There were many great arguments in support of community policing. Cunningham told commissioners this is really just an extension of the many community revitalization funding programs already in place.
But Commissioner Andy Roman was unswayed by arguments that community officers are "proactive," "Ambassadors," or "sources of intelligence." When this idea was first proposed, he argued that the county should make sure its own house is in order before giving money to other municipalities. Last night, several deputy sheriffs suggested that money should go to them.
Deputies Mike Wacas (sp?) and John Barrett (sp?) complained their department is the only one left in the state that still uses revolvers, which leaves them outgunned against people carrying semi-automatics. They also noted the radios provided to them are so bad they can't reach the communications center. I guess these guys want bazookas or something. According to Barrett, "It's dangerous. We don't just deal with inmates, we deal with the public, too."
But does he deal with bloggers?
What these deputies failed to make clear is that their boss, Sheriff Rossi, has never asked for these things. Where the hell was he? And DA Martin told commissioners he won't consider deputies law enforcement officers until a statute is adopted.
When Pawlowski arrived, he rambled on for at least twenty minutes, telling commissioners what a great job he's done with Allentown's fiscal affairs, turning a $8 million deficit into a $6 million surplus, among other things. And of course, he wants those officers to reduce the "perception" of crime. Call me crazy, but if I wanted a handout, I wouldn't be bragging about how much money I have in the bank. At one point, he even told Commissioner Glenn Eckhart, "You have no idea what you're talking about." After the vote, Pawlowski walked up and criticized commissioners again. "It's a sad day for county government ... ."
Although commissioners claim they may decide to fund a community policing program, I think it's dead. Would you want to give money to a guy who acts like he doesn't need it and then insults you?