This year will be one in which custody assistants look to move the needle. Things that were just ideas have evolved into discussion. The progression of the previous executive personnel should carry forward as we look to build and grow from the issues that have hovered over our classification for years.
As of this writing, we have been scheduled to have our first meeting with the newly appointed assistant sheriff, who will oversee custody operations. Assistant Sheriff Chase will also be at the table for our monthly Custody Labor Management Committee meetings.
PPOA continues to push for additional jailers. That was also an item that made headway toward the end of last year, and we look to continue that momentum to help our jailers operate in a safer environment amid a growing workload, and in some cases, little support from some of their sergeants.
We are slated to review the custody assistant report conducted by the Audit and Accountability Bureau. The hope is to document your daily duties and to generate honest discussions on the position. Safety, liability, the use of equipment and positions throughout custody need more clarification.
We will also be looking at court positions. An announcement went out in early January, yet there were questions about testing and interviews where you are advised to “study” areas of interest for the position.
For 2020, I will be coming back through all custody units and station jails for meetings. I will look to emphasize overlapping shifts for PMs into EMs yet still being present for AMs.
We will also be working to expand the social media component. This is to improve messaging to the members while utilizing the PPOA mobile app to its maximum abilities.
With headway being made over the past year, much more is on the scope to make improvements. But one of the biggest concerns I would like to change involves rumors and incorrect information being passed and promoted as fact.
I wholeheartedly encourage you to contact me if you have questions or concerns about what is going on and where we are as a classification and as an organization. I have encountered C/As who said, “I heard” or “we were told,” and the information is incorrect. I am thankful for those who contacted me for clarification via phone or email. I asked them to relay correct information to their colleagues. My PPOA email is the preferred contact. I will receive it if I’m out of the office, in a meeting or in the field, and go to the source.
PPOA is about much more than just defending you in an investigation. It is your voice in dealing with systemic issues ingrained in an old-guard mindset. As people move on, attitudes change and some begin to recognize the wrongs. When this occurs, the hard questions won’t continue to be shunned. Let new ideas become concepts, then evolve into real discussions regarding where we have been, where we are and where we need to go.
If it’s about “transparency and accountability” and “rebuilding and restoring,” then intelligent people looking for a resolution can build a legacy of progression.
Take care. Be safe.