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Police Department Dangerously Understaffed

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Israel Safer than Coral Springs

Commissioners Treat Situation Like Assholes

In another stupid move by our City Commissioners and the City Manager,  they have decided to change the schedule of pour police officers to further spread the same amount of policeman.  Why the move? It turns out that the City Manager cannot find any police officers to fill the positions needed in order to adequately protect our city. This is because our city manager and City Commissioners, in their infinite wisdom has made sure that the salaries and benefit packages offered are less than those offered by a majority of South Florida cities,. All this from a city commission that pays the City Manager the highest salary for any municipal employee and collects money for garbage.

Police officers in our city are extremely un happy with this decision. The current schedule involves the police officer patrolling 4 days out of 7 , working 10 hour shifts. The city wants them to move to a 5 day schedule with 8 hour days instead. This new schedule removes overlap and reduces the overall coverage of the city.  This is being done again because they cannot find police officers to fill the underpaid  jobs.

I recently spoke with a Coral Springs citizen who has just come back from a recent trip to Israel. All of the people that he spoke to kept asking him one basic question: “You are not scared to be in Israel?”. They were curious how people from outside of their country viewed the threat in Israel. The Coral Springs resident quickly replied to the Israelis ” Mohammed Attah lived a few blocks from my house in Coral Springs. He killed 3000 people in New York and destroyed billions of dollars of real estate. The City of Coral Springs doesn’t have enough policeman and who knows if there are any other terrorists living in Coral Springs. There are not enough policeman to look for them. So do I feel safe in Israel? Safer than in Coral Springs! “

A building on University Drive had their rear fence vandalized by a gang.  Spray painting their  “Mark” on the wall with black paint, they obviously took their time in doing so with no worry that a police officer would find them doing the damage. They also knew that Saturday Night , less than 10 police officers patrol our streets, and of course, there is no time for the police officers to waste it on the rear alleyway of  a building on University Drive. On the Monday, the building owner was visited by a patrol officer,  telling him that he must paint over the graffiti within 3 days. “Who did this ” asked the owner. “Don’t know”, said the police officer ” Our Gang expert is no longer working for the city”. Then , Code Enforcement paid him a visit and insisted on the fence being fully painted since it is more than 25% discolored (it was a rear fence) and she was quick to point out that a permit was needed to make sure that the color of the fence was within city standards. Obviously the gang that painted the graffiti didn’t take out a permit.  So the building owner called the Police department to find out what is to be done about the graffiti, since this was the 3rd time the gangs painted it and it was starting to cost a lot of money. He was passed on to the Sergeants desk, and he has yet to receive a call back. Obviously there are not  enough police officers to even return phone calls.

At the Coral Square Shopping center, a women was abducted and gang raped. This was done despite the fact that there is a police station at the mall. The problem is the police officers are always in the Mall and not patrolling outside of it. That is because there are not enough of them. 2 police officers assigned sometimes to the area that has the most car thefts, rapes and other thefts are simply inadequate to protect the public. This was the 4th rape in less than a month in this city.

So what is going on here? Obviously our City Commissioners and City Manager are deciding not to spend our tax money wisely. They are also reducing spending in key areas like our police force in order to maintain a low bond rating. This low bond rating has contributed to higher crimes, increased rapes and a terrorist that felt nice and safe in our city. They have no problem  to spend money on our 40th year anniversary (who cares) or collecting money for garbage. Equally, they have no problem in increasing the benefits and salary to record levels of our city manager, and reduce the benefits and salary of policemen.

How stupid can the commissioners be? I am not sure, but 2 out of 5 can’t even use email. Now that’s stupid! What a bunch of assholes.

For the previous article click here:  Police Staffing Problems

Comments?:  email us at  assholes@coralsprings.com


Your Comments:

03/12/03

I have lived in this city for over twenty years. My son has been a police officer in the city for over fourteen years. Let me tell you this, you can take what the chief of police and city commission say and amount most of them to lies, twisting the truth and strong-arming the officers and the police union to keep their mouths shut. As of right now my son says the brass at the police department has managed to turn officers against one another, pitting different schedules against one another and taking the schedule that they all want away. What will you hear from the brass? We have to change because of manpower shortages and were paying too much in overtime. Of course there is a manpower shortage, my son says that department has increased by only 10 or so officer in the last 5 to 7 years. How much has the population increased in that time? Lets also look at the FBI’s national average of the ratio of police officers to population. HMMMMMMM 2.1 officers for every 1000 people. If you look at cities of the same average size and look at the number of officers Coral Springs is about 75-90 officers short. Now for some facts. Topeka Kansas pop. 126,500. Number of officers 280 or 1 officer for about every 452 residents. If you look at this article you will see some of the same problems in the Coral Springs Police Dept. http://cjonline.com/stories/090700/com_policeemploy.shtml for the entire article.

Dear Editor:
 On 11/6/02 I wrote Mr. Levinson a letter addressing the issues you raised in your article posted on 11/4/02. I quoted the allegations made concerning Chief Arigo’s request for 26 police officers. On 11/26/2002, I received a letter from the Chief of police himself, Roy A. Arigo. I quote, “I would caution you not to place too much emphasis on studies such as the one you cited”
 
Quote, “Regarding the request you cited for additional officers, the reality is that I did not ask the City Manager for 26 additional police officers, nor do I feel the need exists for that many additional officers.”
 
Quote, “Although we are committed to providing our residents and officers the highest level of safety and security possible, we do so in a manner that is also fiscally prudent”.
 
The Chief of Police sent a copy of the letter to Michael Levinson, City Manager.
 
This response seems to contradict the reports in your article. I agree with many of your suggestions on how to the fund a larger and better paid police department.
 
I arrive at two possible conclusions, 1) your report/study is not accurate and you misquoted the Police Chief or 2) The police Chief allegedly was intimidated by the City Manager and instructed to reply to my letter, or else!
 
What is your view, and yes I did indeed read your most current posting.
 
Cordially,
 
Michael A. Seide
Coral Springs, Fl 33071
 Mike: I ask that you look carefully at the wording that Chief Arigo has used in his letter to you.

 
He said “I did not ask the City Manager for 26 police officers”. 
 
He is playing a numbers game with you. This does not preclude the Chief from having asked for 25 police officers and 1 detective, or maybe 20 police officers, and 10 detectives. The Police force does distinguish between detectives and officers.
 
“…nor do I feel the need exists for that many additional officers.” Said the Chief. 
 
Ask him how many police officers does he think we are short. 25? 24? 1? By using “that many” in his wording, means that he is of the opinion that there is a deficiency. Or he would have simply stated ” We have enough police officers to protect the city.”  Ask him if asked the City Manager for any number of police staffing, officers, detectives or anyone else and see what his response is.   I spoke to him and he was sure to use the same verbiage of 26. A normal conversation would have said ” I didn’t ask for any more police officers”. Then we would know that he in fact did not speak with the City Manager at all. My sources say he did. After reading what he wrote you, I am convinced 100% they were right. 
 
His statement : “Although we are committed to providing our residents and officers the highest level of safety and security possible, we do so in a manner that is also fiscally prudent”. What’s this bullshit? Since when is this city worried about fiscal prudency when they go ahead and spend money on consultants, legal fees, and the Performing Arts. Ok, now I feel much safer in this city of ours. What does fiscal prudent mean?  It means that the City Manager gives him a budget and he better live by it. Fiscal prudency is the same language the Health Care companies use when determining if money should be spent on a patient, and it comes into play when deciding on whether or not there were enough deaths at an intersection to warrant a traffic light.

 
The mere fact that the Chief responded to your letter should lead you to believe that the article hit a sore spot and that you are one of many people writing in to the city asking the very same questions that I reported. Where are the Police Officers? Car 54 Where Are You?
 
As far as the officers I spoke to, I can report that they were veterans of our police force and are highly dedicated individuals. They spoke candidly with me and they are also as worried as I am that this Fiscal Responsibility is leading us to a dangerous city. Fiscal Responsibility should also translate into prioritizing the spending of the millions of tax payer dollars by the city manager and city commission. The lack of responsibility by the City has lead to the squeezing of badly need police staff.
 
So there we have it. Political words from our Police Chief worrying on which side of the fence he should sit. Obviously he has no backbone to take on the City Manager and tell him what he really thinks. …

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Howard Melamed

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