I came well prepared for the meeting. Not being sure of the direction it would take. I made several sets of binders to make my point. The first packet contained communications between all parties. The second packet dealt with the subject of community policing or a citizen’s police force. Followed by our plan to set up the new Rochester College police Force and how it would solve most of the campuses problems to date.
I started with packets containing the pages of the interaction between our security department and the local government. I had all calls to and from the police department, city streets department with Kelly’s comments and any emails to them and from them to Kelly.
I almost enjoyed as the people across the table from me started squirming in their seats as they slowly flipped through the pages. I listened as the Mayor cleared his throat several times then watched his color slowly change, starting at his tie and moving up.
“I know you have been busy and are going through tough times. Like other places, tight budgets, cut budgets, too many calls, not enough manpower, but to simply not return a call at all is unacceptable,” I said then continued.
“Your departments have no problem calling us; I expect no more than the professional courtesy of returning our calls,” I said. “We both expect our problems to be resolved in an expedient manner.”
“To help both of us, in this packet, I am proposing to add a new small force on campus. In this packet, what many other communities are doing and that is to use community policing or a citizen’s police force. In this case the Rochester Campus Police Force.” I passed out several pages of legal information on the subject including several state and federal rulings.
“In our roster of employees here at Rochester, thirty of them have had previous experience in law enforcement. They are a mix of town, city, county deputies and several military police,” I said.
“A campus police force could write tickets for minor offences, traffic, disorderly conduct, the littering problem and a host of other problems and free up time for your departments to handle citizen complaints. The scope of duties could be arrived at through negotiation. All serious crimes would still be handled through your public safety department.”
“In our research we found out that there are several New York cities that are participating in similar programs with excellent results,” I said then added “We do not want to expand turfs, we just want to be able to take care of the minor problems on campus in a timely fashion that establishes daily order and traceable results. Things are not being handled that way now,” I said. And added “When we call and nothing happens, it makes minor criminals grow bolder and I get the ‘if they don’t care, why should we’. I will not allow that attitude to take over my people.”
“We had legal experts look at your city charter and compare it to the others and they recommend changes that are needed,” I said as I passed out copies from the lawyers to them.
“I believe that no more than two officers per shift are all that I would need for a total of twelve to cover weekends and holidays. I would have to give bonus pay for them to stay current with state requirements and I am not interested in doing that for the entire group assigned here,” I replied. “I want my people to be able to legally to tell someone to move on or I will arrest you and be able to do just that.”
I sat down and took a long drink from my strong coffee and waited for them to say something.
The mayor looked at his group then said, “I am certainly disappointed that you have been having this kind of responses from the city. I have to agree that even a day’s response is too long, but no response at all from any city department is totally unacceptable. I understand your frustration; I would be furious.”
“I promise you heads will roll. I will find answers and you will have them from ME tomorrow. I will work with the city attorney look over your request, develop the appropriate legislation and present it to the city council meeting on Wednesday. I see no reasons why we cannot develop a working relationship – after all, our goals are the same,” the mayor said.
“I would like to go see your training program that you put your people through. In fact I would like several of my people and me go through some of the course to evaluate it. Some of my officers have expressed concern that all of your people are carrying side arms,” Captain Peters responded.
“I am sure that I can arrange a short course for that. Since your people already have had training it would be more like the annual refresher that everyone is required to take. The weapons certification, physical take down, tazer, gas and the shoot don’t shoot course are all part of our annual program.”
“You will not need the administrative portion, locations services portion or the HR orientation. We are planning on a week for our people to take the complete refresher package. You should be able to go through it in three or four days, counting for travel,” I replied.
“We could send one of our larger jets when we plan a field audit to have room to bring your group to our training center,” I said.
The meeting was over with a promise from the Mayor that I would have answers tomorrow and by the end of the week a report from the City council meeting.
In the general chat after the meeting I was more inclined to believe that this was just another show for appearance by the Mayor and his group and there would be no action taken by the city of Rochester.
When coming back from lunch with Kelly in his Suburban, we drove by a John Deere dealer that had several Gators in the front lot. I had him turn around to take a closer look at one.
It was a nice one, the six wheel model with four driving wheels and a dump body with warning lights and two seats. While we were looking at it a salesman came out and started with the usual sales line.
I stopped him in the middle of a sentence, “What is the price, full of fuel and delivered?”
“Come inside and I will work that up for you,” he said.
“I don’t really have time for all that; we are on a tight schedule. You go work your calculator and be out here with your price in 10 minutes,” I replied.
I looked at Jason as the salesman scampered into the building, “Do you have a John Deere buddy you can call for a price?” Jason had his cell out calling before I finished.
“Roger Green at Island Tractor Sales says anything less than 10K is a good price, plus sales tax,” Jason replied.
The salesman came back with I assumed his boss tagging along. “The price is 11,500 plus tax,” he said.
“Really, why are you 2 grand higher than other Deere dealers?” I asked.
“Those prices they quoted you are most likely with no freight,” the boss replied.
“That was the delivered price plus the tax,” I replied. “I guess we will be buying one somewhere else,” as I turned to walk away.
“Wait a minute, let me crunch the numbers a little more,” the boss said.
“I told your salesman we were short on time. Here is what I will do, 10k including tax, full of fuel and delivered in 45 minutes,” I replied.
The boss was punching more numbers into his smarter than smart phone as fast as he could. “Where would it need to be delivered?” he asked.
“Two miles down the road, main entrance, at the Rochester College,” I replied.
“OK, come inside and fill out the credits application, you drive a hard bargain,” he replied.
“No credit application needed,” I replied as I handed him my corporate card.
As I signed the receipt, “Full of fuel and delivered in 45 minutes,” I replied.
“They are loading it in just a few minutes; it will be there on time,” the boss replied.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Joe H.