Archive for Thursday, September 9, 2010

Neis year for new police chief

September 9, 2010

Police Chief Greg Neis has just finished his first year at the helm of the Baldwin City Police Department and it’s been a good one.

It’s also been a new experience. Neis’s career in law enforcement, which began in 1977, has included stints with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and 13 years with the Eudora Police Department, the last five as sergeant.

But now he’s in charge for the first time.

“Yeah, I like it at this point in my career,” said Neis. “In the past, I’d do my shift. Now I’m the decision maker. Of course, (City Administrator) Jeff (Dingman) is the boss and has the final word, but for my people, I’m at the top.

“It’s kind of nice to use all the experience I’ve gained over the years and, hopefully, make the correct decisions.”

Neis first joined the BCPD in December 2008 as sergeant for then-Police Chief Mike McKenna. When McKenna resigned in August of 2009, Neis was named interim chief and then was elevated to the permanent position. He lives half way between Baldwin City and Eudora and likes it here.

“I enjoy being here,” he said. “I didn’t come to Baldwin City for the chief’s job. I wanted to get away from some things in the Eudora department. I wanted a job that made me happy.

“I know as many people in Baldwin City as I knew in Eudora.”

Dingman is enjoying Neis being here, too.

“Greg has been doing a great job,” said Dingman. “He is visible in the community, the morale of the department appears to be great, the focus has shifted to community-oriented policing and turnover has been dramatically slowed.

“From the time he took over as interim chief, these changes were almost immediate,” he said. “He has the right attitude for the position and has become a valuable contributor to the city’s management team overall.”

Another factor that’s made his first year in charge a good one is that there haven’t been any major incidents or problems.

“I’m just happy with the way things are going,” said Neis. “We haven’t had any major incidents and haven’t garnered any complaints.”

So, why the slow year in crime, accidents, etc., here?

“I don’t know. I really don’t,” he said. “I’m familiar with what all was going on in Baldwin City when I was in Eudora. There really haven’t been any major incidents. That’s the clientele. Unless it’s an outsider, everyone is settled in.”

But it hasn’t been completely crime free.

“We still get the rash of people getting in unlocked cars and taking things,” said Neis. “We had one a couple of weeks ago, but they just took loose change.”

As for changes, there’s really only been one big one.

“The major shift we made was we went to a 12-hour work day,” he said. “It just gets a little bit better coverage.”

Under this system, there are two officers on duty from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then the shift changes with two more officers on from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“The way the rotation works, is you work four days one week and three days the next week for an 84-hour week instead of 80,” said Neis.

He’d like to make other changes, but for now he’s implementing a “do without” mentality on purchases.

“Things are going well,” he said. “We’ve got some thing we want to do. With the state of the economy, we’re tightening our belts. We’re not making some major purchases like we thought we would. We didn’t replace a police car this year and instead used that money to upgrade our portable radios.

“We still have some upgrades to do with the car radios. I think that’s in the works,” said Neis. “We’re trying to get by on what we’ve got. Just like everyone else, we’re doing the same thing.”

Comments

BaldwinDad 3 years, 7 months ago

I like Greg, I think he is a really nice guy and a great Chief, I'm just a little concerned as to why we need two officer's on duty at all time in a little town like Baldwin. I can't remember having any major crime issues in this town that seems to require really any major law enforcement presence. It seems to me the majority of the policing in this town is done on what I would call non-crime issues such as ticketing offense where there is no real victim.

I just think that perhaps cutting back on officers would be a serious means of saving money for the City.

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 7 months ago

There isn't always two officers on duty with days off and vactations etc. Also the only backup you would have is DGSO and they may be 15 or more miles away so when your are fighting with a drunk at 2 am do you really want your backup 15 or 20 minutes away. How about if we get that outsider who is armed and you have him at gun point and there are two dirtbags in the car.

Greg has done a great job. He is not an idiot like the last chief who our city fathers let live in Wichita two hours away.

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BaldwinDad 3 years, 7 months ago

Like I said this has nothing to do with Greg, I just wonder with the level of crime we have in this town if we really need two officers on duty at all times and according to the article there is.

"Under this system, there are two officers on duty from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then the shift changes with two more officers on from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m."

That would mean to me we do have two officers on duty at all times in Baldwin. Also if we required all the officers we do hire to live in the city limits then this would solve your worry about backup being that far away. Like I said it's just a question not a criticism against Greg.

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 7 months ago

How would living in the city limits solve the back up problem? Are you always going to be at home? You never are allowed to venture out of the city for vaction, days off ect.

Maybe on your day off you could jump in a car and be across town ready to respond to a domestic in 5 min.

I know it is not criticism but you don't seem to understand the basic concepts of staffing.

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BaldwinDad 3 years, 7 months ago

I do understand the issue of staffing, which is not the issue that I bring up.

My issue is does having two officers on duty at all times actual make us safer and is it worth the additional cost in a town with a strapped budget and a cost of living expense that is already the highest in the area.

The only issue you have related to is Officer safety, but I'm sorry that is not the main concern of law enforcement. The first priority is citizen safety and then enforcement of the laws both of which seems to be accomplished quite easily with one officer on duty. Also Greg makes mention with the tight budget he has to do without, perhaps by only having one officer on duty some of the cost savings could mean better equipment for the officers that we do have.

We hardly have any crime in this town and spending hundred's of thousands on officers that might not be needed seems a little wasteful to me and kind of pointless.

In regards to my comment about requiring all the officers to live in town, even you should realize that there is a higher likelihood that they would be available in an emergency situation, something in your original post you seemed to agree with when you made mention of the former chief living in Wichita, which while true, is not the whole truth since he actually stayed here locally and went home whenever he had two days off in row. But I agree with your sentiment, that with him not living here locally he is not really able to serve the community effectively.

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unnamed24 3 years, 7 months ago

"The only issue you have related to is Officer safety, but I'm sorry that is not the main concern of law enforcement."

I hope you realize how completely heartless and rude that comment sounds!! The officers safety is and should be a top priority. Risking officers lives to save money is just absurd, not to mention the lack of proper backup could risk citizen lives as well. I bet you could think of better ways to save money if one of those officers was your daughter or son "baldwindad"

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BaldwinDad 3 years, 7 months ago

Sigh...I wish people who react with pointless emotional response like yours would not bother. If you CHOOSE to go into law enforcement then you make the CHOICE of your own free will to put your life and safety secondary to those of the citizen you CHOOSE to protect.

My statement is not heartless or cold it's a fact and if you can't deal with the fact then you should not apply to be a police officer, a fire fighter or someone else that CHOOSES to put their life on the line for others.

I have a great deal of respect for those people that CHOOSE this profession for that reason. But when it comes down to it is still a job and like any other job their is costs analysis done in how it is performed.

Like I said previously, before we got sidetracked with meaningless emotional non-sense, the problem as I see it is that we have almost no crime in BC so the point of keeping two officers on duty seems pointless, IF the only reason it is done is for Officer Safety, then your indicating to me that it is unsafe to be a police officer in BC, when this article proves we have almost no real crime to speak of???

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 7 months ago

BD

You have no idea what you are talking about. You have no idea what types of calls officers respond to here or how police work is done at all.

We have had several shootings in this town in the last 5 years.

And I hate to break it to you but officer safety is number one then comes citizen safety. An officer is not going into a situation that is going to get him killed. That is why most departments wait for backup before entering a domestic, robbery, party armed or just making an arrest.

Maybe you should attend the citizens academy in Lawrence. I think they have one coming up next month.

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BaldwinDad 3 years, 7 months ago

nwyt, your right that is the reason I asked, but don't blame me look at the article. It talks about how we have hardly any crime here in BC, yet we have two officers on duty at all times? This is the reason I asked. Don't blame me if the information in the article your posting on is misleading blame the source.

That is the problem now a days with people's thinking as if the police officers life has more value then mine or yours. It's also why more and more city's are filing bankruptcy over the large losses in Public Safety division, due to law suits from over zealous Police Officers who think their safety is the first priority and have a shoot first ask questions later philosophy. Officer Safety should never be the first priority of any officer, the whole point of the job is to protect and serve, if you can't handle that or you think it should read to Protect myself while serving you as long as I don't take any risk of getting hurt, then look for another job.

I don't need to go to some silly citizen academy and have you ever read what it takes to go take the course??

Citizens' Academy Applicant Qualifications

1. Applicant must be eighteen years of age or older.

2. Applicant must have no history of criminal behavior.

3. Applicant must pass a background check.

4. Applicant must provide three local references

Give me a break...we pay these people's salary, heck we are the ones paying for this course and we are the ones required to provide references?? Wow...this course is rich on irony, I guess I have to get permission before I can ask any questions to the po po.

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 7 months ago

So now we see the real point of your attack. You must also be one of those on the LJWorld that are always ranting about the Lawrence Police Dept and their corruption.

Hope you never need a cop while you live here.

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unnamed24 3 years, 7 months ago

Took the words right out of my mouth!

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BaldwinDad 3 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for not even coming close to addressing the real reason for my post but for turning this into a diversion for how you worship the State and believe they can do no wrong, unlike you and your follower there, I believe that I am solely responsible for protecting my family and my belongings and relying on someone else is truly foolhardy and will result in no real protection for myself or my belongings. In almost any case that I would need a Police Officer, they would not be able to show up in time and would really only be there to record the aftermath of a crime not truly prevent it. Just like Smokey the Bear, I believe that only You can prevent Forest Fires, the same can be said for crime being committed against you.

I'm not someone that posts on the LJ World. I'm just someone that realized a long time ago that the Govt only really has one interest and that is protecting itself and not those who it supposedly serves.

Also next time Notwhatyouthink, if you can't answer a question don't go casting aspersion against a person character it really only makes you look small and shows the true weakness of your argument.

In regards to my original post, I'm still not seeing why we need two officers on duty at all time, not with a town this small with such little crime.

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