April 2, 2017
What planet of fiscal and public safety double-speak do we live on? On the one hand, we have been beaten into submission into accepting two points:
- We need more law enforcement officers on the street
- Law Enforcement is always underfunded and does not have the money to keep the public safe
The latest report in the Modesto Bee surrounding 14,800-mile trip to the Country of Jordan for 8 deputies costing $23,512 is so unbelievable, that the Gaul to even suggest such an expenditure is beyond the pale.
I speak of the article “Stanislaus SWAT team members traveling to Jordan for counter terrorism training” (http://www.modbee.com/news/article141865614.html ).
Do not get me wrong – our SWAT as well as all officers and deputies in our various public safety agencies need the very best training – training is NOT my issue with this 8-man boondoggle to a SWAT training center 14,800-mile round trip to Jordan. Note the trip includes a 3-day vacation in Paris
My issue is that another world-renowned training center exists 77 miles away. Review the comparison.
While the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center in Amman sure sounds exotic and could provide quality training, The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Urban Shield Training Exercise for SWAT teams also provides training for SWAT Teams from around the world (including Jordan).
The SWAT training in Alameda, 77 miles away, is designed to incorporate the guiding principles from the National Response Framework to assist tactical teams as well as all first responders, to prepare for and provide a unified response to disasters and major emergencies. (http://www.urbanshield.org/about/swat )
The training in Jordan is NOT based on United States Unified response skills for first responders and features mock assaults on large aircraft such as the Airbus 300 – a situation our local SWAT teams hardly need to prepare for.
Bottom line this is a shameful and unabashed, expensive boondoggle under the guise of needed public safety enhancement.
Besides the extreme costs, the loss of deputy’s officials on the street is that it fits the pattern of the fiefdom that has been built under Sherriff Christianson’s watch. Horse trailers for $250,000, Helicopters used for public relations (note the aircraft is out of service as the pilot let the it run out of fuel and crashed – causing nearly $900,000 worth of damage.)
It would be difficult to itemize the legal fees and settlements necessitated by Sherriff Christianson “cult of personality”, two-fisted management style which has caused the county $17 million dollars to defend him.
I urge all citizens to demand from their Supervisor an immediate end to the charade of Jordanian SWAT training. Ask them to drive the 77 miles to Alameda and save us the money and prevent the loss of public protection a trip to Jordan would incur.
A final note – one of the justifications by the Sherriff was that it would improve morale… I imagine that a world traveling jetset capped by three days in Paris will improve the morale of 8 deputies.
I imagine the rest of the department will have to be content with certificates presented at Board of Supervisors meetings.