Mike Hayes is a licensed private investigator who works major cases for defense attorneys with clients in both the federal and state court systems. He is also a former Butler County sheriff’s deputy.
UPDATE 9:35 p.m. CDT 8/1/2016: Hayes has submitted a follow-up to last night’s post. It begins here with the original post below.
WOW. Since I am not a “blogger” I had no idea that I would get so many phone calls after post last night.
On the bright side I had the opportunity to visit with some people who had a different “take” on why some of the issues exist.
Last night I tried to talk about issues without negativity but by presenting potential solutions.
First, perhaps the county commission doesn’t feel that a raise would solve the turnover issue. Perhaps the majority of the people haven’t left because of wages and until the underlying problem is solved, the commission doesn’t want to expose the tax payers to even higher expense of paying overtime to cover shifts by giving raises. Interesting point.
Second, I failed to mention the safety of officers working for the department, no matter which division. This concern should rank up with citizen safety. I apologize to the officers for my omission. How would any of you like to make a traffic stop 10 miles east of Leon on 400 at 2:30 AM knowing that at best your closest help was 15 to 30 minutes away? And all of this for $14.70 per hour. Been there and done that and it’s not a good feeling sometimes.
Third, as far as the sanctuary county issue, I know it’s a hot button and I don’t want to discount it as an issue BUT I do feel if we solve some of the other issues first we will be better off.
Fourth, why didn’t I endorse someone? Simply because those posts detract from the importance of the issues. And the issues are HUGE. Hopefully the voters will pick the candidate who has a viable plan to deal with the issues.
And the last one is really interesting. With today’s violent society we are only a gunshot away from the Undersheriff becoming Sheriff. So I will put this out for comment, who would you want as a successor, Roy Raney, Scott Duryea, or Tony Wilhite? These are in alphabetical order by first name. Curtis Cox has not named a number 2 at this point but knowing Curtis it will be a quality individual. Over the past few of weeks, I have discussed the role of the Undersheriff and the necessity of selecting a strong and professional Undersheriff with Cox. Cox would like to wait until after the election before making a final decision, since the election is tomorrow, but stated, he would like to conduct interviews to make sure he appoints the right person for the job.
The Original Post
I have been sitting here tonight thinking about how the 2016 sheriff race has gotten so ugly and so fragmented. By fragmented I mean smokescreens issues that aren’t the real problem.
I made a comment a couple of days on one candidate’s post that it was time to let the sanctuary county issue go. There are more pressing issues in this race. The answer from the candidate was, the post was deleted, not just the comment but the entire post, and I was blocked from commenting on any of his posts.
Seriously it’s time to stop the nonsense about who’s flipping cheese sandwiches or are we bound by court rulings to accept illegal immigrants in our jail. We need to stop pointing fingers about dirty politics. Those who claim to run a “clean” campaign need to take a couple of steps back and think about what they are saying. A candidate may keep their mouth shut but co-workers and friends “leak” information that could have come only from the candidate. It’s not all about kissing babies and shaking hands. It’s not about who shows up for events or rides in parades. It’s about the safety of our residents and enforcing our laws.
We are at a point in our society where this election is crucial. The sheriff has always been the first line of defense for the public, but we have reached the point where he may also be the last line of defense, depending on what the federal government does or doesn’t do,
There issues that impact on my safety, my family’s safety and the safety of all of you and your property.
Employee recruitment and retention is huge in my opinion. In May I read in the paper that the sheriff patrol was at full strength and after the disturbance at the jail I read the patrol division 10 is deputies short. Either the story in May was incorrect or 10 people quit in a two month period. I have not heard anyone dispute that the turnover rate is terrible. What I have heard is that it is because of retirements, and employees who don’t meet standards. A strong recruiting program solves both of these issues. If you have a waiting list then retirements are not an issue. If employees don’t measure up, why were they hired in the first place? Again if you have a strong recruiting program you don’t have to take the first warm body in the door. If pay is really the issue and the sheriff has tried for four years to get increases but been turned down by the commissioners, there is something wrong. Either the increase isn’t being justified or “sold” to the commissioners, or the commissioners don’t care. Either way something needs to change. Call a press conference and invite the commissioners and announce that the sheriff will not accept his annual raise until his employees start getting raises, explain the retention issue and let the press take it to the “court of public opinion.” This applies to detention deputies also. TURNOVER COSTS BIG BUCKS BOTH IN TRAINING NEW PEOPLE AND OVERTIME WAGES TO COVER SHIFTS. MONEY FOR RAISES MIGHT BE FOUND BY DOING AWAY WITH THOSE TWO COSTS.
I hear more often from employees that the problem is more leadership and administration. If that is the case whoever is sheriff should have meetings with command staff to get to the root of the problem. If that doesn’t solve the problem retrain them, if that doesn’t solve the problem release them. Again you’re messing with my safety. This also applies to detention command staff.
The sheriff is responsible for providing the equipment necessary for the safety of his officers. I won’t comment here because I have no knowledge of what is supplied, but it’s pretty easy to ask a deputy, you might be surprised by the answer.
Deputies should be trained to be proficient with all of the equipment they are issued. What good does a fingerprint kit do in the trunk if the only training the officer had was a few hours at the basic academy?
Deputies should receive advanced training beyond the 40 hours of annual training required by law. If we can’t afford to send patrol deputies for additional training then coop with other agencies in the area to bring the training here.
Investigations became a concern after I watched the candidate forum for the third time. I have trouble understanding why there are 350 active cases under investigation in Butler County.
Drug task force has become an issue, and the answer was we have a deputy assigned to the DEA task force in Wichita. Well those folks work major drug cases and criminal enterprise cases. They don’t deal with the kids dealing in our schools and the small time meth cookers. This issue needs to be addressed.
Transparency seems to be important, but I never see the monthly or daily crime statistics on the department Facebook. Cases cleared or “solved” should be published. I do see a post that says the crime rate is down but no explanation. With a short staff I doubt that it is because of patrol, since we have no information about clearance rate I can’t make a call as to whether or not it is because we are arresting criminals, or is it because people just don’t want to fool with reporting minor crimes. Or maybe because the population has increased.
J keep hearing that big changes will be made. Why would you wait, the problem is now and evidently has existed for quite a while.
I could probably ramble more, but I think you probably get the point by now.
PAY ATTENTION TO WHICH CANDIDATE HAS A PLAN.
If you agree like and feel free to share or if you disagree please comment, at least that way I know you’re thinking about this difficult decision. And by the way I happen to like each of the candidates personally, but this is about my life and yours and not who I like to drink coffee with.