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DO PINELLAS VOTERS FEEL ANY SAFER?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 9, 2012

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

– With a tremendous backlog of outstanding warrants, taxpayers should be wondering.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)

To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

 

The mantra for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) is “Leading The Way For A Safer Pinellas,” but in lieu of some recent facts, you have to wonder.

 There seems to be some confusion as to the number of outstanding arrest warrants in Pinellas County. Evidently, it is a subject the PCSO and the “Times” does not care to address. In researching warrants, I received a tip the County not only has a tremendous backlog, but very few are actually processed. For example, consider the number of warrants processed by the PCSO last month:

WARRANTS As of

7/5/2012

As of

8/8/2012

Difference
Felony 14,823 14,807 -16
Traffic Felony 49 49 0
Misdemeanors 32,256 32,206 -50
Misdemeanor Traffic 4,753 4,740 -13
Juvenile 12 12 0
Local Ordinance 4,647 4,669 +22
TOTAL 56,540 56,483 -57

 Actually, I would like to have someone from the PCSO verify these numbers, for if this is true, it should be of grave concern to the taxpayers. It is my understanding that not long ago there was a “No Warrants Squad” consisting of fourteen people charged with making such arrests, but was disbanded for some reason or other.  Now, criminals are picked up only if law enforcement personnel happen to stop them by chance, such as for a traffic violation. No wonder the number of arrests last month are so low. Something doesn’t add up.

WHERE IS DUSTIN SHAWN ZIRBES?

According to PCSO records, on July 3rd, Largo Police arrested Dustin Shawn Zirbes of Clearwater on one count of Grand Theft and three counts of Forged Bills, Checks, Drafts, Notes. He was processed throuugh the PCSO jail and was released on August 6th on his own recognizance (aka “ROR”), unsupervised. According to the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Zirbes has a rather lengthy rap sheet with thirteen felonies including domestic battery, robbery, sale of cocaine, grand theft, forgeries, not to mention serving time in Santa Rosa.

 One can only wonder why such a person was released ROR unsupervised. Should he fail to appear at trial, a warrant will be issued for his arrest which will be added to the queue of warrants mentioned above. It is entirely conceivable he could walk away from all of this scot-free. Actually, Zirbes is not alone, there are many such cases in Pinellas County where people arrested on felonious charges and a lengthy rap sheet are being released on their own recognizance. This is indicative of a serious problem in the Pretrial System in this county, and something the “Times” conveniently overlooks.

When you take into consideration the large number of outstanding warrants in Pinellas County, the number of felons being released on their own recognizance, and that there are thirteen Internal Affairs investigations going on in the PCSO, the taxpayer should be wondering what is going on.

Everett Rice is challenging the current sheriff in the upcoming GOP primary. His critics claim police work has changed too much for Rice to assimilate. It’s true technology changes at a rapid pace, but the principles of effective management does not. Micromanaging a department as large as the PCSO does not work. As Ronald Reagan said, “Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere.” The problems being experienced in PCSO is of a management nature, not a technical one, something Rice is well versed in.

Vote in the Primary on Tuesday, August 14th. It’s time for a change.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

 For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch and throughout the Internet.

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3 Responses to “DO PINELLAS VOTERS FEEL ANY SAFER?”

  1. Ron Gonzalez said

    Thank you for telling the “truth” Tim. The current “Interim” Sheriff loves to proclaim his “mastering” of doing more with less!! The truth is the Fugitive Section was disbanded to help with these budget cuts. Bob likes to boast on how streamlined and efficient the agency is. The “truth” is that he has mismanaged the budget, cut the wrong positions, “bought out deputies” to “retire” them only to re-hire them and/or pay an very exorbitant amounts of “overtime” just to have deputies respond to calls for service!! Gualtieri is “in so far over his head” he can’t even breathe!! However, his arrogance precedes him and won’t allow him to take advice from anyone!! The irony here is Bob has made a childish issue of “double dipping” when campaigning against a very formidable and successful 4 term Sheriff Everett Rice. However, Gualtieri is now in such a pinch, he’s hiring “back” employees he “bought out” for more than 10 million dollars only to have to beg them to come back to work even though they are retired!! Is this not “double dipping” being used by the very guy that has tried to exploit Everett Rice who has pledged his retirement to charity!! Talk about irony!! Good Grief let the Primary be in favor of Everett Rice who will “clean up” the mess Gualtieri has made of the department.

    Like

  2. xzxzzx said

    Great article thank you! This office has gone straight downhill since the day Rice left. Your article is a direct reflection. This is what happens when you cut 610 positions and actually boast about it during your campaign. He was able to get money for that safe harbor fiasco currently costing serious money( Ive heard 3 million but dont know for sure). With all this plus the 13 open Internal Affairs investigations it begs the question why anybody would support this guy!! Vote Rice please!!

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    A P.T. of Gulfport, Florida wrote…

    “Interesting article; the problem is that there is a bunch of warrants that have been outstanding for years, decades. For a misdemeanor, a letter is sent only if the person is in state. Out of state, even when its known where the person is, nothing is done. The extradition costs are too high. For felonies, more is done but it’s still not great.

    It would be interesting to see a breakdown of the outstanding by age and/or crime. I don’t think people care much about criminal mischief but rape, they would.”

    Like

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