Remember when we told you about the county’s maintenance contracts and vehicle lease arrangements? These have been in place for a while, which adds to the absurdity of the following article. Remember, also the run-and-gun battle between Stan Sniff and the Board of Supervisors who he has attacked incessantly over the years about his budget. Then you see things like this 5-0 vote on some stupid spending requested by Stan Sniff and start wondering if Stan Sniff suffers from schizophrenia in addition to being a garden variety Tyrant.
Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff today received the Board of Supervisors’ OK to make a $2 million purchase of vehicles and equipment slated for use by deputies who work in the court system.
The board without comment voted 5-0 to authorize the sheriff to draw budgeted funds from an internal account in order to acquire 36 vehicles, as well as radio gear and other hardware. In documents posted to the board’s policy agenda, sheriff’s officials said the court services fleet is in need of replacement and upgrades.
The board-approved purchase will enable the sheriff’s department to procure 28 Ford Interceptors, five Ford Expeditions, two Chevrolet Tahoes and one Toyota Camry hybrid.
The Camry retails for just under $30,000. However, most of the other vehicles average between $58,000 and $60,000 each after modifications.
Thirty vehicles will serve as standard black-and-whites, but five of the vehicles will be designated for “stealth” operations, sheriff’s officials said, without elaborating.
Court services deputies sometimes take part in undercover stings in which they stake out courthouses and wait for known unlicensed motorists or those with suspended licenses to leave hearings and attempt to drive away — only to be arrested for violating their probation.
Deputies assigned to the sheriff’s civil division are also responsible for serving bench warrants and other writs.
Some of the existing court division vehicles have not reached half the county’s 115,000-mile replacement standard, so those vehicles will be transferred to patrol stations for use after the new units arrive.
The $2.09 million purchase will include acquisition of gear to network each vehicle into the county’s Public Safety Enterprise Communication System, as well as equipment to directly facilitate “civil process operations,” documents stated.
All the funds will be drawn from the Sheriff’s Write Assessment account. Every time a deputy serves a court order in a civil matter, the sheriff’s department collects a $12 fee, officials said.
We’ve written at length about the consequences of Stan Sniff’s fiscal bungling, so we are asking the obvious question – why are they incurring more leases of $500-$850 a month each to the county, more $60 a car parking fees, more $125 Oil Changes, $500 brake jobs and the like when criminals are being “Fed-Kicked” every day because Sniff refuses to staff the jails?
Yet, here we are buying equipment to be used to track unlicensed motorists and people with expired tags when drug dealers are released regularly 24 hours after arrest.
Then there is this:
The Board of Supervisors today approved Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff’s request to purchase an armored truck for SWAT operations at a cost of just under $300,000.
The Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck — BEARCAT — is needed to supplement the sheriff’s current fleet of three armored vehicles, according to Undersheriff Bill DiYorio.
“This is becoming standard equipment with SWAT units,” he told the board. “We use these vehicles because of the types of individuals we’re encountering.”
The customized BEARCAT will be procured from Pittsfield, Massachusetts-based Lenco Armor without seeking competitive bids from any other entity. Officials said Lenco is premier in the industry.
(Blogger’s Note – sounds like the overpriced drones or Bob Epp’s choice of Bomb Squad Equipment, doesn’t it?)
“Lenco’s passive multi-hit armor system provides ballistic protection and is built with military specifications,” according to documents posted to the board’s policy agenda. “With the use of the Lenco BEARCAT, law enforcement officers, crisis negotiators and tactical medics can safely roll face-to-face with an active shooter or barricaded gunman. In the past, negotiators and medics remained outside the ‘hot zone,’ several blocks away.”
The four-wheel drive armored truck features a camera system to cover all angles surrounding the vehicle, a topside turret system, bullet-proof windows, an intercom for use in and out of the vehicle and a 6.7-liter, turbo-charged engine.
The armor plating is the same used on military and U.S. State Department vehicles.
Officials said that in the last 18 months, the sheriff’s current armored vehicle fleet has been taken out of service 27 times because of maintenance and repairs, leaving tactical units with no means of heavy-duty transportation.
The new BEARCAT will help fill the gap, DiYorio said. “We have to have a reliable piece of equipment,” he said.
The total cost, with modifications, will come to $299,917, covered by asset forfeiture funds already in the sheriff’s budget.
The sheriff’s SWAT personnel are centrally located in Banning for deployment to all corners of the county, according to DiYorio.
Take careful note of the above – with their current fleet in disrepair because Sniff is not smart enough or engaged enough to recognize the broken system for maintaining vehicles, the solution is to buy another vehicle.
I also take note that Leonard “Lenny” Purvis also bought something like this when he was running the Banning PD in to the ground. It sure seems there is something in the DNA of Team Sniff.
Is it just me or does it seem felony stupid to buy more equipment when you can’t or won’t maintain what you have?
Is it just me or does it seem felony stupid to enforce traffic stuff when felons are getting released from jail before and after conviction due to budget issues?
Is it just me or does it seem felonious as in the stuff we’ve uncovered about the abuses of budget, time cards, cheating, maintenance and budgeting? Doesn’t it seem like yet another coverup with regard to the war between Sniff and the Board of Supervisors (in particular the war against the KPMG Audit of Sniff’s department)?
It seems to your intrepid blogger that just the dozen or so documented examples of fraud and waste, if remedied would free up millions.
Yet the latest reason to fire Stan Sniff.