Jane and Steve recently asked me several question on my website. I would like everyone to see the questions and read my answers.
Jane and Steve asked:
Joe, Just a few questions in reference to your department goals you have listed... 1. Interested in how you plan on making the working relationships better between the agencies 2. What is the current scheduling like for the deputies ? my understanding is that there are already 3-4 on at a time. I think 12 hour shifts are very long, especially if you are working nights and have to come back during the day for court or training, etc 3. I believe the citizen's academy is a good thing. It is a great way to educate the public to the real workings of the sheriff's office personnel, but you would not be creating one, as Sheriff Kelly has held several of these. 4. The 911 system upgrade ? Wasn't it in the paper a few years ago that they purchased a new one ? I believe it is the same system used in the metro and not sure how much more updated you can get 5. Computers in the vehicle are nice, but are they a necessary expense when your dispatchers can provide you with the same information ? I'm not bashing, just interested in hearing your reasons and thoughts on these. Thanks for your time
The current schedule is 10 hours shifts for all road deputies on a bidding schedule. However, while I worked in Paola after 2 am there were only two deputies on. I intend on going to 12 hour shifts for a number of reason. One, the deputies will work only half the year but will put in the same amount of hours. This will give them more time at home and when they come to work, they will be less stressed. The deputies will also have more time to investigate their calls. If a deputie gets a call late in the day, he can not investigate it the next day if everyone is sleeping when he goes on shift. As for court duties and training, deputies will still be required to attend court and training but it can be worked out that he can go home early or switch with another deputy so that his responsibilities are met. When I worked for the Fort Scott PD they worked on a 12 hour shift and very little problems arose.
The current 911 system is very good. But like most people, they are relying on cell phones. I do not believe the current system has the capability to locate somone who is calling 911 on their cell phone. There have been many incidents where someone calls 911 on their cell phone but can not give a location. I would also like to discuss with Osawatomie and Paola Police Departments on having them answer their own 911 calls (or discuss better ways to dispatch officers), because they don't now. I know that it is very frustrating to hear that you are being transfered when you have a emergency.
Having more updated computers in vehicles will give the deputy on the road the ability to run vehicle registrations without tying up the dispatcher. Important information can also be sent through the computer that is only ment for law enforcement to know. If a suspect is giving a false name, the deputy can locate a driver's license photo. I intend on paying for this by grants and drug money siezures. Also, being apart of the ALERT system-which they are not. ALERT is a way for metro agencies to see misdemeanor warrants, officer safety info, etc. Miami county IS NOT a part of this now. I feel, to better serve the citizens you have to protect the ones who are protecting you. This is a great tool that is not being utilized.
As for a better relationship with other agencies, I have seen (not just in Miami County) when a department head is upset with another department head, the road officers suffer. I intend on making sure that although I do not see eye to eye with another department, the one on the road are still safe and have all resources available to them. If a department needs equipement they will receive it if possible.
As for the citizens academy, I thank you Jane and Steve for advising me that Kelly already has one. I intend to continue this program and make improvements where needed.
To Jane and Steve, I do not believe any question posed to me is bashing. Your questions are important to me.