Friday, February 21, 2014

City Releases PD Statistics

Very late today - too late to find anyone at City Hall to answer questions -  the City of Costa Mesa made available some darn interesting statistics regarding the Costa Mesa Police Department.  City watchers may recall that certain members of the city council demanded this information at a council meeting not too long ago, apparently to refute the allegation by a speaker during Public Comments that the atmosphere and policies attributed to the current majority were chasing police officers away.  At the time I thought to myself that they should be careful what they ask for.  Well, now we have it.

The statistics provided were in the form of four (4) separate reports from brand new Assistant Chief Executive Officer Tammy Letourneau to the City Council and made available to me from a source outside the Police Department.

The first one, titled, "Sworn Police Staffing Timeline" provides a listing of separations and hires for the calendar years 2012, 2013 and through January 2014. During that 25 month period the exhibit shows that we had 26 departures -  10 Resignations; 14 Retirements; 2 Discharges.  During the same period we had 12 hires -  4 Academy Graduates; 6 Recruits and 2 Laterals.   Of those, 3 (25%) -  1 Academy Graduate, 1 Lateral and 1 Recruit - left after a very short period of time.

The second chart it titled, "Police Department Staffing Information, 2013/2014" and shows recruitment activity for the Costa Mesa Police Department from May 24, 2013 through February 12, 2014.  It sorts the information by Applications Received; Applicants Interviewed; Applicants Selected for Background Checks; Started Academy (Recruit) and Hired as Police Officer.  Here are the totals for those categories:

  • Applications Received - 2782
  • Applicants Interviewed - 188
  • Applicants Selected for Backgrounds - 104
  • Started Academy - 8
  • Hired as Police Officer - 0

There are still pending interviews and potential academy starts plus possible hires, but those numbers clearly indicate the difficulty the City has identifying, qualifying and hiring recruits.

The third chart is titled, "Police Department Attrition 2011-2014".  According to this exhibit 43 sworn members of the CMPD departed during that time period.  The information provided includes the position of the officer; years of service; Reason given for departure; Agency they joined (if appropriate) and the Current Assignment, if known.

Of the 43 officers who departed, 25 (58%) gave as their reason for departing:
  • Lateraled, subject to possible layoff/political environment - 7
  • Lateraled, due to political environment - 9
  • Retired early due to political environment - 9 
Of those who departed, 18 (42%) joined other departments and continue to work in law enforcement.  Of those, 17 (40%) left for reasons that included the political environment.

Among the remainder:
  • 7 (16%) retired early due to the political environment.
  • 6 (14%) were Medical Retirements.
  • 4 (9%) were discharged.
  • 4 (9%) Resigned for another position, out of town employment or to the private sector.
  • 3 (7%) Retired.
  • 1 (2%) Died.
Of those who were reported as working for other cities/agencies, here's the breakdown:
  • Manhattan Beach - 3
  • Beverly Hills - 3
  • Anaheim - 2
  • Irvine - 2
  • La Habra - 2
  • Orange County DA - 2
  • Newport Beach - 1
  • Cypress - 1
  • Westminster - 1 
  • Downey - 1
  • DEA - 1
It's interesting to note that of those who departed to work for other agencies most have had significant advancements at that location.  The Westminster officer, for example, was named their Officer of the Year for 2012.  We didn't lose just "officers", we lost some of the cream of the crop.

For example, the eight (8) officers who identified themselves as "retiring due to the political environment" average almost 26 years on the job.  That's a heck of a lot of experience to lose when many would have stayed on the job, providing leadership and expertise, for many more years.

The final chart, "Costa Mesa Police Department Years of Service Document", lists 114 sworn members of the Costa Mesa Police Department in order of their eligibility to retire.  It doesn't show names, but it does show Sworn Date; Years of Service; Description; Hire Date; Rank/Title and Eligibility To Retire Date.

The first dozen (12) on the list, including Chief Tom Gazsi, could retire anytime.  Another five (5) could retire during 2014.   Another seven (7) can retire during 2015 and another five (5) can retire during 2016.  With the existing vacancies and the difficulty filling open slots, if even half of those first 12 decide to pack it in this year, the Costa Mesa Police Department will be in even bigger trouble.

You can lay this situation directly at the feet of Mayor Jim Righeimer and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger - and Councilman Gary Monahan for his complicity in their plans.  Perhaps now, with the presentation of these numbers, folks who have been cutting them some slack will realize just what damage they've done to the CMPD - and the entire city, for that matter.

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Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Geoff, thank you for this very informative information. One of the officers from our force, in the narcotic division, I believe, who brought in many thousands of dollars for the city is now working for Anaheim. Just one of the many serious losses we have suffered at the hands of Righeimer and Mensinger and of course, little Gary.

Don't think for a second that we haven't laid this at their feet. They are directly to blame.

2/21/2014 08:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Hold 'em Accountable said...

Didn't that D-bag Riggy say that there would be a line around the block when they opened up the hiring process?

Well Riggy, the quality was SO BAD they couldn't even hire the best of the applicants who didn't do their research about CRAZY Costa Mesa.

WHY would ANYone come here? The only reason is to get free/paid training, and lateral to a city deserving of their talent.

Yes Riggy, You, Steve, and Gary really screwed up what was the best PD around.

Now before the haters go badmouthing Wendy (because that's all the bootlickers know how to do), Mansewer, Steele, Monahan, and the Maddogging Glasses (Bever) idiot, ALL voted for the pensions that they whine about today.

Prediction----The CM electorate is so apathetic that come November, nothing significant will change. (You read it here first. Note the date)

2/21/2014 08:28:00 PM  
Anonymous CM Resident said...

This is completely understandable, we have a council majority that has signaled loud and clear that police compensation needs reform. That is the real "political environment," and officers who prioritize money will leave for departments that are not contemplating any meaningful compensation reform.

People in the private sector leave for money or better contracts all the time, there isn't anything wrong with it. The difference is the blame for that decision being laid on the "political environment."

Everyone talks about the council hating the cops and causing the attrition, short-staffing and OT, but an officer's daily interactions are with his brothers and sisters and the public, not the council. The blame for attrition, short-staffing and OT lies squarely on those who left, some loudly and publicly trashing the place on the way, and who knew what their departures and subsequent public trashing would due would do to staffing levels and recruitment.

The reality is that the harshest criticisms about CMPD and Costa Mesa I've heard came from former CMPD, not the council.

2/21/2014 08:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Skeptical in Costa Mesa said...

That's a lot to digest. But a few questions are: How will it get spun by the spin masters & who's going to care. As usual the teflon kings will slide right out of looking bad to those who blindly love them. We (the city) are in deep hurt because of two self centered egotistical a-holes and one short sighted idiot. Now what?

2/21/2014 09:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Most cities around the country face the problem of pension costs for public safety employees (among others) as being unsustainable. However, rather than sitting down to negotiate more realistic contracts, 2 of the current council majority who have higher political aspirations have latched onto this issue as their claim to fame.

Alan Mansoor did this with the undocumented alien issue, and he made it to the assembly. Jim and Steve found their own hobby horse. I wonder if Scott Baugh helped them choose their issue?

I've heard them on talk radio as the champions of public pension reform

2/21/2014 10:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Skeptical in Costa Mesa said...

So CM Resident. . . what exactly have the three stooges done to benefit the fine men and women of the CMPD?
Let's see? Dumped one of the most useful pieces of safety and prevention equipment (helicopter), refused to allow new hires until it started to get the public attention, lost the one and only canine unit, sued because they got their feelings hurt (poor babies), it goes on but I'm sleepy. The blame lays on those that left? That's your best logic? Keep drinking the kool aide.

2/21/2014 11:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Squad 51 said...

One fact that isn't debatable is... if Righeimer hadn't showed up with his 'fire everybody' agenda, manipulated getting his sidekick Mensinger appointed into a supporting position and strong armed the little tap puller into going along... none of this would have happened at the CMPD.

That pipeline out the door is still flowing, as more officers, in addition to retirements, are currently in the process of going elsewhere and the hiring process can not keep up with any acceptable level of quality.

The end result is as obvious as standing on the tracks and watching the train coming. Either somebody pulls the brakes on that thing or it runs over you.

Pulling the brakes means replacing Righeimer with a majority council who makes it clear from day one that they will undo the damage done. That means Mensinger will be told to go sit in the corner for the next two years and shut up.

The question that should be out there for the public to consider before the next election is if they want the Sheriffs Dept. as their PD.

When the CMPD staffing gets to where they can't provide an acceptable level of service (the train that's coming), then what do you think is going to happen?

Something has to happen and what other options are there?

Just hire more cops because there's a line around the block?


2/22/2014 08:21:00 AM  
Anonymous now is the time said...

CM Resident....atmosphere within any business, as the council looks at the city and their employees, is set by those in control. Line level employees and those they serve, again in any business, are given direction by those at the top. There is usually no daily interaction between the two. So those at the bottom must deal with the decisions and subsequent consequences of those in charge. Not everything has to do with money and unless you are one of those "brother and sisters", as you refer to our officers, how can you actually understand the political environment they work within. Respect is a two way street and starts at the top. You can say all you want that you respect the jobs our officers do...but actions speak louder than words. Consider the actions towards citizens at the last couple council meetings. Now imagine that same attitude towards employees. That is an atmosphere you would want to work in?

2/22/2014 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

More proof that Righeimer has greatly hurt Costa Mesa.

He came here with an agenda, found a group of bootlickers and sycophants to help him, and the rest is history.

Stevie should resign, Jimbo must be sent packing.

2/22/2014 05:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Hmmm...maybe another angle would be that if Steve is found guilty of destroying federal property, he would be unable to finish his term as councilman.

2/22/2014 08:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Slevin Kelevra said...

The term is "unfit to finish his term as councilman". Thing is, we already know he is unfit (in so many ways) for the post, but we need a governmental agency to prove it.

2/22/2014 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Skeptical in Costa Mesa said...

Still waiting on the outcome of the meeting with F & G (might be a long wait if the 60th. party is any indication?). Interesting he knew nothing for months when asked by the citizens, but out of the blue he's got information for the big boys. Where's all the investigative reporters from the OC Register and DP?

2/23/2014 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I see a lot of disgust for Ringdeimer here. Everyone just has to make sure they do there part at election time to get the word out what he has done to our city and we need someone new.Don't be a bunch of complainers and then when it matters do nothing,be both complainers and active in getting him out.

2/24/2014 06:52:00 AM  

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