Palm Bay: Corruption On Display – The Numbers.

The other day we talked about how the City of Palm Bay was proposing an illegal bonus for police officers. That proposition will be voted upon by the City Council tonight at a regular meeting.

One of our ninjas brought the idea of a police raise to our attention. While we focused on the legality of the proposition, they focused on the numbers and the claims being made by the Police Department itself to justify the raise.

The data for their analysis are from the information and presentation being made by the Police Department which is found in the agenda packet and we are displaying below.

Here is the raw data in a spreadsheet form.

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When the data is put into graphic form, this is the result:

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As you can see, when the numbers are presented in a coherent, easy to understand manner, the claim that Palm Bay is far behind the curve when it comes to pay doesn’t ring true.

One other thing to note is that in the Police Department’s presentation, they claim that one reason why officers are said to be leaving is an aging police vehicle fleet.

This brings into play several things:
1) Officers that take their units home are paid to maintain their appearance. If that is not happening, why are we rewarding paying for something that is not occurring? Why are the people getting stuck with the bill for officers failing to maintain a vehicle appearance and cleanliness standard?
2) The standard for replacing a police car used to be 100K miles. That was when vehicles’ engines, systems, etc., were designed to last 150K miles. Today’s cars are designed to last much longer – upwards of over 200K. Lifespan of police vehicles should reflect that upward tick, but cities still replace cars at 100K because we all like shiny new things.

Finally, as someone else has noted, if police vehicles are an issue, then why in the name of procurement is the City giving workers December 24th off when that $97,925 could be used to purchase new vehicles?

The nearly $100,000 would procure 1.5 – 2 police vehicles depending on model, vehicle type and outfitting of police equipment (cameras, radios, lights, computers, etc.,) for that individual vehicle.

Why is Palm Bay saying “we need more money to get more vehicles?” on one hand and saying “we’re giving $100,000 to our employees while the rest of you suckers try to work or worry about bills,” on the other?

The bottom line is still “why is Palm Bay looking at changing a negotiated contract that was implemented in good faith as well as making illegal bonus payments to City employees?

If the answer is anything other than “we can do what we want and the heck with the law,” we’d like to hear it.

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