We hit a nerve with one of the last posts, questioning why an entire team of officers from the 005th District are detailed to traffic control at a certain church instead of our fighting crime. We've gotten a few e-mails and more than a few comments (some of which can't be published). Some bring up legitimate criticisms, like this one:
That's right. And the Cardinal has, what? One guy? Two? He doesn't have an entire 018 District Tactical Team and the team isn't out there directing traffic at Holy Name, is it? Personally, we'd like to see them cancel this detail, among others. The Cardinal can certainly afford his own private security people and it'd be a great side job (maybe we could get paid in Purgatory credits?)
The trouble is that there are too many spots like this squirreled away, hidden in the shadows, that the phrase "manpower numbers" has become completely meaningless. No one knows how many people are hidden, detailed, missing in action. We heard the Department is cracking down on Leaves of Absence - if you are currently LOA, you will be/have been receiving a letter in the mail telling you that at the end of your year, you will not be granted any extensions. Of course, there are ALWAYS exceptions to the right people, haha. But the number of letters that were sent out is rumored to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 500.
500 people. On Leave of Absence. That's like what - 5% of our manpower? 5% in a good year? No wonder no one can get time due, furlough extensions, SIF or move around on the bids. How the heck are they running this Department?
Homework assignment - let's see what kind of list can be generated of useless type details that do nothing for our already obvious manpower shortages. Spots like the Cardinal's detail, the Meeks traffic control aides, the Chairman of the Finance Committee's full bodyguard detail. You know the drill.
Clarification: By no means are we contesting military leaves of absence. If your unit was activated OR if you volunteered for active duty, you have our repsect and admiration and our support should you or your family need anything. However, we have been to FOP meetings where they list the numbers of personnel serving in the military and as far as we remember, it has never been more than 50 people at any given time.