Commissioners court says deputies haven’t been shot at enough; residents don’t deserve adequate protection


During the 2012 Collin County budget process in 2011, Sheriff Box showed the court that Collin County was far behind other area sheriff’s offices in the deputy to citizen ratio. He asked for and received three additional patrol positions, an additional motorcycle position and a canine replacement. This brought the officer to citizen ratio (for patrol) to 1/2259. It was discussed and generally agreed upon last year that the sheriff’s office would receive three additional patrol positions for five years for a total of fifteen deputies.

Provided there was no change in the unincorporated population, the requested number of  patrol deputies, in five years, would bring the ratio down to 1/1564. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ recommended average is 1.8/1000 for a population between 50,000 and 99,999. Sheriff Box’s request was right on target.

During this year’s 2013 Collin County budget process, Sheriff Box again asked for an additional three deputies to stay on track in providing adequate protection for citizens and law enforcement personnel.

The Sheriff was met with resistance from two members of the court. Judge Keith Self questioned the Sheriff as to how many Collin County deputies have been shot at or had to draw their weapons in recent years. Is this now a requirement or some obscure guideline that Self is basing this question on? If so, what are the recommended number of times a deputy has to be shot at or draw his weapon to justify a position? Does a Tazer count?

Barely two weeks after he made this statement, two Collin County deputies were involved in a shooting in the Northeast end of the county. Reports are not fully in, but it appears two of Self’s requirements have been met. Is that incident worth one or two new patrol positions?

To add an entirely new and almost humorous twist to the requirements of adding additional patrol deputies, or rather the lack of qualifying for them, County Commissioner Duncan Webb, of  affluent West Plano, questioned whether people who live in rural areas should expect the same amount of fire and police protection as people who live in cities. From those remarks, it appears as though Mr. Webb places a lower value on the lives and property of those not ‘fortunate enough’ to live in a city.

Sheriff Box, who receives state and national awards for running an exemplary office, and has the complete faith and confidence of the citizens of Collin County, would not ask for additional manpower unless he felt it was completely necessary. This commissioner’s court has far too long played politics with the safety of the citizens of this county and it’s time for them to stop.

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VOTE!


Early voting has already begun and ends on May 25th. You can vote at any early voting location in Collin County, regardless of where you live in the county. Your vote does count and only you can help make a difference. You can take 15 minutes now to vote, or spend the next four years complaining about more benefits and pay being taken away. Make the right choice!

Click the below link for the CCDA candidates endorsement list. The board has thoroughly vetted candidates and these are the ones who we feel have a genuine concern for public safety and those employed by the sheriff’s office.

VOTER GUIDE

Misinformation Campaign Begins Anew, V2012


* The following article was released by Judge Keith Self to his supporters. As usual, his rhetoric is filled with misleading and false statements aimed at portraying county employees as feeding off public taxes. This from someone who is a lifetime public employee who ‘earns’ $132,000 a year as his base salary.

Friends,

The Commissioners Court will soon take up the most important duty in each year – the county budget.  I will be commenting on the process as it unfolds.   You see political philosophy in action during the budget process.

The county budget sets the tone and the direction for the next year – a forward looking document.  Collin County is one of the most dynamic locations in the entire country, and we want to keep it that way.

We should maintain a focus on core functions.  We should not yield to the mantra of making government do “more” simply because we are a dynamic county – that is the surest way to slide into the redistributive habits of locations formerly known as dynamic.

Since a majority of our budget goes for salaries, it is always a major topic.  You may remember that the county conducted a major compensation study last year that showed that Collin County values our employees and compensates them well, compared to “like” employers, public and private. There are four advantages to county employment: 1) comparable salary, 2) great benefits, and 3) almost iron-clad job security; and recently added: 4) routine pay raises for our already retired employees.  The Commissioners Court set some salaries above the guidelines of the comprehensive compensation study last year, even though the study showed that our compensation is right in line with comparable employers.

I wrote recently about the elected official from another large county (not a Commissioners Court member) that I met in the Austin airport. When he understood that I represent Collin County, he remarked that he loved Collin County. When I asked why, he said that all elected officials other than Commissioners Court members love Collin County because we pay so well, while other Commissioners Courts do not appreciate their elected officials using Collin County as their justification for higher pay.

Some may believe that because our national policies and spending have so crushed the private sector that local governments must increase spending on social programs.  However, our job is to accomplish core judicial, law enforcement, and healthcare functions mandated by State law and to create a low-tax, business-friendly environment that leads the private sector to create jobs.

There will be challenges this year, as always.

The union pay scale with guaranteed increases that was suggested last year may be introduced again.  Texas is a right-to-work state and we should continue to base salaries on merit rather than automatic pay increases.

The county paid off our entire unfunded liability in the retirement fund last year, but we already have a new liability this year because of retirement program investment losses.  The seven percent guaranteed return seems unsustainable for the foreseeable future.

Budget season is always interesting and enlightening, and should be transparent.  I’ll keep you posted.

Sincerely,

Keith

**Comment section now open. Please feel free to respond anonymously. Your thoughts are important!!

CCDA Endorses Candidates


The Collin County Deputies Association is pleased to announce its endorsements for the 2012 elections. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all of the candidates for becoming active participants in this process and for understanding the importance of the various issues, not only to members of the association, but to all county employees.

We would also like to thank other area police associations, both individually and combined, for their involvement in the vetting process. These associations include McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Allen and other smaller agency representatives. A unified voice for all agencies will help ensure a stronger voice in local issues for employees, and a safer community for the citizens we protect.

Candidates were given the opportunity to submit information concerning their candidacy to the CCDA endorsement committee. Input about these candidates was also received from employees of all affected departments.

Please visit our main site to view the list of endorsed candidates.

Candidate Information Coming Soon


The filing deadline for candidates for the 2012 primaries will be December 15th 2011. Numerous area races will have a direct impact on ALL county employees, including the office of Sheriff, Pct. 3 County Commissioner and various Constables races.

The CCDA will soon be posting candidate bios for most of these candidates, some of who attended our recent candidate forum. Please familiarize yourself with these candidates and participate in our upcoming poll on the secure side of our website at www.ccdatx.com.

Your feedback is important on these races. The CCDA will finalize endorsements on the evening of December 15th.

October meeting announcement


Generosity Results in Tournament’s Success


The Collin County Deputies Association and it’s members would like to say Thank you to all of the participants of the recent golf tournament benefit on September 9th.  The benefit, a four man scramble, was planned to assist three members of the Collin County Sheriff’s Office who are currently suffering from serious medical conditions and in need of costly treatments.  The tournament was a huge success due to the overwhelming turnout and generosity of the citizens of this county.

 

As a result of this tournament, we were able to raise over sixteen thousand dollars that will be disbursed to the members to assist in paying for cancer treatments and expanded medical costs.

It takes an enormous amount of preperation to hold a tournament of this size, and without everyone from the golf participants to the sponsors, this event couldn’t have taken place. Due to the huge success of this event, we were all able to make a difference in a time of need. The sponsors, businesses, volunteers, players and citizens for this event were tremendously helpful, and for that, our association and it’s members are extremely grateful..

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