Excess enforcement costs taxpayers

May 7, 2015

moneyOPINION By CHAS SMIT

So after a long day of work late, I am driving home on Los Osos Valley Road when a large (New York City style) fire truck shows up immediately followed by a smaller fire truck, four cop cars and an ambulance.

All this hoopla for a one car accident near the middle school. I must have counted six to seven police officers and a similar count of firefighters just standing around!

Being a small business owner, I have to work so hard to earn a living and every time I see such scene it blows my mind how these local authorities allow this kind of reckless money wasting bullshit.

They simply have to operate this way to keep getting funded by government. It just shows you how poorly government oversees spending on a local and a national level. Within the private sector this certainly would never be tolerated.

I have a spotless driving record and never caused an accident. After all these clean years I got pulled over twice last week for minor violations; one in Shell Beach and one downtown San Luis Obispo.

On a friendly note, I explained the officers the violations were such minor and considering my long clean driving record I asked if they please give me a break. No respond (no word) so I asked again; is it really necessary to write me a ticked over such small violation immediately affecting my clean record and increasing my insurance. Again nothing was said. Instead I was handed the tickets.


Loading...
mbbizpro

Who decides what is a minor infraction? Talk about opening a can of worms about unfair enforcement.


Stunned

It took the whole rant to get to the point that you’re p.o.’d over getting a couple of tickets but, your energy didn’t go unnoticed by the troll poster crew (me included I suppose).


So other than this disappointing you do we bring any evidence that this is excessive response or even if its costly?


Lots of officers standing around isn’t unusual considering they all patrol within a few minutes of anywhere in the city. And having extra beef is better than not enough at LEAST when I might need my truck lifted off my head.


Maybe there’s a guideline that says when the fire door goes up everyone rolls so they’re all together for some reason? Anyone have any real guidance on this?


Mr. Holly

at the end of the year during the budget process is where all the numbers are presented and the the request goes in for more.


cowabunga

I would rather see 7 or 8 police or fire personnel on scene than pay Larry Allen from

APCD his $250,000 salary


Mr. Holly

There is some validity for some of the responses. For instance I have heard

on the scanner where someone has fallen off a bike and may have broken

an extremity. Is it necessary to have 2 firetrucks with 7-8 firemen,

4 policeman and a 2 man ambulance crew? Part of the reason for this

is the the Fire Department is considered the first responder and the

ambulance company is required to give a “kick back” to the cities.

The amount is almost $500. Then you have the statistical game of all

the responses that are made which certainly require an increase in pay

and benefits.

On the other hand there are incidences where extraction or

a hazardous situation exists and the necessary equipment should be

responded until the situation is neutralized.

I certainly think the use of manpower and equipment could be better

managed but good luck on that one. The government is there to spend

your money on themselves and not to save it.


willnose

Note to poster – We ARE the government, unless you don’t vote.


Stunned

Kinda chuckled thinking of Hillary’s epic statement “we ARE the president!”


SLO_Johnny

Even a low speed accident can result in serious injuries. My friend’s wife broke her neck in a crash at less than 25 mph; the airbag didn’t even deploy. The SLO Fire Dept. prevented her from being paralyzed by protecting her damaged spine. Plus, the victims could have health issues like asthma or heart conditions that might lead to a medical emergency. The fire fighters are also responsible for dealing with toxic fluids from the cars leaking on the road to prevent them entering the sewer system or water runoff. However, 7 cops seems excessive but they might have been dispatched by different agencies or simply been responding because they were close by.


SamLouis

Your comments are accurate, but they tread on sacred ground — that of public safety employees and their beloved equipment.


Any critical review of either will be met with “so you want more people to potentially die?” Back a few years ago the number of daily sirens in SLO was astounding. Far more than today. Makes me wonder if the politicians finally told police and fire to stop putting on such shows? I still have to chuckle at the use by the SLOFD’s of Jake Brakes (engine compression releases) around town. Outdated, unneeded, noisy equipment that they often seem to use while going UP hill! But it sure brings them attention.


Fire Engine #1 with the aft tiller steerer is a nasty, laughable joke on the taxpayers. I’ve heard many stories — that it was bought for a proposed downtown highrise, that it was bought in conjunction with Cal Poly, etc. What I do know is that it’s a rolling example of local public safety waste. It’s embarrassing.


Myself

If you remember the answer for their hook and ladder was that it was easier to get around than a conventional fire truck,so now they use it for every accident there is,these fools will put about a huindred thousand mile son it and declare it worn out and need a new one yet it most likely won’t pump more than a few hundred thousand gallons of water thru it.


SamLouis

Remember the fire chief before Callahan? He bought TWO used but smaller hook/ladder trucks under the guise that they would be easier to use as you note.


Both of those smaller hook/ladder trucks rotted away in Firehouse #1’s parking lot once Callahan came aboard and focused his attention on the current monstrosity.


I wonder if the two other trucks were sold or simply scrapped? They’re certainly not in service today.


For what it’s worth, I saw the SLOFD fight a house fire on Pismo about a year ago. They had Truck #1 parked across the street and the ladder angle was still ridiculous to the second floor of the structure. That ruck was designed to be used on the sort of buildings that do not exist in the City of SLO.


scoopone

We have no use for a huge ladder truck in SLO…it’s been part of the SLOFD for several

years….purchased on recommendation of past chief Callahan as we were supposed

to build a high-rise hotel downtown….so far, that’s never happened.



It should be put on the market and sold to a larger community where it could be put to

good use, not just running around town following the medics. A complete waste of

time/money. If/when we have a high-rise building (give it time, it will happen)…then the

city can purchase a used one….and not spend a few million $$ for the best vehicle

available in the world!!


Dexter

Anyone who doesnt think that ticket quotas and DUI quotas are alive and well in SLO Town doesnt have there eyes open


mbbizpro

And only those speeding or driving drunk are at risk of being ticketed.


panflash

Well, public service people can answer this more completely, but sometimes the

seemingly-excessive presence of public safety vehicles at such a scene is not

necessarily for the equipment, but rather for the personnel. Once the situation is

better identified, then the excess personnel and equipment usually depart.


As for the apparent disregard by officers for your otherwise-sterling driving record,

that might, unfortunately, simply be a function of current budgetary need for revenue.