Cognitive Dissonance & Fiscal Illiteracy

I know, I know—Big Words.  Cognitive dissonance is confusion resulting from dichotomous & opposing views about one principle.  Sir David is the personification of cognitive dissonance.  His latest publicly embarrassing rant is about deputy pay raises. Morgan fumes to WEAR:

“It’s nonnegotiable,” Sheriff Morgan exclaimed. “We’ll settle this in front of Governor Scott. We’re not going to negotiate this. This is nonsense, I’m done. I have a board of county commissioners unfortunately that appears to believe that they’re smarter than we are…..It’s OK for an officer to catch a bullet from a thug, but county commission won’t give them a pay raise.”

While these statements have a great deal of truth to them, the BOCC is smarter than any and all the admin at the ECSO & the officers that retired in 2009 had more longevity with greater performance based success that reflect in the crime numbers.  They also had higher standards to pass on a day to day basis. According to sources at the academy, as many as 65% don’t pass the full curriculum.  Of that remaining 35%, a high percentage  (what is estimated to be half) of them find their first couple of months in FTO, proves to them  that a place in this agency is not for them. Now that could be because the people being recruited come from PCC (sounds like a punchline but it is, unfortunately, true) or because the standards have been so low to populate approximately 2.5 times the number of classes churning through the academy than any other point in the last 15 years.

To get back to the cognitive dissonance of Morgan’s latest tantrum on the news lies in the fact that while he accuses the BOCC of letting his deputies “take a bullet for a thug” rather than get a raise, he fails to disclose the increase in the budget at the beginning of this year that he BLEW on hiring an “UnderSheriff” to soak up funds to populate 1 job position for 2 of his followers, Chip Simmons & Eric Haines. Two salaries for 1 job that has been parceled out to 2 people. A colossal waste of funds.  Not to mention the money, he gave Andy Hobbs, David Ingram and Amber Southard that makes every raise in the ECSO look like chump change; his fiscal illiteracy provides the cognitive dissonance we see today.  Yet his strategy is to bitch about and shame the BOCC members when he, not them, wasted approximately $200K in these horrible decisions to stack the top of his agency rather than put the money towards the rebuilding of the agency he single-handedly dismantled by forcing out 62 deputies last year.

Now let’s talk about that number, 62. Of those 62 who left the agency last year, at least a third have entered into civil suits for discrimination, civil rights violations and sexual harassment against Morgan personally and professionally. That is a skyrocketing number of suits against any ONE Sheriff. Another meritorious distinction this non LEO sheriff claims.

To simplify this for some of the current admin at the ECSO and the Honorable Sheriff, you can’t bitch about how the BOCC regards your deputies’ pocket book when you already stole from them too. That is cognitive dissonance–berating someone for something they shouldn’t do when you did it as well but don’t think you should be berated or judged. Hypocritical is another term in this case that would apply.  The money in the budget he gave to Chip Simmons, Amber Southard, David Ingram & Andy Hobbs. They got the money that deputies deserved. Morgan mismanaged that money by rewarding his favorites in a grandiose fashion, leaving the rest in the cold.

That brings us to the fiscal illiteracy. The fiscal illiteracy refers to his failing to manage the agency in the way it should be, despite the fact the Honorable Sheriff claims he can. I don’t know, maybe Webster University’s graduate level business classes,  37+ years ago, didn’t prepare Morgan to actually use numbers as high as the Honorable Sheriff has to work with today. Maybe there are too many big numbers for him to understand in one budget. I don’t know.

Let’s look at the over all money issues historically Morgan has had:

*in the military, he allegedly was skimming government money via credit cards, resulting in his early retirement

*the mishandling of the budget regarding the jail that resulted in him losing the oversight of that jail

*the employee that embezzled $150K from the LET fund for years without anyone knowing and his CFO keeping his job even though he facilitated larceny

*the citizens’ complaints on how LET money is spent resulting in an investigation by the State Attorney.

There is a pattern of misappropriation.  It seems very clear to those of us who pay attention.

The conclusion, based on the past history of this Honorable Sheriff leads to the reasonable assessment that, either he is criminally responsible for misappropriation of taxpayer funds as well as mismanaging criminal justice principles and personnel necessary for a LEO agency in the 21st century,

OR

He has been given too much responsibility for his capability.  He cannot seem to handle doing the duties of his post, which is to maintain law and order while sustaining the county’s fiscal well being and safety.

You decide.

I almost forgot to give a shout out to Gerry Champagne for trolling and liking my FB page for Florida Open Gov. Initiative.

CORRECTION:

I mistakenly said that 65% failed the academy. That is incorrect. The cadets go through the academy fine; it is 65% failing out of FTO or discovering this job is not for them.  My Bad.

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Dangers of Being an ECSO Deputy

It is funny how so many deputies, scared of losing their jobs, want to speak out against the administration under Sir David & his cronies. Here is yet another deputy with a message.

Editorial by a Deputy

As the holiday season starts, I began to reflect on the year. The one topic that causes the most concern is how cops are being attacked. We are 70% more likely to be killed this year compared to last year. That is such an alarming jump. No officer deserves to be killed for merely being a cop. Our society is failing when we allow this to occur and take no action. This should be at the top of the list of concerns of every law enforcement agency in our country.

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It is unfortunate, but obvious, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office does not have the safety of officers at the top of the list. We have seen that thousands of dollars were spent to inform people to lock their doors. Thousands were spent to give David Morgan exposure during an election year. Had Morgan ever been a cop, he would understand the feeling that cops have when they are subject to unprovoked attacks. Morgan would know what the dangers are for cops in the national sphere and here locally.  The increased fear to go into the street and attempt to enforce the law knowing just wearing a badge could mean the end of the officer’s life is a REAL THING. Had he ever actually completed a tour of duty as a cop, Morgan would have likely considered spending the money on dealing with the increased pressure and scrutiny to generate good PR for officers for their own well-being instead of widening the gap between the community and law enforcement.  He could have addressed the elephant in the room in talking about how Ferguson, Trayvon and other national events might affect the cops and community of Escambia County. But instead he has wasted training dollars on senseless simulations, THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS on billboards with his face and meaningless reminders for the community to lock their doors. Or how about the time and cost of educating the ECSO on guidelines for Pokemon GO?  And the real kicker is the time invested in convincing cops that ratting on other cops for minor indiscretions to the upper echelon will get you brownie points. Internal Affairs cases have exponentially increased over the most stupid things like not having signed in on a training log in sheet. Cops are not prepared to work the streets where reality and tragedies occur.

Unfortunately, Morgan chose to take the path of a liar and does what he says he will not do on a continual basis. Moving officers from a precinct may technically not be “closing” it, but it absolutely has the same effect in lack of law enforcement for that area. Morgan will have his social media trolls do their best to insult anyone that tries to present this argument. They will be attacked and told they are not cops and could not know what is best. Documentation will be produced to show that there is not a change of coverage and that geographical area is getting the same if not better coverage. Really that is a lie.

I had the misfortune of being a part of the transition of the Cantonment shut down.  It is a fact there are times there is not ANY officers beyond Kingsfield Road. It is a fact that there are times that only ONE officer is working an area that is supposed be manned by a minimum of 2 at any given time. It is a fact that the coverage is not what it was when there was an active precinct for that part of the county.

When the social media attacks come, know what questions to ask so you are comparing apples to apples. When the roster showing an officer was 10-8 (on duty) in that area is produced, ask to see a roster to compare it to from last year at the same time. When the roster is produced to show that on each shift an officer is assigned and there is always coverage, ask about the total number of officers assigned at this time last year. What Morgan and Haines will not volunteer is that each of those precincts has “flex officers” that do not work traditional shift hours. There will not be a shift from in-town to provide coverage for those positions. Those officers will be lost completely. The overall numbers will fall drastically when compared to the new system of assigning officers. In fact, the total number of officers, including supervisors, will decrease by a minimum of 3 officers each day. Be prepared for Haines to attack this number and show documentation that the number is wrong. He will say that there is no change. The only way he could be correct is, if manpower has been so reduced that there is not a current deputy assigned and the position is vacant.

The truth is this administration has to reduce services because the ability of the leadership has been reduced as well as the funds to develop and keep good cops. Morgan is not a cop and assumed the ECSO would run itself while he was busy trying to get re-elected or networking to enhance his social standing in pure pretense. Haines is not able to admit wrong in any thing he implemented and will not admit when he makes a mistake. He spends more time trying to validate a bad decision and convince everyone else how it is actually a good decision than he does correcting what is wrong and improving the situation. Instead he rides a dead horse on principle.  The result of this failure way of running the show causes us to have less capable officers and officers not having the same experience as we once enjoyed.  Our agency is imploding on itself, but it’s all good if we are making sure that Morgan keeps his celebrity status in good order. Haines is not concerned by failure because he doesn’t know what a successful agency looks like. He wants to build the illusion he has been successful. His objective, or maybe his destiny, is to leave the agency. That is welcomed by any cop that cares about the good of the agency.

My one request to the powers that be is to please just stop chasing off good cops that want to be here and care about the dangers currently facing this community. If nothing else, you should preserve these cops because their community impact will only improve the overall perception of the agency and thereby your own agenda of pleasing yourself. This is a pipe dream because anyone who reads this and is in the position to fix it has been critiqued which is only going to hurt their feelings and cause retribution to the rest of us. But someone has to say something. Someone has to care and that is not David Morgan or Eric Haines and I fear, not Chip Simmons if he is enjoying being David Morgan’s new BFF.

Birds of a feather…..

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