Friday, October 29, 2010

2010 DeKalb Public Safety Champion Award Acceptance Speech...Should We Win

The author of the DeKalb Officers Speak Blog couldn’t accept this award in person this evening therefore we would like to personally invite DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis to accept this award and read the following statement on our behalf. If the CEO is not available, Director of Public Safety, William “Wiz” Miller would be a suitable replacement to accept this award and read our statement.
We are surprised and humbled to be awarded the 2010 DeKalb Public Safety Champion Award.
First of all, we thank each and every police officer, who every day, with honor, pride and selflessness, protect the fine citizens of DeKalb County. We thank their families who must make personal sacrifices supporting the person in their life who has chosen such a noble profession.
We thank all the members of the DeKalb Police Alliance for devoting their time, money and energy to developing and garnering public support for DeKalb County police officers, and all the police officers of all municipalities within DeKalb County.
We especially thank those who we cannot name, the ones behind the scene, who support us, give us suggestions, guidance and most importantly, protect us.
Let’s get right to the point.
We know it and you know it, all of DeKalb County knows it. The DeKalb County Police Department is seemly on a fast track to unrecoverable ruin. Our police department has been twisted into paralysis by organizational decimation, incompetent leadership, self serving politics and corruption.
After the hiring of the despicable Terrell Bolton, following the resignation of the raciest Louis Graham, a group of police officers said ENOUGH! So we established a blog entitled “DeKalb Officers Speak”. To quote our headline: “‘This blog page was established so DeKalb County Police Officers including their family and friends may have a place to hold discussions, post news and vent without fear of retribution”.
The purpose of the blog was to be a voice representing the employees as well as the long term well being of the 600,000 citizens we protect. We wanted to be a voice that is heard, taken seriously without fear of retribution but under the realities of the political circumstances in which we work the only way to have that voice is to be, and remain anonymous.
We the DeKalb Officers are sickened that our once proud police department revered as the best in the Southeastern United States, has deteriorated into near ruin in only a few short years at the hands of Vernon Jones and now seemingly continues with Burrell Ellis.
We are tired of a leaderless department whereby the management structure has no ability to disagree with the politicians who want to balance the county’s budget on backs of the officers. We have taken an oath to protect the citizens in time of crisis in spite of the obstacles put in place by the politicians of DeKalb County.
We are angry at an unsupportive Board of Commissioners and Chief Executive Officer who allow financial mismanagement within the county and now have cut the police services to almost the point of no return.
While the county budget was cut $84 million, our income was cut through furloughs while Burrell Ellis' staff, and staff of commissioners were given pay raises and payoffs. At a time when there are not enough police or police cars to expediently put out a shift, the budget cut is snubbed by the C.E.O. as he passes out not only car keys, but car allowances to the few and the favored.
The number of police are at an all time low. With reduction in pay which on the back end, reduces our pension, recruitment has become difficult at best.
Today we accept this award in absentia, not for ourselves but for the citizens of DeKalb County who must rise up together with us now to be heard as one unified voice, stating that we all collectively deserve better than we are receiving. We the citizens and officers who serve, demand accountability from the politicians who govern as to the inadequate state of the entire DeKalb County criminal justice system and the Police Department in particular. We demand fiscal responsibility ensuring that the essential service of government being public safety is not further eroded.

Finally the DeKalb County Police Officers who have and continue to put their lives on the line everyday demand respect. We demand to be returned to the once prestigious and proud police department we were just a few short years ago. To have our pay and benefits returned to us and to put in place protections to secure our pensions that we have so rightfully earned. We demand to be respected by the Board of Commissioners, C.E.O. Burrell Ellis, and yes, even the Director of Public Safety, William “Wiz” Miller.

Thank you again for this prestigious award as it truly validates that the voices of individual officers of DeKalb County do matter to the Citizens that we are there to serve and protect. I look forward to seeing this award in the main display case at DeKalb Police Headquarters.



Anonymous said...

Congratulations, and THANK YOU Dekalb Police Officers for serving the citizens of this County so well. I am extremely grateful to you. I pray that you not lose your spirit or your life as you continue to struggle through this difficult time. I hope I live to see the day when you are rewarded with respect, pay, benefits, and everything else that will restore your job satisfaction.

Anonymous said...

Just a comment: Burrell Ellis is light years better than the crooked Vern, and ya'll shouldn't lump the two of them together. I have talked with Ellis and I truly believe he has his heart in the right place, and wants to do the best he can for DeKalb within the context of declining revenues. He got rid of the wretched corrupt TeBo and his lackeys, for that alone he gets a lot of credit in my book.

Anonymous said...

Ellis said no raises county wide, then gave his secretary a huge raise! She's not the only one! Screw him! He's a lying jerk, just like Vernon!

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 12:12-do you like your kool-aid warm or cold? Tried to do his best for Dekalb despite declining revenues, SERIOUSLY? Was he trying to do his best when he gave that cow Sheila Edwards a $50,000 severence package? How bout was he thinking about Dekalb when he gave the former COO a $100,000 severence package? You are obviously an idiot.

LoFlyer said...

Big league government with little league leaders.

It took me a long time before I realized that DeKalb government is playing in the big leagues. 800,000 citizens, a 700 million dollar budget, the DeKalb School system is even bigger with a 1.5 billion budget and 13,000 employees.

The school system and DeKalb government are totally separate entities who share the common bond of serving its citizens. 40 years ago both were considered among the best in the nation and world.

So what happened to DeKalb government and school systems?
The demographics of the county citizens changed rapidly after 1980. The politics changed from conservative Democrats with its racist "old boy" white-centric politics to the equally racist, "home-boy" afro-centric "progressive" Democrats that now control DeKalb school system and government today.

Both are dead wrong in their racism, but at least the DeKalb conservative Democrats realized their mistake and gracefully gave in as blacks became the majority and voted in their black leaders.

Amazingly enough, with the Progressive Democrats in control of DeKalb government, employee salary and policies went to hell. Support for labor issues is a primary goal for progressive Democrats. While DeKalb Progressives talk a good game about labor when it comes to DeKalb government employees its a whole different ball game.

No salary study in 13 years, and the last one was defective. Only one across the board pay increase in a decade, for one percent. Inflation has gone up at least 20 percent in the same decade. In comparison the CEO and BOC's staffs are treated like royalty. Highly paid with little responsibility and negligible accountability.

The CEO and BOC has actively disengaged the DeKalb employee. Both are buried behind multiple card key locks and security. Why are DeKalb officials so scared of their employees? As progressive Democrats in love with labor causes they should be embracing DeKalb government employees. Instead they treat you like dirt and give you a county pic-nic once a year to show how much they appreciate you.

Under the prevailing climate of employee repression for the last decade and a half, is it any surprise that DeKalb employee internal leadership has also suffered?

Face it mates, most of the good people in DeKalb employee leadership are long gone. Vernon drove out many and the last ill-advised retirement cycle took out most of the rest.

You guys are in a tough spot. Low paid with zero respect from the the BOC. You will have to find new leaders and fight your own battles.

Anonymous said...

Lo Flyer makes some good points. The school system did a salary survey about 6 years ago that showed that the 1,500 or so administration employees were grossly OVERPAID. The survey was buried.

Ethics and management skills are just not part of the culture of the current group in both the County government and school system.