No, not me......When Mr. Stan Begam
suggested last week that I enroll in the Sugar Land Citizens
Police Academy in order to learn more about policing, I let
the suggestion pass without any comment.
Later, I was chided by some of my co-horts
about why I didnít respond. So I thought a lot about it and
this is my thoughts.
Me attending the Sugar Land Citizenís
Police Academy is tantamount to the national media being
embedded with the troops in the war in Iraq. And we see
where that got us. It got us not enough serious questioning
from the media about the war. It got us a very distorted
view about what was going on. It got the story from one side
with little objective reporting. The national media was
spoon fed by the military and for the most part, their
stories reflect this.
Now it seems to me, the national media is
mad because they feel they have been duped and thus they are
covering the war differently. While not anti-military (we
would never stand for that), their stories are such that we
seem not to be doing any good in that part of the world. In
other words, I think the press is over-reacting to the
criticism that they were too soft on the war when they were
So, no thanks. One of my most critical
acquaintances went through the Sugar Land Citizenís Police
Academy. Now she is a pussy cat when it comes to anything
having to do with not only the police department, but the
entire city of Sugar Land. Why should I pay to be
I have nothing against the Sugar Land
Police Department. Iíve forgiven them for 25 years ago
threatening to beat up one of my reporters when he asked to
see offense reports (public record). That chief is
Iíve forgiven them about their police
chief suing me for libel about my reporting about the TASK
Force (I won).
Iíve forgiven them about their police
chief who had a wreck while smelling of alcohol and the city
trying to stonewall the incident (Heís gone).
And Iím sure I will eventually forgive
them for killing a homeownerís dog while making a narcotics
bust which yielded about two grams (30 grams equal one
ounce) of marijuana,
But, I donít think that any of this means
that I should enroll in the Citizenís Police Academy. I
think the Citizenís Police Academy is a nice public
relations tool for the police department and something
citizenís with the time should do. Every city needs
volunteers and proponents.
But I think I should continue to question
and discuss in this column occasionally things that go on in
Fort Bend County and Sugar Land that just donít ďsmellĒ
Not unlike..........The fact that
Assistant District Attorneys can continue to have a private
law practice while working for the county. If they donít
make enough money to support themselves on their assistant
DA salaries, maybe our county commissioners can give up some
of that $17,000 raise they got this year to supplement the
According to County Judge Bob Hebert,
this is the last raise the County Judge and Commissioners
will get in a long time because in the future they will get
raises only when the District Judges get raises.
Now where have I heard this before. Oh
yes, it was when their car allowances were rolled into their
salaries one year which accounted for a $6,000 raise that
year, on top of the standard percentages that most other
county employees get every year.
Of course, it wasnít very long before
they started turning in mileage for every little trip,
including discussing upcoming political fundraisers and
attending the county fair.
By the way, there is no state law tieing
county commissionersí salaries to district judges.
I guess we just have to ask ourselves,
ďIs this commissioner worth $100 thou?Ē
I havenít quite figured out what they do
exactly. Several years ago, they gave up their precinct road
and bridge daily work and appointed a director to handle all
that. Then they hired a budget director to do the budget for
them so they got rid of that. Except for awarding bids to
big-money non-bid vendors, many of whom make substantial
contributions to the commissioners campaigns, I donít know
exactly what they do. Maybe I should embed myself in a
commissionerís office for a month and find out. Any takers?
Do any of the commissioners want me to follow them around
all month? Serious replies only will be considered.