City shouldn't give officers gun allowance

Anonymous
May 7, 2013

My topic this week is the police union contract.

Starting in 2014, police officers will now be able to buy a gun from their uniform allowance. A one-time gun purchase is allowed during the officer’s career. The officer has to be employed on a full-basis for five years before requesting a gun.

Even though the guns will be bought with tax dollars, the guns will become the property of the officers unlike the service revolver that has to be handed back into the city. If the officers believe they need additional backup protection, the city should provide the guns and the guns should become city owned property. If the officer already owns his own second gun, he should not be eligible to apply for another additional gun out of the uniform allowance. Equipment, especially guns, bought and paid for through tax dollars should never become the property of the officer.

When the guns become the property of the officer, could the officer possibly end up reselling the gun at a later date profiting even more off the taxpayer? The resold guns could end up in the wrong hands. They could be involved in crimes in the community or be used to injure one of our own officers. There are 45 officers with a possibility of placing 45 guns on the street. At least if the city owned the guns, it could have better control over the guns, preventing the guns from causing tragic consequences.

Adding guns to the uniform allowance may indicate that the city may be too liberal with the uniform allowance. In the past, $750 would be paid directly to the officer. There would be no documentation of what was spent and whether or not there was any money left over to refund back to the taxpayer if the officer did not use his share of the allowance for the year. Under the new contract, the expenditure of the uniform allowance will now be documented, requisitioned, and the items delivered to the city so the city will be in full control of the expenditure. Carrying over the uniform allowance from year to year is not permitted. A yearly inventory of the officer’s government issued equipment should be done throughout the officer’s tenure with the city.

Until next week, buying guns out of tax dollars so officers can keep the guns as their own and possibly resell them at a profit is not a good use of our tax dollars. The city needs to be more accountable and responsible for decisions they make with our tax dollars. Making poor decisions takes money away from other projects that are needed within the city.

Comments

concernedtruth

OMG how stupid are some people, these men and women put their life on the line everyday and we can't even give them this small showing of our appreciation for keeping us safe and sound. They should be given more than this and if I had my way they would. Very stupid on someones part to not help them with this cost. Can you say, STUPID!!

MrSandusky

My topic this week is that the Schools are supplying jock straps and protective cups to the members of the football team and not collecting them after they leave the football team. Who knows, they may sell these jockstraps on the street to less athletic people that would not use them properly...

Sorry, but the paragraph above makes as much sense as this blogger does every week.

Kelly

My topic this week is does anybody take anything this busybody says seriously

milemarkerzero

Bad girl Sharon. Now go lay down. No biscuit for you. Too much barking.

Hurley

Can I pay extra to have her posts deleted from my sanduskyregister.com feed?

yogiberra

@milemarkerzero thank you. A gun allowance after five years of service is well deserved. find something else to complain about

SoldOnAcorns

Send them to personal training on morals, ethics, diversity etc...this would be $ well spent !

Tsu Dho Nimh

Excellent point!

WhyRweHere

Here we go again....soldonacorns (or should I call you God himself) preaching from his moral high ground.....we get it, you're perfect and the rest of us don't deserve to breath the same air as you.....

SoldOnAcorns

Good, it's about time you realize it ! Fall in line, fall in line !

Unassumer

A gun is part of a law enforcement uniform; it is their job to carry one and be trained to fire one. Why should they pay for it out of their own pocket? I think the 5 years of service requirement should be lowered. Two would be sufficient in my opinion. Even if the officers kept the guns and resold them at a later date, it would not amount to that much of a loss to taxpayers. The greater loss would be if he did not have a gun to defend himself or others with.

Centauri

Sharon, keep up the good work to inform and educate the masses about Sandusky, Ohio.

reporter54

Lady your five minutes should be up. This was not a well thought out argument nor is it realistic. As you can see by the comments, no one agrees with you. Blog this.

IT'S ME

Is Sharon married? If so I feel bad for her husband!

Curley

Yes she is married and he is the same way.

The Bizness

I sure hope Centauri's post is a joke. Sharon does nothing good for the city. We all know Sandusky has issues, and thankfully Sharon does nothing but make it worse by showing that if they make a move on something, then they will be persecuted for it being the wrong one(Even if it benefits the city).

Can someone please show one productive thing this woman has done for Sandusky?

Nemesis

For once we agree.

Darwin's choice

I think we should let them use them more often, and give them more bullets.....

reporter54

oh yeah and how many cops are going to put their guns
'on the street' (sell them to criminals) none. selling to a licensed gun enthusiast is okay by me. or to me, so I can protect myself with an established and well-kept weapon.

richrs

I'm just wondering what a "licensed gun enthusiast" is?

grandmasgirl

sorry people, but I don't think that just because they are police officers they should get to buy a "personal" gun from taxpayers money. Most government workers are paid sufficiently to be able to buy a gun from personal money. taxpayers are already buying Obama phones, food stamps, housing, etc. What next? A personal patrol car so that it is handy? No way. As long as they are furnished a gun for their use while employed by the government, that makes sense.

The Bizness

First of all most government jobs do not pay well at all. Look at how much lower level employees in local government get paid. I have a friend who has a job in local government, and he would be making a lot more if he were in the private sector.

Secondly, the slipper slope argument just doesn't work in this case. They need the guns to perform their duties, I think we can all be ok with letting them have it on them even if they are off duty.

Tsu Dho Nimh

Most police officers make less than $40,000 a year with many making between the high 20's to low 30's. Do you consider that sufficient pay?

grandmasgirl

You must live in a different town than I do. All you have to do is ask for the records (of wages) and they will give them to you.

Nemesis

Get a clue Grandmasgirl, they buy EVERYTHING - gas, groceries, toothpaste, "from taxpayers' money" because that's the source of their income. How DARE you compare the compensation they EARN to handouts like Obama phones and food stamps.

You and Sharon display a glaring lack of comprehension how employment works in the real world. When compensation is negotiated, collectively by a union, or by an individual without one, it takes many forms. Salary, wages, healthcare, paid time off, 401K matching, a company car, free coffee, a company holiday party - all these represent parts of the whole package of value offered to employees in exchange for their services. The nicer the package, the better an employer's ability to attract and retain the people they want.

A $750 annual uniform allowance is equal to 37.5 cents more per hour for a full time employee, but numerous studies show that such benefits go way further than direct compensation in attracting and satisfying employees, so to get the same employee good will with a wage increase would cost even more, like 40 cents an hour. What would that accomplish? It would be an extra $1000 a year, that the officer could go right out and spend on a gun, and then deduct the purchase on his taxes as a job expense. Instead of a documented gun as in the plan you dislike so much, he could buy it at a gun show off a random person. Since you and Sharon seem at least partially motivated by a viceral dislike of guns, if you were thinking rationally about this, you'd be happy that these guns would now be documented.

So, in summary, what is the impact of this policy?

-Where before they could use the uniform allowance for unlimited undocumented gun purchases, they are now limited to one, documented purchase.

-For $750 in ONE TIME gun reimbursement the city gets the same benefit in employee satisfaction and retention as it would from offering $1000 or more EVERY YEAR in extra pay.

The really sad part is, if Sharon wanted to expend one tenth the journalistic sense one would expect of someone given a weekly column, she could have spoken to the city's contract negotiator, or pretty much any business owner who employs people with specialized skills, and learned all this, before she dumped this ignorant rant on the public.

pavedparadise

Nemesis

Your handle is not very becoming. Consider changing your handle to a more "don't worry be happy" one.

Perhaps the previous contract was also flawed--a uniform allowance should have been for uniforms-nothing else. Do officers keep their shot gun, handcuffs, Taser, bullet proof vests or laptops upon ending employment? Why should a gun be different?

In the scenario you mention above, don't "company cars" have to be returned to the company after use?

Nemesis

Maybe the last contract was flawed, but if so, where were all these whiners then? Many officers do keep their handcuffs, and although I don't know the policy, I know I personally would not be very enthusiastic about wearing someone else's old body armor, and not just because it might not fit well.

Many companies either buy out the lease on company cars for their employees to keep, or let the employees do so at at ridiculously reduced rates. An attorney I know in California got to keep her company car, and it's a Porsche. The point is, ALL such contracts are dynamically negotiated, based on each party's needs and each party's willingness to walk away from a deal. This is not a giveaway - both sides bring value to the table, and value is exchanged for value. As I've pointed out, this contract clause represents both an improvement (based on the detractors' own stated criteria) over the prior one, and a cost reduction for the city, as such earmark benefits consistently yield more employee satisfaction per dollar spent than straight cash compensation. And let's face it, given the recent failed attempts to fire employees for conduct unbecoming an eighth grader, which means natural attrition is the only route to a quality workforce available to them, this department needs to do whatever it can to attract and retain a high quality of personnel.

I'm still waiting for someone to offer a rational objection that doesn't reduce to a viceral knee-jerk reaction to the fact that guns are peripherally involved. In fact, based on the failure of anyone, especially Sharon to offer anything substantive, Sharon's column this week could be reduced, without any loss of meaning, to "OMG!!! GUNS!!!"

Wait, oops, sorry, correction. Make that: "My topic this week is OMG!!! GUNS!!!"

pavedparadise

The difference here is a private company uses their own private money to pay for employee luxuries.

In the case at hand, we are talking about taxpayer dollars.

If I'm reading Ms. Johnson's blog correctly, her point is not about the City buying the gun---it's about the officers being able to keep the gun after employment.

Her blog has nothing to do with the men and women putting their lives on the line---we all get that--but it is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

Nemesis

It doesn't matter whether it's a private company or the city. It's a free market transaction for labor, period. The terms of that transaction are subject to negotiation. The officers provide a service in exchange for a compensation package, consisting of cash, healthcare, retirement contributions, and other items, including, in this case a uniform/equpment allowance to be used to purchase professional items that are too specific to the individual to be issued out of a pool. The city has to offer a compensation package that satisfies the employees, or they will seek employment elsewhere - this is all 8th grade economics - the law of supply and demand.

Neither you nor Sharon has raised any objection to the overall cost of the compensation package, which is the only part of this that is any of your business as taxpayers - how much you are paying for what you're getting. You've raised no objection to the uniform allowance itself, or the fact that they get to keep the shirts, pants, belts, holsters, handcuffs, jackets, and all the other things they purchase using the uniform allowance. For YEARS, when the allowance was just handed over as cash, with NO accounting for how it was spent, when it could have been used to purchase flat screen TV's, lap dances, or booze, you didn't so much as raise an eyebrow. So, let's get down to brass tacks, and what is your REAL objection here. It's OMG!!!! GUNS!!!!!

Woody Hayes

Arf arf arf. Where is there a real news paper to swat someones nose.

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