WPB has a new Chief of Police

“Conduct national search for police chief” is the opinion of the Palm Beach Post as written in the editorial page on Dec.18,2016.
Noticeably missing is the name of the author who penned the article so whether one agrees or disagrees with the editorial there is no name attached if the reader wanted to respond to the author directly.

The Post mentions just five days have passed between Chief Kummerlen announcing his retirement and Mayor Muoio would have Assistant Chief Sarah Mooney, a 22 year veteran as the new Chief of Police. The post goes on to report “Indeed, Mooney appears to be more than qualified to run the 400 person Police Department. As The Post Tony Doris reported, she has a Masters in social work, experience in community outreach and years of work as a hostage negotiator, police trainer, field operations supervisor, and Patrol Division shift commander and Internal Affairs commander.”
With Sarah Mooney’s credentials why does the Post feel ” the city– all of the city– would benefit from a national search to ensure the best person is found for the job”.

The Post found it necessary to mention retiring County Administrator Bob Weisman who was replaced by Deputy County Administrator Verdenia Baker. The story went on to say how much time and money the county wasted looking for a replacement, but states it was time well spent as commissioners and residents were emboldened in the choice of Baker to guide the county. Obviously it was okay with the Post to fly recruits in, put them up in a hotel, pay for transportation and food just to ensure Ms. Baker was right for the job. By now you should realize your taxpaying dollars was used for the county job search.
Thank you Mayor Muoio for not putting city residents through that particular process and wasting taxpayer dollars, when the best candidate for Police Chief was already on the WPB police force.

For the last year I have marched in every Peace March the city has sponsored in the North End of the city where black on black crime and shootings are commonplace. At these walks is when I first noticed Assistant Chief Mooney. In the story the Mayor states “I’ve been watching her for a few years, the way she interact with the public.”

Folks who walk these marches have a minimum of 5 or 6 police officers accompany them keeping everyone safe in the process. What I’ve noticed is the comradery between her and the officers, the easy way they are with one another being able to joke and laugh and their respect for each other is mutual.

On 12/19/2016 the City Commissioners, (with the exception of Commissioner James who wanted a national search) Ratified Mayor Muoio choice for a new Police Chief, and that chief is Sarah Mooney. She has her work cut out for her with police officers due for retirement in 2017 and will need replacing.
I am keeping my eye on a cadet (JC) who is currently at the Police Academy and due to graduate in February. My last conversation with him he told me his grades were in the high 90’s, and he was looking forward to wearing the uniform of the West Palm Beach Police Dept.

Chief Mooney I wish you a smooth transition, and have no doubt you will lead the department with honor, trust and integrity.

I would like to thank Chief Bryan Kummerlen for his 26 years of service to the City of West Palm Beach, and wish him a healthy and happy retirement. You did good.

911 Where Is Your Emergency?


Here is everything I knew about calling 911.

I had an emergency, made the call, and in a short amount of time a police officer was at my door ready, willing and able to offer assistance. There is so much more to it.

The WPB Police Department recently held a power point presentation explaining the procedure from the moment the call is answered to the moment the officer is standing at your door.
The presentation was made by Ms. Candace Gaines, Training Coordinator who’s responsibility includes training a staff of 26 Dispatchers. Also included in the presentation was Ms. Suzette Dodd, who holds the title “Telecommunications Manager Dispatch Operations” and her Assistant Manager Ms. Natasha Potter who has 30 years experience with the city.

“Where is Your Emergency?” is the first question asked. A caller needs one of three departments: Police, Fire, or Medical Assistance. If Medical Assistance is needed the call is transferred.

This story includes a picture of 5 computer screens all being used while the call is being answered. (To enlarge the picture, click on)

1 Screen on left is for the phone.
2 Top Screen is a city map which shows the location of the call being made.
3&4 Two middle Screens are CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch)
5 Screen on right is the radio.
Note of interest: The city has installed the Harris P 25 radio system and the people who use it told me they liked the system. You may remember a few years ago the city considered going with “Open Sky” system which had many problems. It appears to me the city made the right decision.

The presentation started with an actual call the city received from a man who walked into his home to find his mother had been stabbed.
The son was crying hysterically and I was having difficulty following the conversation. The dispatcher was attempting to keep the man calm while asking pertinent questions.

“Is your mother breathing? (asked that particular question 4-5 times)
“Is anyone else in the home?”
“Is your mother bleeding?”
The man was pleading for help and wanted help immediately, and I know at that particular time I wouldn’t want to answer questions. But the questions I learned were critical. An armed intruder may have still been present, being a danger to the man and the responding police officers.

Now the whole time the dispatcher is asking questions, the 2nd. screen (city map) is showing where the call is originating from and the police have already been dispatched to the area with lights and sirens running. All they need now is the address.
This particular call lasted approximately 6-7 minutes and the dispatcher stayed on the line with the caller until the police arrived. Heartbreaking situation, but what’s important to understand is the questions being asked do not delay response time.

The second call was from a man who called police to report men were breaking into cars, and he was watching them do it. He gave dispatch the street name, and there was a continued conversation between the two. After a few minutes had passed he said he could hear the police sirens approaching. The thieves hearing the sirens tried to run and hide in the bushes but the caller told dispatch where the men were hiding, and she relayed the information to the officers. Next thing we heard was the caller all excited saying “the cops got them, the cops got them” Happy ending for everyone but the thieves.
The man in the second call asked to remain anonymous, and his phone no. was deleted from the system.

The city has bilingual operators, and if one is not working shift, a translator service is used to interpret between the dispatcher and resident needing assistance.
200 hours of training are needed for phone operators and 500 hours for radio dispatch, and all operators are certified by the state and must pass a state exam.

From Jan. 2016 until Nov.2016:
911 calls 126,872 incoming calls were received.
Non emergency 137,063 incoming calls were received.

We were told people called 911 asking if Sun Fest was canceled because of the rain, where was the boat show being held?

There is a non-emergency number for the police department and it is 822-1900. If you come home to find your child’s bike has been stolen 822-1900 is the number to call. An officer will take a report, and an attempt to locate the bike will be made.

Phone numbers you may find helpful:

Detective (C.I.D.) 822-1700
House Watch 822-1634
Crime Prevention 822-1620
Code Enforcement 822-1465
Records 822-1880

TIPS (Remain Anonymous)
Crimes 822-1701
Narcotics 822-1800

In a perfect world a police cruiser would arrive when the crime was in progress, the officer would witness the crime, arrest the culprit and bring them to justice. It is not a perfect world.
We are the eyes and ears of the police department and our help is needed. The man who witnessed men breaking into cars made the decision to get involved saved his neighbors the cost of replacing car windows, time off from work to have the work done, and most important peace of mind. If you see something and won’t get involved, don’t complain about crime.

NOTE: I just received an invitation to attend “Coffee With A Cop” and this one appears different and geared toward children. Here are the specifics.

When: Saturday Jan. 14, 2017 between 10:00 AM –1:00 PM
Where: McDonald’s 1720 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard WPB Fl.

There will be children’s activities including face painting, free Child
Safety ID, Motorcycles and Vehicles, and always popular with
children and adults meet the K9 dogs and their handlers. There will be
free coffee for the adults, and ice cream for the kids. I understand
Ronald McDonald will attend. Bring your camera and take their picture
with Ronald and the K9 dogs.

Coffee With A Cop #2


The West Palm Beach Police Dept. held it’s second “Coffee With A Cop” where questions and concerns from the public are addressed by the police officers who ride our neighbors, are aware of the problems, and are committed to keeping our streets safe.

This affair was a little different from the original because eight students from Forest Hill High School were in attendance. These students are part of the Criminal Justice Academy and all want to be future Police Officers. I spoke with one young lady who told me she wanted to attend the Police Academy after she served in the armed forces. She is faced with the decision between the Army or Navy. Her head is firmly planted on her shoulders and she has a vision of what she wants to do with her future. These are children their parents can be proud of, but let’s not lose sight of the facts these kids are making wise decisions which will effect their lives and future.
Officer Acevedo is with the Forest Hill High School, and works in unison with the WPBPD to mentor these extraordinary young people who have decided to dedicate their career’s to Law Enforcement.

The next WPBPD “Coffee with a Cop” will also be a Family Fun Day. Free coffee for adults and an ice cream cone or apples for the kids. It is scheduled to be held at McDonald on Saturday 1/14/17 from 10-12 pm at 1720 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. Please stop by and bring the kids, ask questions, find answers, and if you have suggestions share them. They want to hear from you. Help the police, help you.