Archive for February 2014

Slowing the Turnover Rate and Officer Retention

My last post introduced you to a problem we had with the high turnover rate in our police department.  This week I would like share my thoughts about how we can slow down that rate and retain our trained officers. 

First and foremost, would be a serious discussion of police officer pay.  Now I realize this is not a subject most of us like to discuss in today’s economy, and a new tax is out of the question at this time.  But I do have a workable plan that could accomplish an increase without asking the citizens for a new tax and the city for much of an increased budget.  My plan would also include a process to improve citizen and officer relations, therefore increasing the publics willingness to support a pay increase for our police department. I will discuss this plan in future posts.

Second, Training.  Training is very much needed in every aspect of the department.  There is a lot of free training available out there just waiting on our police officers to absorb.  Our Sheriff’s Office is constantly training and I know we can join them and take advantage of what has been often offered to our police department.  That’s right, often offered but not accepted by the current administration of our police department.  But that is not the only training resource available to our police department.  I believe it is time we take advantage of what is out there.  Training improves the morale of our department and the officers individually. Training increases the effectiveness and efficiency of the department and the officers.  Training enhances public relations.

Third, Consistency.  We need consistency in our department.  Consistent praise for a job well done, consistent discipline for a job not so well done.  Consistent policies that do not change on a monthly or weekly basis.  Our officers need, and want, to know what is expected of them, without the rules changing on a whim. Discipline that is fair and just and not meted out based on personal relationships or as a retaliatory response.

These are only three examples of things that can be done to improve the morale of our officers and achieve their retention.  A happy police department will bring about better Protection and Service…With Respect to ALL.


“Now I’ve seen it all” … Or have I?

I have learned years ago, never say, “Now I’ve seen it all.” In the last 32 years, as a police officer and a probation officer, I have continuously encountered situations that I’ve never seen before.  Each one of these situations is a learning experience that better prepares me for future situations and gives me the experience needed to handle similar situations as they present themselves.

We have lost 80%, at last count, of our experienced police officers since the 2010 elections.  Some of these officers had as many as 30 years experience in handling these life experiences.  Say we lost 30 officers with an average of 10 years experience.  That is 300 years worth of these situations that prepare our officers for the job they are expected do.  Not only did we lose their personal experiences, but the experience that these officers could have passed down to newer officers in training, guidance and advice during their tours of duty.  This is a great loss for our police department.

In the 28 years prior to Dies’ administration of our police department, WE HAVE NEVER HAD SUCH A HIGH TURNOVER RATE.


Runoff election not an option

The last 2 elections for Eunice’s Chief of Police resulted in runoff upsets.  The candidate winning the Primary lost to the second place candidate in both of those runoff elections.  We cannot afford to have this happen again.  I am the only candidate with the ability to garner enough votes to unseat the incumbent chief.  Consideration of a third candidate will only heighten the risk of a dangerous runoff election.  Let’s not risk another four years of a Dies Chieftainship. The only way to avoid this runoff will be to encourage everyone to consider their vote carefully and to vote for the only candidate who can, in all reality, win this election.  That, of course, would be a vote for Randy Fontenot.  With Respect to ALL……..

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