The Arcata Police Department just added a cute new Officer to their ranks, and we’re pleased to see the police force bolstering their strength in a critical area of need.
Sure, the officer is a dog named Baron, but he’s probably smarter and better trained than half the idiots over in Eureka. (Just sayin’.) Of course, as any police chief or beat cop could tell you, officer safety in the field is paramount. So why did the APD decide to purchase a police dog with zero plan about how to provide for his safety?
Judging from the recent spate of police dog stabbings/injuries in our area (see below), it’s pretty darn crucial to provide these police pups the proper protective gear.
Curiously, the APD decided to crowd-fund from the public in order to get a bullet-proof vest for the loyal Baron. What makes this so maddening? Well, for starters, THC is pretty sure that the APD is already highly funded by public contributions in the form of taxes. So highly funded, in fact, that the APD’s annual budget for 2015-2106 was over $5 million buckaroos.
Given that pretty darn huge operating budget, THC is genuinely puzzled as to why the APD can’t afford a little more than $8,000 dollars to pay for a police dog. You can look at the newest APD canine officer, Baron, as either a personnel or a capital expense, but the underlying fact remains that there should have been plenty of funds to allow the APD to pay for the dog themselves.
Now, even if we’re to forget the issue of whether APD is able to pony up for the acquisition and safety of their police pup Baron, we do think it’s crucial to point out that purchasing Baron without any plan of how to fund the appropriate safety equipment for him is just plain stupid.
APD purchased a highly-trained dog in the hopes they’d be able to swindle the public out of even more cash by pulling the ol’ tear-jerking “help us protect our dog” trick. THC has to ask, what would have happened if the vest crowd-funding shtick had failed? Would Arcata be saddled with a dog that wasn’t of any use in the field? If so, wtf? Good planning.
More likely, however, the APD would have just dipped into the funds they should have available for just such a purchase. Do you really think they couldn’t have scraped together $2,400 bucks? It’s plain ridiculous.
Not only could APD apparently not pay for their police dog, they also couldn’t pay
Back to the subject of why APD can’t afford an $8,000 dollar dog and vest combo -which THC happens to think are very valuable assets to both the police and the welfare of the general public – we’ve identified three easy places to come up with such a sum. IT involves trimming some fat:
In case you’re like us and can’t read a damn thing without a magnifying glass, the above picture shows that the three top earners in the APD all pull in over $100,000 in annual salary and more than $160,000 in total compensation. Chief Thomas Chapman, the head honcho himself, earns over $120,000 annually and and rakes in just a tad over $200,000 in total compensation every year.
So, where is the shortage that led the APD to go running to the public with their hands out? We have a hard time seeing it.
And here’s a link to the rest of the salaries of the APD work force, just for good measure.
In the end, we sure hope that K-9 Baron gets his special vest, and although we kind of think you’re suckers, we also want to say a big thanks to the community members who contributed to ensure the Arcata area has a police dog with the proper protective equipment.
You’re the real heroes in this case, because clearly, Chief Chapman and the rest of the APD couldn’t be bothered to give two shits about providing for the safety of the newest officer in their department. Must be a pretty rough office culture when the higher ups treat the work force with such care and respect.