Happy new year to you all. A new year, new leadership, yet the work continues, especially with the challenges facing the Department that affect us all.
The past year saw unprecedented amounts of overtime and drafting. CARP is entering year four, and the applications are not what they once were as the Department struggles to get applicants who pass backgrounds and make an academy. We’re also dealing with the harsh reality of law enforcement employment not being as desirable as it once was.
With that said, I questioned what determines a Custody Assistant academy class and what is the minimum amount of recruits to run one. Waiting for a class of 25 to 30 was being hampered by a decrease of interest in law enforcement and the length of the backgrounds process and individuals passing backgrounds. This is also compounded by the fact that the Deputy position is fishing in the same pond, meaning we’re going after the same applicants.
There is a benefit to consistently running smaller classes more frequently. The numbers in terms of class size may be less than what we’re accustomed to; however, at this point every bit helps. Four to five classes over a year is potentially 60 to 75 new bodies.
Custody Assistant Class #110 began its academy on December 4. They began as a class of 15, and hopefully they will all make it to graduation. One is a current Department employee, meaning the others have faith in themselves and the Department as they accept the challenges ahead.
For station jailers, the Department’s proposed budget includes a three-year plan to increase station jailer items. Station jailer staffing has been a longstanding issue. As jailers become injured or relieved of duty, the remaining jailers are left to take up the hours. Some stations are down two or three bodies, leaving only two active jailers to carry the load.
As I go through the proposal, I will report on any additional information related to our classification.
If you call the office inquiring about a possible grievance, have questions about the process, have a complaint or feel corrective action is needed, please contact me for clarification. Department-wide emails are against policy. Do not compound your need by opening yourself up to potential discipline.
When the office receives calls, certain information is required to aid in the filing process, such as specific dates, shifts, the cause and documentation. There is also interpretation of Department policy or the MOU.
The union is there for you. It is a partnership to work for the best achievable outcome for its members, including honest conversations in the event that a grievance is warranted.
Lastly, I’d like to acknowledge outgoing PPOA President Nancy Escobedo. We had hard conversations regarding Custody Assistants while challenging the Department on issues including Title 15 walks, vacancies, station jailers and how the position is being utilized. She took over in the midst of Measure R and tattoo inquiries and on the heels of a pandemic, unreasonable policies being implemented and numerous legal filings on behalf of membership to protect rights. During it all, no member was written up, disciplined or terminated behind vaccine mandates. That is the goal and purpose of the union.
To incoming President Steve Johnson: Congratulations! The efforts we proudly and humbly make to support and protect our membership are extremely rewarding.
To my peers, take care. Be safe.