Sunday, December 11, 2011

Why, indeed?

Difference in lawmens' back trail

Hey, Legendary,

I ran across these editorials and thought you might find this as interesting as I did.

- R.S. Gates


It occurred to me perhaps a retired regional commander of DPS had experienced a profound absence of disagreement with his positions. Being a very influential man, I suspect few would voice disagreement.

It appears to me Mr. Attas is making a case for the constitutional duties of a sheriff. I also think he does a decent job of explaining why that is an important thing today. I am at a loss why the concept appears to totally elude a retired regional commander of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Mr. Smith asks the question, “What are his qualifications?” I am no water boy for Mr. McNamara but know he has a business degree from Baylor University while Mr. Plemons lists no formal education beyond high school.

Mr. Smith asks, “Is he a certified peace officer in Texas?” That is a fair question of any candidate for Sheriff. According to the state licensing agency, no records exist for Parnell McNamara in their database. I have to admit I was concerned about this early on. Since Mr. Smith goes on to compare the two, I feel safe in saying Randy only can answer in the affirmative in the most technical terms. Prior to rising to the lofty position of Chief Deputy, Randy was relegated to administrative functions and was kept out of the way of general enforcement types.

Mr. Smith asks if Mr. McNamara has worked in the Sheriff’s Office. On the surface, continuity appears an attractive thing but does not bare closer scrutiny. Mr. McNamara does not have a record of promoting one Sgt. who was responsible for background checks and wound up hiring a lady who had three outstanding warrants for her arrest when she was hired as a jailer. No Mr. McNamara has no record like that. Mr. McNamara does not have a record of promoting a man to Sergeant who was arrested for DWI with a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.

Unlike Mr. Plemons, there are no records indicating violent offenders were released from his custody in error. At least one of the persons released on Plemons watch went on to terrorize citizens. McNamara has no record like that.

The next question by Mr. Smith is about the $26M budget. It appears the objective is not to manage the budget with any competency, just as long as you have muddled your way through it for years seems to be the only qualification. Mr. McNamara has net been dressed down by the County Judge for spending money that was not budgeted. While unlikely, Mr. McNamara might find himself in that position since he has not done it before but most would believe it would not happed after having 11 years experience like Mr. Plemons.

Mr. Smith says we need to elect someone who does not need “on the job training”. It causes me wonder how much money taxpayers could save if Mr. Plemons would just have a little on the job training.

Mr. Smith probably wrote that Mr. Plemons graduated from the FBI National Academy and the paper probably edited it to read FBI Academy. FBINA is an executive level training to orient law enforcement administrators to the FBI way of doing things. It is federally funded and McLennan County Taxpayers picked up the tab, for his salary, while Mr. Plemons was away at school for 10 weeks. I have never heard of anyone failing the academy. Will have to check into the length of academy and completion requirements.

I also recalled it was not on the watch of Mr. Mcnamara that Sherman Lamont Fields escaped from custody after bribing a guard and then murdered a young mother. It was Mr. Mcnamara who was called upon to return him to custody and end the rein of terror of Sherman Lamont Fields.

Mr. Smith points out Mr. Plemons is endorsed by the Sheriff’s officers association. He states this is due to his leadership. I think that is a stretch. More likely, the employees knew what side their bread was buttered on (at least until 1/1/2013) and voted as such. Mr. Smith seems to ignore that Mr. Mcnamara was endorsed by the Waco Police Association. I don’t think that is an endorsement of his leadership as much as a recognition of his 30+ years of service as a Deputy United States Marshall. According to a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. McNamara was hired 10-16-1970 and retired 5-13-2003. He had a GS pay grade and his title was Deputy United States Marshall.

I hope your readers don’t rely on undocumented assertions so I provided links above to support my recollection. I kind of like the way this story provides links to supporting documentation.

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