Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Called Testical Fortitude

Sheriff Brown means business and knows the meaning of public safety and service to the citizens of DeKalb and co-workers. He is not rewarding his people who claim they couldn't make it to work during the winter storm, he is suspending them without pay for being A.W.O.L. 127 of them!

Burrell Ellis instead rewards those in the police department who refused to come in or had some type of excuse. And the reward for those who did manage to make it to work, even those who paid for a hotel room at their own expense? Reward for those who were away from their family? YOU GET NOTHING!

It's just not right!

We support Sheriff Brown and hope he suspends every last one of them!

Take lessions, Wiz Miller.

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Anonymous said...

The truth is if you can't get there, you can't get there. The fact that someone is suspended is insane, now should you just get a free day, no that's not right either. You should either have to use sick, vacation or holiday. Suspending someone for not being able to get to work is like suspending someone for calling in sick when you really are sick.
I've been with the county for a long time and years ago it was common practice for the department to use four wheel vehicles to pick up and take home employees when they did not have the ability to come into work. This was done to some extent this time but not as broad as it used to be done in the past.
Of course it used to not be so bad when a large amount of employees lived in or reasonablly close to the county. But we know that doesn't happen anymore.

Anonymous said...

Geezz Sheriff Brown and other haters have you forgotten that the Marta buses were not running so the Jail employee's had no way to get to work.

Anonymous said...

“Our officers did a tremendous job,” Officer Jason Gagnon said. “We had only one officer that couldn't get out of her driveway, but we were able to pick her up and bring her to work.”

What the @%$#? We had a least three on my watch that didn't show.

Anonymous said...

I concur, but what about my baby who will stay home with him.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree with the blog-master on this one. I live 30 miles from Decatur. I was on the list to be picked up as "essential" personnel. I considered it the "booby prize".

I live on a hill and my driveway didn't clear till Wednesday. With no tire chains driving into work on Monday or Tuesday would of been near suicidal.

Unless Sheriff Brown registered the 127 employees as "essential personnel" and provided them with safe transport to work, he doesn't have much to work with legally for his suspensions.

I would advise all to appeal and read up on the county merit system policy and DKSO policy. Be advised that in the appeal the deck will be stacked against you. Careful research will help even the odds.

Using the phrase "I was in fear for my life if got out on the streets" might be the winning ticket on this one.

If they were so damn important and essential then why did not Sheriff Brown dispatch deputies to pick them up?

Sounds like poor planning on Sheriff Brown and his command staff.

Anonymous said...

Yes, learn a lesson Wiz Miller, from Thomas Brown, who knows how to lead by example! What? What was that? I'm sorry, did Thomas Brown say he stayed home during the storm? He didn't go in, but is going to suspend people who did the same thing he did? Oops! Never mind!

Anonymous said...

It is a damm shame that sworn officers of the DCSO make all the excuses in the world not to come to work even in lousy weather. The only trouble with this reasoning, is that these are sworn personnel who are required to come in no matter what. One should make every avavilable attempt to come to his/her job at the department. He/she was told of the work hours when they hired on, and under what circumstances. Let your supervisor tell you to go home after you had come to work. I know it is a stupid explanation, but this is the only way one could paid for that day. This is how the government system works. Yes, it a foolish way of doing things, but until something better comes along, we all will have to grin and bear it for now.

I had to go though with this nonsense when I was working, and yes.....There were days where it made absolutely no sense. The only difference was, I got paid for coming in and then was told by the chief judge, or the sheriff, or the chief to go home.

So all the excuses in the world do not mean squat....just get in.

Anonymous said...

Thirty years service. I always made it in. Only wusses don't.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Brown was "out and about checking road conditions?" For what? Did any of his people help block closed roads? Did any of his people work traffic? No! That's not within the scope of S.O.'s responsibilities! What the hell does he need to be checking road conditions for? It's not like he's going to be dispatching any of his people to do anything!

You really are in no position to suspend your people for not showing up when you didn't show up yourself!

Anonymous said...

The truth is, it was no secret the weather was coming. There was plenty of time for everyone to prepare accordingly. I did. So should those who did not.

And the Sheriff was interviewed stating that he was at work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last week. Unless someone else has evidence to the contrary.

And for the poster concerned about your baby, again there was plenty of notice for preparations so apparently you did not prepare! Shame on you.

LoFlyer, I nearly always agree with your posts and I do respect you. But as an adult and an officer, I take self-responsibility seriously. I expect the same of others.

I awoke 3 1/2 hours before my shift. I parked out of my neighborhood so that I would not get stuck down the hill. I walked the reasonable distance in the cold and snow to get to the car, and then swept it completely clean of snow with a soft bristle broom (that I had already put in the car the night before). I bought two shovels hours before the storm came; a larger one to clear my driveway and another smaller one placed in the car the night before for digging out of potential situations. Since there was no more "Ice Melt" in the stores, I bought large boxes of table salt to help melt off the ice and snow accumulated on my driveway (and it worked). I placed granola bars and water in the car in case of emergency along with cold weather clothing. I allowed 3 hours to get to work. I made it in 1 1/2 hours with 1 1/2 to spare while driving no more than 25 mph in a rear wheel drive only vehicle with no chains. I had no issues because I drove with due regard for the conditions. Some of my preparations were last minute, but I was prepared. I am a home grown and raised Atlantan, but I pay attention on how to be prepared in circumstances like this and exercise a little common sense too.

I didn't leave work until my normal time. I was not paid for that 1 1/2 hours extra in overtime. I haven't asked to be paid either and I won't. That was Monday.

Tuesday and Wednesday were no different. Still allowed 3 hours to get to work and arrived at least one hour before my shift on those days.

I support suspensions if they're justified in accordance with policy. Part of what is expected of me as a police officer in DeKalb County is that I have a reliable means and capability to get to work when I am required to report for duty. Therefore, I do. Otherwise, I would not be meeting the requirements for the position. So sorry mate, I respectfully disagree with you on this one and agree with the Sheriff.

AL (Always Loyal)

...But still pissed as hell how we are being treated...

Anonymous said...

What happen to supporting our brothers in blue, day by day this blog is losing creditable.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:26...........Its clear you ARE the best of the best. Keep up the great service and maybe the BOC will recognize you for the dedication you give to DeKalb. Even if I did park my car outside my neighborhood, I still wouldn't have been able to make it in. The interstate was closed and the surface streets were worse. Again though, keep up the great work!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 05:24, What happened to your dictionary?

Anonymous said...

Bitch...bitch....bitch.....What are you complaining about? You have a good paying job, with no possiblity of layoffs. You have good benefits, where as a lot of people have no jobs. You knew what the jobs calls for when you were hired. You know what time of day you have to be there. And yes, there is not limosine service to pick you up.

The Sheriff has responsibility to the taxpayers of the county, and as such, has to enforce the rules, regulations, and laws of the city, state, county, and the Federal governments. Where do you as government employee fit in this equation?

Quit complaining and get off you fat butts and do something for yourself and your employer for a change, and most of all....quit bitching !

Anonymous said...

(part 1 of 2)
AL, we all have our opinions, and I am wrong about 10-20 percent of the time. I have no lock on the brains around here. I enjoy the give and take of arguing ones honest opinion. I have been associated with three blogs over the years. The first, I was banned after the blog-masters politics changed and when I called him out on it, I got my just reward.

The second one I left because it was a closed blog, membership by invitation only. After six months I was bored witless because everyone agreed with everyone else. I like to be challenged and learn new stuff.

Someone telling me I am wrong in my opinion and giving me the reasons is the foundation of classic debate and no thinking or feeling person should shrink from it and should welcome the exchange to broaden ones knowledge.

This storm was the worst to be seen in Atlanta in almost 30 years. It is not economical to purchase and maintain sufficient equipment to clear this type of storm.

From what I have seen and heard there was no planning by DKSO or DKPD to get the essential people into work, or provide accommodations for them when it was unsafe or impractical to return home. My old department had an essential personnel list that DKPD will pick up necessary personnel as needed. It has been traditional that anyone unfortunate enough to have to stay overnight can sleep in the back areas of the computer room, the conference room or any other place out of the way. There is no written departmental policy on overnight accommodations, this unwritten policy evolved with time and common sense.

What I am suggesting is that DeKalb government was woefully unprepared for this storm in planning and in policy. The plows and sand-spreaders were unavailable because it is not economically justifiable to purchase and maintain the equipment that will be needed for three to five days a year, max.

However DKSO and DKPD command should of had a plan to transport and accommodate essential personnel.

DKSO pay scales are not high. A DKSO detention officer doesn't make much, a lot less than a DKPD officer and they don't have the advantage of a good paying second job that most DKPD officer have. Some of them don't even have cars, many are single parents raising children that if they left at home alone they would be arrested by DFAC.

Anonymous said...

(part 2 0f 2)
A couple of things I want to point out. The DKSO should of had a list of essential personnel to be picked up and accommodated during this storm.

Second, what do you do with young children of essential single parents needed during this storm? You can't take them into a work environment such as the jail.

DeKalb government has been a unfriendly employer for nearly two decades. If DeKalb government would do three things it could turn around employee morale in less than two years.

First, initiate a honest employee salary survey and provide raises accordingly. (never going to happen)

Second, DeKalb rulers need to engage DeKalb employees in honest and open discussion of current issues facing the employees.

Third, offer free or subsidized child care for employees with children under under six years old.

I cannot think of anything that would help the low paid, struggling parents with young children than this. DeKalb might actually attract better qualified recruits that would provide better service to DeKalb government.

AL, thanks for the comments, and expanding the discussion. Both of us know we are on the same side here. We just have different ideas on how to accomplish our common goals. Press on!

Ken Choate.

Ball Less said...

Speaking of testicles has anyone seen a pair, I lost mine.

Anonymous said...

I'll agree that the deputies should have made it in, but it's kind of ridiculous to say Thomas Brown has testicular fortitude when he didn't have the balls to drive in himself and set an example for his troops.

O'Brien was there every day. He even picked up some people who couldn't make it in to work.

Anonymous said...

Anon 07:33 we can only hope the next storm that hits, catches you at work and you can't get home. That way all the rest of us loyal (to the Department and our co-worker, not Decatur)can stay home and hear you whine about having to stay and work for the next two shifts...After all you can't drive home it would be dangerous..Do us all a favor grow a pair...Geeez you sound like the kinda wuz I want backing me on a hot call...Way back...

still here said...

Everyone quit your bitching. I left for work hours before I was supposed to be there and made it in. I live in Hall County! I spent 3 days straight at work and you don't hear my crying or making up excuses. We were hired to put our lives on the line to help/protect others. If you can't handle that then find another line of work!

Anonymous said...


DKPD and DKSO as I am sure many of the other law enforcement agencies in this county due no have any or much 4-wheel drive vehicles. Perhaps DKPD and DKSO should consider purchasing more for some specialized units rather than Chargers. At least that way when these events do occur at least these two agencies will be ready. I think the need is justified.

Excluding the MARTA riders who are DeKalb employees, I can understand their excuse. But, why can't an adult knowing what weather is coming and that there will be accumulations expected network with other family, friends, or co-workers to take care of their kids. Transportation. I have a lot to be unhappy about regarding the county's treatment towards us. But, I also don't expect the county to lead me by the hand or take care of my day-to-day needs/responsibilities when it comes the my requirement to report to work. I've a job to do here. I did what I needed to do to accomplish that.

Thanks Mate,


Agent99 said...

LoFlyer, I'm not going to go so far as to say that you're wrong, but I will say that there are a couple of mistakes in your synopsis.

The DeKalb Command Staff put out a disaster plan on the Friday before the storm. They planned well in advance, and the plan was impressively comprehensive. That plan included the following:

1) Distribution of available chains to the precincts for use on police vehicles.

2) Distribution of those 4-wheel drive vehicles that were available to the precincts to be used for the transport of stranded officers, among other things.

3) A command center that would included cots for people to sleep if they could not get home, and directions for officers to pack a bag and plan to be at work for several days.

4) Plans to feed stranded personnel (though they recommended making provisions for your own food, because theirs likely wouldn't be the most pleasant).

5) Provisions to provide childcare for those officers who couldn't work out arrangements for themselves (not sure if anyone actually took them up on this).

Those are just the things that I remember off the top of my head there were included. The actual document was several pages long.

Were there some people who didn't make it into work? Sure. But all together, I saw an amazing team effort during the storm.

The command staff was present and interactive.

Most officers did whatever they could to get to work (including, like myself and at least one other poster, apparently, leaving several hours early each day in order to make it).

Personnel such as 911 operators were picked up when possible, if they could not make it to work.

There was a general spirit of cooperation that actually made it a rather pleasant working environment for a few days.

There are always going to be problems with any plan, and things that we can learn from and do better next time. So I'm not going to sit here and say that everything was "perfect." But from the Chief down, the Police Department overall did an outstanding job. Part of that is because they were as ready as they could be for what happened -- though I think few people actually predicted the scope of what the storm would bring.

I can't say what plan the Sheriff Department had, if any. And I otherwise agree with your suggestions. But I just felt that to say the Police Department didn't have a plan was unfair.

Anonymous said...

Stop complaining and get to work.

Anonymous said...

It takes a lot of "testicular fortitude" to tell your troops, "Do as I say, no as I do!"

Brown was sitting on his butt at home, now he wants to suspend people who did the same thing. Brown could learn a lot about leadership from Obrien! He made it to work and was picking up people who said they couldn't get out of their driveways!

Anonymous said...

This creates a dangerous prescient due to the fact that the police Officers in Dekalb county have already been demoralized from the policies of past and present administrations. Public safety employees are expected to get to work if they can, they are expected to go through doors where others fear to go, and "yes" they are even expected to die for their jobs. Just look at all of the poor souls that gave their lives during 911. You don't furlough men and women like that, we are held to a much higher standard than other people in society. It is unfortunate that our county commissions do not recognize this fact. They take advantage of this ideology of doing the right thing, this is alien to them. Many of these politicians have never believed in anything real in their lives. The core of the department will come to work next time it snows or the next tornado, but these newer employees have just been given the perfect excuse to stay home the next time. And there will be a next time.

Anonymous said...

I applaude Sheriff Brown for doing his duty! Many of you have forgotten the realization you are a Public Safety Officer. You don't have the luxury to stay in bed due to snow and ice. Get to work and SUCK IT UP! That includes supervisors too! I can't be more disappointed and knowing a few of you are supervisor to begin with, none the less, knowing you had no intentions to go to work these couple of days. Give an inch and you start taking feet! Be a leader not a follower!!! Oh yea, be accountable! Wasn't this something during the chief's round table discussion? What a joke!

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:22,

Supervisors should have to show up to? Agreed. Did you miss the part of the story that told us all that Thomas Brown did not show up for work for those first two days of the ice storm? Why does he get a free pass? He wants to punish people for doing exactly what he did? You're either as stupid as Thomas Brown, or you are Thomas Brown.

Anonymous said...

"Thomas Brown did not show up for work for those first two days of the ice storm? Why does he get a free pass? He wants to punish people for doing exactly what he did? You're either as stupid as Thomas Brown, or you are Thomas Brown"

Exactly why I took the Early Out! This is the way this character roles. You would have to work there to really understand the wonderful moral they have going on! It's Crystal Clear to me why 127 didn't show. Bad roads are far from the real reason at hand!!!

"Thomas Brown was "out and about checking road conditions?" For what?"
A Frekin News Story!!!!!!!!!!!
and building his case for the 127 appeals that are about to cross his desk. This should take months to iron out! Another waste of resources! I feel for all the the supervisors in the jail that will be wasting their time with reports and BS they will have to deal with on this issue! Hang tough guys, cause when you finish that, you'll be preping for the Accreditation review!

Anonymous said...

Many of the officers that did not come to work lived within walking distance to the Sheriff's Office. Many finally admitted that they didn't even try to make it in. The Sheriff was at the facility on Tuesday. I also know there were many "non-essential" employees that came in to offer their services to the jail due to them being short handed. It didn't look good to see some people drove very long distances to come in and then others couldn't come in from Rockbridge and South Indian Creek. For the posted that referenced the Merit System, the Sheriff's Office does not fall under the Merit System, nor are they civil service. All employees are told and sign when they get hired that they work at the pleasure of the Sheriff. I assure you with all of the attorneys that the Sheriff has on staff he is not doing anything illegal with these suspensions. As public safety workers we all owe the public to at least make an attempt to come to work. The DKSO also did have plans in place to pick up officers, but it was expected that those that lived locally would at least make an attempt versus use the weather as an oppotunity to take some time off.