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    Lauderdale police say pay, staffing too low, crime up

    By Brian Haas
    South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    Posted June 2 2007


    FORT LAUDERDALE · All is not well at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, according to a new union survey.

    Morale is abysmal, the city is a bad place to work and things just aren't going in the right direction, the local Fraternal Order of Police survey of more than 300 police employees found. The respondents represented about 65 percent of the department's workers.



    LocalLinks

    Then, there's the pay issue, advertised on a newly erected billboard off Sunrise Boulevard just west of Interstate 95. It reads: "Your Fort Lauderdale Police Officers want to Thank You for your support. Paid for by the lowest paid Police Officers in Broward County."

    "There's trouble in paradise" said Sgt. Mike Tucker, union vice president. "This place used to be paradise to work."

    More than 94 percent of those surveyed said morale at the department was poor or very poor, according to the union.

    Sixty-seven percent said the city isn't a good place to work and more than 83 percent wouldn't recommend working there.

    About 90 percent said they think the city is moving in the wrong direction.

    Police Chief Bruce Roberts could not be reached for comment Thursday or Friday. City officials dispute the survey as nothing more than tactics to influence contract talks.

    "The FOP has -- maybe an agenda is too strong a word here -- a perspective that is being used to leverage their position at the negotiation table," said Assistant City Manager David Hebert. "I would not lend validity to the FOP's actions at this stage."

    For the billboard, union officials surveyed Broward police agencies to determine how much a 10-year veteran makes, a common figure used to lure new recruits.

    Fort Lauderdale is at $63,897 -- second-lowest in the county, after Lauderhill. The union worries that officers will leave and current salaries will make recruiting more difficult.

    "We're not asking to be paid like doctors. We're not asking to be paid like lawyers. We're asking to be paid competitively with others in our career field," said Sgt. Mitch Van Sant, second vice president of the police union.

    Hebert countered that the city's own surveys show that if all the benefits a Fort Lauderdale officer receives are included, the department is competitive. He said the city results were not available because they are still being compiled.

    The union says violent crimes rose over the past three years, yet the department remains understaffed by more than 40 officers.

    Hebert said the number is closer to 35, but the department is below 1990 staffing levels, according to statistics kept by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

    "Crime waits for nobody and if there are less cops on the streets, crime will rise," Tucker said.

    Hebert said the department has an adequate number of officers and that they are able to do more with less these days. He said statistics for the last 18 months show overall declines in crime.

    "We remain effective in addressing the issues of crime," he said. "The truth is, this is a success story."

    The city's crime statistics, however, show increases in homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated batteries from 2005 to 2006.

    The police union contract ends Oct. 1 and despite the acrimony, Hebert said he's confident the city and police union will find common ground.
    " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
    " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....

  • #2
    I used to work there and could not believe how far downhill FLPD has gone in the past few years. I talked to one of the officers today and he stated that numerous officers are applying elsewhere. I don't balame them, and wish them luck. I also heard (unconfirmed) that all 40 FTO's were condidering resigning their training position to send a message. Imagine a city this large with no FTO's. The sad thing is FLPD was the best before city management took control of the dept. I guess no knowledge of police work qualifies you to run a police dept in Ft Lauderdale....
    Work harder! Millions on welfare depend on you...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ftlaudcop View Post
      Lauderdale police say pay, staffing too low, crime up

      By Brian Haas
      South Florida Sun-Sentinel
      Posted June 2 2007


      FORT LAUDERDALE · All is not well at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, according to a new union survey.

      Morale is abysmal, the city is a bad place to work and things just aren't going in the right direction, the local Fraternal Order of Police survey of more than 300 police employees found. The respondents represented about 65 percent of the department's workers.



      LocalLinks

      Then, there's the pay issue, advertised on a newly erected billboard off Sunrise Boulevard just west of Interstate 95. It reads: "Your Fort Lauderdale Police Officers want to Thank You for your support. Paid for by the lowest paid Police Officers in Broward County."

      "There's trouble in paradise" said Sgt. Mike Tucker, union vice president. "This place used to be paradise to work."

      More than 94 percent of those surveyed said morale at the department was poor or very poor, according to the union.

      Sixty-seven percent said the city isn't a good place to work and more than 83 percent wouldn't recommend working there.

      About 90 percent said they think the city is moving in the wrong direction.

      Police Chief Bruce Roberts could not be reached for comment Thursday or Friday. City officials dispute the survey as nothing more than tactics to influence contract talks.

      "The FOP has -- maybe an agenda is too strong a word here -- a perspective that is being used to leverage their position at the negotiation table," said Assistant City Manager David Hebert. "I would not lend validity to the FOP's actions at this stage."

      For the billboard, union officials surveyed Broward police agencies to determine how much a 10-year veteran makes, a common figure used to lure new recruits.

      Fort Lauderdale is at $63,897 -- second-lowest in the county, after Lauderhill. The union worries that officers will leave and current salaries will make recruiting more difficult.

      "We're not asking to be paid like doctors. We're not asking to be paid like lawyers. We're asking to be paid competitively with others in our career field," said Sgt. Mitch Van Sant, second vice president of the police union.

      Hebert countered that the city's own surveys show that if all the benefits a Fort Lauderdale officer receives are included, the department is competitive. He said the city results were not available because they are still being compiled.

      The union says violent crimes rose over the past three years, yet the department remains understaffed by more than 40 officers.

      Hebert said the number is closer to 35, but the department is below 1990 staffing levels, according to statistics kept by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

      "Crime waits for nobody and if there are less cops on the streets, crime will rise," Tucker said.

      Hebert said the department has an adequate number of officers and that they are able to do more with less these days. He said statistics for the last 18 months show overall declines in crime.

      "We remain effective in addressing the issues of crime," he said. "The truth is, this is a success story."

      The city's crime statistics, however, show increases in homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated batteries from 2005 to 2006.

      The police union contract ends Oct. 1 and despite the acrimony, Hebert said he's confident the city and police union will find common ground.
      Yea I don't know where the city as a whole is heading, but all I know is, come contract time we better have a fair deal
      "I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy.'"

      President John F. Kennedy

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds like this Assistant City Manager is lost to the facts. Crimes up, officers pay is down, and staffing is down. He says more like 35 officers down, not 40, whooooooosh. Either way that's still a lot of officers be down. Does this guy realize how many calls and or contacts officers make on shifts?

        I can almost bet you if one of your high ranking "City officials" were to call 911 because someone egged their house and it took your agency longer than three minutes to get to the call heads would roll. Sounds like these guys need to get their priorities straight.
        Some people were just dropped on their heads as children more than the rest of us!

        Comment


        • #5
          Ft lauderdale city management along with , the elected officials
          always lie to the people, go the cheap route, and play into
          political correctness, they have a city commissioner: carlton moore
          who is a disgrace to his office of city commissioner.

          the micro manager / city manager needs to go, he's garbage ,

          high priced garbage at that......

          ft lauderdale was a ' pitt-bull agency, now a poodle......
          my agency was to, until jan 1993 when sheriff cochran ruined this agency.
          " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
          " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....

          Comment


          • #6
            The city has pulled the same stunt before and laid-off people, the City of Fort Lauderdale administration is not shy about playing hardball. FOP reps need to step it up if they want anything new for this contract. Down in Miami the officers united & got what they wanted. Perhaps it is time for FLPD officers to do the same.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ftlaudcop View Post
              Ft lauderdale city management along with , the elected officials
              always lie to the people, go the cheap route, and play into
              political correctness, they have a city commissioner: carlton moore
              who is a disgrace to his office of city commissioner.

              the micro manager / city manager needs to go, he's garbage ,

              high priced garbage at that......

              ft lauderdale was a ' pitt-bull agency, now a poodle......
              my agency was to, until jan 1993 when sheriff cochran ruined this agency.
              Sheriff Cochran is a whole other post. We need Nick Navarro back, those were the good old days.
              LET IT RAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                ft lauderdale up-dates

                anything good happening ????
                " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
                " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....

                Comment


                • #9
                  ?

                  Is FLPD still in turmoil or has anything gotten better?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I spoke to several officers currently working for FLPD since I don't work there anymore and things have gotten a bit better. Keep in mind that the City of Fort Lauderdale remains the same as a whole. With the increase of a crime due to the economy, the city itself remains relatively a high crime zone. There’s sure are a lot of new faces in the streets though. Most of the new officers that I talked to were already certified from out of state with 5+ years. They seem to like it and were generally in good spirits. I did notice that they received a grant for their new taser, something I was told will never happen in this department when I was working there. So I suppose that anything is possible and progress is just around the corner.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I read and hear that Lauderdale is having problems.

                      But with that being said I am interested in more information. I have worked for 3 other agencies and know everywhere you go there is issues and expect that.

                      I am looking to get in with a larger agency which can offer upward movement and advancement. I have learned quit a bit from the website If you come in with 4 yrs and start at $57,928.00 on your anniversary do go to $62,046.40 and what about your sixth year is that where the $70,449.60 comes in from the advertised Certified Officers Pay Range $49,649.60 - $70,449.60?

                      The City contributes $640.00 per month for each eligible employee who elects to participate in one of the federally certified Health Maintenance Organizations or comprehensive health care programs available to the employee. The City contributes $23.00 per month for each eligible participant for a dental plan.

                      Does that mean the city pays for your medical/dental/vision?

                      Vision Requirements

                      Applicants must be free from color blindness and have no permanent abnormality of either eye.


                      I have red/green color deficiency, but can tell basic colors red, green, blue, yellow, orange, brown, black, white, ect. See:

                      http://colorvisiontesting.com/ishiha...20test%20plate

                      Does anyone know from experience if that would be a DQ

                      I did the math and 4yrs experience @ $57,928 - 7% for pension ($4,054.96 then - 23% for taxes $12,390.80 that leaves $41,482.24 which turns out to be $1,595.47 bi-weekly Plus Overtime and off duty. I think this is something I could live with.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        are they still sponsoring to hire

                        Comment

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