Some people say I am hard on our police force, I am, they should be held to a higher standard when it comes to ethics, I think most understand that. But when it comes to pay of public employees, I am a BIG advocate in paying our police force what they deserve;
The Fraternal Order of Police and the City of Sioux Falls have been holding several bargaining sessions trying to put together a labor agreement able to satisfy both sides.
After seven meetings between the two, the City put forward what they say is their final offer for a two year agreement that includes a one-point-five percent annual wage increase.
“I don’t know if that was the best offer the city could make but it’s the offer that the City said it was the last offer it was going to make. We believe that the City certainly has the financial ability to do better by its employees, particularly its police officers,” explained Wilka.
“It has become more and more difficult to preform the job of a policeman without everyone looking over your shoulder. It’s gotten more challenging not less challenging, so if anything the raises should be greater not less than what they’ve been historically,” stated Wilka.
I agree 100% with Wilka. With all the tension with police these days between the public and them, and the FACT that violent crime in Sioux Falls is on an extreme upward spiral, this is a piss poor time to offer them a piss poor raise.
That and the irony of wanting to build a new $25 million dollar admin building to increase the ‘morale’ of city administration workers. What about the ‘morale’ of our police force?
“The city has all kinds of money for this project or another project, the latest being the 25 million dollar administration building,” Wilka tells KELO Radio News. “and then to turn around and be told that you are only going to get a raise that is less than is what is commonly done in both public and private sectors in this region, that really produces a negative reaction on the part of people.”
I want to fill Mr. Wilka in on a little secret, the building that is being proposed ISN’T being built for the public or the employees, just sayin’.
The Sioux Falls received a “couple” of donations or was it 300? An interesting Board of Ethics meeting in late morning August 8, 2016 happened where two Sioux Falls churches wanted to do something nice for Police Department employees by giving them thank you cards with random dollar amount gift cards.
We attended because we wanted to show the people of Sioux Falls how the process works and to watch how certain participants worked. This came down to the police department employees were getting “discounted” dollars off meals at certain food joints in town. We don’t know who or where but after the Police Department fills their collective stomachs at the hospital cafes, they now can get discounted food at these select food joints. No ethics problem with this is there?
Cameraman Bruce was there so the rest of the town didn’t have to go. To the credit of a couple of the board members, it was not a hard decision to make in rejecting the cards.
I hope to have video up by tomorrow. You can read the ethics opinion request DOC: policegifts
The SF Police Department has a policy against receiving gifts (consumables, such as food) unless it is consumed on premesis (explains how they can stuff their faces at Avera).
The Ethics commission ruled they should return the gift cards they received from two local churches in appreciation for their service. While this may sound harsh, I agree with the ethics commission. I don’t think they should receive any monetary gifts. They get a paycheck for what they do, if that is not enough, they should talk to their union rep.
There has been a lot of discussion about cracking down on fireworks use in the city and for several good reasons;
– The noise is emotionally stressful for pets and people dealing with PTSD
– The fireworks could cause home fires or other damage to property
– Shooting of pyro in close quarters is dangerous and could cause personal harm
While I am not bothered by the noise, the fire hazard concerns me, especially people shooting off the larger cakes and roman candles. But I think the debate really comes down to fairness. While the parking attendants downtown have no mercy and if your lawn gets over 8” a professional crew is sent in at $150 an hour to mow it, it seems when it comes to fireworks, the police (or more importantly the police management) don’t really care.
I also saw this during Hot Harley Nights when I joked with a couple officers they should have their decibel meters out and hand out some tickets. One of them said, “Yeah right.” And I knew they wouldn’t. It seems some things are just given a blind eye in Sioux Falls. But tomatoes in the boulevard, long grass and low tree limbs, then we really have a problem.
I’ve told people wait until a housing development burns to the ground because some jackass shot off some fireworks in Sioux Falls, then everyone will stand around scratching their heads wondering if they should have done something.
Some would say that the police have a good argument, out over 600 police calls concerning fireworks, they could only hand out 14 tickets, because they ‘had to catch them in the act’ AND ‘respond to other calls’. I have said there is a simple solution to that, put out 4 unmarked police cars with undercover officers out on 4th or July weekend. When you get a call, drive to the address and sit in the car until they fire something off, then present them with a ticket. When people see a police car with lights flashing, the first thing they are going to do is hide the fireworks. Duh.
I think we need to get serious about fireworks violations in Sioux Falls and not worry about how tall my neighbors grass is.
Sam Clemens with the SFPD had a press conference the other day to announce that this year the SFPD will be handing out mostly violations for persons using fireworks within city limits (that are prohibited) instead of warnings.
He said calls in 2014 were around 300 and last year they were 500, he basically said it is getting a little out of control.
I was disappointed last year when the SFPD only handed out warnings. Not only is it noise pollution (do you really have to light firecrackers all night long?) it is a massive fire hazard.
I’m glad to see the SFPD will be treating people who are potential accidental arsonists the same as people who don’t mow their lawns. I should have been done years ago.
Does anyone find it a bit ironic that the SFPD has decided to pursue a 1974 cold case (whose main suspect died 3 years ago) yet can’t even get a single lead on the Tuthill park shooting in which they have classified as an inactive case.
Seems our new police chief is learning from his boss the game of smoke and mirrors.
Someone else said to me, this may have to do with justifying the SFPD’s cold case budget.
Well as long as they continue to have shadows and tree branches to shoot at in the dark, we will keep hope alive.
Emergency Room parking for lunch time needs. They could be assisting in the ER, but I’m guessing they are chugging milk in the cafeteria.
Got a good chuckle out of this 60+ comments about my original post over at the Wuss College. A post that was really about just asking cops who get free meals at Avera to enforce littering laws turns in an St. Patty’s Day parade in NY city and the bravery of officers. Ironically, not one single person comments whether they are getting free meals or not (they are) or whether that is ethical (it’s not). All I ask is if you are feeding on the dime of the sick and dying, you might as well hand out a few littering violations on the way to your Black Mariah.
An Avera spokesman said employees are not allowed to smoke on any Avera-owned property, whether it’s the main campus or other properties it owns in the neighborhood.
“Our policy hasn’t changed but we can’t afford to have somebody sit there and patrol it all the time,” said Jay Gravolt, Avera’s director of public relations.
BAHAHAHAHA! But the hospital can afford to give thousands of dollars a month out in FREE meals to PUBLIC employees (SFPD) who park directly in front of the property involved (to go feed their faces on sick and dying people’s money). In between loading their bullet proof vests with multiple cartons of milk and feeding their faces on the private health dime, because apparently the city pays them so poorly they can’t afford a sandwich or the brown bag to put it in.
Can’t afford to patrol it? Maybe give a couple of extra monster cookies to the piggies and ask them to go over and ‘butt’ these people away.
Gravolt said hospital security and administrators often give verbal warnings when they see people smoking on Avera property, but they can’t police public sidewalks.
“We can’t control the right of way,” he said.
But the SFPD can, and littering on public property is a crime.
Blogger Scott Ehrisman said “it still concerns a lot of people that if in fact there was someone there, that after a year, there’s a person who supposedly pulled a gun, on one of our police officers and is free, and never was caught.”
To my surprise, the very question I have been asking was answered;
The scene at Tuthill Park on Tuesday afternoon is quiet, much like the case of an officer involved shooting at the park. According to Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns, that case is now inactive.
So when was the Police Chief going to officially let the public know they were (unofficially) burying the case?