The Chief's Blog
November - 2013
I chose to utilize this month’s Chief's Blog as an opportunity to update you on some of the important issues that my staff and I are working through to ensure that your City Police Department is functioning efficiently and in a fiscally responsible manner. Below is a list of common questions I have fielded in the community lately along with my associated responses. It is my hope that you will find this information helpful and informative.
How is staffing at the Police Department?
It is with great pleasure that I report to you that, for the first time in approximately two years, your Police Department is operating within budget and at the currently authorized full staffing level for sworn police officers. That being said, we have hired a total of five officers since March 2013 and our staff has been working diligently to get new officers properly trained and prepared to serve our community in a courteous and professional manner. This staffing level will allow for one patrol supervisor and two patrol officers to respond to calls for service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With these staffing levels your police department boasts an average three minute response time to citizen calls for service. Granted this is only an average response time but I'm very proud of this number considering the high call volume that our officers are handling on a daily basis.
Reserve Police Officers:
In addition to full-time officers we are fortunate to have a robust team of highly trained and dedicated reserve officers. These valuable men and women are crucial to the way Marysville Police Department conducts business and essential to our ability to provide police services. In addition to vacation/sick coverage, special detail deployments, special events/parades and a myriad of other basic enforcement and public services, these reserve officers operate seamlessly with our full-time personnel to augment growing public safety demands during financially difficult times.
Public Safety Dispatchers:
We are currently working to fully staff our dispatch/records division. After a very promising recruitment process last month we are very excited about the prospective candidates that turned out in record numbers to compete for vacant positions. We are also extremely fortunate to have a staff of Reserve Public Safety Dispatchers who, in the same manner as our other reserve staff, perform an invaluable service. These part-time employees allow for double coverage in the dispatch center during peak hours.
Currently our investigations division is staffed with one full-time detective and four part-time retired annuitants. A part-time annuitant is a retired law enforcement professional who works a maximum of 960 hours a year which equates to approximately 20 work hours a week. Each of these part-time detectives brings with them a lifetime of investigative law enforcement experience. The depth of knowledge that these distinguished veterans bring to the department provides a solid investigative foundation and enriches the abilities of the less experienced officers. If not for these dedicated detectives our solved cases rate would be less successful. Yet again this is a testament to the resourceful nature of your police department to seek out innovative and unique ways to get the job done right.
Property and Evidence Division:
The property and evidence unit is clearly a critical part of any law enforcement organization. Currently we have one Civilian Investigator/Crime Scene Technician who maintains all evidence processing and retention processes. In addition to these functions this employee is heavily involved in community outreach and community education programs for the department.
Not enough can be said about the many services and functions that our volunteers perform on a daily basis. These folks are more than just volunteers they are a part of our police department family who help to support us selflessly in so many ways. We can never have enough staffing in the area of volunteers. I encourage anyone to inquire at the police department on how to become a volunteer and visit the volunteer section of this website for more information.
What is the Police Department doing to work within its budget?
Your police department administrative team has been working tirelessly to ensure that all areas of spending and resources are met with the highest level of scrutiny. In these times of national, state and local fiscal recession it is incumbent upon department administration and ultimately me, to ensure that local taxpayer dollars allocated for police services are properly managed and our constituents are remembered and considered with every purchase or expense. In order to ensure this, I have implemented tough budget reform through the implementation of new processes for budget tracking and annual expense forecasting. Additionally, I have consolidated several internal positions in an effort to restructure, improve efficiency and reduce overhead. It has been my message and practice that our spending practices are reasonable and necessary.
How is morale within the Police Department?
In the five years that I have been working with the men and woman of the Marysville Police Department I can confidently say that I have never seen employee morale better than it is currently. With any law enforcement organization the job we perform on a daily basis is rooted in public trust and community support. My staff is committed to my decision to reconnect with the citizens of our community through a strong Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving program slated to roll out in its entirety on January 1, 2014.
While speaking at public meetings or simply getting out into the community and speaking with many of you, I have heard an overwhelming message of support for our department and its long history. I have heard many stories and accounts from good citizens about how an officer or staff member helped them work through a tough time or critical incident. I have heard stories of heroism, courage and kindness that truly reflects the good nature of the employees of the Marysville Police Department. So long as the job of a police department is a tough one and so long as we recruit from the human race, there will always be room for improvement. However, it pleases me to hear how you appreciate the tough job that your police department is performing.
I enjoy bringing that message back to the men and women of the police department and have witnessed firsthand how that positive community feedback and support has a direct impact on department morale. Our staff is excited to see the changes taking place within their department through new enthusiastic management and fresh motivated personnel. These positive internal and external motivators are very inspiring to your police department staff and does wonders for improving morale.
Do you see positive solutions for the challenges facing the City today?
My staff and I have been working very closely with City Manager Munchheimer, the Marysville City Council and City administrative staff to research and discuss responsible and appropriate solutions for Marysville that will ensure a safer and more prosperous future for our community. Ultimately these important solutions will hinge on this community’s spirit and desire to move forward in a financially secure way. If the strong community support I have seen for the police department and the fire department is any reflection of the compassion that Marysville residents have for the rest of the City, it is my strong belief that the residents of Marysville will rally behind their elected officials and let their voices be heard.
In closing I want to again thank you for your continuous support for public safety and the dedicated work that our City leadership is doing to navigate through this tough economic climate and on to future prosperity where all City services reflect the needs of our community.
Chief of Police