Citizens in Shoreacres will have an opportunity to get the facts on a proposal to eliminate the Shoreacres Police Department at tomorrow night’s Shoreacres City Council meeting.
3.0 SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
3.1 Harris County Sheriff’s Office – Proposal to provide law enforcement services in place of the Shoreacres Police Department.
The Addendum doesn’t say who asked for this to be on the agenda. I know that Shoreacres resident and Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Croas has been putting information out about the cost savings of doing this ever since the council refused to balance the budget for this fiscal year. He recently posted this on his “Cup of Joe in Shoreacres” Facebook page:
Quick Numbers for a Sheriff’s Contract:
City of Shoreacres:
FY2012-13 Proposed: $606,236.85, actual $628,682.11
FY2013-14 Proposed: $535,539.85, Over-budget at same rate: $557,981.11
Harris County Sheriff’s Contract:
This HCSO contract is for One (1) Lieutenant, One (1) Sergeant, and Five (5) Deputies. An HCSO contract will still save the City of Shoreacres an additional $4058.11 with the new FY2013-14 budget. There are also items that have been cut from next year’s budget that will have to be added back into the budget in the future, such as vehicles and previously cut items. An HCSO Contract will provide this at the same cost. The City of Shoreacres is also cutting out $91,142.26 from the Police Budget, which will affect services. This contract will also instantly fix such issues as Dispatch, Jail Services, Chain-of-Command, Supervision, Out Dated Policies, Training, unanswered IAD Complaints, employee grievances, Record Keeping and Statistical information, adding ARS/CAD Reporting System, UCR Reporting, Warrant Services (1 million+ dollars of un-served warrants), Evidence Handling, Conflicts with the City Manager and the Police Chief and getting updated Technology. It will also not have unexpected OVER BUDGET items listed. There is no reason to duplicate services. The HCSO contract will bring in the full weight of this department for this community, which could bring in additional resources such as, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit, Nuisance Abatement program, Harris County Animal Control, etc. as needed. This City can negotiate with the HCSO, in regards to re-hiring the eligible SA Police Officers into the HCSO. Maybe even bring them back to work this contract. This is a way to save SA money, and not lose employees.
The city’s finances are in such dire shape that this proposal must be considered with an open mind by Shoreacres homeowners. Note that in his commentary, Croas makes several points about capital purchases, overall improvement of policing, elimination of duplication, etc., in his support for this change.
This move, if it occurs, will not balance the city’s operating budget but it will help us in the future by eliminating capital outlays necessary to maintain our own police force. The city council must somehow overcome their reticence to eliminate some city employee positions and bring wages into line for the remainder before the operating budget will be balanced. Unfortunately, there have been no signs that they are willing to do this.
I hope to see city hall as crowded for this issue as it was when the lights on the pier were out.
Johnathan Stiner says
saving less than 10,000 dollars is not worth disbanding a police department. One day of writing tickets covers that cost. What is the real reason for dumping the department? is there some type of infighting going on?
What is the real story?
David Jennings says
LOL, MUCH infighting going on. 😉
Sounds like Shoreacres needs to disincorporate. That would put the onus to provide services on the county and let citizens quit paying city taxes.
Jon Douglas says
One of the reasons the city has so much problem, there is lack of leadership coming from a few city council members. They need to wise up and put there big boys pants on and start making cuts and salary reduction. Start with the city administrator, his salary should be inline with cities comparable to the size of Shoreacres. The public works department is severly bloated. The city pays an outside contractor to mow when public works has over double the employees it used to have? Wasted money. There suppose to be little over a million dollars in warrants, if half of that was collected the budget would be in the black. No attempts have been made. Having the sheriff department replace the police department is a real bad ideal. You have a member of the community who works for the sheriff department who is pushing this. If you get rid of the police department, no need for the court clerk either. These are band aide fixes, I listed the REAL problems. I care about this city, hope in this upcoming election we can get a new mayor who is competent, not one who rides around on a golf cart with a city councilman who is drunk as cooter brown on the weekend letting everybody knows he the mayor.
BJ Fenley says
If you think the city will have a Lt, Sgt, and 5 deputies at all times in the city you are mislead. Council needs to talk to other areas with “contract deputies” before doing away with the police dept. We have certified D.O.T officers that the city paid for their training. The last wave of council opted to end the program. We have a “reserve officer or part time officer” who was collecting our outstanding warrant issue but it was also stopped. Contract deputies respond to calls in the city but respond from other areas of HC. You may see a deputy patrol the city from time to time but response times for home alarms, theft, burglary will increase. I live in HC and low priority calls are just that…low priority. HCSO is a great organization with a lot of miles to cover don’t think for a minute that this will solve the money problems. The city needs to cut areas that are “top heavy”. I know nothing about running a city or managing a budget but I have seen several projects that could have waited another year or two. I’m just a fireman/paramedic that enjoys working for you…the people. I don’t need this job I enjoy this job we “reserves” do for minimum wage. Take my part and keep it if it helps, it’s not the money, it’s the community. Production is down within the PD but ask yourself wouldn’t you be non productive if everyday you came to work the ax was on your neck to cut cost. Please just read this and not respond with rude comments. We, is the key!!!
Douglas Downs says
I have the up most respect for this city council and the mayor. Some of the negative feedback that are posted on a few blogs do nothing to help this city in a constructive way. Sometimes you have to sit down with your neighbors and talk to get there opinions on certain things. People who listen, gain insight on how the community feel. Wish the city and the resident a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year