On 1-26-2018, an article popped up in the local paper about a press release from the Sheriff’s office unilaterally declaring the KPMG audit to be a failure. The money quote is here:
In a news release issued Friday afternoon, sheriff’s officials announced that an experiment by consulting firm KPMG that changed the scheduling patterns at the sheriff’s Hemet station had resulted in longer response times and was a failure.
Missing from the article are two key points:
- Amazingly right before the auditors showed up to the Hemet Station, the staff was cut from 24-31 deputies down to 16. It is believed and is the opinion of this blogger and several unnamed people with direct knowledge that this was done to tank the audit and make data metrics near impossible.
- The Captain of the Hemet Station? None other than Leonard Purvis who is reported to be in line for a friend-of-Stan-promotion to Chief Deputy.
You will recall that Purvis was the Chief of Police in Banning whose tenure was marred by failure. He was terminated / resigned (depending on who you talk to) in a cloud of issues that were well documented in the local papers. Then he was re-hired by the Sheriff.
It is a fair question to ask if Mr. Purvis, who is reputedly quite close to the Sheriff, was brought in to Hemet in order to tank the KPMG audit. (and of course to keep Lt. Chad Bianco locked in the cooler there as well)
While the P-E may not been aware of the above, or omitted those items in their article, they did give space to the County for a response:
“The optimized schedule reduced residents’ wait times for priority 1 calls (crimes in progress) by 43% during the pilot in the Hemet Station and 16% during pilot in the Lake Elsinore Station,” the county response read. “The optimized schedules reduced resident wait times for all priority types of calls by greater than 20%, and reduced the waiting time on weekend calls by as much as 65% at peak times.”
The dueling statements are part of a larger dispute between Sniff — an elected official who can’t be fired — and the executive office, which reports to the county’s five elected supervisors.
And here we go again, kicking and screaming despite the best efforts of the Sheriff, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors is delivering for the people of Riverside County. This is a legacy of failure for Stan Sniff again and again.
If you read the quotes from the Sheriff, they show an abject disconnect from reality.
Then a second article from the local paper came out. This article featured more comments from the Sheriff whining about the budget he refuses to manage and despite the paper giving the Sheriff more ink than his two opponents combined, there was still this gem:
In an email and in a phone interview, Bianco said there were inaccuracies in the both sheriff’s release and the statement issued by the county.
“The sheriff’s memo blamed KPMG for overtime costs and response times but he was the cause of both. Staffing was purposely lowered to ensure the KMPG pilot would fail,” said Bianco, who is backed by the union representing deputies.
“The Hemet schedule was based on a purposeful ‘county drawdown’ to put the Hemet station at minimum staffing,” Bianco said. “KPMG did not have any impact on overtime or staffing levels. They attempted to adjust shift start times and heavy staffing days. They even thought staffing levels were dangerous.”
Bianco added: “Hemet Station administration had been asking to return to previous schedules since July. But it is my opinion the sheriff refused to allow the change for political reasons. Deputies’ lives and lives of residents were pawns in a political strategy to play the victim to the public and blame the board for budget woes.”
Here is the bottom line. Sheriff Stan Sniff has to much too defend and too many people to blame. The local paper shows a bias by giving the Sheriff the last word in most every article we have read from them, and they refer to the RSA as a Union. Contrast this to my local paper, the Sacramento Bee, which is deign to use the term union when writing about races in mixed or Republican areas. We track these things on the RightonDaily Blog as these subtle editorial decisions are telling.
While we focused on Leonard Purvis, he is a mere example of management’s complicity in the failures of the Sheriff and the crushed morale of the rank and file. As we get concrete evidence, we will name names.
While the Press-Enterprise either misses or chooses not to report on some critical issues dogging the Sheriff, we will continue to do so as our expose on the Sheriff Continues.