Friday, March 20, 2009

Our conversation with C.E.O. Ellis

It is our intention to meet with Mr. Ellis next week. The content of the meeting will be:

Mr. Ellis, once the termination of Terrell Bolton is upheld by the merit system, we ask that you appoint William “Bill” O’Brien as Chief of Police immediately following. As you are aware, Bill O’Brien has dedicated his life to the citizens of DeKalb County for over 20 years. His service has been noting less than impeccable.

Acting Chief O’Brien worked his way from patrolman working a beat to his current position. During his tenure, he has achieved an equal balance of leadership over parts of the patrol division as well as, and most notable, commander of the Internal Affairs Division. There he gained the respect and loyalty of the rank and file.

If Mr. Ellis you and your staff have been reading the blog “DeKalb Officers Speak”, then you know there have been nothing put praise for Bill O’Brien and your decision making him Acting Chief.

Bill O’Brien would bring to this department higher standards in workmanship as well as personal moral standards, something that has been lacking in the leadership within the department for at least 10 years. Not only is he dedicated to each deserving officer and the citizens of DeKalb, he is a dedicated husband and father.

It is not only us who support Bill O’Brien, we feel sure he is praised by others outside the department, including members of your transition team. It is most important Mr. Ellis you appoint Acting Chief O’Brien simply because he is the most qualified.

After 8 years of Vernon Jones and his questionable appointments, transfers and terminations that have led to more than one discrimination lawsuit, it is time for you to reach out and embrace the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.:” I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”.

Bill O’Brien is the person to lead our police department into the future. You will see morale at an all time high. You will see a department no longer divided. You will see a department who will rally behind their leader. This will be a department that will once again be proud and a department the citizens can trust and be proud of.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bill O’Brian is a super nice person, but he is not ready to run a major police department just yet. DeKalb County needs someone with the Education, Training, and Experience to carry this department forward.

Anonymous said...

Amen Anonymous..........O'Brien is a great person, but he can not lead this department. He can not work with the 8 other chiefs they will not let him....it will be constant back stabbing. O'Brien does not have the experience to get it done.....

Anonymous said...

The last two chiefs could not run a police department, but we still had them. I think he could run the department better than most think. As we have been saying for years, "it could not be any worse".

LoFlyer said...

From what I understand, O'Brien has 20 plus years experience, including command of IA and is highly regarded by all. How much experience do you need? A few years as Vern's driver?

Anonymous said...

The other chiefs will not let O'Brien work with them? They must be fooling themselves. They are no going to be around very much longer.

Anonymous said...

Granted... Bill O'Brian did not come from APD and he was never the driver for VJ... but besides those very important omissions from his resume I think he is the best choice for the job right now. Please don't hold it against him that he is respected by his fellow officers, that he has had an excellent career, that he has acted honorably in all the positions he has held, and that he has ran IA for many years. The police dept is not a place for political muscle flexing. Who knows better what the police dept needs.. police or a group of politicians that has NEVER policed in their lives.

Anonymous said...

Do we know for sure that O’Brien really WANTS to be the next Police Chief? I mean has anyone really asked him what he thinks. It may not be a good idea to volunteer someone for a position they do not really desire. If you really do it right, the job of DeKalb County Police Chief will be extremely tough to say the least. There will be enormous expectations, stress and politics to consider. Maybe O’Brien would rather be a Deputy Chief or an Assistant Chief. I don’t know this for sure and I am not speaking for O’Brien, but I am suggesting that others should take caution that they do not speak for him either.
I think it is more than reasonable to voice our opinions concerning who should be the next Chief to anyone, including the CEO. However, I think we should be careful that it does not appear that we are DEMANDING anything of the CEO. At this point I think Mr. Ellis has earned the right to select whoever he wants as the next chief. If that selection is O’Brien then I will support him to the best of my ability. If he selects someone else who I believe is a decent and competent person then I will also support him to the best of my ability.

ddh said...

Excellent letter. Im not playing a race card here, but having been Bills partner years ago (1990's), when we were in COP, he did not have an ounce of prejudice in him. Officers are officers in his eyes. Back then i knew he was a leader and im not surprised he has risen to this level. This dept does not necessarily need someone with a masters etc., just someone we can trust and has the where with all to do the damn job. Bill, im very proud of you and wish you all the best for the future.

Anonymous said...

Those that feel O'Brien is not capable, please let us hear your reccomendations from within our ranks. I would be intrested to see just who you think is capable. Don't be shy, speak up.

Better DeKalb said...

Didn't Bolton have all of those "qualifications"?

Education comes in more than one form, not just a degree from a university. With 20+ years on the DKPD it sounds like he has plenty of experience.

O'Brien sounds like the kind of man that can roll his sleeves up, do some hard work, and help correct a lot of what is wrong in the department. I bet he can drive his own car too. We don't need a flashy chief with a pedigree, we just need a solid chief who has great leadership skills, and can help clean up crime.

One question: How is everything going under his current "acting" leadership? It is a good indication of what is to come if he becomes Chief.

Mitch1352 said...

Bill O'Brien is just who we need. The naysayers must be those who are looking at transfers or demotions if and when he is made chief. He has all of the experience that he needs. The only thing he doesn't have is patience for a**kissers or slugs. And he would not have to work with the deputy chiefs...THEY would have to work FOR him. The unmitigated arrogance and stupidity of the first two comments is astounding. He is just what we need...the working street cops and detectives, I mean, not the butt-smoochers and bottom feeders.

Anonymous said...

If they don't want to work for O'Brien or any other chief, demote them back to their permanent rank.Fight fire with fire.

Anonymous said...

Incredible! Who do you want then? Bill is far more capable than you know. Go back in the blog and review the comments when Bill was named as Chief of the department. If you really want Bill to be chief then show it! "Actions speak louder than words" I'm calling on all Sergeants and Lieutenants to show your Support for CHIEF Bill and start a massive campaign against crime! Get your guys out there and stop everything that moves! Lock every ass up you can and let the Blitzkrieg of TAKING BACK THE STREETS OF DEKALB begin! Captains and Majors; Get them out there! Let’s show Mr. Ellis how serious we are by moving forward with this plan! If we don’t act now, it’ll be to late and we’ll lose out on a MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY being handed to us on a golden platter by Mr. Ellis! Come on guys and gals! The immediate future of our department is ours to seize – NOW! WE MUST ACT and show we’re serious! I suggest the Special (Operation WMO – We Must Obliterate crime) begin promptly at Noon Monday on April 23rd and run for a solid 7-days! Give Chief O your support! Cover this in all roll calls and lets see who’s really ready for Chief O and who’s not! Now get off your ass and get the job done – for William O’Brien! BlogMaster, please put this up front and center!

Slamin Ethel said...

Let me be the first to say your education level means zilch to me, show me the money! and Bill has done just that.
Now personally I have no idea the mans eduaction level I don't care because I have been around him enough to know he is a leader not a follower. I would stand and go into battle any day with him or for him makes no difference to me.
I know many people around here with master degrees and guess what there PO1's, POII's,MPO's, Sgt's, Lt's etc. Your education level dosent grant you the right to be anything, you have to earn it.
I have accomplished more in life and I dont have a degree in anything other than hardwork. It has served me well.
So I say Rock on Chief O'Brien, And I truly hope you will apply for thr job.

Anonymous said...

I concur !! Bill O'Brien for Chief !!

Anonymous said...

Bill is a super guy but sending him in as Chief of Police would like sending in a quarter back with no helmet.
Going to the CEO with what in effect a demand letter will very much be the kiss of death to the very person you want to promote. Don't put this man in the position of trying to explain the CEO he din't put you guys up to doing this. Why don't you just continue doing the good work you are doing in the street and let the CEO make the decision he was elected to make. No one is telling you not to lock anyone up who could have very well send away on a ticket.

On the Fence said...

Honestly, at this point in time, the jury is still out.

I used to be a very productive officer. Unfortunately, they've snuffed the fire and I've learned to simply "do my job". Pushing and going that extra mile was met by scorn and a lot of resistance.

I've grown tired.

Chief O'Brien is a tremendous improvement, but he's not permanent and I haven't seen any meaningful changes. We're still short cars and we're still short officers and detectives. If you're not a "special unit", you're dogged and treated like the lowly servant.


There are those that need to go who are still holding the rank of Major and Deputy Chief.

There are some Cpt's, Lt's, and Sgt's that need to be forced out to pasture. The "old boy" and "boys will be boys" way of doing things are gone.


Let's face it.....Dekalb is nothing more than a job at this point in time. If you are under the old system, you can even earn a nice pension.

We yearn for more than just a JOB, but we've been conditioned by those in charge to do what we were told and don't buck or attempt to improve the system.

It will take a lot to ignite the fire that has been smothered. I hope Ellis is the spark that makes being a Dekalb officer special once again.

Again... until that time....the jury is out.

We'll continue to punch the clock when we arrive and punch it again when we leave. Nothing more. Nothing less.

You work with what you have.

The current leadership inspires nothing more and nothing less.

Anonymous said...

If O'Brien wants the job, I want him to have it.

To anyone making posts suggesting he isn't qualified or people won't want to work with him, go back to flying your helicopter.

LoFlyer said...

If I was to have a private meeting with CEO Ellis, I would guide him to a salary study Internet web site and go through my experience and qualifications and then show him I am about the lowest paid government employee in the metro ATL for my skills in my profession. I wouldn't mind the low pay if I was a mediocre worker. But my bosses are slave-drivers who work harder than I do, but it was myself and some retired co-workers that built the topology that provides multi-millions of dollars in savings each year over commercial services, and we developed it with nearly no cost to the county. I would question the HR policy of four year college degrees that would not allow me employment with the county if I applied for my position today, but produces no qualified applicants for my position and we have to hire higher paid consultants to do my job. I would ask why no employee salary study has been made in over a decade, and why county employees have received no cost-of living increases over the same decade whilst the CEO and commissioners received whopping pay increases. I would question why the purchasing department was gutted under Vernon Jones with job reclassifications resulting in doubled costs for the same services provided by our vendors and suppliers. I would question why money is available for new commissioners and CEO's offices but not available to complete the renovation of the top three floors of our courthouse, that desperately needs it. I would question why county facilities are allowed to dangerously deteriorate to a dump with no upkeep by Facilities Management until the systems fail, but we have lots of money for a performing arts center with no staff. I would question why we have departments that are outdated and provide little service to our tax payers for the money. I would question why no grand juries are seated to study and audit county functions and services. There is a lot more that I would want to discuss, and I have a funny feeling the meeting would be totally disastrous for my career, but it would be worth it.

Better DeKalb said...

Look at the vote. 317 For Chief O, 35 against. I'm certain CEO Ellis will see a similar ratio if you all meet with him.

CEO Ellis is a very measured man. He will take your input, consult others (and actually listen to them), and then make a decision. Your input is highly important to him, and is probably going to be a major factor, but not the only factor. He will thoroughly interview any and all candidates to see if they are interested, to see what their vision for the DKPD is, etc.

We are all still so shell shocked from the Vernon Era, it is hard to trust the CEO to make good decisions. Last time we went through this process it didn't turn so good for us.

The one thing I know is that every step away from the Vernon/Bolton era is a good one. Onward!

Anonymous said...

O'Brien is a quality human being and has treated me and everyone I know who has ever had contact with him professionally and equally; that is not just a one-time meeting - we're talking YEARS of interaction. To those who say he doesn't have the "education", I presume you mean a degree. All a degree shows is that you have the CAPACITY to learn - not that you're smarter than those without a degree. He has proven he has the smarts to handle ANY job or assignment he has been given in 20+ years - so I think that deserves an honorary degree (hell, if Bill Cosby can get an honorary doctorate, then I believe Bill should receive at minimum a Masters degree!). To those who say he couldn't handle the current command staff - if he could handle Internal Affairs in the exemplary fashion he did, I think he'll be able to sift his way through the BS and make the right choices for command staff.

The bottom line is this - and one poster alluded to it: does he really WANT the job? I know without a doubt he wants what's best for DeKalb County Police Department as well as its citizens - but he does have a career to consider. It takes a lifetime to make a reputation and 10 minutes to ruin it - and unfortunately they'll be a lot of people trying their best to do just that. I recall something Dick Hand said to me once: the higher up you go (in rank), the more people are aiming for you. I came to realize it a few years later and it always stayed with me.

Regardless of what happens with this situation, there is but one fact that is obvious: Bill O'Brien has the utmost respect of everyone he has known and worked with, and you could not find a better choice to lead DKPD into the future. As Slamin Ethel says - ROCK ON, CHIEF O'BRIEN!

SNAKEBIT said...

If Bill O'Brian is made chief, I might even consider returning to the police Dept. I left because I could not work with Graham or Bolton as chief because I cannot tolerate working with criminals. I saw the writing ont he wall and resigned the day Graham took office. Ii was shocked at how quickly the department deteriorated under VJ. It was going down hill fast under Levitan, but once VJ took office, it went stright off a cliff! Since Chief Moody was forced out by the criminals, and I have been watching from the sidelines, I have been absolutely shocked at how fast the police dept has spiraled out of control, and felt great pitty to those that I loved who were not able to get out. I knew it was going to be a big impact when it finally hit bottom, but I would have never dreamed the crater would have been this large. Making Bill O'Brian the Chief of Police would be a huge step towards repairing the damage done by corrupt politicians appointing criminals to positions of authority in the police dept. He would be the best man to undo almost 2 decades of corruption that has ruined the quality of life for the citizens of DeKalb. If you think the last 20 years was a step in the right direction, answer this question......How do you take the best police department, and the wealtiest county east of the Mississippi River, and turn it into what Dekalb has become? Bill O'Brian is the only logical choice to be the Chief of Police and a step in the right direction any way you look at it!
SNAKEBIT

fired up officer said...

I've talk to the man twice since he has been chief and he seems like he is having a great time being our boss. I agree we should demand that Mr Ellis put him in. But as for the he has no education I've heard that he is working on that and I will take 20 year hardworking Vet over a piece of paper anyday of the week. and as for the other chiefs its been proven good or bad chiefs when they get the job the chiefs will change. and the ones that don't are the butt kissers who play whatever role that can keep them incharge. So Mr Ellis if chief O'Brian wants the job it wouldn't hurt any of the non Vern officers feelings if you allowed him to take the helm and turn this department around

Anonymous said...

I've heard alot of complaints about Graham and TeBo. However, I haven't heard anything bad about Chief Moody. To the contrary, people seem to be saying he should have never been forced out in the first place. If that is the case, why not bring him back? Is he still around? And would he want it? What say you, officers?

Anonymous said...

Guys again I question..since no one answered..does O'brien have the big brass ones?? From what I hear, King Rancid is still riding roughshod, as is his boys (AJ, Randy Moore, etc) and making the dept a horrible place to be. Why hasn't O'brien put a halt to this overhaul of the evals (started by Rancid) and the mismanagement of the SWAT team (leave Eunice in charge, who hasn't been on SWAT in15 yrs)..Hello somebody, as a popular preacher still says//O'brien, where are you???

Anonymous said...

What exactly do you guys expect O'Brien to do as "Acting Chief" with people like Rancifer? Ramey can't even take a voluntary demotion because of Ellis' current policy of "no changes without Ellis' approval."

Guys, it took YEARS for this department to get as screwed up as it is. It's not going to change over night. It wasn't too long ago that people were complaining that Ellis was doing nothing about Bolton. Where is Bolton now??

Relax! Everything is going to work itself out. It's just not going to happen over night!

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the deal is with Ramey, but she's wearing Lt.'s bars and is assigned to Center Precinct morning watch.

Anonymous said...

All I know is this. I ask CHIEF O'Brian last week if he would take the job (if offered). He said that he wouldn't mind trying it on for size. That sounded like a yes to me. I haven't spoken to a single Officer that's been here longer than "since lunch". That has had a bad thing to say about the man. I haven't heard about a single skeleton in his closet (unlike Moody). The Officers on the street respect the man. The Officers on the street are the ones that the Citizens of Dekalb see everyday..We are the ones out there (trying) to keep the street safe to walk/jog on. We are where the rubber meets the road. Untie our hands and give us a chance to turn this Department around. If the current brass doesn't like it, or can't get on board with a new game plan..Then let them crawl back under the rock from which they came. CHIEF O'Brian where the garbage is (within) the dept. Mr. Ellis untie his hands and let him take the garbage out. Once the department is cleaned up. We can concentrate on the streets. We can give the Citizens of Dekalb a safe place to live, and a departments that they (we) can be proud of (again)...