In all the reporting about Sheriff Jim McDonnell’s abysmal “leadership” of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department, it’s easy to forget this important story last year from ABC 7 reporters Miriam Hernandez and Lisa Bartley on how Sheriff McDonnell decided it be smart to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to make the star decal on patrol car doors shinier and to change the capitalization of the letter “O” in “A Tradition Of Service” to “A Tradition of Service”. And that it would show real integrity to not just lie to the public about the true costs of doing the work but then to shove some poor sergeant in front of the cameras–looking like a deer in the headlights–to defend it.
In case you missed it, Jimmy Kimmel recently mocked our beloved Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for the profligate spending of our Dear Leader, Sheriff Jim McDonnell.
Kimmel’s over two-million viewers were treated to this video, lampooning the sheriff’s decision to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on replacing belt buckles and keeper snaps (and multiple employees traversing the county over the course of a year) in order to do it. The LA Times, the Daily News and our friends over at Surruo.com all have their own stories on these shamalam, as well.
While the sheriff asserted the buckles and snaps would only waste $300,000 or so taxpayer dollars, he omitted the labor, transportation and other costs of the multiple county employees involved in executing this switcharoo. Some might suggest the willful omission of pertinent facts is an integrity issue…all we know is the real cost was probably closer to a million bucks.
Meanwhile, deputies are driving 11 year old patrol cars with bulletholes in them and broken air conditioners (it doesn’t get very hot up in Palmdale, does it?), there are nowhere near enough Tasers for patrol (to say nothing of patrol rifles…or optics on patrol rifles). But, belt buckles–got plenty of those.
The Los Angeles Times recently got wind of an internal train wreck deputies have known about for some time: Sheriff McDonnell’s plan to spend at least (but probably significantly more than) $300,000 in taxpayer dollars to replace perfectly good and uniform policy compliant silver belt buckles with new brass-colored ones.
While the department asserts that the cost to taxpayers is merely $300,000 in their hard-earned money, this figure does not seem to include the sergeant, deputy and civilian personnel involved in the change as well as responsible for traipsing all over the county to change out the buckles and snaps. All told, the real cost is likely closer to a $1 million. And, as usual under Sheriff McDonnell, the loss of internal and community confidence that results from playing hide-the-ball.
Reports the Times, “Sheriff Jim McDonnell is spending the money on a minor cosmetic makeover of deputies’ uniforms: changing the color of their belt buckles and other metal pieces of gear from silver to gold. That way, the metallic bits — all made of brass — will match the gold-hued tie clips, lapel pins and six-pointed star badges that deputies already wear, McDonnell said.”
Says ALADS President Ron Hernandez: “This [expenditure] is something that would be better suited to a department that’s running like a well-oiled machine, but not a department that’s in turmoil.”