Cops and Robbers

When I first heard “defund the police” it was upsetting to me. Then a neighbor explained “we don’t want to defund the police, we want dollars diverted to other programs” We old timers call that “Robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Now I’m hearing from Washington elected officials get rid of the police altogether with no mention of who we call for help in the middle of the night when a stranger enters out home, when a child is shot and killed playing in his front yard, when a drunk driver hits and kills a pedestrian or the corner store is robbed. Who do we call?

What I write here includes the WPB Firefighters. They are both in the same boat as far as wages and benefits. City Administrator Faye Johnson made statements concerning Police contracts at the last City Commission meeting. I was more concerned with what she didn’t say.

The City is obligated to follow the previous contract concerning raises, and if you recall a vote by the police overwhelming voted out the PBA (Police Benevolent Association) and a new contract with the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) who has been negotiating with the City for a new contract for a year, and May 2021 will begin it’s 8 month without a contract.

Step Plan

The Police Officers we see on the street, riding in patrol cars and respond to us when called are in what is referred to as a “step plan” and the police currently have a 12 step plan which determines police pay grade. When an officer reaches their one year anniversary date, they earn a 5% pay increase until they reach their 12th “step” or year.

Topped Out

Meaning there are police officers who have reached their 12th Step 10 years ago, have over 20 years with the dept. and have not received a raise in the last 10 years.

Something needs to change, either increase the step plan or increase the pay grade.

Wrap your head around that, because I can’t understand why these cop’s continue to show up each and every day to protect us in what I consider one of the world’s most dangerous professions especially when moral is at the lowest point in years.

WPB Windfall

Reported by WPBF (25) news: A recent press conference and news story with Frankel & James can be seen below.

President Biden signs $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

“Congressman Lois Frankel said West Palm Beach will receive about $25.3 million.”

“Mayor Keith James said during the pandemic the city experienced revenue losses of $7 million and spent about $2 million on testing, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and overtime. He said the city is $10 million short of its projected 2021 budget.”

5% Increase

“The Mayor is recommending to the Commission a starting salary of $249,000 for consideration, which is within the General Management Salary Rate Schedule for the City Administrator Pay Grade, GM20 ($174,303 – $261,454) Upon successful completion of a six (6) month probationary period, Ms. Johnson’s salary will increase by 5% to $261,450, also within the current salary rate schedule.”

Police Officer Step1 $49,900 X 5%= $2,495 = $52,395 1st. Year anniversary.

City Administrator $249,000 X 5% = $12,450= $261.450 6 month Anniversary. In less than a year Ms. Johnson is $4.00 short of the top of her GM20 pay grade. When she is due for a pay increase how does the City handle it. Possibly leave it at GM20 but increase the Salary Rate Schedule from $261,454.00 to.$350,000.00.

WPB is the largest and busiest municipality in PBC yet they are the lowest paid. Don’t our first responders deserve better?

4/29/2021 @ 2:00 PM City Hall: Negotiations between the City & IAFF (Firefighters)

5/7/2021 @ 10:00AM City Hall: Negotiations between the City & FOP (Police)

Rep. Lois Frankel says COVID-19 relief plan will bring millions to Palm Beach County (wpbf.com)

Pinewood Park not our normal Peace Walk

Friday night @ 7:30 PM (4/23/2021) I was expecting a regular Peace Walk like the “old days” when the police officers outnumbered the residents walking. This walk was completely different with approximately 200 residents in attendance which included former City Commissioner Sylvia Moffett along with Commissioners Peduzzi, Lambert, Fox and Shoaf who represents District 1 where the event took place. Missing was Mayor Keith James and Commissioner Warren.

I spoke with residents who told me “they were not from the area” and attended to show they wanted peace in the streets and gave up their Friday night to show solidarity. Black and white, young and old all walking for a common goal. We all wanted peace and an end to the violence. This is how you take back the streets, you show up in numbers.

“RISE” is an organization, and their members also joined the walk, and they do good work in the northend of the city. RISE will assist residents with housing, employment, education and health and wellness. All you have to do is reach out to them. Double click to enlarge picture for address & phone number. Flyer at the end of the story.

The police dept. had a food truck available and offered hot dogs, snow cones and water along with a mini bus and golf cart for folks who may have a need to sit and rest or a ride back to their auto.

We walked from 39th. and Pinewood to 54th. 15 blocks. 2 blocks east to Broadway on 54th. Broadway to 39th. 15 more blocks and 2 blocks back to Pinewood Park.. total of 34 blocks

On Pinewood we walked down the middle of the street until we reached Broadway and the police asked we all move to the sidewalk, and all the marches moved to the sidewalk. We complied. Personally I preferred walking on the street as sections of the sidewalk left a lot to be desired. The police wanted to keep us safe and away from heavy traffic. Here I want to thank 2 men who allowed me to take their arm which allowed me to finish the walk. Thank you to the drivers who sat patiently while the police stopped traffic so we could cross the street safely. Thank you to the drivers who honked their horns on Broadway to show support. Thank you to the WPB Police Department who took every step with us, and kept us all safe. As usual they came through for the City and residents.

If you look at the pictures of arrest at the bottom of the story (double click to enlarge) you will see the following:

Special Investigation Div.   8 arrests

Operation Clean Streets      8 arrests

Operation Ghost Unit         7 arrests

Vice Unit                               11 arrests

That is a total of 34 arrests. One arrest for every block residents walked for peace.

WPTV Chanel 5 was there and you can read the entire story below.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — “A peace walk. It’s a stroll the residents of the Pinewood Park neighborhood in West Palm Beach say is needed to spur change.

“What we feel in this neighborhood on the north end of the city is that we’re not heard very well,” Denise Barnes said.

But they were also briefed by West Palm Beach Police Chief Frank Adderley on what his department is doing to fight crime.

“It’s not falling on deaf ears, we’re in the midst of doing an operation, Operation Clean Sweep. We’ve arrested about 30 individuals that are involved in open drug sales and prostitution in this area. When our community calls, we’re going to respond to them,” Adderley said.”

While residents walked for peace, we heard police sirens a few blocks away and the police helicopter flew overhead and you knew there was a problem. On 13th. St. 3 people were shot, 1 fatally at 8:00 PM. As you can see there’s a lot more work to be done. The police cannot give us peace without the public’s help, and residents will never have peace without the help of the police.

If you know something please step up and say something. If your afraid of retaliation, I understand that so make a phone call from a public phone. Drop a letter to the police dept.  give them a starting point, someone to investigate. If not you—Who?  Denise Barnes spoke up and look what she accomplished, 200 marching people.

West Palm Beach neighborhood holds peace walk to spur change (wptv.com)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — “One man is dead and two others are injured following a shooting in West Palm Beach Friday evening, according to the West Palm Beach Police Department.

The shooting occurred at 8:32 P.M. along the 900 block of 13th Street.

Police said the gunman shot three pedestrians, who appeared to have been targeted, and then fled the scene.”

1 dead, 2 injured following shooting in West Palm Beach (wptv.com)

 

Peace Walks Continue

His name was Officer Flanagan, and he was the cop that walked the streets in my neighborhood as I was growing up, and he knew the name of every kid, and every kid knew him because our parents repeatedly told us if someone bothers or hurts you find a cop and he will help.

In the summer when we were all in the street playing jump rope, kick the can or hide and seek he could be seen walking up the street when he would bellow while calling us out by name “come on it’s getting dark get home.” We all went home. Unfortunately not all kids were told to trust the police, and at times with good reason. That needs to change.

Chauvin,a former police officer who murdered George Floyd, is not one of the good guy’s and deserves the guilty plea’s he received. One picture is worth a thousands words, and I believe that. Prayers have been heard and answered and I’m hoping mine will be also. My prayer is people will not paint all cops with the Chauvin brush.

WPB has it’s problems in the northend of the city with gangs, drugs and too many killings. In an attempt to bring peace to the northend former Mayor Muoio started the first “Peace in the Streets” walk, and it was organized by Pastor Kevin Jones and volunteers walked the streets monthly talking to residents, asking them to display Peace Signs in their yard and their response was always yes. They thanked us for being there. We always had information for them along with job applications, where to get help if needed and programs the city offered.

We were always accompanied by police officers who kept one eye on us while spending time with the young kids. Officer Seth Buxton had a pocket full of peel and stick police badges and the kids flocked to him for one. Officer’s gave the kids a ride on their Segways and the picture shown is of retired Officer Pinto who thrilled one young man with a ride and the kids lined up for their turn. If you look at the smile on the kids face they were not afraid of the boggy man (cop) No, nothing to fear here. I loved the program and could see the good it was doing especially with the kids who were seeing cops in a different light.
The monthly walks continued for approximately 3 years when we took our last walk in Feb. 2020 without benefit of a police escort in the most dangerous sections of the city. What the hell happened?

I complained about it at the next City Commission meeting and James responded with “I don’t managed the Chief’s schedule.” Really. Another one of Mayor Muoio’s program scrapped.

If kids are in a gang, some as young as 12 or 13 it is my belief these kids are hard to reach as they already belong to “something or someone.” That leaves the younger kids who the police try to reach out too. I have enclosed pictures from previous walks and if you double click I ask you to look at the smiles on the young faces.
There is good news on the horizon. The police dept. is starting the Peace Walk again and the first one is scheduled for this coming Friday April 23,2020 @ 7:30 PM @ 4105 Pinewood Street. The only way they will have a cancellation is if severe weather occurs.
I would like to invite residents to join us and receive the gift of knowing you are helping others by showing we care and walk away with a good feeling knowing you possibly made a difference in someones life.

Pictures are of Former Chief of Police Sara Mooney talking to young children.

Officer Pinto giving children a ride on his Segway.

Children enjoying a WPB Police dog.

 

 

Terrorist, Bombings, Vaccines, & Americas Health

This story moves away from City Government to homegrown terrorist, bombings, vaccines and the health of American citizens.

Nov. 1983   Capital Bombing  May 19 Communist Organization (M19) bombed the Capitol Building in Washington DC. Women led terrorist, Susan Rosenberg and Linda Sue Evans were found guilty and sentenced to 58 years in prison. Story below.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/1980s-far-left-female-led-domestic-terrorism-group-bombed-us-capitol-180973904/

January 2001 President Bill Clinton issued a pardon to both Rosenberg & Evans.

August 2014    Fergurson Missouri Remember the riots and looting.

“Sgt. Al Notham, who works with the Highway Patrol, says the bad actors have largely been weeded out. “Community leaders are stepping in. We’re getting all kinds of assistance from the community. They’re actually doing a fantastic job.
Since the protests erupted, people in Ferguson have insisted that the troublemakers are not from this community. Capt. Ron Johnson, the highway patrolman in charge of security here, said as much earlier this week.
In fact, of the 51 people who were arrested Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, only one person was from Ferguson. The rest were from surrounding towns and faraway cities such as Des Moines, Iowa, Chicago and New York.” Where is the $$ coming from to bus protesters to the city, shelter and feed them?

https://www.npr.org/2014/08/21/342207432/who-are-the-protesters-getting-arrested-in-ferguson

Where is Susan Rosenberg today?

2016   BLM Global Network approached Thousand Currents to create a fiscal sponsorship agreement.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/blm-terrorist-rosenberg/

June 2020 “Thousand Currents, the California-based charity that manages fundraising operations for the national arm of Black Lives Matter, includes on its board a convicted terrorist whose sentence was commuted by former President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.”

Susan Rosenberg was identified as the vice chair of the Thousand Currents board of directors on the charity’s website until Wednesday when the page was taken down after the conservative think tank Capital Research Center detailed her involvement with a communist terrorist group

https://www.citizensjournal.us/a-convicted-terrorist-sits-on-board-of-charity-handling-black-lives-matter-fundraising/

“As the protest for social justice continue across the United States, some are critical of the true intentions of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
To many, the protests seem to have turned into a extremely radical political movement rather than a movement for social justice police brutality. The group has grown immensely in popularity and strength since the unfortunate death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The protests have not stopped, but critics of the movements believe many, if not most, of the people supporting “Black Lives Matter” don’t embrace the true political intentions of the movement.”  It appears to me an attempt to drive a wedge between the black, white and police community are happening, and we have to start thinking for ourselves and put a stop to the madness.

https://www.kusi.com/retired-nypd-commissioner-bernard-kerik-warns-public-black-lives-matter-fundraising-is-run-by-a-terrorist/

 

While researching this story my mind wandered to the recent stories concerning people of color who are reluctant to take the vaccine. Lets take a moment to look at why and try to understand their point of view.  Johnson & Johnson has developed a new vaccine for the Caronavirus.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Talcum powder caused Cervical Cancer.

“A Reuters examination of many of those documents, as well as deposition and trial testimony, shows that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, the company’s raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos, and that company executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors and lawyers fretted over the problem and how to address it while failing to disclose it to regulators or the public.” They hid the dangers of talcum powder, Do you trust them to be honest with the findings of the vaccine? I don’t.

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/johnsonandjohnson-cancer/

 

The Tuskegee Study
“40 Years of Human Experimentation in America: The Tuskegee Study
The goal was to “observe the natural history of untreated syphilis” in black populations, but the subjects were completely unaware and were instead told they were receiving treatment for bad blood when in fact, they received no treatment at all.  Now I understand why people of color are hesitant to take the vaccine. They have been there and done that.

https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/history/40-years-human-experimentation-america-tuskegee-study

The end

Is Mayor James Vindictive?

Feb.22,2021   City Commission Meeting Item #4 on Consent Calendar. Please double click the 3 letters to enlarge, then hold the control button while tapping + button. My comments are in Italic.

“#4 Subject: Reappointment to Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, Subject to Commission Approval.

City Commission approval is requested for the Mayor’s appointment of Dr. Deandre J. Poole to the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee for a term of two years (2) that expires on March 8, 2023. Dr. Poole has served over the maximum allowed number of terms (3) and it is required that the City Commission confirms his reappointment.”

A this point in time Dr. Poole sat on the committee for 6 years, was appointed by Mayor Muoio and must have done a good job or he wouldn’t have been invited back by James for an additional 2 years.
At the start of the meeting James asked if there were any changes to the agenda and was informed item #4 was “pulled”

As usual no reason was given, but In my opinion it was pulled due to the upcoming election for City Commissioner in District 2. The race was between Deandre Poole & Shalonda Warren, and Mayor James supported Warren to hell Andros Isle and back and again my opinion Mayor James didn’t want Mr. Poole to receive any publicity before the March 8, 2021 election.

 

2/5/2021 James letter to Poole

Feb.5,2021   Dr. Poole received a letter from the city signed by James.

“Subject: Reappointment to Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, Subject to Commission approval.
I am pleased to advise you that, subject to City Commission approval, you have been reappointed as a member of Criminal Justice Advisory Committee for a term of 2 years that expires March 8, 2023. “

James suggested Dr. Poole attend the 2/22/21 meeting, and he was present. Read the entire letter.

 

 

 

 

 

James letter to Poole 3/10/21

March 10, 2021   (2 days after the election) Dr. Poole received another letter from the city signed by Mayor James.

“Subject: Service to Criminal Justice Advisory Committee
Since your term of service has concluded, your continued support and participation in the City’s endeavors will be greatly appreciated.”

Dr. Poole was dis-invited to sit on the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee. What is James problem? His candidate  Ms. Warren won the election.

 

 

 

James letter to Poole 3/24/21

March 24,2021   Now James is adding insult to injury. He wants Dr. Poole off the Service to Sales Surtax Oversite Advisory Committee.

“Subject: Service to Sales Surtax Oversite Advisory Committee
Since your term of service has concluded, your continued support and participation in the City’s endeavors will be greatly appreciated.”

 

 

 

 

April 13,2021 “@8:30 AM Zoom meeting. Criminal Justice Advisory Committee.”

Up-coming Meeting will be held without  Dr. Poole, his services no longer required.
I see a pattern here. lets see if readers agree.

Keith James VS Geri Muoio

Geri promoted Sara Mooney to Chief of Police, which had to be confirmed by the City Commissioners. At the time Commissioner James, the only no vote, was against the proposal and wanted the city to canvass the country for the best possible candidate.

Geri endorsed James for mayor, and she is quoted on WPTV Channel 5 as stating.

“One of the things that’s disappointing is that he promised us all he wouldn’t change the police chief. I know the (Police Benevolent Association) asked him that question when they gave him their endorsement Now he’s taking this action, so it’s very disappointing.”

After the news broke, and Geri was honest with the public I’m willing to bet that put her on the wrong side of James, and that is the moment I realized his word was no good, and he couldn’t be trusted. Is he also vindictive?  Read the story below.

https://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/west-palm-beach/former-west-palm-beach-mayor-calls-replacing-police-chief-a-travesty

Geri hired Peter Bieniek, Director of Public Works. All I can tell you is the crew that reported to him spoke very highly of him, said he was always ready to listen and help solve problem’s.  James fired him.  That’s vindictive.

Geri appointed Dr. Poole to Criminal Justice Advisory Commission & Sales Surtax Oversite Advisory Committee. James removed him from both. That’s vindictive.

Geri fired Christine Breivik, who oversaw the IT Dept; due to numerous complaints from much of her staff, and was given $50,000.00 in compensation. James rehired her with a promotion to Assistant City Administrator, then fired her again. After her re-hiring the city never asked for the return of the $50,000.00. That’s vindictive, and dumb.

Geri formed the African American Advisory Committee, and at the time she said this board was very important to her.  James disbanded the committee. That’s vindictive.

Geri, as Mayor for 8 years had a contract with the Lord’s Place. They look after the homeless and supplies daily lunches, clothes & housing where needed.  James ended the contract. That’s vindictive and sinful.

Want to know why I use the word vindictive so much?  It’s how some city worker’s, along with staff refer to him. Don’t cross the mayor–he’ll get you–he’s vindictive

Nuff said.
The end

60 Minutes VS Florida

While watching 60 Minutes on 4/4/2021 and listening to WPB Mayor Keith James being interviewed by 60 Minutes reporter Sharyn Alfonsi James made the following comments.

Keith James: “Listen, the county health director has fallen on the sword on that and said it was her bad. Her organization’s bad. They made a mistake. But isn’t it funny that these mistakes only happen in communities that have that kind of wealth? They didn’t make a mistake and send a thousand doses to the poorest communities in our county.”

“Mayor James is among a number of community leaders who say the state’s vaccination rollout has favored the wealthy.”

“In West Palm Beach, Mayor James says he was still trying to secure vaccines for his town’s firefighters when he learned that at a nursing home in town, some board members and their wealthy pals got vaccinated. Even though those doses were only supposed to be given to elderly residents and staff.”  Read the entire story below.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-covid-vaccine-ron-de-santis-60-minutes-2021-04-04/

Twitter See/hear Mayor Keith James interview by 60 Minute reporter when he stated, with the right amount of outrage. “But isn’t it funny that these mistakes only happen in communities that have that kind of wealth” They didn’t make a mistake and send a thousand doses to the poorest communities in our county?”
https://twitter.com/60Minutes/status/1378846975483858947

Now lets look at Andros Isle where Mayor Keith James calls home and endorsed Shalonda Warren for City Commissioner.

Median and Average Income in Andros Isle
Average Household Income $94,860.00
Median Household Income $75,019.00
Total Households 24,555
Total Population 72,546
https://www.point2homes.com/US/Neighborhood/FL/Palm-Beach-County/West-Palm-Beach/Andros-Isle-Demographics.html

Now lets look at the recent City Commission election for District 2 & 4.

Joe Peduzzi was running for re-election in District 4 City Commission race and Andros Isle, a gated community, is located in District 4.  He won.

Shalonda Warren, was running for District 2 City Commission race. She won.

I reside in District 2 a development with 187 homes, many elderly and retired residents, and I can recall hundreds of cars parked on Haverhill Rd. waiting for hours to enter the ball park to be tested for the Caronavirus.

Ms. Shalonda Warren managed to sponsor a Carona Virus testing sight in Andros Isle. The message to residents reads.
Sponsored by Shalonda Warren, a candidate for WPB City Commission
Free testing for Andros Isle residents only. (proof of residency required)
2/27/2021 9:00 AM to 1:00PM Appointment required

Here is a question for Ms. Warren. Why didn’t you arrange this testing in District 2 where many residents look like you and the mayor?
If you had to go outside your district why not in other areas of the city where people of color struggle to be tested? How about Roosevelt Estates or Pleasant City. Double click pic. to enlarge.

Mayor James please explain why the State & County Health Director’s action’s were wrong pandering to the rich, but justify what you and Commissioner Warren did in Andros Isle was acceptable.

District 4 is fortunate to have 2 commissioners (Peduzzi & Warren) representing them. Can you give us information on who will represent District 2?

In my opinion 60 Minutes should have investigated further.

The end

 

 

WPB Residents received their first shot of the  Moderna Vaccine

UPDATE
Gaines Park location: 1501 N. Australian Avenue
The vaccine is being offered for FREE and appointments are necessary. Please call (561) 200-3687 (TTY: 800-955-8771) for an appointment.

WPB Residents received their first shot of the  Moderna Vaccine

The City of WPB announced vaccine for Caronavirus would be administered by the WPB Fire Fighter’s at Gaines Park on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning’s between the hours of 9:00AM until 3:00 PM. I took a ride up to check it out, snap a few pictures, and here’s what I witnessed.

 

The room has 6 tables set up and were spaced 8-10 feet apart with a firefighter/paramedic at each table and all were ready, willing and very able to serve the residents. Thursday & Friday 280 vaccines were distributed both days and Saturday the number reached 370. I assume people being off work raised the number of vaccines being distributed. Double click pictures to enlarge.

 

 

 

An elderly woman receiving her first shot arrived with her daughter and after receiving permission to take their picture they got down to business and both were receiving the vaccine. The daughter had the table behind her mom and she never looked away from her the entire time and I’m assuming she wanted to insure her mom was OK. Mom was in good hands.

 

 

 

I observed another resident receiving the shot and from the time she sat in the chair until the time she stood up was 1:07 (one minute 7 seconds) The next resident was in the chair for 1:26. The paramedic didn’t slow down, the time difference was spent telling him how grateful she was to be able to get the vaccine and took the time to thank him.

 

After receiving the vaccine they are required to sit for 15 min. in the Observation Room, 30 min if they are considered high risk, where they are watched over by city employees and given there follow up appointment.

 

 

 

 

The vaccine, syringes and other medical supplies are supplied with a grant from the Federal Government.

Other supplies such as the tables, chairs, trash bags and buckets and the FF had a golf cart for the elderly who had difficulty walking any distance were supplied with a grant from Housing & Community Outreach Program.

The Federal Government will reimburse the city for expenses.

If City Government ran as efficiently as the WPB FF did issuing the vaccine and city employees who watched over the residents we wouldn’t have anything to complain about—–ever. The city can thank the fire department by reaching a new contract. Seven months overdo is long enough.

I can’t close out the story without a Thank You to Jaime Walker an 18 year veteran and assigned to the Emergency Medical Services who allowed me to be present and watch the paramedics in action.

The end.