Over the last year, I have had many deputies come to me in fear of speaking out themselves. They have been sources for my posts and have had to be cloaked in the shadows because of the threat of losing pensions, job security, and an unbelievably hostile work environment. Today that changes. One deputy wants his words to be heard.
This is a deputy’s view of the inside of David Morgan’s Sheriff’s administration. This is the “good morale” Morgan spoke of in the debates.
I would say that the vast majority of deputies in Escambia County are good people that had good intentions when choosing law enforcement as a career. It takes dedication to accomplish becoming a deputy. It requires a person to complete Basic Recruit training, “Rookie School” as the deputies refer to it, before even being considered for a job by an agency. This job will start out at less than 35K a year and offer little appreciation from the public. I am sure some would believe that is a decent wage. It is a decent wage if you take away a few elements of the occupation. First, take away the fact that every call you respond to is a person that is at the worst point of their day. Take away that often law enforcement officers are confronted with armed suspects that will kill cops. Take away that officers are among the highest rate of divorce. Take away that most of the career will be spent dealing with the negative aspects of society. Now, with all of that out of the way it wouldn’t be a bad salary.
The truth is that you can’t take away those parts. Those are parts of the job that create most of the issues for law enforcement officers. Those parts are what will create the perception that cops are assholes. It is those parts that will cause a cop to believe the world is a bad place. The sad part is that cops will discover that the worst part of the job will come from the administration. As if dealing with the public that does not appreciate you isn’t enough, they get to deal with administrators that care more about how they look than how the officers are performing. It is very common to find that administrators are often not the ones that stood out as a great cop. It is sometimes that those in administration stood out as straight up ass kissers. If you haven’t already guessed it–that is very helpful, depending on who is picking the administration.
The problem with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is a very simple problem to solve. Get Morgan out! If you consider that the number one guy (AKA Car 1) has never been and never will be a cop, it is no surprise that Escambia county gets a top ranking in the state for violent crime. Car 1 has never made an arrest as a deputy sheriff in any county…………ever. Yet, he will sit in judgement of those who have a decade or longer in the career. That seems odd in any situation. I could never be convinced that any person could be qualified to be in charge of a profession that lacks any credible experience in that profession. I have heard Morgan make the claim that he has 100 years of experience or some bullshit in PRIVATE and professional law enforcement. What in the hell is PRIVATE law enforcement? Laws are created by government and enforced by government. If there were such a thing as private law enforcement, I would apply and have Morgan arrested for impersonating an officer. That is a ridiculous statement that makes absolutely no sense. The term for private law enforcement officer is a vigilante and is a violation of law. He should have considered that before bragging about being a private investigator and calling it law enforcement. The point is this is the top of the Escambia county Sheriff’s Office. The top guy has never made an arrest, is not a certified officer, and could not even run a shift on patrol.
Most would believe that the top guy would be intelligent enough to recognize that although he may not know how to be a cop, he has almost 500 cops to choose from that do know. Well…..you would be wrong. His Chief Deputy Eric Haines is not much better. He did get certified and passed a state test. The end! He goes downhill from there. This is a guy that spent a minimal amount of time on a patrol shift. If he has made more than 50 arrests in his career it would shock every deputy at the ECSO. He was promoted quickly through the ranks and then comes Morgan. Morgan picks this guy to be Car 2. If you read the bio on Haines, he says he worked patrol and was Sgt. at Pensacola Beach. Get the f**k out of here! That’s it……nothing else. Not investigations or narcotics maybe a specialized task force? Nope just that and that’s it. Now he did move to the inside and worked a variety of desk jobs. It would be compared to mowing the grass at Turner Field so they ball players could play ball. Not much of a cop is an understatement. Not the first round draft pick most leaders would appoint to this position.
Moving down the line we get to Car 3. Cmdr. Dale Tharp. Now this guy knows his stuff. I pissed myself laughing just typing that. He is by far one the biggest ass kissers in the history of living cells on Earth. He worked in SRO since the program was started. He did nothing to prove himself or gain any respect of the officers. He would never attempt to have his own opinion unless he accidently thought the same thing as Morgan or Haines. He would cut the throat of his first born child to advance in the ranks. I bet he has not completed an arrest report in over 15 years.
All of that brings us back to the cops. They need leadership. If this were the United States government hierarchy we were talking about, we would be past the Speaker of the House and still have not found a leader. This organization will not survive another four years of this administration. The good officers that were at the ECSO are rapidly dwindling. The administration does not know how to be cops. That means they can’t lead by example or experience. That does not mean they sit idle in their office. They find plenty to do. They police the police. It is easy for them to police their own. They get to make the rules, define the rules, and judge you for breaking the rules. Now if that is not a train wreck waiting to happen I do not know what is. In fact, the crash is occurring right now. We have dozens of vacant positions and very few qualified applicants. The ones that are there are scared to move fearing the administration will feel like working one day and they will be on a hit list. The ones that were the true leaders were too much of a threat to Haines and were forced away. That is what poor leadership will get you. Morgan is defining a level of poor leadership at the ECSO that will never be equaled. The problem is that he has to be stopped now. The county will not survive another four years of this collapse.
Don’t let David Morgan lie to you about the condition of the county or his deputies. He expects you to believe his words over the facts and testimony of other seasoned law enforcement officers. Remember the Emperor’s New Clothes? The moral of that story is the same as this; people should not believe everything they are told without empirical evidence. The empirical evidence here is that crime is up, morale within the organization is disintegrating, and the citizens are paying the cost.