Confusion reigns over B.P. Chief's se...

Confusion reigns over B.P. Chief's separation with department

There are 7 comments on the San Gabriel Valley Tribune story from Feb 7, 2008, titled Confusion reigns over B.P. Chief's separation with department. In it, San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that:

Contradictory claims Thursday raised questions about whether the police chief was fired or retiring.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Citizen

United States

#1 Feb 7, 2008
I was deeply sadden to say the least in regards to the firing, dismissal, of the Baldwin Park Chief of Police Edward Lopez. Each city has an obligation to stay within their budget however, budget cuts should never come from within a police department. The City Council has an obligation as elected officials to its citizens to PROTECT and SERVE them. This is absolutely not in the best interest for the Baldwin Park Residents nor their Police Department!!!
NOT SURPRISED

Newport Beach, CA

#2 Feb 7, 2008
Citizen wrote:
I was deeply sadden to say the least in regards to the firing, dismissal, of the Baldwin Park Chief of Police Edward Lopez. Each city has an obligation to stay within their budget however, budget cuts should never come from within a police department. The City Council has an obligation as elected officials to its citizens to PROTECT and SERVE them. This is absolutely not in the best interest for the Baldwin Park Residents nor their Police Department!!!
YOU HAVE A VALID POINT REGARDING THE CITY COUNCILS OBLIGATION TO ITS CITIZENS. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE DURING LOPEZ'S TENURE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND HIS FIRING WAS INEVITABLE. THE CITY HAS ALWAYS HAD BUDGET CONSTRAINTS, BUT DURING MARK KLING'S TENURE THE CRIME RATE HAD DROPPED AND DEPARTMENT MORALE HAD IMPROVED. KLING WAS ABLE TO DO MORE WITH THE BUDGET. LOPEZ HAS ALLOWED MANY VALUED AND TENURED OFFICERS TO LEAVE FOR OTHER CITIES IN THE VALLEY. HE HAS ONLY BEEN CHIEF FOR UNDER TWO YEARS AND HAS LOST ABOUT 10 OFFICERS WITH MORE ON THE WAY. THIS IS NOT ALL HIS FAULT THE CITY COUNCIL DOES NOT SUPPORT THE DEPARTMENT...THEY WANT A "YES" MAN IN OFFICE TO TEND TO THEIR NEEDS VERSUS THE CITIZENS. JUST A THOUGHT.
Numbers dont lie

Santa Monica, CA

#3 Feb 11, 2008
Citizen wrote:
I was deeply sadden to say the least in regards to the firing, dismissal, of the Baldwin Park Chief of Police Edward Lopez. Each city has an obligation to stay within their budget however, budget cuts should never come from within a police department. The City Council has an obligation as elected officials to its citizens to PROTECT and SERVE them. This is absolutely not in the best interest for the Baldwin Park Residents nor their Police Department!!!
Great sentiment. Great idea. Terrible math.
Baldwin Park's general fund is 25 million (approx.)(source: city of baldwin park website adopted budged).
The police department is 58% of that budget. So even if you were to aggressively cut all of the other departments, unless you wanted to close all parks, stop cleaning the streets, repairing roads, fixing lights, putting up signal lights, or anything else of that manner, you could only make superficial cuts.
Furthermore, here's some more math for you. Personnel costs in the Police Department are about 13 million (again, see 06 budget). There are some where between 60 and 70 police officers. So let's just pick a round number like 65. So on average, your personnel costs each year for an officer are about 200k per officer per year.
NOW I'M PUTTING THIS IN CAPS, BECUASE HERE'S THE RUB:
IF YOU NEVER GIVE THE POLICE A RAISE EVER AGAIN, WITH THESE NUMBERS IT WOULD COST YOU ABOUT 2-MILLION EVERY YEAR TO ADD 10 MORE COPS.
With 10 cops, they would still be below the "norm." and the Police Union would have a fit, and I'd be impressed if you could go through the budget linked above and find a way to cut programs and come up with 2 million.
In order to add 10 cops, give the Police Union the raise they want (every year), you'll have to come up with closer to 5 million. As it stands, there's roughly 10 million dollars that the city spends from the general fund on things other than Police (Police is 58% of 25 million).
So, you have 10 million to pave streets, put up street lights, run city hall, maintain parks, pay off municipal debt, deal with emergencies and natural disasters, sweep streets, etc. etc.
So even if you slashed the funding for these other services in order to give it to the police department, you'd still have an undermanned and an "underpaid" police force. It's akin to spitting in a pool to try to fill it up.
Also, if you go through the budget posted on the city's website, you'll see that from the last fiscal year to the most recent all of the non-police departments in the City cut their budgets by an average of 50%. So, where are the cuts going to come from?
The magice number is 25 million. That's all the City has, and it's no one's fault. 15 million already goes to Police. You can't squeeze blood out of a stone.
Liars figure

La Habra, CA

#4 Feb 14, 2008
Numbers dont lie,

Wow where do I start. Terrible math huh? Lets take a little look at your math and simple analysis. I will use your numbers of 13 million for personnel costs and 65 officers, which I know was an estimate (76 actual). You then divided these numbers and estimated it cost the city about $200,000 per officer. This is where you went completely wrong.
First of all you never considered that personnel costs include all non-sworn personnell (36 employees). Now, if you were stating it costs $200,000 to support 65 officers, I guess you could state that, but the $200,000 does not translate to adding strictly officers. Non-sworn personnel consist of records clerks, secretaries, parking enforcement officers and cadets. Adding 10 officers, as you stated, would not require the addition of any non-sworn personnel to support officers. NOW I'M PUTTING THIS IN CAPS, BECAUSE HERE'S THE RUB: YOUR FIGURE OF $200,000 PER ADDITIONAL OFFICER IS COMPLETELY WRONG.
Next time do the math correctly.
numbers

Santa Monica, CA

#5 Feb 20, 2008
So what is the actual number? I can't imagine record's clerks and non-sworn personnel cost nearly as much as officers.
And given that budgets are prospective, not reflective (i.e., you estimate as opposed to actuals), this probably doesn't even take into account overtime, let alone, for most public agencies is an unfunded liability, things like retirement costs.
Now, I don't know if Baldwin Park figures the retirement costs into their yearly budget, or if they just close their eyes like nearly every other City in California has done, but I would venture to wager that, if Baldwin Park has 3% at 50, and retiree health care programs, the number I quoted is actually low.
Yeah, I estimated and made a rough guess at the cost, but if you calculate the true costs of law enforcement in California, the number I used was extremely conservative.
Does BP have 3% at 50 for its cops? If it does I'd love to see the numbers on what its unfunded retirement liabilities are. I'd venture to make another wager that the number is so staggering it would make you blush for even trying to call me out.
numbers dont lie

Santa Monica, CA

#6 Feb 20, 2008
Another point: in one of the other posts someone stated that it costs something like 125k just to train new officers. Assuming there is a cost associated with recruiting, training, and bringin in officers, the numbers still are conservative.
Money Corruption

West Covina, CA

#7 Jan 21, 2012
The council screws up everything they get their dirty fingers in.

Marlen screwed Ed over.

He was a good chief. Marlen is a corrupt politician

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