Monday, June 13, 2016

EPSOA's Mistake Even More Clear

Tom Buchino is quickly becoming a caricature of a sheriff candidate in Texas.

Cowboy hat, check.
Tight blue jeans, check.
Boots, check.
Saying you're a "straight-shooter", check.

And now, to complete the picture, shooting a firearm during his commercial.

Seriously, he did that. Just watch.

My favorite part of the spot isn't just the overly-exaggerated tactical engagement, is the fact that he doesn't show whether or not he even hit the target.

I'm assuming because he's a green beret, he hit it. But I guess we just have to take his word for it that he's a "straight-shooter".

But is he in fact a straight-shooter?

I ask because one thing that isn't mentioned in his commercial is that he's essentially devoid of any real law-enforcement experience. Tactical experience is one thing, but law enforcement is different.

And he apparently doesn't have any.

Being a sheriff for "all of El Paso County" means understanding you are not in a tactical environment. This community is not a war zone. This is a community in which development of trust between the Sheriff's Office and the community has been a big part of keeping this community safe.

Interestingly, and perhaps because Buchino is used to the almost endless resources available to the military, he has been critical of the fact that Wiles has said his loyalty lies with the tax-payers of El Paso County.

I'm not sure how that was supposed to be a bad thing, but its funny to hear a Republican that is endorsed by a union be critical of a Democrat that is looking out for the tax payer. Here's the reality that very few in law enforcement will admit to.

We spend a shit-ton of money on law enforcement. In fact, its infuriating for tax payers to have to pay for the same service repeatedly and essentially the time that its acceptable. If you live in the city of El Paso, as most of you reading this do, I'm about to really piss you off. But here's the truth, you pay for your security repeatedly. You pay for federal security forces (Customs and Border Patrol, DEA, FBI, and the military), you pay for municipal police, you pay for school district police, you pay for community college police, you pay for constables, and you pay for the sheriff. You get one service, law enforcement, but you have to pay a lot of people for it.

Imagine if you had to do the same thing with water or electricity? You get one gallon coming out of your tap, or one hour of power coming out of your socket, but you have to pay several entities for one service? Would that make any sense to you?

No. So its a good thing that the Sheriff wants to keep the tax payer in mind.

I don't for one second believe that the endorsement of a Republican was unanimous amongst the membership. But for the sake of argument, let's say it was.

What does that say about the collective political wisdom of the Union?

Obviously there are some legit issues to deal with in terms of fulfilling the contract they have. A contract should be honored, there's no two ways about it.

The proper way to deal with some of these issues, like making some of the jobs civilian jobs, is to address it in the next contract negotiation instead of making the changes now. That is what the union is rightfully upset about.

But okay this moving to the end already have one of, if not the, best contracts in the state. A paperwork job being down by a uniform isn't cost-efficient. The jailers take too much time processing inmates in and out of that place, and truth be told, it costs taxpayers precious resources when they do that. 

You think you're now in a position to get a better contract now? You think endorsing a Republican is the way to get a better contract? 

Good luck with that.


Sgt. Robert Horstman President EPCSOA said...

Jaime, the issue is not just about the contract. The issue is the treatment of Officers and how rules and policies are applied as well as Officer safety and inmate safety. You as a "Union guy" should know that grievances are time sensitive and can't wait until next contract or you lose the ability to grief the violation. Everyone keeps talking about tax payers money; We are tax payers and we also want public funds to be used appropriately. Yes, law enforcement services are expensive. It is an investment in the community not just an expense. Because of the well trained and well paid Officer that we have, we don't have the problems that other agencies have. We ask for the support of EL Paso County and yes, I hope we do surprise you come November. Thank you.
Sgt. Robert Horstman President of the EL Paso County Sheriff's Officers Association.

The Lion Star said...

So the jobs he wants to make civilian jobs, you think it's better to have a uniform do that, rather than devote their time to securing the jail and community?

You really think it's the best use of tax payer resources to have a uniform do what a clerk can do at a lower cost?

Sgt. Robert Horstman said...

I think that if you have a contract, that contract should be followed. Isn't that what Union is about? What about the money saved, where is the money (20 million year to date is what was said)? Did you get a rebate check or receive new or additional services because of money saved, I didn't.

The Lion Star said...

You're evading. Yes, there is a contract in place. I acknowledge that, but it isn't my question. My question is does it make fiscal or operational sense to have a uniform do a task that can be done by a clerk? Isn't that officer trained to make the facility more secure?

And since we're talking, how can you endorse a guy who has less law enforcement experience than a rookie deputy to be the head honcho? At the very least, in order for a deputy to make sergeant, they have to have a certain level of experience right? But you're okay with someone with less experience be your sheriff? That's the union's stance huh? So experience doesn't matter then right?

Sgt. Robert Horstman said...

Is it ok to give away a position because it can be done cheaper even if it is part of your contract? In most of the position in question, there is some element of inmate involvement, what happens when there is a safety or secure issue. Cheap doesn't make it better or safer. Look at the problems that other Cities and Counties have had with hire civilians in these types of positions.

And as far as the endorsement, the Sheriff is a Department Head, he is not out making arrests, writing tickets or writing reports, that is why he has us. The Sheriff is responsible for upholding the law, leadership, budget, operational management, and accountability to the people. The current Sheriff nor his staff knew how to operate or be a Jailer, but learned on the job after taking Office. I am ok with being led by a 23 year retired Sergeant Major who has leadership, accountability, operational management and has been responsible for a fiscal budge of over 1.2 billion dollars.

Again another issue where I think we agree to disagree. Thank you for the opportunity to voice our side.