Entries Tagged 'SFPD' ↓

I agree with Mayor Huether, let’s end bullying in Sioux Falls, let’s start at Carnegie & City Hall

I have a little different perspective on it then he does, as I am sure you suspected.

While I do agree with him that work place/school discrimination and domestic violence is intolerable I do draw a line with freedom of speech. While saying ‘naughty hurtful words’ should be discouraged, the 1st Amendment is pretty clear about our constitutional rights. In yesterday’s press conference, Huether referred to a FB comment he read that said (in reference to the man getting punched outside of Wiley’s) “LOL. Maybe he should have minded his own business.” While the LOL was not needed (Lot’s of Laughs, is what Huether said it meant, which made me LMFAO*) I kind of agree with the rest of the comment to a point.

If it was a different situation, I would have definitely said something to the lady, but since the situation occurred while everyone involved was probably tanked outside of Wiley’s (a place known for it’s fighting problems) probably not a time to take a stand. For example, last night me and about 5 other people got doused with beer when someone behind us threw a cup. I turned around and saw some wannabe bikers laughing. I certainly could have went over and asked who the f’ing wise guy was, but you know what? I minded my own business, and guess what, no one got hurt. Did the gentleman outside of Wiley’s deserve to get punched? Nope. Violence is never a solution. Do I commend him for sticking up for himself and friends? Definitely! But like I said, if you put yourself in certain situations, there can be unintended consequences, especially when fueled by alcohol. Just look at the problems associated with drinking at Van Eps Park.

There are situations where you need to turn the other cheek, or you just might get punched in the face. It’s your choice I guess, like I said, the 1st Amendment guarantees us the right to pretty much say what we want as private citizens. It is clear though that employers can’t discriminate in this manner, and assaulting your spouse or bystanders is not included in this right. Please, let’s all stop punching each other over ‘words’. What an incredible waste of time and energy, and also, let’s stop crying over spilt milk.

This is where I disagree with mayor Huether on bullying. He seems to think this is about school kids, minorities, domestic assaults or gays, it is much more encompassing then that.

He lacks to mention peer bullying (most people think of this kind of bullying going on in school between classmates). It is also an issue in the workplace. In fact I believe it is an issue at Carnegie Hall.

I have seen city councilors, the mayor, city directors, city employees and citizens all bully each other at the meetings. In fact on one occasion, which still irks me to this day (the mayor says it is okay to get mad about bullying) is when Councilor Erpenbach bullied the snowgate petitioners and shut down public comment in support of an early election. Each week I have also watched several city councilors bully citizens when they say something they don’t like in public testimony. The mayor on several occasions has cut off councilors during discussions and asked for a roll call vote. They are all guilty, including myself, when I offer ultimatums during public testimony. I apologize.

I have also witnessed bullying by code enforcement officers, police officers and the city attorney’s office. In fact, a former city attorney bullied one of my friends for seven years which cost him over $40K.

Like I said, I am all for free speech, citizens have a right to address their government about concerns, but public officials don’t have a right to bully citizens when we bring up these concerns. I saw this recently when the city refused to pay for damages the SFPD SWAT team created. In another incident a guy is being taken to small claims court over not building a dumpster enclosure fast enough. So if city officials are going to hold press conferences to tackle the problem of bullying, they must first look in the mirror and get their own house in order.  I’m glad the mayor brought this issue to light, and I hope he looks at the bullying going on by the employees he manages. If Huether believes in leading by example it is imperative he sets a good example to city employees and directors. The same goes for the council (None of them attended the press conference yesterday).

BTW, Huether mentioned bullying that goes on on blogs. So I thought it would only be appropriate to comment on his press conference, on my blog.

*LMFAO. Which means ‘Laugh my funny arm off’

Bike Trail Cops

Some friends shot this picture the other night, the SFPD has been doing this for years, I don’t have an issue with it. But I like the ironic difference between the bicycle cops and the cycle cops. Nothing like having a nice ride on the bike trail and being passed by a HD.

harleyboy

Does this remind you of something?

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Like when our SWAT team blew out the windows of an apartment building to catch an unarmed fugitive, or when they put over 40 bullet holes in houses trying to coax a mentally ill-sucidal veteran from his home. But my favorite was when over 20 of them (My count from an Argus Leader photo) showed up to be Looky-Loos at a murder/suicide scene. I thought to myself, “Isn’t that many officers at a crime scene like that give more of a risk to contaminating the site?” The other part that surprised me, besides the fact that it seems they don’t have a lot to do as patrol officers is that when Chief Barthel was asked during the budget hearing how many officers are on patrol at any given time, he said between 20-40. I thought to myself, “If half to all of our patrol officers are at one scene, where the suspect and victim are clearly dead, who is patrolling the rest of the city.?”

Innocent property owners denied damage claim with city’s liability insurance

During the SF City Council informational meeting open discussion the topic of the landlords that had their property destroyed while police where capturing a fugitive came up. Councilor Staggers argued that they should be paid because they were innocent. City attorney David Fiddle-Faddle said that the city did file a claim with their liability insurance and were denied. Chief Barthel also said that since one of the tenants living in the building knew the fugitive (the fugitive was trying to find them) that doesn’t totally leave the landlord off the hook.

Huh?

I’m sure we ALL either know or are related to convicted felons or criminals, so does that make us guilty by association? Seems like a strange justification. Chief Barthel also says that if we just give them the money, even if the claim was denied, we would be setting a precedence.

In other words, when the SFPD breaks up innocent people’s property, no matter the circumstance, they won’t pay – EVER.

There is a solution. The city council can write a resolution and put it on the council agenda to award the landlords the money. This is fair for a couple of reasons, first off it shows their is no precedence and these things can be handled on a case by case basis, secondly, there would be public discussion by our legislative body whether it is appropriate to reimburse them.

Of course that would require common sense, prudence and compassion by our city council, something a few of them don’t have.

SFPD damages private property and blames fugitive

The hypocrisy of SF city government never ceases to amaze me. Department heads simply lie to the public and media and hope we believe them.

Paying for major damage done through police action isn’t what the public would want, however, Barthel said.

“It’s not the police department we’re talking about here, it’s the taxpayer,” he said. “I don’t think the taxpayers feel they should be liable for the damage done by a criminal.”

The ‘DAMAGE’ was done by your officers, not the criminal. Sure, he broke the door and the landlord should seek restitution on what HE damaged. But blowing out the windows was done by your officers. Also, I will never use the indoor pool, ice hockey center or tennis facilities, why should my taxdollars go towards facilities I will never use? Besides, if it is an insurance claim, that money comes from insurance, not the taxpayer. Do as the county does in these situations;

Some agencies have paid property owners for damage sustained during police action.

“We’ve had some situations where we’ve broken a window, and we’ve paid for the window,” said Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead. “We don’t stand there and immediately write a check, but if there’s an innocent person who suffers some damage, we work with our insurance carrier to cover the damage.”

Milstead cautioned that the standoff situation involved in the Graham case was unique.

“I can’t recall a case where we’ve had a person break into an innocent person’s home,” Milstead said.

The county has liability insurance for mistakes its employees might make, Commission Administrator Ken McFarland said, but he also couldn’t recall a comparable situation, either.

“If we feel there’s some liability on our part, we’d push it through,” McFarland said.

Why not turn in a claim? That’s what we have a risk management for, to handle these kind of situations. What’s the harm in filing the claim and seeing what happens? Once again, the city shows little respect for the little man in town. Plenty of money for TIFs to rich developers, to relocate the railroad (for rich developers) and multi-million dollar river greenway bulkheads (for rich developers) but scrounging up a measly $2,200 for property CITY EMPLOYEES damaged, NO WAY!

The mysterious ‘missing’ open container

First I ask you to watch this VIDEO before reading my post (it drags a little at the beginning)
VIDEO Poster’s statement;
Ryan Bultena
IMPORTANT!!! PLEASE WATCH!!!
I was the passenger in a vehicle tonight that was stopped for no reason, when asked why we were stopped the state troopers, Sioux Falls police, and K-9 units had no reasonable response… I was only the passenger and yes I had a few drinks but I am legal to ride in a car after drinking. They would not answer my questions and said there was an open container which I was sited for that was never there. They also illegally detained me from using a public restroom after I asked if I was under arrest. One officer says he found a open container while the other officer next to him (looking nervous) says no there was no open container… They are very confused and called 7 units to this call for 2 people In 1 car. The drug unit as well as Sioux Falls pd and state troopers arrived. The end result after the whole situation was I was charged with open container even after the officer in the video says there was no open container. The point of this video is for everyone to share it and stand up and fight for your legal rights as a citizen! If we do nothing then your part of the problem not the solution.
Obviously, the person filming doesn’t start video taping until a little late in the detainment, and, as he points out in his video post, he was drinking, and from the slurring of his speech, I’m sure he is over the legal limit (I guess I would have to be drunk to if I was riding in a Monte Carlo). That being said, there are TWO things that concern me. First off, he received a citation for an open container, but there is NO evidence of an open container (only the driver telling the Trooper that he ‘had’ an open container, I’m sure to take the heat off of her). Maybe it had already been brought to the Trooper’s car, but I do know it is common practice to put an open container on top of the offender’s car so the Patrol Car can video tape it. There is also a discussion about ‘spilt beer’. As I understand it, doesn’t matter if there is spilt fluids in the car, as long as there is NO evidence of a container that spilt it. But the most troubling part is the disagreement between the Trooper and SFPO. Notice the officer standing there tells the guy that there was NO open container. So why doesn’t the officer go speak with the Trooper about the ‘lack of evidence’ and to show proof of the violation.
After sending in two PO’s, a K-9 Unit and a State Trooper one wonders if these officers were just doing a little fishing instead of serving and protecting.
If I was the guy who got the violation, I would definitely talk to a judge about it.
*This appears to have occurred at the Get N’ Go at 14th and Minnesota

And they say DT Sioux Falls is unsafe

While the rumor mills continue (mostly due to the Mayor using it as a campaign issue) that downtown is unsafe, where have most of the vehicle related fatalities and injuries occurred in this town?

The man responsible for a fiery crash on Friday afternoon is facing several charges. Police say 23-year-old Adam Lind is charged with reckless driving, no proof of insurance, driving with a revoked and suspended license and driving an unlicensed vehicle. Lind was driving his 2001 Corvette Z06 on 57th Street Friday when he crashed into another vehicle, hit a traffic light and fence, before the car caught fire.

Most of these accidents occur on the outer parts of the city, south of 41st, including many pedestrians and bicyclists being injured or killed. Maybe instead of worrying about homeless people trying on clothes at the Man Code to warm themselves, we need to focus on more traffic safety on the Southside. But hey, there won’t be any issues with traffic at a new SE Walmart and even there is and a couple of kids get run over walking home from school, at least we created 250 jobs! untitled

Downtown Sioux Falls IS SAFE!

When I was buying my home, there was no question in my mind I wanted to be in the core of Sioux Falls, and was very lucky to find a home near DT close to McKennan Park.

I have lived in many DT neighborhoods in Sioux Falls over the past 22 years, and even when I was living in the center of Pettigrew Heights before I bought my home, I felt safe. Even walking home late at night. This ‘perception’ that downtown is unsafe has to end, and comments like this, do not help the rumor mill;

Store owner (Man Code) Gabrielle Spangler, 22, said she was nervous about opening a store downtown because she wasn’t sure how safe it was. But she hasn’t had many problems with people loitering or using her store as a warming shelter, she said.

BTW, Gabrielle, not all homeless people are criminals, just so you know.

One thing I have often said Sioux Falls city government needs to work on is the ‘perception’ and ‘culture’ of DT. While we can hand out building permits like candy and have a cop on every corner, the true success of DT will be measured in the popularity of people visiting downtown.

As for the police presence, I have heard the opposite reaction from friends that I try to entice to recreate downtown, “I don’t like coming downtown, because it is crawling with cops.” Some feel uncomfortable DT trying to have ‘fun’ because they may get a violation walking around while enjoying a few adult beverages. The police presence DT actually makes people ‘think’ DT is unsafe, why else would they have so many officers there?

I would suggest more plain clothes officers DT may alleviate this perception.

If you don’t use something very much, how does it wear out?

While I don’t question this expenditure for the SFPD (Item #1), it baffles me a bit . . .

guns

I would think a pistol would last several decades if you don’t use it. Of course, the pistols for the SFPD probably get used more then any pine wood spindle safety precaution at Carnegie Hall.

Another slow day for the SFPD

Yes, that is 6 cop cars (and another pulling in) surrounding a parked truck. No guns pulled, just about 8-10 of SF finest standing around chatting (they must have taken a hint from the public works employees). They must have gotten the lot confused with the skate park lot. I often chuckle when Chief Barthel goes in front of the council and asks for more cops. He never says, “I guess we just need more officers standing around.”