Budget: Police

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Budget: Police

Postby Brad » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:28 pm

Budget: Police

Grounding the Helicopter and pushing back another recruiting class?

I don't think these are good decisions.  With more and more people running, high crime rates, I think the Helicopter is a huge asset to public and officer safety.  Why put 15 officers at risk in a high speed chase when the the helicopter can follow them safely.

Also what about its thermal camera when searching for hiding suspects.

As far as the recruiting class, with our mass retirement due to the pension issue, we could get in a dangerous situation with a low number of officers.
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Postby Bugeater » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:38 pm

Do we really have enough high-speed pursuits here to justify a helicopter? If it's only happening once or twice a year it's not really worth it.
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Re: Budget: Police

Postby DTO Luv » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:38 pm

Brad wrote: we could get in a dangerous situation with a low number of officers.


Well we'll just have to lower ourselves to Bellevue standards.

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I do think that grounding the ghetto bird is probably not the best thing to do.
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Postby Stargazer » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:43 pm

Just think of how many chopper hours we could fund with Buske's annual pension alone.

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Postby Brad » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:46 pm

I think there was a site at one time that detailed all the calls that the Omaha police helicopter responded to.  It did a lot every shift.
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Postby DTO Luv » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:48 pm

I see it out everyday from my window at home. It's getting used constantly.
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Postby icejammer » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:19 pm

It may be used constantly, but what's the incremental benefit in keeping it in the air?
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Postby Bosco55David » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:42 pm

Brad wrote:Budget: Police

Grounding the Helicopter and pushing back another recruiting class?

I don't think these are good decisions.  With more and more people running, high crime rates, I think the Helicopter is a huge asset to public and officer safety.  Why put 15 officers at risk in a high speed chase when the the helicopter can follow them safely.

Also what about its thermal camera when searching for hiding suspects.

As far as the recruiting class, with our mass retirement due to the pension issue, we could get in a dangerous situation with a low number of officers.


Horrible |expletive| move. OPD is already shorthanded. THIS upset me off.

Bugeater wrote:Do we really have enough high-speed pursuits here to justify a helicopter? If it's only happening once or twice a year it's not really worth it.
The helicopters are very valuable, and to more than just high speed pursuits.

Brad wrote:I think there was a site at one time that detailed all the calls that the Omaha police helicopter responded to.  It did a lot every shift.
Yeah, they use those birds alot.

icejammer wrote:It may be used constantly, but what's the incremental benefit in keeping it in the air?
Invaluable.

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Postby DTO Luv » Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:19 pm

I think I found an area where they can make cuts to the police. I saw a police "Chaplain" van out today. What does the police department need a religious person there for? Also I can't say that makes me happy that tax money is being spent endorsing a religion.
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Postby Brad » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:18 pm

That's more of a councilor to talk over hard situations the officers go through.
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Postby Big E » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:14 pm

Brad wrote:That's more of a councilor to talk over hard situations the officers go through.


I believe that is what a psychologist is for.  Or are there lots of Jewish, Muslim and atheist chaplains out there?
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Postby Brad » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:25 pm

Big E wrote:I believe that is what a psychologist is for.  Or are there lots of Jewish, Muslim and atheist chaplains out there?


There is a Rabbi:

http://www.opdchaplain.org/

PURPOSE: The purpose and goal of the Omaha Police Chaplain Corps is to provide a core group of professional, ordained, (Chaplains) or vowed men and women in Religious Communities, from a variety of faiths, who volunteer their time and talents to the City of Omaha, as Chaplains. The Police Chaplain will seek to lighten the burden of the officers by performing tasks that have a greater spiritual or social nature rather than law enforcement nature. The Chaplain Corps strives to strike a balance between serving the needs of the Police Officers in their personal and professional lives and serving the Omaha Metro Area at large.
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Postby DTO Luv » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:42 pm

Well the car didn't look like it was volunteered. It was definitely a city vehicle.
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Postby Brad » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:56 pm

DTO Luv wrote:Well the car didn't look like it was volunteered. It was definitely a city vehicle.


The ones I have seen looked like retired police cars with city plates, which I don't have a problem with.  If they are out buying brand new vehicles, I might question that.  They provide a valuable service for people that put their lives on the line every day.
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Postby Bosco55David » Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:14 pm

Brad wrote:That's more of a councilor to talk over hard situations the officers go through.


And the public too, as we saw with the Westroads shooting.

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Postby DTO Luv » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:27 am

I'm not going to give on this at all. If the police hire counselors I can understand that. BUT having a city vehicle that says "Chaplain" on it in not excusable unless they want to start having ones that say Imams, Vedas, or whatever on it too. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to go kill Christmas.
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Postby DTO Luv » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:27 am

I'm not going to give on this at all. If the police hire counselors I can understand that. BUT having a city vehicle that says "Chaplain" on it in not excusable unless they want to start having ones that say Imams, Vedas, or whatever on it too. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to go kill Christmas.
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Postby Big E » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:59 am

Wikipedia, the Unquestioned Source of All Truth wrote:A chaplain is typically a priest, pastor, ordained deacon, rabbi, imam or other member of the clergy serving a group of people who are not organised as a mission or church, or who are unable to attend church for various reasons; such as health, confinement, or military or civil duties; lay chaplains are also found in other settings such as universities. For example a chaplain is often attached to a military unit (often known as padre), a private chapel, a ship, a prison, a hospital, a high school, college or especially boarding school, even a parliamentary assembly and so on. Though originally chaplain was a Christian term it is also now applied to people in other religions filling the same role. In recent years many non-ordained persons have received professional training in chaplaincy and are now appointed as chaplains in schools, hospitals, universities, prisons and elsewhere to work alongside or instead of ordained chaplains


Interesting... I was not aware the term had been be un-Christianed.
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Postby TechnicalDisaster » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:12 am

DTO Luv wrote:I'm not going to give on this at all. If the police hire counselors I can understand that. BUT having a city vehicle that says "Chaplain" on it in not excusable unless they want to start having ones that say Imams, Vedas, or whatever on it too. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to go kill Christmas.


Requirements for becoming a police chaplain:
It was decided that persons accepted as chaplains must 1) be ordained clergy persons or vowed men and women in Religious Communities; 2) have a college degree plus theological training; 3) be serving in a religious capacity or be recently retired; and 4) must adhere to the seal of confession.


Currently:
The Chaplain Corps, has grown to include twelve denominations and over twenty personnel.


Nothing is preventing any "Imam or Vedas, or whatever" to volunteer for the organization.

Wiki definition for Chaplain is:
A chaplain is typically a priest, pastor, ordained deacon, rabbi, imam or other member of the clergy serving a group of people who are not organised as a mission or church, or who are unable to attend church for various reasons; such as health, confinement, or military or civil duties; lay chaplains are also found in other settings such as universities.


So your problem with the word "chaplain" is you are mistakenly attributing it to a single religion.
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Postby TechnicalDisaster » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:13 am

Big E wrote:
Wikipedia, the Unquestioned Source of All Truth wrote:A chaplain is typically a priest, pastor, ordained deacon, rabbi, imam or other member of the clergy serving a group of people who are not organised as a mission or church, or who are unable to attend church for various reasons; such as health, confinement, or military or civil duties; lay chaplains are also found in other settings such as universities. For example a chaplain is often attached to a military unit (often known as padre), a private chapel, a ship, a prison, a hospital, a high school, college or especially boarding school, even a parliamentary assembly and so on. Though originally chaplain was a Christian term it is also now applied to people in other religions filling the same role. In recent years many non-ordained persons have received professional training in chaplaincy and are now appointed as chaplains in schools, hospitals, universities, prisons and elsewhere to work alongside or instead of ordained chaplains


Interesting... I was not aware the term had been be un-Christianed.


darn.  Beat me to it.
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Postby icejammer » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:35 am

Bosco55David wrote:
icejammer wrote:It may be used constantly, but what's the incremental benefit in keeping it in the air?
Invaluable.


No offense, as I'm aware of your career path here, but invaluable in what way?  Is it providing an incremental benefit every time it goes up?  Some of the time?
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Postby cdub » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:05 am

icejammer wrote:
Bosco55David wrote:
icejammer wrote:It may be used constantly, but what's the incremental benefit in keeping it in the air?
Invaluable.


No offense, as I'm aware of your career path here, but invaluable in what way?  Is it providing an incremental benefit every time it goes up?  Some of the time?


He needs a disclaimer - "This message brought to you by the OPD."   :roll:


They already have two copters, its not like they are going to have zero.

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Postby Big E » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:23 am

bradley414 wrote:So your problem with the word "chaplain" is you are mistakenly attributing it to a single religion.


Well, actually the real issue (in my opinion) is if the city is spending any money on religious services.  A rose by any other name, or something like that.

If this is totally volunteer and supported by outside funds (minus what I would assume would be the hours of some kind of volunteer/outreach coordinator), then have at it.  Otherwise, I lump it in with ignoring the separation of church and state.  Separation of church and state doesn't mean "we ignore the separation of the state and all religions equally".

Time for the "Budget: Police" and "Budget: Police: Chaplain" threads, I'm guessing.
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Postby Uffda » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:52 am

Here is a PDF on the OMaha police chaplain.

http://www.policevolunteers.org/PDF/Oma ... manual.pdf

First paragraph


The purpose and goal of the Omaha Police Chaplain Corps is to provide a core group of
professional, ordained, (Chaplains) or vowed men and women in Religious Communities,  
from a variety of faiths, who volunteer their time and talents to the City of Omaha
, as
Chaplains.


If you skim through it, it also lists duties that these people do and can do.

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Postby Brad » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:55 am

If its that big of a deal, why don't one of you send an email and ask how its funding.  Its would be better than sitting on here telling everyone your getting screwed...
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Postby DTO Luv » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:59 am

If they volunteer their time then they can volunteer their vehicles too because the van I saw was 100% a city vehicle.

Why does the city even need ordained ministers? If I go to my work places' EAP I will get a list of trained and licensed mental health proffessionals. Not some 10 cent theology degreed layman.

So are our police officers not receiving adequate mental health care?
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Postby Uffda » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:02 am

DTO -- go skim the pdf it will probably answer your questions.

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Postby DTO Luv » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:17 am

Well so far it looks like parts of this are funded by tax money.

The police department provides attire and badges for the chaplains and expressly says it has to be religious so they are easy to identify and that the the police department will provide religious emblems such as "crosses for Christians, Tablets/Star of David for Jewish, Crescent for Muslim, etc."

It also says that the police department will provide business cards for the chaplains. If that's not an endorsement of religion then I don't know what is.

So this brings me back to my point. Why are we spending money on unqualified, faith based mental health care? What about the non-religious (there are a lot more of us than you think) officers that would want nothing to do with counseling that will be skewed towards a certain agenda? The requirements are a theology degree. The last time I checked theology degree doesn't make you a licensed therapist/counselor/psychologist/psychiatrist.

It also says on the link above that these "volunteer" chaplains are under the authority of the chief of police. Hmm....

Further reading shows that the police department requires them to be "above all, servents of God" and to adhere to their faith first. But in the same sentance it says to serve without prejudice. Sorry gay cops.

While it does also say that they are not compensated for their services the police department in fact does provide funding for them to do their work without direct compensation. I don't know if an EAP is part of the police's plan or pension or whatever but we do not need to be funding religious services that can be provided FOR FREE at any church/temple/mosque.
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Postby TechnicalDisaster » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:37 am

DTO Luv wrote:If they volunteer their time then they can volunteer their vehicles too because the van I saw was 100% a city vehicle.

Why does the city even need ordained ministers? If I go to my work places' EAP I will get a list of trained and licensed mental health proffessionals. Not some 10 cent theology degreed layman.

So are our police officers not receiving adequate mental health care?


Try to put your intolerance of religion aside for a moment so you can see what is really going on here.  Yes, the police have adequate mental health care from a physical/psychological point of view.  The Chaplain program offers them mental help from a spiritual point of view, on a volunteer basis.

One of the ministers at my church is a licensed mental health professional. Both him and his wife have doctorates in psychology.  What makes you think these volunteers could not have these qualifications to fully compliment their spiritual guidance?

The police department provides attire and badges for the chaplains and expressly says it has to be religious so they are easy to identify and that the the police department will provide religious emblems such as "crosses for Christians, Tablets/Star of David for Jewish, Crescent for Muslim, etc."


I hate to argue over semantics, but I thought police purchased their own uniforms from the OPD store.  Does "Provide for" in this sense actually mean "available for purchase at the OPD store?"  

It also says that the police department will provide business cards for the chaplains. If that's not an endorsement of religion then I don't know what is.


No, that is not an endorsement.  It is a card to identify their role as volunteers for the Police Department.  It is no more an endorsement than a press pass is an endorsement of the content in the Omaha World Herald.

So this brings me back to my point. Why are we spending money on unqualified, faith based mental health care? What about the non-religious (there are a lot more of us than you think) officers that would want nothing to do with counseling that will be skewed towards a certain agenda? The requirements are a theology degree. The last time I checked theology degree doesn't make you a licensed therapist/counselor/psychologist/psychiatrist.


1. Non-religous officers have EAP. (Just like you say).
2. Prove to me that an officer has been skewed towards an agenda via this program, or even how an officer that doesn't request the service can be influenced by it against his will.
3. You have zero understanding what goes into religious theology degrees, and how they can be used to provide comfort in spiritual matters.
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Postby TechnicalDisaster » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:07 pm

By the way, The volunteer Chaplain unit does not appear anywhere in the city police and fire budgets.  I have yet to see proof that this organization is costing tax payer money.
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Postby Bosco55David » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:18 pm

icejammer wrote:No offense, as I'm aware of your career path here, but invaluable in what way?  Is it providing an incremental benefit every time it goes up?  Some of the time?


All you have to do is watch the news and you'll hear stories about the benefits of the police helicopters. They talked about this in one of the news segments when it got grounded, mentioning how it had helped to locate lost/missing citzens, follow fleeing suspects etc.

Does this happen all of the time? Certainly not, but not every officer on the street arrests someone or writes a ticket on every shift either, yet there is still value in the deterrent (which the helicopter is) and the "there if you need them" aspects.

cdub wrote:He needs a disclaimer - "This message brought to you by the OPD."   :roll:
Not quite sure what you're trying to imply here, but whatever.

They already have two copters, its not like they are going to have zero.
Actually they have 5 of them, but only 3 or 4 are in flying condition, and one is still wearing the Army paintjob from when we received it. I believe that is just used for parts though.

Either way, it doesn't really matter. They could have 100 helicopters but it doesn't do any good if the city won't cough up the money to put them in the air. [/quote]

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Postby cdub » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:01 am

They have two new and I mistakenly thought the issue was not buying the 3rd new one, which is also happening.  I didnt realize they were grounding them all.  Although I still suspect they would use one if absolutely necessary.  They are supposed to be selling all the old ones here sometime soon.  

As for what I'm implying - I'm actually outright saying you're a wonk for the PD and will support them come heck or high water.

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Postby icejammer » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:30 am

Bosco55David wrote:
icejammer wrote:No offense, as I'm aware of your career path here, but invaluable in what way?  Is it providing an incremental benefit every time it goes up?  Some of the time?


All you have to do is watch the news and you'll hear stories about the benefits of the police helicopters. They talked about this in one of the news segments when it got grounded, mentioning how it had helped to locate lost/missing citzens, follow fleeing suspects etc.

Does this happen all of the time? Certainly not, but not every officer on the street arrests someone or writes a ticket on every shift either, yet there is still value in the deterrent (which the helicopter is) and the "there if you need them" aspects.


A lot of things are "nice to have", but at some point you start getting less bang for the buck - BUT, in these times of dwindling resources, a handful of officers on the street is more cost-effective than a bird in the sky.  Sure, the bird provides a benefit, but so do a lot of other things - you have to prioritize.
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Postby Bosco55David » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:10 am

cdub wrote:They have two new and I mistakenly thought the issue was not buying the 3rd new one, which is also happening.  I didnt realize they were grounding them all.  Although I still suspect they would use one if absolutely necessary.  They are supposed to be selling all the old ones here sometime soon.
If they're grounded, they can't just take off and fly when they feel like. Helicopters are extremely intricate mechanical machines, even more so than airplanes. The only way they could be grounded but ready to fly is if they were regularly started, running and maintained. Doing that, the only savings would be some of the fuel costs.

As for what I'm implying - I'm actually outright saying you're a wonk for the PD and will support them come heck or high water.
I appreciate the honesty, even if you're wrong.

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Postby TechnicalDisaster » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:39 am

I applaud the mayors decision to ground the police helicopters if the action is a bargaining chip with the police union.  It's like saying; "Hey, the people of Omaha have refused higher taxes to pay for your cushy pensions.  You have a choice, sacrifice security & safety of the helicopters or sacrifice luxury in your pensions.  It's up to you."

Let's let the police decide what is really important to them.
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Postby Brad » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:19 pm

Why is every issue on this budget so black and white?

Here is an example, Ground the helicopter, buy 44 new cruisers?
How about cut the helicopter back to high crime times and buy 22 new cruisers?

They have such an all or nothing mentality down there...
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Postby DTO Luv » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:54 pm

This is an honest question. Does the helicopter even go that far west? I'm sure it can but I don't see why it would need to that often.
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Postby Bosco55David » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:58 pm

bradley414 wrote:I applaud the mayors decision to ground the police helicopters if the action is a bargaining chip with the police union.  It's like saying; "Hey, the people of Omaha have refused higher taxes to pay for your cushy pensions.  You have a choice, sacrifice security & safety of the helicopters or sacrifice luxury in your pensions. It's up to you."

Let's let the police decide what is really important to them.


The problem with that is the police and fire unions have already said they are willing to make cuts to benefits to make up 50% of the pension shortfall, which is way more than they are directly responsible for. I doubt the current administration or the taxpayers want to really push too hard at the unions, because they can just as easily pull that offer off the table and continuing operating under the current contract.


Brad wrote:Why is every issue on this budget so black and white?

Here is an example, Ground the helicopter, buy 44 new cruisers?
How about cut the helicopter back to high crime times and buy 22 new cruisers?

They have such an all or nothing mentality down there...


I agree in principle, but the OPD cruiser fleet is seriously lagging. It's not that uncommon to see the first generation CVPI's still out on the street, and those things haven't been produced since 1997.

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Postby Bosco55David » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:06 pm

DTO Luv wrote:This is an honest question. Does the helicopter even go that far west? I'm sure it can but I don't see why it would need to that often.


Good question.

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Postby Brad » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:17 pm

Yes, when its not responding to a call it checks the lakes like Zornski and Cunningham on routine patrol.  Mostly for vandals and explicit activities.
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