the professors looking at the data over at San Diego State University. If anything, I'm wondering how they are going to take into account police staffing, poverty, and criminal status when analyzing the numbers, because just looking at people being stopped, searched and vehicles towed has much more than just a person's race to consider when looking at numbers. Maybe given your vast expertise you can advise what the numbers should look like when we staff one officer in La Jolla and twenty plus in City Heights to address crime trends? Maybe you can help the SDSU professors understand the impact on people with 4th waivers due to their probation or parole status leading to increased numbers of searches and arrests? Better yet, maybe you can tell us how poverty and an inability to maintain one's vehicle condition or current driver's license impacts police stops, citations, tows and arrests? Heck, just go join the team over at SDSU, I'm sure you will have no problems justifying the conclusions and statements you make repeatedly.
@jeff jordon @rhylton Jeff, my man, I am more than familiar with your entreaties to the aides to the city council, particularly the PSLN, where you have sought to influence the SDSU study, by citing each of the items that you have listed here, above. I regret that I have no vast experience and do not dare to say what the numbers should look like, but unlike you, but like at least 40 others I do know what the numbers do look like.
Perhaps, you should reconsider that the positions that you hold and appear to be advocating. The prattling about poverty and attempts at justification of disparate treatment are arguments in support of a poverty penalty. In truth the data shows that the SDPD has been "policing for profit." Methinks the USDOJ has addressed that, and slammed it in no uncertain terms, in Ferguson, Cleveland, Oakland and last week in Newark, N.J.
I have acted as you have instructed, with respect to SDSU, and am happy to say that I had anticipated you, having begun doing so in the summer of 2014.
I may have more to say later.
@rhylton we will see, however you are not impressing me your knowledge of policing practices by trying to compare SDPD with Ferguson, Oakland, Cleveland, and especially Newark - a city that I spent a considerable amount of time in and where I was an officer in an adjacent city before coming here. SDPD is nothing like those cities you mentioned, no matter how hard you try and lump us in with them. All of them are consent decree cities and reading the DOJ reports on each of them as I have as compared to the PERF report with SDPD shows just how far apart they are from SDPD. As far as influencing any study, I have never been invited to speak with those conducting it and I had no input with the parameters of it. Lastly, you claim that SDPD engaging in policing for profit is laughable. Most of the SDPD officers I know and worked with had a hard time writing citations for anything but equipment violations, because moving violations are so costly they knew they would never get paid resulting in warrants, vehicle impounds and jobs not being worked. Your perceptions of SDPD no doubt impact your thinking, but in my experiences they don't reflect the reality of what officers actually do in this city.
From: Rose, Stephanie
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2014 8:31 AM
To: Albers, Wesley; Caropreso, Frank; Cohen, Lawrence; Fortuna, Richard; Piner, John; Schmottlach, Tristan; Sells,Gaylon; Sterling, Jeffrey; Metz, Richard
Subject: FW: Vehicle Stop Data Reports May 2014
Here is the lastest Stop card information. For the last few months we have been at or above 200% over citations submitted. Perhaps you could encourage your officers to write citations to more of the violations they see. Traffic enforcement is still one of our Divisions priorities. Also, The Department is getting more AB109 money this year. To assist us in conducting worthwhile operations can you also encourage your officers to note on their FI’s whether the person is a 4th waiver, on parole or AB109. Your folks have
been making some excellent contacts and we just found out we will be able to target 4th waivers even if not AB109 this next year.
Stephanie Rose, Lieutenant
San Diego Police Department, Northwestern Division
12592 El Camino Real
San Diego, CA 92130
It is evident that she, in addition to encouraging the issuance of money-generating tickets, like FTO Vito Messineo believes in the stereotype of those who "looked like criminals" too.
@jeff jordon @rhylton An article that appeared on KPBS midday speaks of the effects of officer "forbearance", as you argue or "policing for profit", as I do. The sources of information were not Vehicle Stop Records. Instead, they used DMV records. The five-fold disparity and North of 8/South of 8 bias seems evident there too; the poverty penalty. See Report Connects Race To Higher Rates Of Suspended Licenses In California
I want to clarify some information regarding this article. The SDPOA is not circulating this proposal to the City in any official capacity. It was an article that came across my news feed. It still has to be researched and analyzed by the association board and negotiations team. Once that is completed, the the board will then determine if we want to make this proposal. We are not in negotiations with the City.
Recruiting and retention is a major issue facing the department. We are always looking at ideas to find solutions to stem the tide of officers leaving and better ways to entice lateral and new officers to the department. Any proposal that keeps talented officers here without costing the City money is worth looking at, especially as we try to stabilize.
Brian R Marvel
@Brian Marvel Brian; Hylton here. Last time I saw your post I was led to believe that you were on your way out.
With your recent post, I am happy that you stayed because, your comments are always interesting and intriguing as here:
"Any proposal that keeps talented officers here without costing the City money is worth looking at, especially as we try to stabilize."
Having an unstable police department is what many have been complaining about and what has cost the city considerable sums. Emphasize unstable and the word's application to the department and its officers.
And, your comment that “We need some breathing room while we bring additional bodies in" taken in or out of context is ominous.
Forgive me if I confuse you with Jeff Jordon.
Aren't those scheduled to retire among those who created and nurtured the "culture of misconduct" that the DOJ found to exist in San Diego? Are they really the senior managers the City should be looking to retain?
@DavidM I'm sorry, but I don't recall the DOJ or the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) ever finding or writing that a "culture of misconduct" exists within SDPD. Please cite the document you reference. PERF has noted and examined "cases" of misconduct in their review of SDPD, which is significantly different than culture. Culture refers to the attitudes, behaviors and values that are in the fabric of an organization. Additionally, PERF's analysis cited many of the reasons contributing and giving rise to misconduct, including not having the necessary supervision in place as a result of budget cuts which led to an inability to recruit, retain, promote and train which still plagues SDPD after a decade.
@jeff jordon VoSD's article on the subject here here: http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/public-safety/feds-san-diego-police-not-held-accountable-for-misconduct/
The article includes a link to the actual report, which notes that "it was gaps in policies and practices, a lack of consistent supervision at many levels and a failure to hold personnel accountable that allowed misconduct to occur and go undetected for some time.” The supervisors, whether it be sergeants or above, were particularly called out for poor supervision, essentially creating a situation where misconduct was tolerated; sometimes without even generating an investigation. As a result, a sergeant can learn of an officer's sexual assault, and simply counsel the officer and forget it. (One of Aravelos' first victims.) That sergeant is then promoted to lieutenant.
Isn't that a "culture of misconduct?"
@DavidM No, it is not. Looking at a little over a dozen incidents in an extended period of time where mistakes were made and problems noted does not paint the picture or equate to widespread, systematic, pervasive misconduct throughout an entire organization creating a "culture of misconduct." If you want to claim a culture existing within SDPD, it would be more apt to say we have a "culture of neglect" similar to our city's infrastructure. Unfortunately, the core of SDPD's infrastructure are not pot holes, they are its people and they have been largely neglected, ignored and marginalized by this city and its leaders for a decade. This is why SDPD has lost about 1500 sworn officers in about 10 years with 300 plus going to other organizations, they don't believe they are valued and have almost zero faith in elected city leadership to follow through on any promises made to them. It's hard to have consistent supervision when dozens of supervisory positions go unfilled due to staffing shortages and detect misconduct when your span of control is well beyond what it should be as well due to staffing. You don't necessarily focus on policies and procedures and making sure they follow best practices, when your equipment and facilities are falling apart and your people are walking through raw sewage on the way to their patrol cars. Yet, the points made in the PERF report do dictate that an inward focus by department leaders and elected officials be made its highest priority to address SDPD's personnel and equipment needs or the department will be unable to meet the needs of its citizens into the future.
@jeff jordon We'll have to agree to disagree Jeff. I recall a sex crimes detective who claimed he was being scapegoated because no one told him a misogynist poster on his cubicle was wrong. The COPS DOJ report includes numerous references to creating a "culture" that does not tolerate misconduct. If such a culture needs to be created, then the past culture tolerated it.
Bare numbers of officers leaving is meaningless absent context. If 1200 left without a new position then they are retirees or didn't want the job anyway. Since there's a waiting list for the Academy having 120 leave every year without a new position indicates some problem with screening those initial applicants; they are not prepared for the job. The concern is those 300 who left to start somewhere else. SDPD's morale problems are creatures of their own making; not because some politician broke a promise.
Blaming facilities is blaming the command's budget priorities. I get the ideal standard for officer staffing; I don't get the logic behind some of it. (It's also beyond the purview of this article and comment thread,) There are a large number of officers that don't believe they are valued. I get that. But there are a number I do not value after meeting them; that's their fault for how they do their job. If SDPD wants to be appreciated they should learn that one bad officer taints all of them.
@DavidM I'll agree with you on this point and let it go, everyday of being a police officer provides opportunities for officers to make a positive difference in the community, to earn trust by your actions, integrity and values. Those values are enforced and built into organizational culture, in many cases by your senior leaders whether they be of higher rank or not. When I joined SDPD with about 7 yrs of prior police experience, I learned the department's expectations and culture by officers with 20 plus years of experience who were on my squad and held officers accountable. You never wanted to let those officers down or do anything that diminished their efforts in the community. Now if you have 5 years experience, you are considered a senior officer and the culture that existed when I joined SDPD has changed some. It's going to take some effort and hard work to bring it back to what it was when I joined SDPD.
@DavidM "SDPD's morale problems are creatures of their own making; not because some politician broke a promise," shows a utter lack of understanding of issues within SDPD. While SDPD does have morale problems unrelated to "funds," many of them stem from broken promises. We have hundreds of officers who were hired who believed they had retiree healthcare and DROP benefits, politicians initiated the litigation that stripped them of those benefits. Additionally, about 150 of them had to seek employment elsewhere because they had never paid into Medicare since they were hired before 1986 when it was mandatory, they now have to do as much as 10 years at another employer to earn the benefits once promised by this City. In 2009, upwards of 500 officers took close to a 13% compensation cut, voted on by elected officials which drove many officers to bankruptcy, foreclosure, and divorce with the custody battles that followed. Many of those officers are still here and their salaries are the exact same as they were in 2008 due to pensionable salary freezes supported by elected officials in Prop B. They haven't forgotten and their morale, much like salaries have not improved any in the last 8 years. Commanding officers don't provide officers compensation, elected officials do and that is who they primarily hold responsible for their current situation. Elected officials llke Mayor Jerry Sanders have been promising a fix since July of 2006, it has not materialized and that is why SDPD officers largely ignore the promises of politicians today.
@jeff jordon As much as a point by point rebuttal would be entertaining for comment readers (or not), I'm going to defer because it's well off the point of the article. Maybe sometime we'll meet over a beer - you with the SDPD position and me with the public's - and we'll entertain a crowd at the brewery.
Let me leave with this observation: the City could not "break promises" without the support of the public, and a great number of the public feel betrayed by SDPD as well. My best friend is about to retire, and I've been privy to a number of insider comments, just as he's privy to my outsider observations. His morale was broken about ten years ago as well - he just coasted to retirement - and he never looked at what the agency was doing to improve it's public image either.
@jeff jordon These decisions, layered on top of the extraordinary debt saddling the city from the pension underfunded, we're what seems to have broken the spirit of many officers. How many us would swallow a 13% pay cut under any circumstances? How many of us would blindly support a department that was forced by past mayors to recind previously awarded but minor anticipated raises? As an outsider I don't understand the social fabric among cops but, as a citizen it's clear we didn't prioritize our police department or those that serve(d). Losing highly trained officers with enormous levels of institutional knowledge because the city couldn't meet it's financial responsibilities is the crime here. My bet too is that San Diego's crime has and is remaining relatively low due to the good work of the majority of cops in the department. Yes abuses have taken place and many since removed but, losing the opportunity to recover and retain good officers dedicated to San Diego would be a tragedy.
Employees, including police, do not always change jobs because of advancement in compensation and benefits. Therefore, attacking the problem by simply raising salaries may not stem the tide of employee departures. That appears to be the case with the San Diego Police Dept. Has anyone bothered to do exit interviews with departing cops to determine the reasons they are leaving. Compiling data from such interviews may hold the answer to the problem.
Retaining cops who are slated to retire via a Drop Program approach does not address the problem Those cops are likely to be mid to high-end positions, given their term on the force of 20 years or more. Isn't the need for patrolman out in the community? These guys are not that.
Here's the basic reality: Recruiting and retaining employees requires offering pay, benefits, and working conditions that are adequately attractive when contrasted with other employers with whom you are competing in the marketplace. The City of San Diego is clearly failing in one or more of those areas. Until the Mayor and City Council elect to offer pay, benefits, and working conditions that are equally or more attractive than their competitors, these problems will continue. Being cheap has consequences.
@Chris Brewster "Recruiting and retaining employees requires offering pay, benefits, and working conditions that are adequately attractive when contrasted with other employers with whom you are competing in the marketplace." That's certainly the basic theory Chris, but the actual calculus is more difficult. Employees will work for less if they work with people they like, or if there's opportunities at one employer that don't exist at another. SDPD trains officers who are then laterally transfer to La Mesa, Oceanside, the DA's office, the Harbor Police, etc. Depending on who you talk to, SDPD is not a career unless you work your tail off for six years to get noticed as Sergeant or Lieutenant. After a few years of not getting noticed, and a couple of failed attempts, a transfer over to university of school district police is a welcome change of pace.
Mr. M: I think we are in agreement. The variables are pay, benefits, AND working conditions (which includes the variables you cite). As you allude (and I agree), a given employer could pay less and have lower benefits as compared to a competitive employer, but still attract and retain workers because they like working there (and are willing to accept less money to do so). Conversely, an employer can pay much more than competitors, but employees don't stay because they don't like working there. The Mayor was elected and the Police Chief appointed to effectively manage issues such as this.