Monday, August 31, 2009

Weill: JPD has too many civilians

JPD Budget Summary
JPD Officer/Civilian Mix Highlights
JPD Officer/Civilian Mix comparison to other cities

Ward 1 Councilman certainly dropped a bombshell today as he released a study he requested from the Millaps School of Management comparing the police officer/civilian employee mix in comparison to other cities. Mr. Weills focused on several points raised by the study:

1. The percentage of civilians in the police departments of other cities is approximately a 20% average. JPD's is 38%.
2. Only 3% of the Jackson Fire Department employees are civilians.
3. Releasing fifty civilian employees would allow JPD to hire fifty police officers at no additional cost to the city (One assumes that excludes training expenses.).
4. Terminating 100 civilian employees would allow JPD to also give each officer a $2500 a year raise in addition to hiring more officers.
5. Reaching the Southern ratio of 20% would allow the City to hire over 600 police officers.

Mayor Johnson complained to the Jackson Free Press that Weill didn't go through proper channels and avoided discussing any issues raised by the study:
"This survey appears to be an attempt to carry out a function of the administration, or it seems, at the very least, to be mixing the administrative and legislative functions," Johnson commented to the Jackson Free Press via e-mail. "When these types of surveys are done using sources outside the city, the results are shared with the legislative branch after the Administration reviews the findings and asks questions. There is no indication that this occurred. It appears that this survey was done at the request of one member of the City Council." Article

The study will be presented today to the City Council at its weekly meeting.


Anonymous said...

Talk about a control freak. There is absolutely nothing that presents a council person, here the budget chair no less, from commissioning a study on an issue facing the city. Good job Weill on pressing a good study.

Anonymous said...

Give Weill credit for being an absolute political greenhorn. The "study" date is December 10, 2008 and he only now brings it to the fore. No doubt the NEJammers in Kluckville will go into a full-fledged temper tantrum now.

Anonymous said...

I love the way the JFP has been scrubbed of all posts during the election about this study when it was mentioned by Weill and Crisler during the campaign. Wouldn't fit into their spin that this is new and an attack on Johnson. The study was done under Melton's term. Who is to say the Weill didn't try to speak to Johnson about this and got brushed off. Thus going to the paper so the citizens can know what is going on. That seems more likely than Weill blindsiding Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Bill "I really, really want to be on the JPS School Board" Brister has thrown his work and Weill under the bus.

"I competely agree with Mayor Johnson,” Brister said. “This was very much a starting point. It's only a data point that jumped out at us. Please remember that this was done by a student team at Millsaps. It's limited in how far it can go.

Typical NEJammers. All thumbs.

Anonymous said...

um, if that is what they are calling throwing it under the bus now. and wasn't the study commissioned on that date, and not completed? honest question. regardless, does it have hill of beans on the outcome of the study?

Anonymous said...

The study is meaningless. Nothing more than a surface level comparison of staffing statistics.

Anonymous said...

so you say. I like how you backed that up with facts. Kind of like HJ in a day's time.

Anonymous said...

My bad. I shouldn't expect the brain dead, like yourself, to have sufficient intelligence to read and comprehend a table with a bunch of numbers comparing staffing levels in 10 southern cities.

Kingfish said...

1. Weill is no dummy. There is more to this story and I suspect Weill may have tried to give this to administration but was brushed off first. No inside scoop, just speculating.

2. Harvey made some good points about the data itself and probably a more thorough analysis is needed.

3. Regardless of the personalities involved, its still an issue worth discussing and probably needs to be on the table early on.

Anonymous said...

it doesn't take a study for any person even casually acquainted with police operations to see that JPD is top-heavy with police officers doing administrative jobs and with civilians doing non-law enforcement jobs that have been attached to JPD. All in the name of political patronage.

Cops are supposed to: patrol and protect, investigate and testify. That's it. They aren't teachers, scientists, accountants, clerks or inspectors. Just cops.

Who cares who does the study or who ordered it? As noted, no experts are needed to see ONE of the BIG problems with JPD.

Anonymous said...

Where were all these complaints when McMillin was JPD Chief and Melton was Mayor? The study was completed in Dec 2008. Weill was protecting McMillin and thus Crisler.

Anonymous said...

When I first heard the story and Johnson's comments, I thought it might be an organizational difference that made the stats meaningless...that some city jobs were part of the police force here that are not in other cities. But, the administrative number is too high by any objective standard as it appears some of those type positions like animal control are already listed separately.

But, the real problem here is that we have a competing system. No where else I've lived has such a large county government also existed.
We have a duplication of services and poor coordination.

In a lot of places where the city dominates the county, Sheriffs serve suspeoneas , provide escort, serve the court,and run the jails only.

In short, there isn't a division of labor and services between Hinds county and cities and towns within that is efficient.

Instead, we have competing fiefdoms. It's archaic.

Anonymous said...

But, the administrative number is too high by any objective standard as it appears some of those type positions like animal control are already listed separately.

Put up. What are the objective standards?

The explosion of civilian hires within JPD detailed in Brister's high level statistical survey took place AFTER McMillin became JPD Chief.

It isn't difficult to understand why Weill embargoed the survey results from seeing the public light of day until after the election.

Andrew said...

Someone on the JFP website posted a comment that I think is pretty astute. At least, this year, we are having an honest and potentially constructive discussion about city and departmental policy which may or may not lead to waste reduction.

We're not talking about federal lawsuits over destroying a home or drunken night time mobile command rides.

The point about city and Hinds County duplication is very valid. Hinds County Sheriffs have an unusually large presence within the city. Either way, it is interesting that the study was commissioned and completed in Dec. 2008 and is now being discussed.

Anonymous said...

The point about city and Hinds County duplication is very valid. Hinds County Sheriffs have an unusually large presence within the city.

So what? The presence is due to the fact that Jackson is one of Hinds' two county seats.

Anonymous said...

Weill "screwed the pooch" by going public with this study and playing to his anti-Jackson GOP base instead of trying to work with the Mayor. Johnson smartly countered Weill's grandstanding and even had the Professor nipping at his heels by the end of the discussion.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if that is the correct read. The Mayor admitted yesterday that Weill had spoken with his staff about the study, but stated that he had not personally spoken with Weill about it. It would be interesting to know if Weill requested a meeting or phone conversation with the mayor to no avail.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if Weill spoke with Johnson or not. The data is nothing more than a high level peg count of jobs in two categories.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. The data could be reflective of a problem. This will have to play-out.

Anonymous said...

Play out? LMAO. It is DEAD. Nothing will come from Weill's "study". He doesn't call the shots and he doesn't have the votes on the Council. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Maybe. But maybe not. And no one said he calls the shots.

Anonymous said...

It's really hard to follow all the pointless bickering on here, with all the anonymous posting.

Anonymous said...

If it is pointless then why are you reading?

Anonymous said...

What's the point, if it's anonymous?

Anonymous said...

8:04 the answer is in the study but you can find it elsewhere for organizations in general...20-21%

One could argue it's better to run the numbers as a percentage of total costs, but the end result will likely be the same.

The fact is that if you have 3.8 people managing the mission for every 10 carrying out the mission, the mission suffers.

Anonymous said...

Provide a link.

Anonymous said...

6:05 A single link isn't the way to get reliable information for decision making but this article provides that information and the research study IS a link.

But, if you want to check Millsaps work,try putting " police department admininistration" in your search engine. Many police departments across the country have theirs posted and they'll pop up by city or town. You can select by size if you wish. In fact, I encourage that as administrative percentages should go DOWN as size increases.

You'll need a calculator handy but if you divide the administrative personnel by total personnel and divide the administrative costs by total costs, you'll get your numbers.

Also, put in " administration as a percent of costs" and you'll get some good research that pops up. The OMB keeps those figures for federal programs. But,some other research will pop up.

Millsaps and other colleges with business departments and/or sociology departments offer course work on Organizational Structure and their courses are often posted so you can see the books and articles they require.

Or, let's put the shoe on the other foot, what evidence to you have that Millsaps research is not useful or accurate?

Weill may well have a political agenda. Politicians are like that, but it doesn't mean the study lacks merit or that our police department is running as efficiently as it can. Given the constant change over at the top, I don't see how it could be running efficiently.Hiring a qualified police chief with a good record of success and giving him time to affect changes without political interference would be a good start. Coaches get more of a shot than JPD Chiefs of Police.

As to county vs city governments. Put " county supervisors" in your search engine and laboriously read what they control and their budgets and compare it to their cities in the county and then compare those divisions of labor to ours. You might also look at how they liason and coordinate with cities in their counties.

Anonymous said...

You don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

Civilian % Total Police Dept
Mesa, Arizona = 37.7%
Phoenix, Arizona = 27.1%
Los Angeles, California = 26%
San Jose, California = 25.9%
Baltimore, Maryland = 15.3%
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania = 12.3%
Austin, Texas = 29.6%
Dallas, Texas = 14.7%
Ft. Worth, Texas = 22.3%
Houston, Texas = 23.4%
San Antonio, Texas = 25.2%

ALL of those numbers, and ALL of the Brister/Weill/McMillin/Crisler numbers, and ALL of your bullshit is meaningless without knowing exactly what roles the civilians are playing in the overall scheme of department law enforcement. So put your dick back in your hand and return to pretending that you have a clue.

Anonymous said...

Look, Harvey Johnson just responded.

Anonymous said...

Marshand Crisler was shot in the leg.

Anonymous said...

8:09 you're hysterically funny! Way to be selective AND clueless!

You proved my point with Philadelphia and Baltimore and even so you STILL can't get to 38%!

Not only THAT, you didn't figure your OWN average! You did average your grades at some point in your life, right? I don't need to help you with this do I? Can't get past the plus or minus 5%, huh?

I didn't expect you to consider population and department size BUT, EVEN THEN you fail to notice the categories in the JPD study and adjust accordingly anyway.

I'm reminded of the old joke about a baby being born with both male and female male organs ... a dick AND a brain !

I got the female organ ROFL!

Anonymous said...

If anon@5:40 PM is an example of a Jeff Weill supporter I'd be very worried ... if I was Jeff Weill.

Anonymous said...

6:05...PLEASE get a job. There is more to life than sucking off your wife's career.

Anonymous said...

Robert Johnson on Othor Cain's blog:

This is the danger and one of the factors which hinders Jackson from having an adequate, well trained AND paid police force. A simplistic solutions to a complex problem is given widespread attention.

Mayor Johnson was quite correct in pointing out that you cannot simply compare percentages of civilians to sworn positions with comparable cities and draw conclusions therefrom. JPD has several functions, made up primarily of civilians, that show up in their budget and under the control of the department. For instance, in some cities the dispatcthng function (911) is assigned to some other city department and thus their personnel don’t get counted toward the civilian staff of the police department. Similarily, parking and code enforcement, school crossing guards and even jailers are sometimes assigned to a department other than police. Of course in Jackson all of these functions are performed by civilians assigned to the Police Department.

No matter how well intentioned the “study” may have been, my problem with it is that it just becomes another distraction and a convenient excuse for some people to not look at solutions that will address the problems of inadequate staff and low pay.

We can only hope and pray that Robert will run for Hinds County Sheriff. Lord knows we need a leader like Robert in that job.

Anonymous said...

OC blog=silly and meaningless.

Anonymous said...

6:05 Don't know Weill. I frankly haven't paid serious attention to the city council in years as they strike me as being ineffective and unnecessarily combative...and frankly,pretty much an embarrassment .

If someone, anyone on the council had a decent idea the others would be threatened and bash it.

I do think that , however,that the study deserves serious discussion rather than knee jerk political reactions. Millsaps is a credible institution and I doubt they'd put their names on some hack piece.

We can't try to improve anything in this town without someone or some group getting all defensive.

If JPD( or any part of city government for that matter) is perfection, then they should be the first to want that verified.

Indeed,the officers I've encountered over the years were very professional and would be thrilled not to be a political football anymore and get some real support and recognition where deserved from the public and BOTH political parties!

Forget the partisan BS and let's try to get the best police department we can afford instead.

Anonymous said...

Okay. So everyone else in the country has a lower percentage. But afterall, it's apples and oranges. We just happen to have some super-duper-all-out-service police department with tons of services that no one else has.


Anonymous said...

Too many here are letting their dislike of Harvey Johnson cloud reason and logic.

Weill and Brister could have delivered a similar high level per capita survey of fire department staffing in various cities around the south but it would mean just as little as his civilian:officer ratios without comparing the services each fire department was providing in each respective community.

Weill has stupidly shot from the hip again and increasingly looks too much like a little picture neighborhood politician rather than a big picture local leader.

Anonymous said...

Methinks the hatred clouding someone's logic is the hatred of Weill...or anyone who matters from Ward 1 for that matter.

Anonymous said...

For instance, in some cities the dispatcthng function (911) is assigned to some other city department and thus their personnel don’t get counted toward the civilian staff of the police department.

To Robert Johnson's point in Dallas the 911 call center is operated by the fire-rescue department.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is missing the point. The question SHOULD be " Can we improve the efficiency and performance of JPD?" The next question is " Are there comparable police departments from which we can learn?" ( I nominate Charleston,SC ).

If 911 is separate in other areas, is there a functional reason for this? Is doing it " our" way better or worse?

GET OVER the politics and get ON to unbiased problem solving.

If Weill is a " hip shooter", this is the chance to show it. If Harvey has an opportunity to improve JPD through restructuring , let's give him a shot.

Anonymous said...

The problem 4:46 is what you are advocating is not what Weill is/was pushing for. He was demanding civilian staffing cuts based on the Brister survey alone.

Anonymous said...

I don't care what he demands or pushes . I'm not a lemming.
But, politicians think we are because they manipulate us so easily.

If it's good information, it's good information . Doesn't matter who initiated it or what their agenda might be.

The partisan crap is just out of control so that NOTHING worthwhile, NO good idea can see the light of day.

Anonymous said...

It isn't good information, it isn't bad information, it is incomplete information lacking sufficiency for any actions beyond a need for additional comparative study. You appear to be the ONLY ONE harping, repeatedly, on partisan politics.

Anonymous said...

6:01 I agree with your first and second sentence.

Others are taking a partisan view ( not necessarily party but personality or agenda as well ) and your first sentence is why they shouldn't.

I haven't heard anyone argue that our crime problem has been adequately addressed and so no questions are needed.

Turns me into a harpy. Guilty as charged as I don't care who solves problems, just that they are solved.

But, let's just continue to let the boat sink while we argue about whether we should be concerned about the water in the boat, who can bail water better and whose been a better water bailer in the past and forget that we need a bucket and need to start bailing.

That's all partisanship is...arguing over the amount of water and who bails better.

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