Saturday, December 18, 2010

El Paso Is Named "Safest City" Yet Chief Allen Tired Of Playing The Game

El Paso was named the safest city with a population of 500,00 or more by CQ Press for 2010. On the outside this sounds like a huge accomplishment. But is it really? El Paso has been ranked second or third safest city for the last few years but was able to squeeze by other cities this year even though we are a skip, hop and a jump away from the world's deadliest city. El Paso was joined on the top ten list by cities we all know like Detroit, New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Really? Those cities just don't scream out safe to me, or do they? I think this award is like naming El Paso the prettiest girl in an ugly girl contest. I also think it gives El Pasoan's a false sense of security and will cause people to walk around with their guards down

This list seems to be nothing but a public relations campaign for cities to improve their image and improve city official's chances of re-election or advancement. Don't get me wrong, I would love to live in the nation's safest city. But I want to feel that I am living there and not just told I am by some publication. Like I always say, show me don't tell me. Now a days people will say anything to make you feel better or to get you to buy their books.

Originally officials had said that Chief Allen was proud to announce the ranking. But in an interview with the local NBC affiliate in El Paso Chief Allen made a comment that might make people think that everything is not as good as our city government leads us to believe.
"I'm tired of playing the game and painting the picture that everything is under control,"
What does that really mean? In a meeting that will be held on a monthly basis Chief Allen said that he needs 300-400 and said that until the city start backing him things are going to start getting bad. Allen also said that the meetings were Wilson's idea.
"I'm just pushing for what I think we need. If I didn't do this I think I would be irresponsible in my duty as Chief of Police.
 The extra police officers would cost up to $50 million. Not something taxpayers want to hear right now. But our safety is at jeopardy. One of the local news stations got a comment from City Manager Joyce Wilson where she said that the Police Chief always wants more. I see the relationship between Chief Allen and the City Manager start to deteriorate. I like most El Pasoans don't want to see a tax increase but want to make sure we have enough police officers to keep us safe. So what can we do to get the police officers we need and not raise taxes? Easy........we can start by getting rid of the City Manager and her deputies. Why do we need a Mayor, eight City Representatives, a City Manager and four deputies? Now I don't have the exact numbers in front of me and I don't think we pay the City manager and her Deputies $50 million but there salaries could pay for many much needed officers.

Going out on a limb:

Joyce Wilson is used to dealing with a "yes ma'am" kind of police chief. As many people know former police chief and current El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles had a very good working relationship with Wilson. Too good if you ask me. Wilson is not used to dealing with someone who actually stands up for what he thinks is right. Now if you remember Richard Wiles came up with all sorts of certifications and awards for the police department just before he retired. He knew he was running for sheriff so he decided to fatten his resume to make his run for sheriff more appealing. As a candidate he ran on the idea of consolidating both the Sheriff and Police Departments. Wiles is a control freak and nothing would please him more than being the supreme law enforcement agent in El Paso. Now Wiles is getting help from all over the place for his run for complete supremacy. Chief Allen has only been in his current position for two years yet the media has attacked him and his department relentlessly. They want to paint Allen as incompetent to pave the way for Wiles to take over both the city and county law enforcement. But you have to remember, most of the officers you see on the ten o'clock news have been working for the department for over 2 years. Yeah, they worked for Richard Wiles. You will find that many of the accusations on the officers took place under Wiles' watch.

Let's go back to Wiles' run for Sheriff. He claimed that the number of complaints against police officers and the number of police officers fired had gone down under his watch. Yet he also cut the Internal Affairs department to save the city money at the same time. Why is that bad you ask? It sounds like a good thing on the surface. Doesn't it? For many years people have complained that IA had not investigated reports against officers properly. I can attest to that myself. Maybe cutting the department had something to do with that?

Many reports were "lost" and people would just get frustrated and not go back because they would loose faith in the system. Then there were people who were persistent and would do what ever it took to get the report filed properly. IA would find a way to not find enough evidence to charge the officer and drop the investigation. Fortunately the accusations would stay on the officers records. After a while the accusations would add up to the point where the police department could not afford keep the officer. Did they fire the officer? No, why would they? They would force the officer to resign. Doing that would allow the number of police officers fired to remain low and would allow the bad officer to apply at another law enforcement agency. It was a win win situation. This practice is commonly known as the El Paso shuffle. If Richard Wiles had done his job properly then we wouldn't see as many police officers on the ten o'clock news. I'm not saying he should have fired all the police officers, that would have only put us in a worse position, but if he would have been a good leader he would have had better control over his officers. Better training and stricter disciplinary actions would have kept the officers in line and would not have allowed them to get to the point where they had to steal from a wedding party or shoot an innocent man after a minor fender bender. Its called policing your own.

I'm calling it right now. Joyce Wilson and the powers that be will do what ever it takes to continue making chief Allen like he is incompetent so Richard Wiles could just come in with his consolidation plans and take over as the head law enforcement agent in El County. Call me crazy but just keep and eye and an ear out on what goes on with this. You will see that I am pretty darn close. I have dealt first hand with Richard Wiles and know what he is capable of.

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