by THE Twank
Mon Sep 15th, 2008 at 05:50:10 AM EST
Sacramento can't pay its Police Force! How will these cops maintain their comfortable lifestyles? A proposal and ... spam?
I caught the following article in the Sacramento (CA) Bee newspaper this last week.
I'll reprint portions of it here.
Painful Sacramento police cuts loom
By Ryan Lillis and Kim Minugh
The Sacramento Police Department is proposing service cuts to help the city close its massive budget gap that could lead to longer waits for 911 calls to be answered, delays in some violent crime investigations and a decrease in proactive enforcement against drugs and gangs.
The cuts, laid out in a memo Police Chief Rick Braziel sent to City Manager Ray Kerridge on Tuesday, will help the department come up with the final $3.6 million it needs to reach the 8 percent reduction ordered for its budget.
Faced with a city budget shortfall of $58 million, officials cut the department's budget by $16 million this year. The department has lost dozens of positions since last year and is experimenting with doubling up officers in patrol cars to save on fuel and maintenance costs.
The latest cuts - some of which already are being implemented - would slash more than 1,300 hours of overtime a month and change how police prioritize their response to certain crimes. It could mean delays in investigating robberies and sex assaults and less patrolling by officers now under pressure to write reports before their shifts end.
"All of these action items will negatively impact customer service to the community and the working conditions of our employees," Braziel writes in the memo obtained by The Bee.
In an interview Tuesday night, Braziel said the city's budget crisis is forcing the department to focus narrowly on violent crimes. He acknowledged he is not sure how the cuts will affect the crime rate.
Brent Meyer, president of the Sacramento Police Officers Association, said he expects the consequences to be serious. "Unfortunately, I think this is a sign of the times of what's to come on our Police Department budget," he said.
Overtime could be virtually eliminated for emergency dispatchers and patrol officers. Detectives handling crimes other than homicides and critical incidents that could turn fatal - such as a hostage situation - would no longer be called out when off-duty.
Braziel said the cuts come as a blow to a department already struggling with low morale. He estimated that individual employees are facing pay reductions of 10 percent to 40 percent because of overtime changes.
Why do I focus on this article, in a series devoted to the Embryonic Police State?
Here's the logic.
- Police-people are human beings (duuuuuuuuuh).
- Humans like having a financially comfortable life style, one which is constant, or ideally, improving.
- If police-people find there life-style threatened, as in this case with lay-offs, they will attempt to supplement their income from outside sources which utilize their current skill sets. If re-education can be avoided, it will be.
- Question: What is the skill set for your average police-person?
a. Competence with firearms
b. Competence with billy clubs.
5. Question: Who might have use for a person with this skill set? I'll return to this.
These are tough times for all but the ultrawealthy. If you're ordinary Joe/Joesphine Blow facing the possibility of starvation for your family, you're probably willing to find money/food wherever you can in order to survive. And who has these things in abundance? Why, rich folks, that's who. Not your next door neighbor who is also out of work and eying your starving dog to be his dinner. And it's easy enough to find rich folks. They live in huge houses guarded by fences and gates and dogs (yummm).
But rich folk ain't stupid. They read newspapers and surf the net for information and whatnot. They can see the bad times coming, look around at all of the goodies they own, and wonder if they can protect their lifestyle. And what do these folks have in abundance? Why, money of course. The same thing that the City Police Force lacks to pay its people. (See where I'm going with this?)
Problems solved for everyone, except the poor folks who are starving. Let's call it the Blackwaterization of American police forces. As times get worse, the wealthy can hire the already trained out-of-work cops to defend their property, make sure that their food supplies aren't hi-jacked, etc. Everybody wins, except the masses of starving folks. Kinda like Soylent Green. Remember Soylent Green?
and, of course, the finale!
Have a nice day! ;)
* For math fans and woodworkers. Remember in the late '50s when you had to memorize the multiplication tables, before the advent of the hand-held calculator, and the first one was "two times two is four" because one times anything always results in that anything. Ah, those innocent days, gone forever.