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Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Building Therapy

The way the article about the possible new police building was written today -- you would think it would solve all our problems. The city gets to own 98% of the block and the police officers get new digs....they probably would rather have a bigger pay check.

20 Comments:

Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Downtown real estate usually always is a good investment for any purpose, especially if in the long term the City saves by owning instead of leasing office space. Bigger and nicer office space for the police addresses one of their many complaints. Their other-than-office functions would remain at the current crowded facility on Figeroa Street, although it would be less crowded.

The City Establishment is doing well to chip away at the suite of arguments or complaints the Police Union is making, so the issue then just becomes their desire to be paid more so each employee can afford his own $1.4-million home in the San Roque neighborhood, when no other real people can.

And who tipped off News-Press that the owner of the building approached the City to negotiate a deal? One would think the same City Establishment gave that exclusive tip to the News-Press, to control the debate and public perception. Now the other news media will chase the story, and office space will be the story instead of their "low" salaries.

Real estate deals like that are always sensitive deals both buyer and seller usually want to keep quiet. So who gains the advantage for making such an early negotiation now a public issue?
City Establishment scores a few points on this one, but Police have been scoring this week as well with a series of well-advertised criminal busts every couple of days.

But will the new City building for Police offices also include space for a relocated Esau's Cafè?

6/29/2006 9:09 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

First District Streetfighter: do you know if the new buidling would have the ability to be secured so that it won't be surrounded like what happened in the Cooney's incident?

Too much manpower and mutal aid was diverted off the streets because of that....... dd

6/29/2006 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FDS,

Mr Fun re-enters the fray. Still bugged about the Easter Egg Hunt? Million dollar San Roque homes? Get real, on a $6,000 or $7,000 raise? Riiight. New building eh? Funny how nobody told the Cops that this was a real possibility. Probably because it isn't. Move the problem into a new building, that'll fix it. It is so typical, let 'em eat red tile. You are right, Armstrong and Marty are floating a trial balloon to score PR points, get themselves off the hook and look like they are fixing the problem. Too late kids. Someone will have to pay and those two are building a frame around Sanchez. They are already saying it too often, to too many people for it to remain a secret. It is a cowardly show of how they treat a loyal soldier.

6/29/2006 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody out there know if the PD can just move into a vacated office space? Is it practical and are public safety buildings required to have specific code requirements that make it tremendously expensive to convert an office building? How do prisoner holding areas and security enter into it? I have worked in that building and how it would function as a police station is beyond me.

6/29/2006 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The need for a new Public Safety building [a need about 15 yrs in the making] and the comparatively [with similar cities] low salaries of SBPD are two distinct issues. As for safety concerns about a building, rest assured those considerations are obviously taken into account. Funny that the same people who will go to the ends of the earth for non-peace officer labor unions or living wage appeals become so fiscally conscious when P.O. salaries are under review. and a house in San Roque???? Those are for double triple digit salaries, not public servants...

6/29/2006 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please. Stop the guilt trips. People who ask for some information about the pay scale for the SBPD are not anti-American or anti-police. This has nothing to do with the living wage. And are you suggesting that there's some difference between the goals of the police union and other unions?

This is the same crap we hear about the Iraq war from this administration. If you question anything about the war, you're anti-American, you are pro-Islam, and you don't support the troops.

Let's move away from caricatures of real people. The SBPD does a good job and they deserve fair wages. That wage scale needs to be looked at since they already make a good salary and have excellent retirement benefits. Threatening to withhold conscientious service to the community loses them support. It does absolutely nothing to convince people that they deserve a 10% raise. Actually it reinforces a stereotype that that police should be happy to lose.

6/29/2006 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse me, where did the PD threaten to withhold services? That is a complete falshood. But, as long as you are bringing up Iraq however there is an apt analogy: Blum/Armstrong are aping Rumsfelds comments that they give the PD Chief/Generals whatever troops they need to do the job. Privately they cut, cut and cut, don't allow disagreements and trot the Chief/generals out to speak the company line that everything is A-OK. What is awful is that they are privately and not so privately blaming Sanchez for everything. This would not be even happening during contract talks had the City Council been informed that Armstrong was continuing cuts for the past 3 years. The PD union was talking about this at least 2 years ago! Nobody took them seriously. Now everyone is shocked, shocked to find there is gambling in Casablanca! What a crock! Time to put the blame where it belongs and it isn't at Figueroa Street.

6/30/2006 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says..

Before we build new anything we should demand more cultural awareness training for police officers. Too often they treat non- whites as criminals as opposed to innocent workers. An effective police force is not just about nice buildings and putting people behind bars. It is about the respect they show the people they come into contact with. The debate should focus on how do we prevent crime not how much the police get paid and where they work.

6/30/2006 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reply to anonynous 10:40:

I just know what I read in the News-Press, June 25, headline article:

"Many higher-ups at City Hall are appalled that Sgt. Mike McGrew, president of the Police Officer's Association, is stating publicly that crime in Santa Barbara will get worse if officers don't get a raise and staffing isn't boosted."

If you think that's not a threat to withhold service, you are reading selectively. The same article quotes three members of the Police union who don't want an outside audit. And the Chief of Police and two City Council reps who want it.

I don't know anyone who wants problems in the SBPD. If they are undersaffed and underpaid, wouldn't an outside audit be a reasonable way to demonstrate it? Why is it a better idea to take the word of people who see it only from one side? Especially if, as they say, the numbers are in their favor?

6/30/2006 4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:36

If you are depending on News Press reporting to figure out what is going on inside the PD you are already in big trouble. But since you are may I point out that Mc Grew didn't say that, it is how City Hall insiders spun the story. Just like that unbelievable pile of baloney about the De La Torre building. This is a huge, very real problem and the usual dithering about won't do. Council is spinning around until Armstrong tells them what to do. Falcone has obviously distanced herself from this mess. After the heat she took last year I am sure she would just as soon sit on the sidelines and let the "progressive" bloc figure this one out. Look for this to last well into the fall. It will be interesting to see who can hold up under real pressure.

7/01/2006 1:17 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

The issue that Police Association-union keeps harping on is that need to be paid a lot more so they can afford to reside in Santa Barbara or South Coast. Would not we all like that?

The San Roque neighborhood reference is an example of where they would want to buy a residential property. Will the POA rhetoric keep escalating until they can afford the home prices there? How much salary increase is enough, topped by hugely generous pensions?

People pull all kinds of tricks to afford to reside in Santa Barbara, or get lucky. The police employees are no different, but from their rhetoric, they think they area.

What is next: a debate and ordinance on defining who is or is not part of the "Critical Workforce" and what they should get paid? MY profession is more important than YOUR profession, neener-neener-neener!!!

A new police office building, IN ADDITION to the existing secure building, will help with morale and retention a little bit.

But instead of making threats that crime will get worse, per the News-press articles quotes mentioned above, the police employees instead should make some more conspicuous busts in order to sway public opinion their way, as no one responds more to public opinion that City managers and City Council. Some gansters and, often worse, grafitti taggers arrested would to a long way in this public perception poker game that is going on.

7/01/2006 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FDS,

As if they aren't busting everyone they can. Are you suggesting they are allowing crimes to go on and that they suddenly can make a high profile crime and arrest occur for PR value? That suggests a capacity for cynicism on your part that boggles the mind. Also you can't know many cops to think that is happening. So let's round up the usual suspects, gang bangers and taggers? Who will they complain to? Get real. They aren't making threats, once again, the City is spinning it to the News Press as threats.It is all they can do. The facts simply are on the PD's side.

7/01/2006 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unions are out of control.

I support the men and women on the street - both the firefighters and police. Yet the political power game has gone too too far. They want to dominate and bankrupt the city and county with their demands - and Janet Wolf is in their back pocket - bought and paid for is Wolf.

7/03/2006 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara,

Once again your blog has been taken over by a campaign. The Secord campaign is debuting its "union bought and paid for" message for the 2nd District race. On this and other blog threads. Union/Rose/Capps are the bad guys in this train of thought. If you think these are the bad guys I suggest you go to the Davies Communications website and check their client list. There you will find Dan's supporters. Check out the Coastal Commission votes and see how many of those clients benefitted from Dan's votes. It will take some work, but then they are counting on us being lazy and stupid. It generally works.

7/04/2006 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says..

Cops are overpaid as it is. Forget the building and put the money into drug rehab and recreation programs. Why do cops have to work in luxury?

7/05/2006 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Mike, I will grant you that rehab programs are part of the "solution", but as usual I disagree with your point of view. Recreation? I really don’t believe it is the government’s job to provide entertainment to the masses. It didn’t solve any problems for Rome and didn’t work for the Soviet Union either. Let’s face it, some people are so far gone; they need to be removed from society for all of our protection. Period. (Do you really think Charles Manson could be rehabilitated???????)

Also, I guess you never heard of the concept "you get what you pay for"; meaning that if you have a low paid workforce, you get a low skilled work force. That's part of the recruitment issue being raised by the Police union. Case in point: look at the police in Mexico. They are incredibly low paid by even their local standards. Thus, they have to resort to corruption to even feed their families, regardless of their personal moral standards.

To suggest the police union wants or intends on bankrupting the City is absurd. Like any work force they will take the most they can get through the bargaining table, that's the way it is and will be.

Needing a new building is no bolt from the blue. It is a problem OUR political leaders have allowed to fester for more than 20 years. Construction costs get higher and higher, as do real estate costs, which are both higher than the Cost of Living. The longer it is delayed, the more money it costs us the taxpayer. Also, who says it has to be downtown where real estate costs are highest? Why not locate it somewhere more on the periphery? The City is not all that big.

Oh and while I'm at it. FDS, the police building is NOT secure in the remotest sense of the word. The lobby may be semi-secure, but the building is not even close to being a secure facility. Anyone who has any military or security related experience can tell you that.

7/06/2006 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

We have an armed camp mentality in Santa Barbara. Police don't need a bottomless pit of resources to complete their mission. Put the money forward into crime prevention and cop costs go down. Could it be police don't want to prevent too much crime because it will prevent them out of a job? Maybe if they spent more time with the people instead of chasing down non native born working americans they could prevent more crime. I don't buy give the guys in uniform everything they ask for. Too often they become the peoples enemy. Better they answer to us than us to them!

7/06/2006 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike, Mike, Mike..... If you think anyone other than ICE is "chasing down" ILLEGAL aliens, then you're living in a fastasy land.

7/07/2006 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious to polic anon defender and the nurse - has there been any documented public illnesses in either the cop department or the hospital? I don't remember reading about anything and I'm not trying to downplay your exposure risks - but I just think maybe you 2 are overblowing it????

7/07/2006 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know of a recent series of incidents where contagious staph infection (like the flesh eating virus) was being spread from one officer to another after being caught from a citizen contact. The “guys” were left to fend for themselves and when they protested, they were stepped on and punished. Only after about a 1/3 of the workforce got sick did the staff take any noticed and at that just took minimal actions, and to my knowledge, never reported it to public health officials. (In fact, one young officer was left with a serious and life shortening heart condition as a result.)

This is just one incident that has recently occurred. Details removed to protect "the innocent".

The anonymous cop

7/08/2006 1:05 PM  

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