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City releases statement; Demise of Piedmont Police Department a real possibility

The City of Piedmont has issued a press release confirming the City Council’s united support in favor of eliminating the Piedmont Police Department and utilizing the countywide law enforcement provided by the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office.

“This is actually supported by every single member of the council including myself,” Mayor Thomerson said of the proposed change to Piedmont law enforcement.

Although the council has been working with the Sheriff’s office for the last couple months to explore this option, the proposed change comes as a surprise to most Piedmont residents. Councilman Charles Coffman said the council had hoped to continue analyzing this possibility before bringing it to the public’s attention by holding a special session in the middle part of September.

“It was not our intention to make it a surprise for anyone,” Coffman said. “We had a plan to discuss it further but somehow it got out.”

During the last city council meeting, the Piedmont city council met in executive session to discuss police contracts. After the executive session, no mention of the topic of the discussion or any decisions or resolutions made during the session were made known. According to one source, the session included a presentation from Canadian County Sheriff Randall.

“The Canadian County Sheriff’s Department came and made a sales pitch,” Councilman Bobby Williamson said. “As a city councilman responsible for the future of Piedmont, I owe it to the citizens of Piedmont to explore all options that could save the city money.”

According to the press release, Piedmont is already under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s office as provided for by the Oklahoma Constitution which designates the Sheriff as the leading law enforcement officer of each county and further states municipal police departments such as Piedmont’s are effective only at the pleasure of the Sheriff.

According to Mayor Thomerson, the savings to the City would be used to repair Piedmont’s roads. A recent ‘no’ decision by voters on a bond issue as a possible solution to funding repairs on some of Piedmont’s roads left the City in a dilemma: Where to find the funds to improve Piedmont’s roads without the benefit of the additional funds which would have been provided by the proposed bond.

“We all came into office wanting to do something about roads. The citizens resoundingly said no to the bond issue, which frankly we as a governing body did a poor job of marketing. We’re trying to think outside the box,” Mayor Thomerson said regarding the proposed restructuring.

One option open to the City is to do nothing and leave the roads in their present poor condition, or they will need to cut spending in order to free up the necessary resources for the much-needed road repairs. Changing the way Piedmont’s law enforcement is currently structured is one option the council is considering.

“It’s a viable option and one that we have to seriously consider,” said Mayor Thomerson. “This is an opportunity to find funding without cutting the community short in terms of law enforcement coverage and protection.”

“What that bond issue told us was that the citizens aren’t ready to have that kind of investment. It tells me it would be difficult to go down that path. So that’s why we had to start looking in other directions. The failure of that bond did lead us to explore other avenues because we’ve got to have safe streets for the citizens,” said Councilman Charles Coffman.

During a recent budget review, the City Council determined Piedmont is paying the “gold package” price for the current law enforcement. With tax dollars already going to the Canadian County Sheriff’s Department, it seemed they had happened upon a possible solution to the “knot that must be untied” as the conundrum of road repairs in Piedmont has come to be known. With a substantial savings to the tune of 5% of the City’s total budget, approximately $300,000, the City of Piedmont opened discussions with the Canadian County Sheriff’s office in which, according to the recent press release, the Sheriff expressed a willingness to increase their presence in the eastern part of Canadian County. A proposed schedule of duty for a “Piedmont Division” and estimate of needs has been submitted for the City Council’s review by the Canadian County Sheriff’s Department. According to Councilman Charles Coffman, the Canadian County Sheriff’s department has been looking into increasing their presence in the eastern part of the county so this gives them an incentive to be a part of it.

“I think it will garner strong consideration from the council. I think it’s a good idea myself,” said Coffman. “We actually gain coverage and law enforcement. Instead of reducing services or raising taxes this is a win win. You get more services for less money. The road repairs are a complex problem. It appears we don’t have the resources and there was really nothing on the horizon.”

The proposed schedule would have a Lieutenant/Captain present in Piedmont Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Additionally one deputy would be present all day Monday and Tuesday with shifts being 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. and 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.. Wednesday through Sunday schedule shows two deputies present during the 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift and the 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift. One additional deputy is scheduled on Sundays from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. This schedule provides the same level of coverage on a day-to-day basis with an increased presence during the night.

The Sheriff’s department has a forensic team and nine k-9 units which would add to Piedmont’s law enforcement resources. During an interview with Mayor Thomerson, she cited a recent incident where an individual was stopped for a suspected DWI. The officer involved was unable to take the driver in for a blood test to determine his blood alcohol level; he had no backup and his leaving would have left the city unprotected. That would not happen with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Department providing full-service to our community. They would have send another officer to maintain that presence. “We will have a greater and more consistent police presence,” said Mayor Thomerson. “We’ve got good coverage during the day, but at night we’re actually short,” she said regarding the current service provided by Piedmont’s police department.

Discussions regarding the change in law enforcement could take several months. Councilman Coffman explained this is not something that is being considered lightly. Piedmont is a growing city and will need a police force capable of handling that growth. This solution has the potential to give Piedmont more resources for less money. Recommendations have been made to the Sheriff’s Department asking that the current police station continue to provide the operational base for law enforcement providing them with local holding cells, an evidence room and at least three offices. Officers in good standing have been recommended to the Sheriff’s Department for potential employment.

72 Comments

  1. JT says:

    I applaud the city council on thinking outside the box to try to solve a problem. Folks have to face the facts that the tax revenue the city gets is not going to increase by a significant amount any time soon. People say they want the roads to be fixed, but they don’t want to pay increased taxes. Therefore, it would seem only logical that you are going to have to cut something.

    I’m sure there will be all kinds of hysterical responses about how we won’t be safe, secure, etc. without a police department. I don’t see how this is much different from the Oklahoma County Sheriff Deer Creek Substation at State Highway 74 (Portland) and Covell (NW 206th). That substation provides coverage for Deer Creek, which is right next to Piedmont and about the same size.

    You also have to remember that the police do not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm. This has been upheld by numerous courts including the US Supreme Court. I would encourage all residents of Piedmont to take appropriate action to ensure that you can defend yourself, police department or not.

  2. Bill says:

    Thinking outside the box is not a bad thing, However attempting to fix problems without determining the root cause of the problem is foolish. Trading bad road or taxes for complete city functions is another and should be carefully considered. If you do not a thourogh analysis of what the cause may be of a problem then you are not likely to solve it. Not sure that the constitution relieves a police officer from the duty to protect a person from harm, but if thats true then the county sheriff does not have to either. Many of those families who have lost thier loved ones in the line of duty might disagree.

  3. Kate Kearby says:

    Oklahoma county sheriff also protects ‘stockyard city’ a city within a city.

  4. JT says:

    Bill,

    In the real world there are tradeoffs for everything. It’s called being fiscally responsible, something most government agencies have no idea how to do. This isn’t Washington DC. We can’t just borrow or print some more money when we run out. Normal people tradeoff what they need for what they want in their personal budgets all the time.

    You ask what the root of the problem is? In both cases, personal budgets and government budgets, it is the same thing; a lack of money. The city can’t improve its horrible streets because they don’t have the money.

    Where is it written in stone that all cities and towns must have a police force? It is a luxury (like a fire department) that we take for granted. All cities and towns are different in the services they provide. Some have volunteer fire departments, some have professional. Some have electric utilities, some don’t. Some have water and sewer departments, some don’t. Most of Piedmont doesn’t have sanitary sewers, but I don’t see people in an uproar over the risk of diseases that might accompany not having it. A lot of the town doesn’t have municipal water, but I don’t see people knocking down the door of city hall demanding the city hook them up to the water system because they’re tired of maintaining their wells.

    I don’t see how the police department is any different. It is simply a service the city has chosen to provide. They aren’t getting rid of a law enforcement presence, they are simply reducing their costs by hiring someone different who can do it cheaper. The Sheriff’s Department isn’t going anywhere as long as they have the gold mine known as I-40 to patrol. (Mostly kidding, but not totally.)

    Look it up, Castle Rock vs. Gonzales is the more recent Supreme Court case. Law enforcement has no constitutional duty to protect a person from harm. Just because an officer dies in the line of duty has nothing to do with it. I would wager that most LEOs who are murdered (as opposed to died) in the line of duty where probably shot by thugs on the run or thugs who wanted to kill some cops. I have no doubt there are cases where the officer was trying to protect someone and died as a result. However, just because they died trying to protect someone, does not mean the LEO was required to do so.

    You shouldn’t worry anyways. The chicken littles will come out of the woodwork screaming about how this will make us unsafe, increase crime, make us a haven for child molesters, increase the risk of North Korean invasion and on and on. They city councilmen who are concerned about getting re-elected first will buckle like a limp noodle and this will all go away.

  5. HereWeGoAgain says:

    When they are gone, we could rent out that nearly brand-new police station for parties.

  6. Charles Coffman says:

    The sherrif has a really good set of skills in their forensics, computer crime, K-9, and school programs, they will exceed the patrols we have now and work in conjunction with state and other county departments. And…. We can have our rad department. A lot of thinking has been put toward this by us and many cities across the USA. I hope all will ponder this as we consider this option.

  7. vernon Woods says:

    Regarding another previous post – ‘Trust me – ‘I’ believe anything and everything that I’m told by anybody who has a title – like ‘me’’. Common sense far outweighs any smoke and mirrors logic about this issue – just to pay for the half-assed road repairs going on. I got fired over this, so now I can start stating the truth about our financial status. Games like this only verify my concerns about the expenses not included in the 2013-2014 budget. I tried – now it’s up to you, the tax payers, to demand an answer as to how much and where we are spending our assets, and what we will do to replace them. Don’t let this issue die – it defines the future of all commercial development within our city – increased sales tax will determine our future – not ‘rooftops’ nor ‘low-cost housing’, nor eliminated municipal services. We must have a positive attitude about the future of Piedmont, and that does not include a ‘hide in the sand and hope for the best’ mentality.

  8. JT says:

    What increased sales tax? What smoke and mirrors? Has anyone even read the sheriff’s proposal linked to in the story up above? Right he’s just lying. Like I said the chicken littles will come out of the woodwork.

    Do a little bit of research and you’ll see this isn’t the first town in the country to think about doing this. I don’t see how proposing a new idea is “hiding in the sand”.

  9. JT says:

    I wonder how much of this has to do with the unionization of the police department? Does anyone seriously think the cost would go down with a union representing the officers?

    • Charles Coffman says:

      Actually a seperate issue. We are in on going discussions while looking at this option.

  10. mildly interested says:

    The root cause may have been a failure to comply with sound planning, ordinances, well established regulations and good practices. Now we will have to pay for those poor decisions of the past. Might be a good idea to start doing it right before we just do more of the same.

  11. bill says:

    JT,
    You make great legal arguments seem to have some experience or something. Just wondering why we bother having police officers or sheriffs either for that matter especially if they have no responsibility to protect us from harm. I expect you may have researched this a bit so I accept your legal position. On the other hand your view is myopic.

  12. bill says:

    Chuck,
    I think there is no doubt the community will consider the option, I expect they will also consider the transparent way it came to their attention. It is a rather unsettling revelation. Might have been better received if those well thought out considerations were presented to the community in a positive manner. Those Police officers are a part of this community and they are people with jobs and families. I expect our councilmen to at least be respectful to those who serve and those who are served by them.

  13. Charles Coffman says:

    We were going to discuss it in an open forum in mid September once we had a written proposed contract. Whoever released this did it without all the information. At this stage we knew it would be $300,000 less than our $1,000,000 a year police department and bring with additional night patrols and the forensic, computer crime, K-9, school programs, and other things the sherrif has to offer. They would operate out of Piedmont so there would be no response time issues. Any traffic court would be held in Piedmont so citizens would not have to drive to El Reno. The sherrif was to hire 8-9 people for this, our folk would be considered. We did not get to present these things, I do understand how it must have sounded without hearing the details.

    • JT says:

      What? Are you saying a journalist did a “drive by” story on this? They didn’t wait till they had all the facts? No way, that never happens!

  14. Brian Vermillion says:

    Once again due to the citizens voting no on yet another tax increase, the city leaders of Piedmont will “MAKE THEM PAY!” What potential home buyer would even consider some podunk town that will soon not have a local police force? If you’re going to dissolve the police department then go ahead and shut down city hall entirely as well. Look how many salaries are being sucked up out of that building. The county can provide those services as well. This will be the point in history when the city of Piedmont ceased to exist. Nice work Valerie.

    • Charles Coffman says:

      Brian, this is to save funds so we can have a street department without raising any fees or taxes. You are off base on this one.

      • Brian Vermillion says:

        The exact same problem was being fretted over back in 1994; “our streets are horrible and we don’t have any money to pay for repairing them” There has been no progress whatsoever. It’s time to streamline the process of local governance. I know you are trying to reinvent the wheel out there but many have come and gone before you.

        • Charles Coffman says:

          My hopes are that the people that come after me will not be so afraid of the backlash they will not at least try to find a solution. I am already getting recall texts over this one by folks that thought we were going to do away will all law enforcement and have the wild west. It would be sad if the only way to serve is to do nothing and hide under the table.

  15. KF says:

    Councilman Coffman,
    Thank you for addressing this in a logical way. There will not be an easy answer. It will not make everyone happy. I don’t live in your Ward but for the first time in 8 years I feel the Council is working as a whole. I include Mr. Woods in this because it is too early to see how Councilman Williamson will do. I trust in you and our other leaders to make the right decisions whatever that may be.

    We moved to Piedmont for the schools. We did take into consideration that this was a City and not a community like Deer Creek, although Deer Creek works well and people are not turned away from moving there because of having a county presence instead of a city police.

    I highly respect our Piedmont officers. They do know the area, the locals, who should be here and who shouldn’t. They should make more money. I hope that if they desire that they are given every chance to stay on with CCSO if that is the decision.

    Thank you for your service to Piedmont.
    KF

  16. wondering says:

    The city will save $300k in this proposed strategy. From what I understand, and I don’t claim to understand the whole situation, but they are comparing personnel costs, cost of keeping the doors open, etc. but does this comparison take into consideration any money brought into the City’s coffers from Piedmont police writing citations? When you pay for a ticket in Piedmont, where exactly does that money go? And in the future, if the sheriff’s deputy writes you a ticket, where will the money from the fine go? To the Sheriff’s office? Just something that occurred to me while thinking about this and its impact on the community as a whole.

    • Charles Coffman says:

      It does co sider the trade offs on ticket revenue. The sherrif does not write a lot of tickets, they do mostly patrols. There will still be some revenue to us on that… And traffic court would be in Piedmont.

  17. GC says:

    If dissolving city services and contracting out to third parties is the Council’s answer to the road problem. Then they should consider doing away with the city council, the fire department, the police department, the utilities department, the city government and just let OKC annex us. They can provide all the services that we are and cheaper I bet. Seems to be along the same poor line of their thinking.

    • Charles Coffman says:

      Actually the city contracts out a lot of the services such as lab work and dispatch. What this proposal would have done is have a packag deal where we pay the salaries but the services were included. That is how we got a savings. We need the fire department and the city staff is fairly small. This was the big ticket item when I looked at the budget. If you made the trade off we could have a street crew.

  18. mildly interested says:

    What about the monies spent to build the new Police Building. Was it Grants, Loans, Bonds or something else. If we don’t have a Police Department then what would our obligations be to the Police Building.

  19. Charles Coffman says:

    The 8-9 people from the sherrif department will use part of the building. They will be here, not in El Reno

  20. vernon Woods says:

    Mr. Coffman, you are starting to remind me of the ROTC idiot in ‘Animal House’ who, during the stampede, kept shouting ‘all is well, all is well’, until the thundering herd of citizens ran him into the ground and made it obvious that ‘all is NOT well’. Your repeated unsubstantiated statements and claims are becoming trite and stale. Perhaps your leader, our ‘mayor’ might join in and attempt to persuade us that indeed ‘all is well’, just as she prefers to do on TV. Talk is cheap, but your words and ideas are not cheap when considering the future of our city. Your proposition is a dead-end street for Piedmont. There will be no turning back if your pipe dream fails. Back off of this fantasy and find a better way to fund your campaign.

    • Ant says:

      Nothing worse than a sore loser.

    • JT says:

      Vernon you lost because people were tired of your talk and your tone. Why can’t you just take the hint?

      • vernon Woods says:

        To any and all anonymous snipers replying to my posts:
        My comments are directed specifically to Mr. Coffman – no one else.
        Mr. Coffman has the balls to post under his real name, as I do – you do not.
        I would expect Mr. Coffman would not appreciate nor need any ‘support’ from people like you.
        I suspect that your wives would kick your asses if they knew you were acting in such a childish manner.
        You need to stick to Huffpo and the other sites that welcome your type of immature and meaningless anonymous responses.

        • Kate Kearby says:

          Well I’m not sure who Ant and JT are either Mr Woods, but in a way I agree with them, you lost, pretty well. But of course I’m only a WOMAN so you wouldn’t care. But that’s my real name so if you choose to lower yourself almighty MAN. go ahead.

        • easily amused says:

          When will you Fina boys get the message? You get voted out of office, but you refuse to go away, and refuts to SHUT UP! You remind me of Waldorf, one of the old codgers in the balcony of the Muppets. This was only a proposal, but YOIU already know that. It started ON YOUR WATCH. YOU OWN IT. I remember that you campained on getting sleeping space for the fire department. If you are the penny pincher that you put yourself out to be, how where you going to fund an addition to the fire department for a town that casn’t pay for roads? Sounded like 1/3rd of the police department would become available if this plan went through. That’s kind of handy.
          It seems there were only a few people aware that this was coming down the pike who could leak it to Fina’s newspaper. One is sitting on the council, the other is not any more. I count six stories in the Piedmont Citizen about this, including a poll so far. That is one hell of a lot of coverage. guess Williamson winning ward 2 got the attention of team Fina? Time for the fallback plan. maybe throw up enough dust, stir up enough trouble and get Fina’s tabloid to whip people into a frenzy to keep Piedmont politics so even a brave honest man would think twice about running for council. That leaves the door open for you guys. Probably don’t want new blood running for office. It came together on YOUR WATCH and got public on someone elses it looks like you were going to dismantle the PPD, brag that you saved the city 300K a year and still found a way to keep your campaign promice of sleeping quarters for the fire department. But you lost. Piedmont is tired of it and definitely needs new blood.
          You friend in the balcony should learn to read the writing on the walls. Piedmont is tired of the same old politics. You are not nearly as funny as the muppet, you are just an angry puppet.

        • Richard Jones says:

          Councilman Coffman is obviously too much the Serious and Humble Public Servant to stoop to your pedestrian level. While he certainly does not require the likes of me to speak for him, fortunately, I am not thusly restrained.
          Vernon, this plan came together On Your Watch. Unlike the rest of us, this is Not News To You. Proposals – and this is all that it is at this point – do not come to fruition overnight.
          Tell me, if the Canadian County Sheriff, under this proposal, takes two thirds of the Police Department building, what would happen to the other third? I recall that you campaigned on creating sleeping quarters for the fire department. That seems rather convenient. How exactly did you plan on funding an expansion to the existing fire department facility in a city that cannot even pay for roads?
          If you had won, and this proposal had been eased out with complete details as intended, it seems you would have been able to boast that you had saved the city $300K per year and fulfilled your campaign promises to the citizens of Ward 2 concerning roads and said PFD sleeping quarters. I doubt that the Fine and Honorable members of the Piedmont Fire Department appreciate being used as pawns in the Team Fina Chess Game. When will you guys get the message that you have been voted out of office and the best service that you can provide the community now is to Go Away. Like bad pennies, it seems you just keep coming back.
          Reasonably, there were only a few people that were aware of this proposal, and therefore would be inclined to “leak” it to the Piedmont Citizen – which is partly owned by Fina. One of them still sits on the council, another does not Anymore. It appears that they are both commonly known as Fina guys.
          Unfortunately, it looks like Williamson threw a wrench into the monkey works of Team Fina. At this point, one would understandably want to implement the Backup Plan: Throw a lot of dust in the air, cause as much single-syllable mischief as possible, and leak the story to Fina’s trusty tabloid in order to whip the populace into a frenzy about it before given the details. I count no less than six stories thus far – including a poll from that source. People should compare the coverage between the Citizen and the Gazette. The overkill for a mere proposal is quite obvious. I doubt that the Citizens of Piedmont like being manipulated. Apparently, by making council business purposefully as messy and adversarial as possible, it creates an atmosphere where a New, Brave, and Honest person would understandably have second thoughts concerning a run for the council. That seems to leave the door wide open for…well…You Guys.
          Vernon, you remind me of Waldorf – one of the two old guys that sit in the balcony at The Muppet Show. You should tell your balcony-buddy Statler to read the writing on the wall. Piedmont is tired of this type of politics. They crave sanity and stability in city government. Most of us want to put your team in the rear-view mirror, and Break It Off.
          Though not as funny as Waldorf on your best day, and he on his worst, you do have one thing in common: You are both Puppets.
          –=========
          Was that immature and meaningless enough for you?

          • Vernon Woods says:

            Your brand of weed should do quite well in Colorado.

          • JT says:

            Richard,

            It seems that Vernon has finally gone “full retard”.

            Now what is this about Fina owning part of the Piedmont Citizen? I knew is was started at WENJEST Corporation doing business as the Piedmont Citizen. WENJEST is the corporation that runs all the Williams grocery store. You are quite right about Felder trying to whip up a frenzy with some incomplete leaked details. He didn’t have all the facts about the proposal. The Gazette obtained the full proposal along with a news release from the City of Piedmont. Felder just kept pumping out stories on his website to stir up controversy on Facebook.

            You are spot on with you Waldorf comments.

            The question remains though, who is the mole in city hall who was leaking things to Felder? A city councilman, a secretary or someone else?

        • Concerned says:

          Awesome. Vernon has spoken. The gods are pleased. What a mindless twit. He was recalled and kicked off the city council by his constituents. If that isn’t a slap in the face I don’t know what is?

        • Ant says:

          Exactly why you lost. Now just go away

        • JT says:

          Vernon you are a bitter old man. You spew vile comments and hate at people who simply disagree with you. Now you want my wife to “kick my ass”? Actually my wife is in agreeance with me on this issue.

          You know who I am and you have said before you know where I live. You’re all talk and an empty suit.

        • Kate Kearby says:

          Obviously no point for a woman in this town not to be outspoken and opinionated when there are no Gentlemen left, only MCPs, and Curmudgeonly ones at that!

  21. mildly interested says:

    So the new police building was just for short term (less than a year) giggles. Hope Canadian county enjoys. How long do have before its paid off. Why don’t we just sell it just think of the cash we can make on that.

    • Kate Kearby says:

      I figured it would bring a nice sum to pay off the city debts when it files bankruptcy and we become a suburb of OKC. If Canadian County pays the utility bills and maintenance for the building and can actually use the jail? (for those that haven’t been to council meetings you may not know, we pay Yukon for 911 and jail use cause even though we have cells we have no jailer and no 24 hour 911 operator) What is the amount we pay Yukon again? Would the County pay that bill too? I can’t remember if it’s $14,000 or $40,000 a year. How much of the $1600 a month cleaning crew fee would the county pay for on the city buildings?

    • JT says:

      Lucas put an earmark in a bill to pay for most of the police station. $1 million earmark if I remember right. I think it still cost more than that. I believe the city had to pay and additional $300k to $400k when it was all said and done.

      • Charles Coffman says:

        It did go over budget. The idea is to have the Sheriff use part of it and the city use part of it. It can help us not have to expand the muni building. Myself, I want to redo a few things so we can have a place for the fire department to sleep. Now the have bunks are in the rest room, pretty sad. There was a lot of things considered with this.

  22. mildly interested says:

    Not much doubt a few very smart folks were very diligent in their very private process.

  23. Kate Kearby says:

    One thing I will say about county deputies is when we had the tornado go thru here and a lot of the county was hit, the county deputies were on the spot and taking care of business when PPD were dumbfounded and useless. (maybe some were hit was the issue? Although I doubt we pay them enough to live here unless their wives have good jobs. I know the firechief was hit, but still is there an excuse?)

    • Concerned says:

      There are only 2 police officers that live in Piedmont city limits that are actually land owners.

      • Kate Kearby says:

        Thank you ‘Concerned’ for that info, seems another need for housing working people in service to Piedmont can afford. 😉 .

        • Concerned says:

          It makes you wonder why Piedmont police officers that live in Yukon or Oklahoma City need to drive their police cars to their houses if they don’t live in Piedmont city limits? They’ve been doing that for years all at tax payer expenses. Doesn’t seem like Piedmont benefits from it at all.

  24. jsmith says:

    We just finish the new building, get a great chief of police and you want to eliminate the Piedmont Police Department? REALLY? Thinking outside the box doesn’t always mean you have a well thought-out solution. I can’t help but think this was a publicity move to have more residents vote for the sales tax to improve streets for which I personaly voted in favor.

    Our police department goes above and beyond to serve our community. I doubt the Sheriff will watch our homes when we’re away or come as quickly to our aid when they are located so far away! I’m looking forward to an open meeting on this topic – bring-it-on.

    Come on folks support our Chief of Police and his crew!

    • JT says:

      It was a increase in property taxes that would pay off General Obligation Bonds to fund the proposed road improvements. Also the proposal would put the deputies in the current police station. They wouldn’t be responding from El Reno. It helps if you actually do a bit of reading.

  25. KF says:

    Kate the PPD were on the scene of tornado within minutes going through and searching for people. They were in shock as the rest of us were but they did their job. The dispatcher dispatched calls not knowing if her house was destroyed (it was) Our officers blocked the road and watched as houses were torn to pieces and when it was over they went in and pulled people out of shelters. My family was one of them. They were by no means dumbfounded or useless.

  26. Kate Kearby says:

    KF I only remember the people that told me they had horses and livestock suffering and only the deputies helped relieve the pain. PPD wouldn’t do it. I love Canadian County Deputies! They care about us. One PPD told a homeowner to do it himself, when everything he had and all his guns were blown away.

    • Kate Kearby says:

      but perhaps if our officers in good standing are hired as deputies they will get more training and have better equipment and better benefit and retirement programs and a more prestigious position ?

  27. KF says:

    Kate It was a complete nightmare. The PPD – All of them were doing their job. Which was assisting in the search and rescue of families and making sure everyone was accounted for. Animals were everywhere. Mine included. Please don’t bash the officers on what was one of the most horrific days for them. They deserve better than that. The CCSO was here also and over the few weeks of cleanup we make friends with several different departments who came in to help. Most of the officers worked nonstop for days patrolling the area to keep people out who didn’t belong. I ask one officer on day 2 or 3 if he was going home because every time we saw a PPD car patrolling he was in it. He said he had slept for a few hours. He had less sleep than me. He was protecting what I had left. Again, They (all of law enforcement who where here) deserve better than that. Please don’t judge them on that day.

  28. Kate Kearby says:

    and still if they are hired as sheriff deputies will they not get better equipment, more training and better pay,, benefits and retirement maybe even? all the possibilities should probably be considered. can we sell off excess equipment and cars and firetrucks and keep them and stuff. Yes I saw lots of different departments here working during those weeks. My trip to rescue a friends horses and dog and see what was left of her house while she was at work didn’t see any police only had my way blocked several times by sightseers taking photos.

  29. Charles Coffman says:

    One thing I should have noted was that the bond would have been paid over 15 years and cost $6 million. This move would save $3 million over 10 years. I realize that the lump sum would allow for 4 inch asfault roads, but $300,000 a year does go some way in either a road crew and equipment or doing a mile every other year. Had we considered things like this in the past the cumulative effect would have left us with many better roads. Also, $300,000 could retire some debt that would allow more to go to city services. You could even say that if done right we might be able to lower some fees. Kind of the Dave Ramsey approach to fiscal responsibility. This only works if we don’t turn around and blow the money. It is clear the folks do not want to raise taxes so it looks to me that these types of approaches should be considered.

  30. Kate Kearby says:

    and maybe the year we start getting full sales tax from the grocery store we can build a police dept again 😉

  31. Charles Coffman says:

    How I got the million figure I noted. $834,876 police, $66,895 muni court, capital improvements has $40,000 for police vehicles. That s $941,771. There were some more in other buckets that have some police costs as well but those listed here are the ones that can be quickly linked. Someone only saw the $834,876 and asked the question.

    • Kate Kearby says:

      and How much is gas tires and oil in all those vehicles, some that we got with grants, but keep costing. Course the city pays local mechanics and gas stations will that keep up if they are county vehicles?

  32. Richard Jones says:

    Hello, JT.
    Unfortunately, the “Reply” button is not available on your post. In reference to your question to me above concerning ownership of the Piedmont Citizen:
    I communicated to Mr. Felder via email about a story he ran in early May which indicated that the Mayor had instructed “a Property Rights Group” to speak badly about Mr. Fina. The pertinent section of my email went as follows:
    “I would appreciate it if you could retract that bit online in the Fina article that implies that a Property Rights group has been told to speak impolitely about Mr. Fina. I can appreciate the ownership pressure that you are under, but that piece of the article is simply incorrect.”
    Nowhere in my email did I indicate who I believed this ownership pressure was coming from. The email was merely about a part of the article that was incorrect.
    The relevant excerpt from his response email is as follows:
    “Yes, Fina is associated with the newspaper. But he has never been involved in any editorial decisions nor did he even bring this story to my attention. He didn’t even want to officially comment on it. You are right, I can’t necessarily help who is associated with the Citizen. All I can do is let the totality of our reporting stand for itself. While I am not the only owner in the paper, I am the only one who makes decision [sic] involving what stories we publish.”
    In direct response to my “ownership pressure” comment, Mr. Felder acknowledges without prompt, that “Fina is associated with the newspaper”, confirms his own part-ownership of it, confirms that I am right (about ownership pressure, I assume), and states that he can’t necessarily help who is associated with the Citizen. As for some reason he cannot “help” this in his role as a part-owner Himself, I took the totality of his response as an assertion that Mr. Fina was also a part-owner. I have had at least one acquaintance tell me the same.
    I had believed this to be common knowledge, and had referenced it before without being corrected on the matter. If it is not, then I stand corrected now, but in my defense, one can clearly see the source of the confusion.
    I was aware of the Williams ownership interest in the paper, but since a chain of 492 foot tall spinning grocery stores is not planned for our area, and they do not appear to be doing consulting work for Apex while being a paid lobbyist for the City of Piedmont, I could not care less. They also have Really Good ribs.
    As I have always found the staff of the City of Piedmont to be professional in their demeanor, and serious about their responsibilities, you might look elsewhere for leaks. Unless the Canadian County Sheriff just happened to be cruising by and decided to pop in for a quick sales pitch during an Executive Session, this presentation was planned Well Before the New Ward 2 Councilman was sworn in and took office – the very night of the Executive Session in question.
    Mr. Woods’ campaign promise of new sleeping quarters for the PFD in a city as cash-strapped as ours, and an earlier post concerning using the remaining third of the police department for the much-needed and much-deserved PFD sleeping quarters, leads me to believe this as well. I have yet to develop an opinion on the matter proposed, as I have not been presented by the city with all of the Facts.
    My point is, that a politician cannot campaign on the premise that he will deliver something, and then when Defeated, proclaim that that which he campaigned to deliver is now the end of civilization as we know it.
    I do not believe you will have to look very far to find the source of the leak.
    Thank you for your kind words. Bran Muffin, anyone?

    • JT says:

      Richard,

      That is certainly interesting information. I always wondered where the money came from to start another newspaper out of thin air. It all makes sense now.

      The lack of bran muffins combined with losing an election could certainly cause loose lips, especially if you have a personality complex that doesn’t allow you to control your tongue.

      I don’t know how you feel about unions, but the cost of a unionized police force will most certainly go up, probably exponentially. That’s something that I don’t think many people are considering. The other thing to think about is city of Piedmont only has so much tax revenue to spend on services. Reducing costs is the only way to find “extra” money to spend on fixing the streets. Sadly, economic education in this country is sorely lacking and I doubt many people can put two and two together.

    • JT says:

      Richard,

      I have one more mystery that I hope you can help solve. Who is Wild Bill Brown?

      Thanks

  33. Kate Kearby says:

    And Mr Jones, nearly a year ago when Piedmont PD got that silver with gold markings SUV I said ‘Are they blending with the CCSD?’

  34. Kate Kearby says:

    it was just a funny statement when I saw that vehicle that looked like county , sorry people can’t seem to smile anymore.

  35. Richard Jones says:

    My apologies, Kate. My mind was elsewhere. It is an odd coincidence.

  36. Cher Rupp Ruggeri says:

    I cannot believe that this proposal is being considered. I’ve lived in Piedmont for almost 40 years and can count on 1 hand the number of times I’ve seen a Canadian County Sheriff’s department vehicle east of El Reno. Our city leaders need to develop and agree on a path to fiscal stability. Maybe wind turbines and the associated revenue are the answer.

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