Police demand personal apology, blast vulgar School Chair
The battle between the school police of Palm Beach County and School Board Chair Frank Barbieri is getting worse, not better. [wpdiscuz-feedback id=”ustutv59qz” question=”Should Palm Beach County school board chair Frank Barbieri resign?” opened=”0″]Today, the police hit Barbieri with an email demanding a personal apology instead of a perfunctory public relations email.[/wpdiscuz-feedback] They disputed most of the claims made by Barbieri and insist a merger with the sheriff’s office is necessary.
To follow the story from the beginning please read.
The email sent to the school board is as follows:
Palm Beach County School District Board Members,
(NOTE TO ALL)
This letter is based on facts and is no way an attack unlike the unprofessional response we received from Mr. Barbieri.
We will start by first answering your question Mr. Barbieri. YES, for the safety of our children and our own safety we do want to merge with the Sheriff’s Office. Unlike you Sir we are held to a higher standard and not only by a Department directive but also by our own choice we present ourselves on and off duty as respectful professionals. We also and only by a written directive are not permitted to voice our opinion as you do regularly in public meetings. We are not Anonymous Mr. Barbieri but are banded from exercising our first amendment right to speak freely without the fear of retribution.
Mr. Barbieri your statement to the media was not an apology but to us it appears as your way of saving face and trying to invalidate the truth in the email that was sent to the governor. You as a elected offical still owe a personally spoken apology to all the Officer’s you berated including our Chief of Police who was witness to your unprofessional outburst.
Also just for your knowledge Mr. Barbieri most of these officers that you used the F bomb multiple times while you berated them for doing nothing but protecting you and everyone in that building are military veterans that were at war protecting our country, seasoned police veterans, officers that were at ground zero on 911 during an act of war, and currently serve with pride protecting our children on and off duty every day with and without your help.
1.If we are fully staffed and our children are currently properly protected then why are there 60+ open positions for Police Officer’s?
2. Have you checked if a Police Officer was assigned to Pahokee Elementary School on Friday, February 18th, 2022?
3. If we, the PBC School Police Department are fully staffed then why do we pay $100 an hour to city Police and County Deputies?
We currently have contracted 30+ Officer’s and have requested at least 30 more from multiple Police agencies. This cost tax payers $100 an hour, 8 hours a day throughout the school year.
You stated to the public that the millions of dollars that will cost to pay for the contracted Officer’s is available and is already in the PBC School District POlICE Department budget.
No Police Officer was assigned to Pahokee Elementary School on Friday, February 18, 2022. Please check all the schools you will find other schools that lacked coverage.
High Schools have well over 2000 students and assigning one Officer is not adequate to protect the children even on daily incidents of school fights. And as we are all well aware one Officer can not protect our children in critical incidents like the tragic event that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Adding a Supervisors name to the roster at high schools is being done to give the appearance of having more than one Officer assigned to the school. This is a bad practice since the Supervisor only visits the school during certain times as he/she have the responsibility of actually supervising Officer’s at multiple schools.
4. If we have such a large budget then why are we the lowest paid Police Officer’s in the county.
5. Why don’t we have a step plan for pay increases based on years of service.
Officer’s that we hire leave this Police Department 10 times faster than we can hire them. They leave us for other local county departments for better pay, better benefits, better equipment and better training.
Last year 80+ Officer’s resigned or retired. That’s more than 1/3 of our total force.
6. Mr. Barbieri is telling the parents of school students that their children are safe. How can that be possible if our main form of communication does not work and hasn’t worked for several years. Our command staff is fully aware of the safety issue with our radio system and I’m sure they communicate that to you as board members or are they leaving you in the dark?
Our radio communication system is not only our lifeline but the lifeline of the students and school staff. Just to be clear, the radio system does not work properly and leaves us on a daily bases lacking the ability to communicate not only non emergency information but at times information that is a matter of life and death.
7. If our command staff is informing the board on all matters of the Police Department then why are you telling parents that their children are safe?
8. Do you as duly elected board members what to be the one to have to explain to even one family why their child wasn’t protected and safe as you publicly are telling them?
We as Police Officer’s and parents of children in PBC Schools and swore to an oath, which includes not only to protect the ones we serve but to be truthful and fair in all matters. We will not be blamed for the failures of the School District.
Let it be clear we are dedicated and caring parents, professionals and Police Officer’s and we shall at all times be truthful about the actions we have taken and if need be the lack of action of others.
Please don’t be the one that says we didn’t know it was that bad. We do know and now so do you.
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