Let’s be clear, the previous City Manager created a Faux Pas “Department of Public Safety;” an Administrative public fraud action. The Manager then staffed the non-existent Department of Public Safety with a Director.
The previous City Manager slithered around the City Charter’s Police Department language by producing a legal opinion for a “hypothetical” Department of Public Safety. This action was then followed up by a Councilman’s motion with approval to hire an independent contractor or at-will employee.
The Administration’s political atmosphere and research for the Director’s position brought forth the formerly retired Chief of Police, Clarence Goodlein’s resume as the candidate of choice for the position.
The rational behind the political scene was to save the city money. The retired Chief gained his old job but with a new title. The Administration’s political view was a win-win solution for all! However, the internal structure of the Police Department made no sense and a large deficiency in the command structure prevailed.
The City of Wixom’s Charter states in Sec. 6.5. Chief of Police…”The Police Chief…shall be accountable and responsible to the City Manager.” The Charter requires a Police Department and Police Chief; therefore, a command structure for organization and administrative control of the department’s budget, personnel management, administrative efficiencies and effectiveness is a requirement.
Within the last 2014-2015 Budget adopted by the Council, the City Manager, Mr. Nowicki, gained approval for two-Lieutenant’s positions creating a Police Department command structure. It is essential that the residents recognize that it has taken approximately thirty-years to get the new command structure needed to adequately service the community.
Mr. Nowicki understands Police Department structure and organizational necessity. In discussing this Police Department staffing needs and the Charter requirements of (PD) with many residents, it is a consensus of opinions that a comment and recommendation be made to the City Manager and Council to complete a research effort for a Police Chief as the City Charter requires.
This research initiative should be undertaken by the City Manager and the Council. Council should initiate the legislative action and approval for authorizing Mr. Nowicki to proceed with the research for potential Police Chief candidates.
Supporting this initiative is the thirty-year old, well-written but dusty, Wage and Salary Committee’s previously defined job description of the responsibilities of the Police Chief.
It’s true, the past is prologue, but the time has come for the Council to do what is necessary for the community’s Police Department. The recruiting of a Police Chief will stream line the efficiency of the Department, and a Police Chief satisfies the Charter’s requirement for accountability and responsibility of the position.
Mr. Nowicki has taken the leadership for moving the Police Department into a well-structured and efficient department with two-lieutenants and the added incentives for personnel to advance within the department. The next step is to research for a Police Chief and is a reasonable and responsible action.
This initiative requires the legislative leadership of the City Manager, the Mayor, and the Council to further this effort. Through their unity, the Administration will bring the Police Department into a fully functional, well-structured organization.
Council should recognize the circumstances of the present unknown challenges and insecurities that confront a worried public about police and security issues. Action and leadership by the City Manager, the Mayor and the City Council are essential in this important matter.
Finally, the Faux Pas ‘Department of Public Safety” would be eliminated.
There is no reason not to have a Police Chief as required by the City Charter.