Incompetent County Council Does It Again

Sussex County Online User Forums: Sussex County Delaware Discussion Forum: Incompetent County Council Does It Again
By Sussex Cop on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 04:17 am:

The headline:

"Incompetent Sussex County Council Does It Again"

Why did we, as Sussex County taxpayers, give the STATE over one million dollars (that's over $1,000,000), specifically to the Delaware State Police?

I repeat ... why did we give our COUNTY funding to the state when we ALREADY pay state taxes?

Our incompetent county council has caused us to pay TWICE for state police protection and services that we don't get anyway. It's unexcusable, irresponsible and politically incorrect.

All that money should have been put to good use, such as expanding the sheriff's department or funding existing local police departments.

By the way, has anyone here figured out yet that local PD personnel outnumber state police personnel statewide? Delaware is predominately protected by city and town police ... not DSP!!! Gee, there's a shock.

One reason why local PD's handle state police calls for service is that there's not enough troopers on the road. Too many of them have been put in "specialized" units, taking away staffing from the road dogs. The troopers that are left in patrol struggle daily to handle reports AND make stats.

In turn, our poor excuse for a council pours local funding into state coffers. Not an intelligent decision to alleviate an easy problem.

By gumshoe on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 02:42 pm:

I don't see change coming anytime soon. Generally speaking, crime is not a major concern of Sussex Countians yet. It won't be until there is a rise in crime victims with a continued slow response time by DSP.

Maybe an answer would be, for crime victims to be allowed to file suit against the Sussex County Council Members, who vote to keep wasting our tax dollars on DSP and have them be held accountable for our lack of protection. After all, it's their duty to provide protection to the county's citizens, which I believe they're failing to do.

By Grateful on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 09:26 am:

Hold on just a darned minute!
Let's not have any tin-horned sheriff spending that kind of money. The sheriff & staff are not trained to enforce the law like the State troopers are. We don't want loose cannons out there. And don't try to reinvent the wheel.
The troopers do a fine job & we welcome the additional ones.
Grateful taxpayers.

By JC on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 09:57 am:

Excuse me grateful, What makes you think that
the deputies are NOT trained as well as the troopers. This must be an assumption on your part, because you certainly do not know the facts. Three of the deputies are academy cerified(including the sheriff), two are in the process of obtaining the equivalent. So where do you come off making such a "sure of yourself" statement like that??? and would you please define "tin horned", are you upset of the fact that he has stood up for what is right and jealous of the fact that you dont have the guts to do it your self or what, tell me what it is. Do you even know the sheriff or are you one of those people who has an opinion that you borrowed from someone else??? Im curious to know which it is or if I am correct on all counts.

By sensible on Sunday, October 12, 2003 - 01:30 pm:

Reed is a fool who is wasting our time & money. The county does not want to fund him & his staff so that they can duplicate what the state police already do. Double services = double taxes.
Ridiculous Reed wants police lights on his cars & an increase in the size of his department. If he is so qualified to enforce the law let him become a state trooper.
The time of policing by sheriff went out with Mayberry RFD & Andy Taylor. Get with it, it's 2003. We don't want Barney Fife around here.

By US Park Cop on Sunday, October 12, 2003 - 06:14 pm:

"The time of policing by sheriff went out with Mayberry RFD & Andy Taylor. Get with it, it's 2003. We don't want Barney Fife around here."

Sensible, I suggest you look to your neighbors to the south. In MD and VA, in most of the counties, the sheriff's office handle the policing duties in unincorporated ares. Where I work in the DC area, several of the counties have county police agencies which handle policing for most towns plus the unincoproated areas of the counties. The state police in MD is nothing more than a traffic or backup agency in most counties.

Having a county police force for Sussex seems reasonable considering the postings of "Sussex Cop" and others.

By Melissa on Monday, October 13, 2003 - 07:33 am:

Out west the cops of each town knew, under no uncertain terms that they had to answer to their county's Sheriff's department, and the people would sooner take the lights off the local police cars than the Sheriffs cars. We seem to have it entirely backwards here, and ones bashing the sheriff and his deputies in Sussex should maybe read the duty list of other state's sheriffs before voiding out their jobs all together.

Makes me want to be a sheriff's deputy here in Sussex just to fight to keep them from being swept under the rug. Then when I've got a few years under my belt, I could go to any other state in this country to work as a sheriff and get the respect for the duties I'd be responsible for.

By 2003 on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 09:38 am:

Yeah Sheriff Moose is a real hero.

By taxpayer! on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 09:41 am:

You wrote "Having a county police force for Sussex seems reasonable considering the postings of "Sussex Cop" and others. "

I don't live off the public dime
so as a TAXPAYER
I don't want to bear the cost of a county force nor does the county council want to be responsible for initiating that fiasco.

By US Park Cop on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 11:14 am:

"Yeah Sheriff Moose is a real hero. "

Moose wasnt a sheriff, he was the Chief of police for Mongomery County police.

"I don't want to bear the cost of a county force nor does the county council want to be responsible for initiating that fiasco."

So you would rather have the current fiasco of having DSP troopers who are understaffed answering calls? We can get into the what happens scenarios but the truth be told. Having a county police force responsible for LE in the unincorporated areas of the county seems resonable. It works in New Castle (which is smaller) yet has more police officers per capita than any other part of the state.

By Taxpayer on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 11:34 am:

New Castle is no good example of anything.

I dont' live off public money & I don't want to pay for double services.

By another taxpayer on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 04:08 pm:

Hey Mr Taxpayer-your paying double taxes for the same service. If you are a sussex countian you are paying state taxes for DSP and you are paying county taxes for the same service from DSP. Why would anyone want to do this??? including you! By the way, what do think is going to happen when the county has to pay for policing to support the fiasco of out of control growth in this county. You think that a county force is expensive, try paying for state police troopers at a rate 5 or 10 times what is needed right now. Thats near 150K per trooper per year. The county can do this for half the price, so where is your logic???

By disturbed on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 06:56 pm:

Moose is a sell-out! First chance he's ever had to have that kind of money, and his dedication to the force=out the window when he resigned or retired after he signed the contract for the book/movie.

By ticked off on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 08:06 pm:

You wrote, "you are paying county taxes for the same service from DSP."

The county should chip in to increase the size of the state force. That's nothing compared to what it would cost to create & support a new county force.

You wrote, "You think that a county force is expensive, try paying for state police troopers at a rate 5 or 10 times what is needed right now."

That statement makes no sense.

Then you continued, "Thats near 150K per trooper per year. The county can do this for half the price, so where is your logic??? "

I don't think ALL state troopers earn that much. But paying them well for a professional job is cheap compared to setting up a whole new arm of county government & paying out benefits such as pension, medical insurance, holidays, unemployment & on & on.

Our county administrator is paid $90,000 year, so what makes you think a county police officer would be willing to work for half of what a trooper earns? Get real.

By another taxpayer on Thursday, October 16, 2003 - 08:59 am:

I already know the administrator is over paid in comparison to what the rest of the county employees make.Greed is what gives him his reputation and we tolerate it. Secondly, the figures of cost per trooper is DSPs figures. Thats what it takes to put a NEW one on the road. I am not talking about one who has had tenure, because that figure is higher. At some point there will be a need to hire many more troopers to KEEP up with the incoming growth. Do you think that the county should be responsible for paying for that increase??? or do you think we should just do without any protection???? Any way you put it, there is a need for a county force, just like New Castle decided many years ago when they had the same problem. The trouble with people like you is you wait until the last minute to do things and you stay behind the eight ball the rest of the time, not to mention pay a larger cost by waiting. As far as your "chip in" theory, well 2 million is a large chip. That alone could support a permanent county force of 25 officers at the comparable rate of surrounding counties for pay for each officer.DSP has successfully placed four officers from the county "chip in", but had to take four, almost five times as many off the road for transfers, promotions etc. We are so far in the hole with this plan to put more troopers on the road , even the troopers know this and have to suffer the consequences of running like banchees just to get the minimum done and screw the quality policing efforts, they dont have time. I cannot see your logic!!

By Wise One on Saturday, October 18, 2003 - 10:47 am:

You Could Be Right. Maybe Stella Reed will get it done for her husband.

By gumshoe on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 10:31 pm:

We need a county police force to protect us. How often has anyone seen a DSP trooper patrolling through their neighborhood, who wasn't there to handle a call. When the few troopers we have are not running from call to call, they are running radar on main highways. How does that protect us? Part of fighting crime is patrolling an assigned area and getting to know its residents. A county force can do that. You will not see that with DSP.

It makes more sense to pay a few extra tax dollars now and begin a county force than it is for the current council to keep wasting our tax dollars to a department, which will never be able to truely protect us. The taxpayers who are not willing to pay for a county force are only fooling themselves believing that the current crime rate in Sussex Co. will not rise.

A county police force will be able to enforce more laws that virtually go unenforced in Sussex Co. now. It is proven that when the minor laws are enforced, crime stays minimal and the more serious crimes move on to another area.

By Chicken Little on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 11:22 pm:

The sky is falling.

By poultry facts on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 09:33 am:

yes, the sky is falling until you become a victim, then all of the sudden the sky doesnt matter, the chicken becomes concerned about his nest and how can it be protected. When his nest is well protected, the chicken will return his attention to the sky.

By Gumshoe on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 08:40 pm:

Well said "poultry facts"! "Chicken Little's" way of thinking, is one of reasons Sussex Co. will not improve for a long while.

By balderdash on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 12:07 am:

You say that Sussex County will not improve for a long while? Don't be a sourpuss.

Sussex County is growing by leaps & bounds. People are seeing the charm of Sussex & are moving here by the droves.
The airport is bigger & better.
Roads are being improved every day.

We have beautiful forests, georgous farmland, and waterfront to knock your eyes out. From Dewey to Fenwick you can take a breathtakingly beautiful ride thru preserved DE state parkland, seeing ocean on one side & bay on the other. Have you ever dined at the Rusty Rudder & watched the setting sun over the bay?

And we now have nearly every restaurant, retail store, every entertainment imaginable.

We have the University of DE College of Marine Studies, Georgetown Tech., & one of the lovliest towns in the world called Lewes.

Our ocean beach is one of the finest in the US.

And the county is getting new state police.

By Gumshoe on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 09:24 pm:

Frankford Town Council should replace our County Council. Frankford did the numbers and saw that that they would have better police protection with their own police department. I think they were paying $204.00 a day for four hours of DSP protection, or should I say, ticket writing. Way to go Frankford! We can only hope that the County Council will someday quit wasting our tax dollars and start a county police force, which can protect us.

As for you "balderdash", go back to your little fairytale dream.

By AMAZED on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 09:58 pm:

CC with yet more control over the sheriff trying to hire a competant attorney to represent the daily ongoings of the sheriffs office. Berl says he has conflicts of interest with representing the desires of the sheriff to run his office as he sees fit, CC suggests turning to Griffin??THe Co Attorney(if Berl is not adaqate) even after Stickles implies that it would be a confict for Griffin to represent Reed as they are in opposite political parties. IT NEVER ENDS!!! Time for a new CC

By Sussex Cop on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 01:29 am:

Gumshoe, US Park Cop, Another Taxpayer and JC tossed some facts on the table here ...

Frankford has awakened the region to some old news: DSP costs too much and doesn't cut it.

Again, the facts: Sussex County taxpayers (myself included) pay state taxes for DSP services. Then we paid THE STATE ... again ... with COUNTY tax funds for DSP services. If that doesn't seem redundant, illogical or just plain stupid, than you have a serious brain stem problem.

Sussex County needs an expanded law enforcement agency. The options are clear and very simple: 1. amend the state law and expand the sheriff's office to a policing agency; 2. create a new county police department; or 3. create "townships" (or COMBINE local police departments) to cover larger areas.

This isn't rocket science, people. You have several Sussex County police officers posting on here ... exposing the truths and reality that most citizens don't know or recognize! Politics will play a key role in the choices made. But that choice has to be made by the taxpaying, voting citizens of Sussex County, Delaware.

On a side note, I have read other garbage posts about the costs of funding a new county police agency or expanding the sheriff's office as being too costly. Those writers don't take into account (or understand) that the county has handed over hundreds of thousands of dollars, on more than one occasion, to the state for DSP services. Why are we paying twice for state services? Why fund state services - that already exist - with county taxes? Why are we paying twice for public safety services that are insufficient and inefficient?

There is no justifiable or intelligent reason to support continued county funding of DSP services.
I am not saying that the state police are a bunch of useless, wildcard big-hats ... the road dogs do what they can with what they have! I'm saying that we need to move on to bigger, better police services in Delaware. Let's start with Sussex County!

By Gumshoe on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 05:52 pm:

One can only hope that intelligent, well informed Sussex Countians, will become the majority voter and vote in a new and improved County Council next election time.

By JC on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 09:25 pm:


By OK on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 09:42 pm:

One can only hope that intelligent, well informed Sussex Countians, will become the majority voter and vote in a new and improved County Council next election time.

Other than Jud Bennett who will beat Lynn Rogers in the 3rd District, who is going to run & unseat the other two (Dale Dukes Dist. 2 & Finley Jones Dist 1). I hope Mrs. Reed replaces Jones, but she is a one-issue candidate -- she is trying to make it all OK for her husband the Sheriff. Very shallow.

By AMAZED on Monday, November 24, 2003 - 10:34 pm:

That is a bold face lie. I heard her several times speak on this land preservation problem as well as promoting corporations that pay larger wages. Why is it that you have automatically made the assumption that Stella Reed cares only for her husband's agenda. If you would listen carefully, you would pick up on the fact that there are many other issues that have caused the voting population to distrust and lose faith in the current CC , why then should a viable candidate NOT try to change things for the better in many aspects. It was the land preservation and CC give outs(free money program) that prompted Stella Reed to throw in her hat to run, not the sheriff's issue.

By sfi on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 08:05 am:

You convinced me NOT to vote for her.

By Gumshoe on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 05:11 pm:

She will have my vote! Sussex Co. needs higher paying jobs. Most jobs in Sussex Co. pay under the poverty level. I am also for a county law enforcement agency, so if she can help her husband's cause, I'm all for it. We need to replace the old council one by one. The current county council needs the contention that Mrs. Reed would bring.

By AMAZED on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 09:57 am:

Not to metion a more even representation which is good for all. Certainly weeds out the brain stale cronies.

By Gumshoe on Thursday, November 27, 2003 - 07:33 pm:

Interesting article in the Wave, reference legal representation for Sheriff Reed. Reed wants legal representation from a Wilmington attorney for $75. less an hour, than the county council's attorney. This leads me to believe that the county council is afraid of a more legally versed
attorney, who will not fall in line with them and who will be competent enough to obtain full law enforcement powers back to the Sheriffs department.

I've seen for myself, the difference between the local attorneys compared to Wilmington attorneys. I believe there may be only a handful of local attorneys, who would fare against them.

Hey council! What are you afraid of, by not allowing the Sheriff's Department to pick their own council. Could it be that the Wilmington attorney will leave you with egg on your faces?

It's my personal belief that our county council members are not acting with good intentions, to act in the best interest of the public. Remember council, you are suppose to serve the public. I believe you're just serving yourselves at the public's expense.

We will remember how each of you have voted on important issues when it's our turn to vote, when your term expires. Speaking of terms, I believe it should be a two year term so that you can't continue to run the county into the ground.

Hey Dukes? Are you going to vote for the builders to build houses that are able to withstand hurricane strength? Just wondered. It could probably benefit your lumber company, ay?

By anon. on Friday, November 28, 2003 - 07:13 am:

The Good Ol' Boy network hard at work in Sussex!

By Sussex Cop retired on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 03:28 am:

From the Delaware Wave newspaper ... COMMENTS FOLLOW:

"Public safety continues to be the county's top priority, according to the latest budget figures. As announced last week, the county has increased funding to public safety nearly 20 percent to hire additional state police, pay for several officers already hired and improve public safety around the county.

The money comes from the realty transfer tax, a percentage of property sales within the county, according to County Administrator Bob Stickels. Realty transfer taxes collected on properties sold within a municipality go back to that municipality to help fund necessary public services.

In Fiscal Year 2005, which begins July 1, the budget committee recommends $14,879,970 be used for public safety. In Fiscal Year 2004, county officials budgeted $12.4 million.

Of the $14.8 million, $1.019 million is earmarked for state police salaries and the purchase of additional equipment for the officers.

"Fiscal Year 2005 marks the 10th anniversary of the agreement between the state of Delaware and the county council to provide additional police coverage in Sussex County," officials state in the FY 2005 budget.

To achieve this, Sussex County Council President Dale Dukes said the county has two agreements with the state to help increase police coverage. The county budget allocates funds to pay 50 percent of the costs of 12 officers stationed at Troop 4, Georgetown, and 65 percent of the costs for eight officers hired in Fiscal Years 2003 and 2004. Four more officers will be hired this fiscal year bringing the total to 24.

The county anticipates the hiring of eight more officers in the next two fiscal years as well.

In addition to police, this proposed section of the budget also allocates $1.1 million to help the state convert the former Visitor's Center in Bridgeville into a state police barracks, Troop 5. This facility will also house a county paramedic unit."

It never ceases to amaze me that Sussex County government routinely turns over unnecessary and ridiculous funding to the Delaware State Police!
Even better, Sussex County residents continue to ALLOW the county council to do this ...

Education is the key here, friends. Taxpayers need to KNOW that their tax dollars are NOT going to local PD's or towards the creation of a new, improved county law enforcement agency. Taxpayers NEED to UNDERSTAND that they are paying TWICE for Delaware State Police services.

Keep in mind that the issue is NOT the personnel of DSP. The fact is that Sussex County residents are ALLOWING their local government to spend their money on something they have already purchased: state public safety services.

The money should be earmarked for county law enforcement, or simply distributed to local police agencies in the county. For example, the funding should be saved or put towards funding a new (or existing) police department; OR put towards existing local PD's that generally provide police services outside their jurisdictions when providing mutual aid to DSP. Again, for those behind the news, every local PD in Sussex County routinely handles or assists with DSP calls for service.

This entire issue is severely disturbing because it continues due to a lack of education and understanding of county taxpayers of the politics involved. There's a load of garbage on county council that needs to be taken to the dump!

By gumshoe on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 06:41 am:

I totally agree with you Sussex Cop, taxpayers in this county either don't know or don't care that they are getting duped by the County Council.

I still believe that the County Council should be held liable to victims of serious crimes, if there is found to be a poor response time by DSP.
Not only against the Council as a whole, because once again the taxpayers would tote that bill, but also for punitive, against each council member, who voted for DSP potection for the County, which would come out of their own pockets for poor judgement in the matter of protection.

By US Park cop on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 03:05 am:

Hey Sussexcop.. Did you join an agency in the Metropolitan DC area?

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