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View Full Version : Pueblo Cops . . Problem There?



large
04-26-2011, 08:10 AM
This morning's paper (and last night's Council Meeting) brought to the surface something that's been discussed quite a few times in this forum . . The Pueblo Police Force and it's direction under Billings.

Turns out that a lot of the indicators brought up in this forum were correct. There are problems, and in some cases, pretty severe . .

One, that I haven't commented on, but was a good indicator, was the drama surrounding the female Officer who has been in two on duty hassles with male officers, one, where she accused a male officer of putting her in a Headlock during a disagreement that turned physical. Turns out, she was the one applying the headlock. The second one involved a verbal fight with another officer who was being investigated for "Brutality" or excessive force (depends on how and where you read it). In both cases, PPD investigators seemed to be taking her side, at least in press releases, until last week where she was arrested for "Domestic Violence and Burglary" . . I'd think her attitude is in need of changing, or she has a severe problem . .

However, the attitude that seems to be displayed with fellow officers is an extension of how many officers deal with the public in their daily duties.

While all this is going on in Pueblo, Colorado Springs Police are offering up reasons why the civilian population has developed a declining respect for the Police. That has resulted in far more police related shootings and assaults on policemen.

Could one take these indicators to mean perhaps the Police aren't "earning" that respect anymore?

rbowman838
04-26-2011, 10:03 AM
I have to admit this report is another "black eye" to the City of Pueblo. I do know that we have many fine officers. However, I also know we have a few officers that refuse to join the ranks of professional behavior. Isn't the City Manager responsible for the performance of the Police Chief? Sick leave abuse and damage to patrol cars while on patrol should be manageable events. I know my business was probably guilty of some false security alarms due to a malfunction. It was my underrstanding that the Police were charging a fine for a false alarm. I have mixed feelings about The Dare program. I have known one of the officers who have worked in the program for years and I have a great deal of respect for him. I guess some type of measurement has been applied as to the effectiveness of such a program. Yet I wonder how many kids have been touched in a positive way through this type of effort. I suspect officers might be better utilized, but there may be more of an unmeasurable positive influence in the relationship of the police and the young people of our community. Finally, it worries me that the morale of our officers is so low and that they are complaining about a lack of overall leadership. It seems we are always debating about the salaries of our professional people. The salaries are going up and the results are going down. I hope that a new leader can supply the needed leadership and raise the morale of the entire department. Pueblo will be able to detect the difference.

large
04-26-2011, 01:09 PM
The salaries are going up and the results are going down.

That is pretty much the situation of the whole Public Sector today. The Unionized "Civil Servant" has ceased to be either. (Civil or Servant)

Thus, those represented by other than their designated supervisors (meaning union representation) believe themselves to be literally "Fireproof" . .

I believe that is the reason that the lady cop (Dickless Tracy) feels that she can do pretty d*mned much anything she wants to, and if not, she's going to sue . . and the Union may also.

On the rest of it, I think Jim Billings kind of ignored the soap opera going on below him. Now he's gone and people, including those who also never asked (City Management) are starting to look under the table . . and it's a mess!

Sandra
04-26-2011, 02:16 PM
What I think is so amusing about this is that the Colorado Springs Gadzette readers seem to be having a field day with this.

Why is it any concern of Colorado Springs that it would be printed in that paper, especially considering that CSPD is wrought with far more administrative problems (to include some serious corruption) than PPD ever had.

And to make matters worse an ex CPSD administrator, one who left the department in shame, is now running this department. Things aren't looking so good here, I'm sorry. Valez is a great person - I really liked him when I knew him, but I think he was a poor choice for PPD.

As for the police in Colorado Springs not earning respect any more - they seem to think they can just demand it.

large
04-26-2011, 03:07 PM
Honestly, I don't think this is even about the two cities, but the Police in most of the country today.

Look at Denver's cops. There's a problem that finally got uncovered up there. It started with two Denver Cops beating Hell out of a kid who was with somebody that had "Crossed" a cop and got the hell beat out of him. Probably the only thing that got those two cops fired is that the kid they beat up was, 1) in Video Tape and 2) another Cop's kid. All the testimony from the other Denver Cops seen in the video couldn't over ride what was on that video. But they tried!

Since then, there has been five or six fired for associated reasons. And all of them are suing Denver for their jobs back, through the Police Union.

It should chill the average citizen, to know, that if he (or She) is stopped by a cop, for almost anything, how you are treated and what is done to you is entirely up to how the cop feels at that moment? If there is something about you that p*sses that Cop off, anything from a taser, a beating, to being shot and killed could be on the menu. And if you didn't have a weapon, the Cop will likely loan you one once you're down . .

Remember, it's his story against yours if you live. And what upstanding Judge would believe you over the "Sworn Testimony" of the Cop and his peers? After all, unless there's video being shot that the cops don't know about, he and his associates will lie till Hell freezes over. Matter of fact, if you're dead, one or more might put a bullet or two in the carcass to prove that it was a defensible and "righteous" shoot! Anything else and they'll argue that you were doing whatever it takes to get them off the hook.

In New York City, in the last ten years there have been 17 investigations, and over 100 Cops fired, some even Jailed. It's become a joke to the citizens who view all the cops as crooks and bribe takers.

And then they wonder where the "Respect" due them has gone!

Sandra
04-26-2011, 03:30 PM
The problem is, though, that had it not been for that video the matter likely would have been shrugged off, which puts a burdon on the citizens. Not everyone carries a camera around with them where ever they go - the public is still at a disadvantage.

And it's not only cops - there are other authoritative agencies in the state that act like this, too - like Children's Protective Services. It's amazing the lies they'll tell! It's all good if they intervene on a family who truly needs it, but what's up with all the lying?

large
04-26-2011, 03:42 PM
In the case of the video, it came from a "Security Camera" on a building across the street. Chances are if you or a friend has an operating video camera operating and is seen by a (The) Cop, he'll arrest you for that. I don't know for sure what the law is around here, but some states actually have laws that make taking pictures or videos of Police illegal. Dunno why if they aren't doing something wrong.

As for other agencies "Exercising" their powers, so to speak. It's all about Authority and who has the right to challenge it . . Back to the Unionized "Police State" . . a quick check will tell you that all those people in that agency are members of AFSCME . . Can't question their authority, and can't get 'em fired!

Sandra
04-26-2011, 04:04 PM
Illegal to video tape a cop doing something wrong? I think that sounds like an issue for the United States Supreme Court.

I do think the US has become a police state. Sorry to have to say that, but that's probably our biggest problem - the people have no common sense and neither do many of the cops.

Buster.Tripp@Gmail.com
04-26-2011, 04:48 PM
This has been going on for the last 50 or more years. Been to alot of community meeting where the public still remembers being in the elavetor and geeting the snot kicked out of them. It suprised me about the leadership problem I really like Jim. but like i said the community dont trust the Pueblo police Dept never have and never will.

Loren Swelk
04-26-2011, 11:42 PM
In today's Chieftain certain city council members state that they have been aware of the problems within the police department for some time, in some cases over a year, but they have said or done nothing? They are part of the problem, what are they elected to do anyway?

large
04-27-2011, 06:55 AM
Isn't that what a City manager is for?

The City Council makes decisions, do you expect them to think too?

At least there hasn't been much of that going on in the past.



And I haven't seen today's paper yet. Their high dollar, State of the Art press broke . . again . .

Sandra
04-27-2011, 07:11 AM
I think we have some good cops on the force, but maybe they need better leadership and organization.

large
04-27-2011, 07:33 AM
I'm sure there are, but then how good could they be and still allow the soap opera that's been going on for ten years ?

A GOOD COP doesn't want that kind of atmosphere around Him (Her). But for over 10 years, no one inside the force has said a d*mned thing about anything to anybody. A lot of them were "Unhappy" and their morales were down, they got "shuffled" if they made any waves at all, and a lot of disability retirements happened. But no one spoke out, and apparently aren't going to.

large
05-26-2011, 02:09 PM
Hmmmm, Deputy Chief Andy McLachlan has gotten his breast in the cylindrical Water Extractor with the "Interim" Police Chief Luis Velez . . He, McLachlan, is accused of "Seeking personal support from Fire Fighters and city leaders against a policy proposal by Velez. And has been suspended . .

My question is this . . IF . . Velez is the "INTERIM" Police Chief, how and why does he get to set Policy? "Interim" means that he's "TEMPORARY", No?

But he has already rewritten the policy for those who answer your "Tow Truck" calls . . All owners, operators and drivers cannot have a DUI arrest (not conviction) on their records or have a police record as a felon. So much for another point of "Rehab" . .

Not to mention a couple of other policies, like Burglar Alarms that go off for no reason, etc. and becoming far more strict. Just about to the point of making one not want one . . Even when one goes unanswered and the place the alarm is, gets burgled.

I thought that when a City Department Head was "Temporary" the City Manager is the one who sets departmental policy, with the Blessing of City Council and the City Attorney. When was the City Charter changed? Hmmmm?

Loren Swelk
05-26-2011, 02:34 PM
I have never seen a Deputy Chief writing parking tickets before, but I just might. Time for Andy to hang up his cleats...he's toast.

Marc.N
05-26-2011, 02:38 PM
How can Velez dictate who can and cannot go into what business or work for others???

Sound like the city may end up in a legal catfight.

large
05-26-2011, 03:23 PM
How can Velez dictate who can and cannot go into what business or work for others???

Sound like the city may end up in a legal catfight.

They can if you want on the Police Call Rotation . . Or at least they, the S.O. and The Colorado State Patrol all have their own set of rules and requirements. In the past they have dictated the capacity and load Minimums of recovery vehicles and rollbacks . . And so far no one has contested it.

but as an Independent Business owner, you can have your own rollback or "wrecker' and as long as you comply with CDOT regs you can use it as a business vehicle. You just don't get called to collisions and abandoned cars, etc. that the police deal with . . And there's a lot of money on collision recovery, storage, and title recovery as well as salvage and recycling . .

The rub about Velez' policy on the Drivers, Operators, etc. is . . We spend a lot of money to "Rehabilitate" the felons in our Prisons, but when they hit the streets, they can't get a job because the very people who cry that they need to be "rehabilitated" create policy against the jobs they've been trained or are qualified for . . About all an ex-con can do that isn't illegal for them is wash dishes or work as a laborer on a construction site . . I know three different people who had pretty good jobs, were trusted, and were dependable, who are now unemployed and one who was kept by his employer, but is doing a completely different job . . .

Julian
05-26-2011, 03:52 PM
... About all an ex-con can do that isn't illegal for them is wash dishes or work as a laborer on a construction site . . I know three different people who had pretty good jobs, were trusted, and were dependable, who are now unemployed and one who was kept by his employer, but is doing a completely different job . . .
There's a difference between "justice" and "forgiveness."

large
05-26-2011, 04:05 PM
OK, but back to the Definition of "Interim" . . Again, one would believe that if . . an executive is named the "Interim" Executive, I've been led to believe that he's the "Caretaker' . . not a policy maker . .

But then impressions are Fleeting . . as are definitions in this day and age . .

Sandra
05-26-2011, 04:42 PM
What did I say when they appointed him? That this is not a good idea. Now we see why.

Some of his ideas are good ones, but even still, if he has a good idea or even a bad idea that he thinks is good, he should be taking that idea to the appropriate people to make those changes rather than just making those changes himself.

Valez is a friend of the city manager. This was another concern of mine. He made a mistake hiring his friend rather than being more objective and hiring someone he wasn't close to, because when Valez begins to screw up, then will his friend the city manager have the bolz to turn around and fire him?

Julian
05-26-2011, 06:53 PM
Well. Theres hope for city officials and interim police chiefs:

"Dr. Jeffrey H. Toney writes that a team of biomedical engineers at the University of Pittsburgh led by Henry Zeringue have managed to grow an active brain in a dish..."

http://goo.gl/908Kx

large
05-27-2011, 06:56 AM
It could lead to a whole crop of "Intelligent" Politicians . . 'Spose?

large
06-15-2011, 08:20 AM
We see that the Pueblo Civil Service Commission sees things a little clearer than apparently either the City Manager or Council . . They found Deputy Chief McLachlan not guilty of any thing deserving of a five day suspension without pay . . Apparently "Interim" Chief Velez didn't state that the information he gave McLachlan was confidential or, it wasn't . .

And, come to find out, McLachlan wasn't the only one in the room when Velez told him. The whole command staff was there, according to the paper this morning . .

Begs to question someone there . . Why did Velez single out McLachlan?

Sandra
06-15-2011, 08:34 AM
So do you all still think Velez was a good choice?

large
06-15-2011, 05:19 PM
I don't believe anyone posting in this thread said much in Velez' defense . .

Sandra
06-15-2011, 05:23 PM
I'm trying to remember what it was that people were saying when I first brought this up. I remember stating that I didn't think it was such a good idea for our City Manager to appoint his friend - seems to me there were some people who had a little more faith in Jerry Pacheco's decision than I had, but I don't remember if those were forum comments or comments spoken to me when I discussed this verbally with a few people. I guess that means I'm losing my marbles. lol

Loren Swelk
07-06-2011, 11:37 AM
Well Sandra, you worst dream has come true. Velez was appointed as permanent Police Chief this morning.

Sandra
07-06-2011, 04:00 PM
So, let's see a show of hands here.

Was it because he's friends with Jerry?

Or no?

Loren Swelk
07-06-2011, 04:36 PM
So, let's see a show of hands here.

Was it because he's friends with Jerry?

Or no?

I think it was because he was part of the consultant company that the city paid all of the money to.

large
07-06-2011, 06:02 PM
Y'kno, this may have opened a can of worms for the city and their human resources people . .

Think about it . .

Sandra
07-06-2011, 08:53 PM
Go ahead and elaborate, large.

Julian
07-07-2011, 05:13 AM
Sandra, I noticed in this morning's Chieftain that the hunt for a new police chief was derailed when applicants cited too many problems in the police department and withdrew. Do you suppose Velez is just the only guy who would take the job?

large
07-07-2011, 05:36 AM
I'm going to wait this one out . . there's a lot more to this than meets the eye, I'm thinking . .

Loren Swelk
07-07-2011, 06:09 AM
I'm going to wait this one out . . there's a lot more to this than meets the eye, I'm thinking . .

The most interesting comment in the Chieftain piece was the last paragraph when Rhodes said he was told six months ago that Velez would be appointed interim chief and the permanent chief later on. Seems like the decision had been made long ago, even before the other applicants abandoned ship. If my memory serves me correctly, Velez originally said he was not in the running for the chief position, but just a placeholder until the consultants did their thing.

large
07-07-2011, 06:21 AM
Y'kno, this may have opened a can of worms for the city and their human resources people . .

Think about it . .

and . .
The most interesting comment in the Chieftain piece was the last paragraph when Rhodes said he was told six months ago that Velez would be appointed interim chief and the permanent chief later on. Seems like the decision had been made long ago, even before the other applicants abandoned ship. If my memory serves me correctly, Velez originally said he was not in the running for the chief position, but just a placeholder until the consultants did their thing.

And that may come back to haunt them. On several fronts. One might look to legal action from some (or all) of those applicants who literally wasted their time and resources applying for the job. The Police Union might have some sour grapes on hand, as well as might some of the members of the City Council once things start to go South. There's all kinds of little legal entanglements that Jerry Pacheco has exposed himself to . . And it begs to question the credibility of Velez himself . . What did he know and When did he know it? Velez already has a history that some consider questionable from his tenure as Police Chief of Colorado Springs . .

Also, we watched the Saga of Andy McLaclan, a case of Chief Velez making a bureaucratic mistake and then attempting to punish a subordinate for it . . Sort of like jumping to the conclusion that certain evidence could be done away with.

ButwotthehelldoIknow?

Loren Swelk
07-07-2011, 06:55 AM
Paragraphs six and ten tells us all we need to kow about the city council's thoughts (http://www.gazette.com/articles/police-121032-chief-pueblo.html)

large
07-07-2011, 07:16 AM
Well, again, I'm gonna put my conclusions on hold for a while. But it's kinda like that "Cheap Suit", it may "Fit" but it still doesn't look right . . .