Bill William Arganda’s Blog on Memorial Day:
In remembrance of those that served and fallen for the sake of others.
Bill William Arganda’s Blog on Memorial Day:
In remembrance of those that served and fallen for the sake of others.
Bill William Arganda Blog:
In a legal setting the term insanity usually relates to that of an argued mental status of an accused person. However, in government- public service, it defines an abusive financial culture of public funds.
How many times have we heard municipalities, counties, state and federal agencies battling a law suit, settling a legal matter or paying a hefty judgment? It’s a common theme, and one that’s arguably considered a necessary evil in government, the so called price of doing business.
Certainly there will be lawsuits, and often a public entity is forced to defend, which translates into costs…taxpaying dollars towards legal fees. Public records and annual budget reports clearly show the ever increasing cost of legal fees due to lawsuits. However, what is lacking in these public disclosures is a breakdown of how and why these legal costs are generated. How much of our public funds go towards UNNECESSARY legal costs?
Lawsuits are usually the result of defending employee action. In any other legal setting the client has full authority to dictate what legal steps are needed and pursued. Clearly if a private citizen has limited legal funds, they are going to direct their attorney accordingly. However, if it is someone with unlimited resources, they are going to order up every legal trick of the trade possible, no matter the cost. It’s the client’s money, they can do what they want with it. But whose really the client when it’s a public entity paying the legal bill?
How much is the public told about legal costs as it relates to legal decisions made that affect public funds? Let’s hope it’s not left to the attorneys to determine if they should work more billable hours on a case or not…if it’s not them, then what official legal expert(s) makes those determinations, and how are they justifying those decisions ? Worse, do they even have to justify every legal discretion or not? Let’s hope it’s not the very same public official whose department is the origin of the suit. Perhaps it’s an HR manager or Risk Manager whose department has full authority to approve not only the legal bills, but also the law firms assigned.
In most cases, certain officials with the decision making are provided full authority up to a certain large amount without oversight….why? one would (and should) ask? To avoid constant delay and bureaucracy that inevitably slows the process. Makes sense if documented in procedure or resolution properly, but very dangerous and susceptible to abuse of public funds. One person, or department, can have full rein with a blank check over a matter they may be intimately involved in or clearly lack enough knowledge in to properly proceed.
How accurate, intentional and legal will such a person truly be in protecting legal costs if it’s not even their money? When you are “gambling” with other people’s money (the public), how inclined will they be to do the most ethical, fair and cost effective thing? How careful are you with other people’s money when you have a vested interest to prove you and your actions right?
We are all human, and never is it so prevalent with public sector errors…however, the biggest error is ignoring the inevitable human errors in this flawed system that costs the clients (the public) unnecessarily.
Police are better protected, and better protect, when better understood by a public that should want to support law enforcement, not harm them.
Stronger community support means safer streets, for both the public and the police. This is why it is imperative law enforcement engage in public communication, public education and public needs when a police involved crisis arises.
Although legalities restrict agencies from full disclosure of an incident, as well as the personnel involved, police must utilize opportunities that provide the public information that clearly relay a compassionate sincere effort that show police concern for the community.
Sometimes police become so formal and protective of an incident (investigative integrity) they tend to negate the basic human need of a concerned community’s fears, curiosity and premature conclusions.
Proactive agencies display a public ability to inform where they can, and articulate reasoning to preserve and protect aspects of an investigation they can’t further discuss. Sometimes simply explaining why there can’t be comment will suffice much much more than no comment about no comment.
Those are my comments….
Bill William Arganda Blog;
Although extremely tragic that a life was lost, the content of this blog focuses on how this occurred and why.
Who truly bares the liability?
Full time peace officers train certain ways to maintain the highest level of safety and effeciency possible. Repetition, muscle memory, mental preparedness, continuity are the primary attributes in creating well trained public servants.
How police train is how they will perform…it’s safe to say this in many other emergency services industries as well. So a significant question to ask when police error is, how well trained were they with the tool(s) they use that contribute to a tragedy? In this particular case, the deputy mistakenly went for his Taser….when determining fault and correction, it is crucial to ask and inquire into the ability, and agency culture that promoted, or minimized, training efforts. How much and well did this deputy train at the shooting range? How did he train when qualifying for Taser certification or recertification? Were their efficient means by the agency to address improvement needs? It would be beyond foolish for the agency not to have policy in place that dictates minimum training standards, but equally important is how well did the agency oversee and regulate enforcement of their training policy? Did cost play a bigger factor than competence? I am not talking about the deputy’s competence, I’m speaking specifically about the agency’s competence in proactive liability oversight. Perhaps that deputy performed exactly as he trained, or did not train. No competent policy would allow any personnel to carry a gun handled device on the same side as a handgun.
Training costs money, beyond payroll and must be shared with a limited general budget. Public funds are limited for any agency and must be creatively utilized to address all spending needs, including training. What training is most important, mandatory and optional?
In California training standards are developed by The Police Officers Standards & Training (POST). It’s the state recognized authority in determining minimum training requirements, the hours of training for each, as well as the frequency of such training. Their determinations are based not only on expert opinion, but realistic budgetary abilities as well. Of course when discussing police training we’d all sleep better at night knowing police had unlimited access to shooting training for accuracy, use of force training to avoid unnecessary injury, and mental training for more adaptive methods of public safety and awarness. Reality is, there isn’t that option. There has to be limits in training due to limits in training resources. With that, we get some ex cops turned politican, or just politicians that set boundaries on how well or not police are trained. Perishable skils training is is exactly that….if you do not continually train in a particular required skill one’s ability in that skill perishes.
As a former certified Taser instructor myself, i know first hand Taser recommends that police create policy, practice and training that requires operators to carry their Taser on the opposite side of their gun. Most proactive agencies follow that sound advice, some keep it discretionary. Shame on them!
It’s evident Tasers cost taxpayers a lot of money…add the extra cost of the cartridges (the attached compartment where the probes and wires shoot out from), up keep, software, and of course training (often overtime), and an agency can easily find themselves looking for means to limit the cost and time involved in having the device. As a result, agencies have to be diverse in their thinking and structure of training. What I mean is, certainly there are no unlimited resource to fund training, but there are cost free managerial avenues to maximize the limited training in order to minimize the inevitable risk.
Agencies must implement certain policy that not only adopts manufacturer recommendations, but take it a step further and enhance the recommendation as to coincide with training standards. In this example, if the agency had policy that prohibited anyone from carrying a Taser on the same side as a gun, I am certain there would have been no deadly force issue. Such a certain policy would have also eliminated the reserve deputy status issue as well. Because the deputy was a reserve, his exposure to training and police work all together is limited, infrequent and usually with less training than a full time peace officer. All the more reason to have sound policy in place that would have countered the limited Taser training time.
I can’t get in the mind of the deputy, I can’t say why he did what he did, but I can tell you that if that deputy was properly trained, enforced by sound policy, any errors of his due to lack of training would not of ended in the loss of life. Unless there is sound evidence that this deputy himself played a criminally intentional role in the act, I truly hope this is look at as the horrible mistake it is, and the blame rest more with those that placed the Taser in the ill trained hands of the employee.
A place to blog. …former Westminster Police Sgt. Bill Arganda provides the public insight into the workings of police work, behind the blue wall. Why certain actions are and are not taken by officers. What protocol is and how it dictates the way in which police approach and address many concerning issues.
Stay tuned for many blogs to come.
As a former police Sergeant, with a total of 19 years of law enforcement experience, I look back at the assignments I had as a cop, detective, administrator, SWAT team leader and supervisor. I then attempt to recount all the public encounters I had of an incredibly diverse demographic of people, whether suspected of crimes, victims, witnesses or just plain old law abiding citizens. For the life of me, I try and better grasp or identify aspects of the issues not just in Ferguson Missouri, but what seems to be a growing relationship issue with the public and police.
From a stand point of the average person watching the media’s versions and direction of events, public perception of police has drastically changed from two decades ago. There will always be differences and issues to combat no matter the era, but the way in which matters are perceived, reported, believed and dealt with are now flamed with a stronger presumption of guilt towards police. Police were inherently liked and trusted prior, but now seem to carry a new popular convenient belief of an us against them mentality. Given this direction, we run a very dangerous risk of a social acceptance of excuses that will only minimize accountability…..and that goes for both the public and police. Meaning neither police nor claimed “activist’ can use these drastic changes for agendas.
Solutions are still not known, but what is known is that trenched in taking of sides, no matter your view, will never be the solution. Disputes will never be won over, no one side will every give way to the other entirely. However, resolving conflict through mediated dialogue and mutual respect is a start towards finding direction of a solution.
William Bill Arganda Blog
In February of 2015, Anthem Blue Cross revealed a recent cyber attack to their client database systems, and as a result, millions of current and former members had their private identity information compromised.
www.anthemfacts.com revealed the breach involved members as far back as 2004. The website gives greater detail about those affected, as well as informative information on how to address any suspected identity theft related issues as a result. It is strongly encouraged to check out the site and follow up with the offered support services related to ID theft monitoring, protection and recovery.
What makes this matter creepy are two worries….first, Anthem had no clue hackers were in their systems for some time, and only discovered the breach long after the attackers got what they wanted, and eliminated all means for apprehension thereafter. Second, the breach did not just involve the primary members of Anthem, but also the dependents of the account holder. Remember, all that information has been taken, and if not already used, will be used in the future. It’s not just that of those that had coverage, but their dependents as well; every spouse and child’s date of birth, social security number, full name, etc… Sure your credit and identity may be untouched now, but with that information lost in the worldwide web, whose to say if and when your minor child doesn’t somehow mysteriously take out a bank loan in another state or country within the next few years and they come after you for the obligation. All the more reason to take advantage of the free Anthem credit monitoring for all names compromised.
Identity theft will remain one of the strongest growing lucrative crimes of our times. It is far too easy to do, far too hard to get caught (let alone prosecuted) and far too overwhelming for law enforcement to ever stay on top of the daily online crimes occurring. Instead, be proactive about protecting yourself and family, and be prepared to quickly implement recovery techniques when you do become the victim. Once you do fall victim to ID theft, be prepared to battle the very same credit card companies and banks that once craved your legitimate business; they may be be the very same entities that come after you and make you feel as though you were the bad guy. Never let a creditor attempt tactics to make you pay for things someone else stole from your good name.
Bill William Arganda
William Bill Arganda
(Content Systems Recovery)
BIll William Arganda
As a former Westminster Police sergeant, i had the privilege of working and supervising nearly every bureau and assignment offered a cop at the agency. One such role was that of background and recruitment investigator, in charge of hiring new cops (as well as support staff).
I bring this up because recently i found there was a great candidate friend that failed out of training with an agency. In a moment their dreams, hopes and professional goals were gone like that. Such feeling of failure instantly deminished their drive and gave way to the belief that this was no longer their career, even though days prior, it was all they breathed, thought and wanted.
Simply because their potential with that agency ended, it did not mean their career opportunities ended. Sometimes we’re right for the job, but have to find the right fit to do that job, the right place to call home and thrive in a career. ..any career. Don’t let what you have to contribute fade away simply because of one disappointment.
Far too often we let failure dictate our continued life direction (or lack of). When our plans turn from our presumed direction, we too quickly convince ourselves that that must not have been our life plan after all. Instead of taking that obstacle as a challenge and chance to grow, we take it as justification to excuse and quit. Sure there may be events that should cause definite change in course, but don’t conclude that so soon, without first trying anew, trying harder and smarter.
A true worthy challenge should come with obstacles, forks in the road and events that place us in vulnerable internal areas. It’s what creates results that only a meaningful challenge can present and produce.
So next time you find yourself blocked, stopped, frustrated, don’t let it tell you your done, instead, tell yourself your done making excuses.
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