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Pinellas sheriff's review shows deficiencies in Kenneth City Police Department

Statement Response Number Percent

You receive adequate training relevant to your position.

Strongly Agree 0 0%

Agree 1 9%

No Opinion 2 18%

Disagree 6 55%

Strongly Disagree 2 18%

Your working conditions are adequate (equipment, supplies, space, etc.) to perform your job

Strongly Agree 0 0%

Agree 2 18%

No Opinion 1 9%

Disagree 5 45%

Strongly Disagree 3 27%

Morale is positive in the Kenneth City Police Department.

Strongly Agree 0 0%

Agree 0 0%

No Opinion 0 0%

Disagree 7 64%

Strongly Disagree 4 36%



Sheriff's findings

"In reviewing the general orders, written directives and standard operating procedures, many issues were found. … The majority of the directives were last revised on September 16, 1997. There are some directives which have notations in handwriting, indicating an updated directive. … Written directives have the signature of the previous chief of police. Additionally, directives in memorandum form dating back to 2000 were issued by a sergeant who is no longer employed by the department. … The (officers) are found to be dedicated to the profession of law enforcement and desire to do a good job but are frustrated with how the agency is being administered and the amount of infighting present. There are trust issues occurring between members, as well, but are not being addressed."

KENNETH CITY

Troy Campbell, the Town Council member who oversees the Police Department, asked Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats to review the department's equipment, operations and morale. The results were released last week in a 47-page report that included some crime statistics for Kenneth City. Coats and his deputies presented the results during a special Town Council meeting Wednesday. Here are some highlights from the report.

Officers' concerns

Sheriff's deputies individually interviewed each of the department's 12 officers. Here are some of their concerns and some conclusions or findings deputies reached regarding various areas.

The Police Department building

Officers "conveyed dissatisfaction regarding the age, physical and unprofessional appearance of the department as a whole. It was stated that they are embarrassed to bring citizens, victims, or other law enforcement members into the building, which houses the police department."

"There is concern among (officers) with air quality in the building. It is perceived there is a mold growing and live rodent(s) in the ceiling. Various members who have, or currently work the night shift, stated you can literally hear rats scurrying above during overnight hours. Members with certain allergies maintain that after spending any amount of time in the building their symptoms are magnified (headache, sinus inflammation, itchy eyes, etc.)."

Equipment

Sheriff's findings

"There are no secure safes in the facility to store agency weapons. Agency shotguns and rifles are stored in a large wooden locked box, located in a storage room which was not secured. Inspectors observed in the locked equipment room a number of semiautomatic pistols that the officers had previously been issued. Although these weapons were contained in individual cases, they were not secured in any type of safe. The weapon cases were originally stacked but had fallen, partially blocking the door. There were also two shotguns in a single five (5) gallon bucket found not secured."

Training

Officers "voiced concern over the lack of firearms training. KCPD members only discharge their weapon(s) annually in order to qualify. [Officers] do not receiving tactical training, nor are they afforded the opportunity to practice on duty. … Next, [officers] voiced concern that they do not receive refresher training in defensive tactics, scenario based training, driving, expandable baton, pepper spray … or handcuffing (other than in a PowerPoint presentation). It was stated they are not permitted to participate in 'hands on' practical training for fear of injury per Chief (Doug) Pasley."

Administration

A "majority of (officers) expressed their overall fondness for the chief personally. It was stated that he is a great person but lacks strong leadership skills. The predominant feeling is that he wants to be liked so he does not take control of adversarial situations or hold (officers) accountable. … Secondly, communication, or as most (officers) feel, the lack thereof, is another area that is in dire need of attention. For example, several (officers) were unaware that a staff inspection of the department had been requested by council members. … Some (officers) are unhappy that the mayor requested an investigation by the Sheriff's Office several months ago."

Kenneth City

by the numbers

7.9 percentage by which violent crimes (rape, murder, robbery, aggravated assault) have increased from 2006 to 2010.

10.7 percent increase in nonviolent crimes (burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft) from 2006 to 2010.

33 the total number of violent crimes from 2006 to 2010.

1 approximate size of Kenneth City in square miles.

4,980 population of Kenneth City.

Sources: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, 2010 census, Kenneth City

Morale is positive in the

Kenneth City Police Department.

ResponseTotalPercent
Agree00
No opinion00
Disagree11100

Pinellas sheriff's review shows deficiencies in Kenneth City Police Department 06/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2011 7:01pm]

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