Friday, April 3, 2015

Port Angeles and C-S-O's

Courtesy of KONP - home of the misspelled word and odd punctuation - comes word that Terry Gallagher wants to bring another CSO (or, as K-O-N-P puts it, C-S-O) to Port Angeles. Per their website (with grammar, spacing, punctuation and other issues intact):
 A could a new classification of police officers help with crime fighting in Port Angeles.
The police chief thinks so.
Chief Terry Gallagher says it may be time to think about creating a new classification of workers called Community Service Officers to help handle the city's increasing number of non-emergency calls for service.

  Gallagher says many of the non-priority calls now assigned to commissioned police officers could be handled by the different classification of officers.

The C-S-O's don't require the same education or training as a police officers Gallagher says the C-S-O's could handle the lower-level calls such as animal complaints, fender bender accidents on private property and parking complaints, including abandoned or junk cars.

He says it would free up the more expensive employees to engage in better long-term problem solving efforts for the community.
Chief Gallagher says the go ahead to hire Community Service Officers would be a policy decision if permission is received from the Port Angeles City Council.
Now, to me, this doesn't immediately sound unreasonable. But...
There are no numbers attached. How many officers? He says he wants to "hire" them, so...How much will they be paid? Full-time or part-time? Contract workers? Benefits? And where in the budget does the money come from?
So what do you think? Is this a reasonable thing for Terry Gallagher to propose? Or, is this his own version of C-S-O empire building, that's likely to cost too much in the long run?
C-S-O, eh? Say, isn't that a load of crap?


  1. But...but...if the city budget had money to hire these types of officers, why wouldn't we have already hired more real police officers? This would have allowed the city to avoid their own embarrassing announcement that they aren't able to enforce traffic laws and police other "minor" offenses, and are letting shoplifters run free. This makes no sense, financially or otherwise. Something doesn't seem right.

  2. The mechanisms are already in place. Abandoned car? Evergreen Towing. Crashes on private property--underscore private property, not a public safety problem. Parking complaints? Is this what we're paying five million a year for?
    Animal Control--sheriff's department is supposed to cover this one. Bullet holes in store front windows--now there's a public safety problem. Looks like the chief wants to put a few more buddies in good jobs before retirement. Since the chief is so close to retirement, and he's been at it so long, let the next chief handle the problems. Any policies put in place now must be endured long after the chief retires. I'd say give up the PenCom responsibilities and let some of those 25 personnel do the lower impact policing jobs. We don't need police personnel working the PenCom anyway. This can be done by civilians and in many jurisdictions it is done by civilians.
    The city has taken on more responsibility than it can manage. Divest the utilities division. We could probably sell the utility division for about what the city owes and make a clean break. Naturally they won't do this because they get to rake a lot of the utility money into the general fund and no one knows where it goes from there.

    1. The PenCom staff are civilians, not law enforcement. No commissions, no guns, no cuffs.

  3. I would hope that any discussion of this, or any related law enforcement topic, would include a lot of information about crime rates here compared to other cities of a comparable size, as well as the citizen-to-police office ratio in those similar cities.

    I would hope so, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting. This has the feel of a decision that's already been made. This is just the announcement.

    1. Tyler, writing for Port O Call was all over that last month, still available online at

  4. Terry Gallagher, along with Dan McKeen, Bill Bloor, Nathan West, etc., etc., needs to retire and be replaced with a modern professional. Without that happening across the board in City Hall, we will continue our decline to poverty and oblivion.

    1. Nathan is a professional, too bad he's hobbled by the others you mentioned.

    2. Wrong, Anon 6:41.

      At some point, a professional has their sense of pride and PROFESSIONAL responsibility offended so much that they stand up and say "This is wrong" or "This is wasteful," or whatever is appropriate for the situation.

      Nathan has never had that moment, and at this point, likely never will. He sits, in silence, while bad, stupid, harmful things are done. He never objects, never pushes back. He keeps quiet, and keeps his job.

      That's not professionalism, that's cowardice. It's not enough to know better. You also have to speak up. Nathan isn't a victim of the problem, he's part of the problem.

      Necessary infrastructure that benefits everybody, resident and visitor alike, or unnecessary and expensive artificial beach?

      Nathan went for the beach. Enough said.

  5. This is absurd. You have pegged it, right on target. A load of crap.

    The trail of slime, or poo leading us to where we are today, or as more polite people would say, The history of this issue is very clear.

    Last Fall, the police chief responded to the downtown merchants complaints about break-ins with a recital of the facts and figures of the declining crime rates in Port Angeles. I don't have them in front of me at this moment, but they are easily accessible. The police Chief made a convincing case that crime has been on the decline for a number of years, and continues to be.

    Convincing to many, but not the few hard core in Revitalize Port Angeles group.

    The Port Angeles police department tried to be responsive to the members of Revitalize Port Angeles, and sent a number of officers to a number of their meetings to explain the realities. But, the leadership was not convinced. Facts and statistics mean nothing when YOUR ox is being gored.

    So, in December of last year, the police chief suddenly made a complete reversal of position, and claimed his department was understaffed. Why the sudden reversal? Was he directed by the City Manager to be more responsive to Revitalize Port Angeles, regardless of whether there was any factual merit to their concerns? As we know, it is more about APPEARING to be responsive, than actually doing anything of substance.

    But, the Port O Call looked into the claims, and as was reported, Port Angeles police have the same number of officers as other towns of a similar size. And, even more relevant, many times more CIVILIAN employees than most any town, including those many times larger than Port Angeles.

    What doesn't seem to be mentioned by the chief are all the other agents and officers that "assist" Port Angeles' officers on calls. We see the crowd of officers from State Police, Homeland Security, Sheriff's Dept, Elwha Police, Border Patrol and others that show up to a call.

    So, we see this for what it is. Politics, pure and simple. The City has to appear to be responsive to the downtown merchants. They wanted and got the existing dedicated downtown officer with their office in the Gateway building. Maybe we should do a Public Records Request to see how many calls that officer has responded to over a 12 month period, compared to the City wide average.

    Yes, the city has no money, and is cutting programs, but we have money for more officers in a declining crime environment?

    1. There is an active Neighborhood Watch group downtown now. Revitalize hosted CCSO and PAPD for the organizational meetings. It contains many of the business owners who actually WERE the ones hollering about crime is up. Now they have had some training, and they are able to do some useful things, and this is why Terry Gallagher doesn't have to hold their hands anymore. So maybe you would prefer not to see it, but Revitalize helped to fix that problem. In fact it was a member that tossed out the Watch idea at a meeting -- the PD had not thought of it.

      Another thing that settled them down was that winter came, which always clears the streets and drops crime. Then Sean Della was busted, who was known to the downtowners, but they could not get him arrested.

      So there's good explanations. But, it's a free country, you can have all the conspiracies and backroom deals you want.

    2. Anon 5:21 Says "But, it's a free country, you can have all the conspiracies and backroom deals you want."

      Seriously? You are seriously contesting that the police chief made a complete reversal of his position within a matter of a week or two, at the same time Revitalize was squacking about crime and getting the poor and needy off the streets, and had officers meeting with the group?

      You really are trying to say that thinking that Terry Gallaghers' reversal of his views was NOT because of all the public noise Revitalize members were making, and to think so is engaging in warrant-less delusions of "conspiracies and backroom deals"?


      From attending Revitalize meetings myself, I can easily see how Anon 5:21s' views fit with the group. This is the same group that got all excited about buying the Lincoln with NO actual figures presented. This is the same group that thinks Dan's tram fantasy is a great idea. This is the same group that kicks you out if you say things they don't want to hear. The truth is not your friend. Only what you want to believe, matters.

      Port Angeles' version of Scientology!

    3. Maybe it was unclear that I was talking about Revitalize there, not Gallagher. Apart from that, I do not see where they are actually "supporting" the tram. Williams is just collecting signatures -- who knows what that's supposed to accomplish -- but if RPA ever told their people they ought to sign, I can't find it. Meanwhile, yeah, you know I was going to say something about Revitalize and the Lincoln, too. But I believe I'll wait till it's on-topic. Say, tomorrow.

    4. I guess you haven't attended the actual Revitalize meetings I did, where I saw the presentations, and heard the glowing endorsements.

      " The truth is not your friend. Only what you want to believe, matters." RPAs motto.

  6. Gosh! After the PDN ran a campaign of crime run rampant, I had no suspicions that the chief would be asking for more money for personnel... No, none whatsoever!

    I am Jack's utter lack of surprise.

  7. CSO. Seems to be a popular acronym in this City.

    Common Shitty Origins.

  8. Port Angeles: Where crimes of opportunity are the ONLY opportunity.

  9. Here is the Port O Call article that has more information on the police chief, and his numbers. And, interesting numbers about the departments staffing.

  10. Wonder how many bloggers here vote regularly...most are informed and interested, any follow through?

    1. Every General Election since I turned eighteen. I'd say about fifty-fifty on primaries. I spaced on the vote for the recent bond/levy, and that was the first vote of that type I missed in a long while. And when I lived in Reno back in 2008, I was a precinct chair for the Presidential Caucus. Most fun I've ever had fully dressed and not involving live music.