Friday, August 25, 2006

New Chief Settles In (SB Sun 082306) Kling Plans to Rebuild Rialto PD

Well this has been the best report on Kling that I have read so far. With Mark Klings History and Background, which really was missing on the other reports, to what is expected at Rialto and how long things might take to get done. for example the time that it will take to fill the positions that are vacant. those 27 positions will take up to seven years to fill. I think that if the Department had Implemented the 3% @ 50 Retirement plan that they might have a better chance at filling those positions faster. I don't think that Rialto will stop being a training ground until they add the Retirement plan of 3% @50, simply because most if not all the other agencies are providing that or they are giving a proximity of a 3% @ 55 instead of the old tired Report of 2% @ 50 Which turns into a full retirement package at the age of 65 which is another 15 years from the age of 50 that we are starting off from.
Now really I don't mean to sound like an old broken record, or a broken record player, well broken CD player if that will bring this more up to date, because what I am saying is that the Old Song and Dance that is being sung and Shook up too, is just tired, and how many 60 year old Police Officers do you see chasing a criminal down the street today, I have that answer for you..NONE! They are all retired before hand. Statistically from an injury on duty like mine. Or they get to be around 50 to 55 and they are chasing a suspect and they jump over a block wall and land on the other side, which just happened to be 5' on one side and the drop off including the retaining wall was over 25', without expecting that can break your back.
That is how a friend of mine was injured on the job that ended his career. He is still a golf pro, but he cannot be a police Officer. Another Deputy developed a problem with his rotator cuff, and had trouble directing traffic, and that was the end of his career, he was 48, or 49 at the time.
I tell you it happens and that is the way that it works. After all it was the Statistics that caused the implementation of the Retirement plan of 3% @50 years of age. It is a great retirement plan and if you don't want to retire at that age you don't have to. so it is some thing to think on. I am sorry that I got onto this subject when I am supposed to be welcoming in the new chief! I just feel strongly on the subject!!
I also feel that Mark Kling might be the guy that will carry the police Department into the next 10 or so years. But we will have to see. I feel that we need to get rid of the City Administrator now, one whom feels above the law, and the rest of the people that were elected into a position on the city Council that has cost the city money by trying to vote the Police Department away...Hey hey hey..time to let them go play...say good bye to Council Member Sampson and Roberson, say hey hey hey, it was fun, but the fun is alll done. Time for you to run!!!
Bye Bye, Debra, & Joe!!
New Chief Settles In
Kling Plans to Rebuild Rialto PD
Jason Pesick, SB Sun Staff Writer
RIALTO - The city's new police chief was inspired as a child to become a police officer by watching episodes of "Adam-12," the 1968-75 television series about two uniformed officers who patrol Los Angeles.

By 14, Mark Kling was a police Explorer, and by his mid-20s, he was an officer.

Now 48 - he turns 49 on Friday - and with a touch of gray in his hair, Kling has just taken up the task of rebuilding a police department that faced the threat of elimination by the City Council last September.

"We're going to take the department back to the premier status it deserves," Kling said in an interview Wednesday, adding that there is a core group of police employees who will not allow the department to fall apart.

Only months ago, officers were leaving the department en masse following the troubled tenure of former Chief Michael Meyers and his deputy, Arthur Burgess. After a legal battle, the council reversed itself in June, adopting an ordinance preserving the department.

Now, according to department statistics from June, crime is on track to be down by 13.5 percent this year, response times are down, and the council has provided the department with funds for new vehicles and a reorganization of its hierarchy.

Andrew Pilcher, president of the Rialto Police Benefit Association, said morale is up among the officers.

"We're looking towards the future," he said.

City leaders have nothing but positive things to say about the new chief, who has a doctorate from the University of La Verne.

They say Kling, who started work Monday, was hired to continue rebuilding and strengthening the department. Tuesday was the last day on the job for interim Chief Frank Scialdone and interim Deputy Chief Tim Ousley.

Kling will be sworn in at the next council meeting on Sept. 5. City Administrator Henry Garcia chose Kling from two candidates that a seven-member interview committee recommended.

Scialdone praised Kling as a good communicator with valuable experience as the former chief of police in Baldwin Park, which came close to closing its police department before Kling took over in 2001.

"I see him as a cop's cop who hasn't forgotten where he came from," Scialdone said.

He also complimented Rialto police officers for their hard work during a tumultuous period.

"They were doing really great police work," he said.

Kling takes over a department on the mend. Since Scialdone and Ousley were installed, morale at the department has gone up, police officials say. Until 2004, the two worked together at the Fontana Police Department, where Scialdone was chief.

One of Kling's first challenges will be to replace the officers who resigned. There are 27 vacancies, which Kling said will take two to three years to fill.

He said he also plans to continue the projects Scialdone and Ousley implemented, especially the community-based policing philosophy that will restructure the department and divide the city into three regions. Scialdone used the strategy in Fontana.

Garcia said rebuilding the department will take three to seven years. He said implementing the new area-commander police patrol concept and department support for renewing the utility user tax will be top priorities for the department.

But he said Kling has the people skills, communication skills and creativity to succeed.

Pilcher said that after a recent meeting with Kling, the department's supervisors had positive feedback about their new chief.

Capt. Michael Taylor of Kling's old department in Baldwin Park called Kling "an inspiring person"

"He's just an all-around pretty unique individual," Taylor said.

He added, "It was a big loss for the city of Baldwin Park."

Taylor said once Kling became chief, he turned around the department from a "training ground" into a respected police agency.

Kling said he has been spending his first week learning Rialto and the Police Department.

"The department is in a better condition than I expected it to be when I walked in the door," he said.

He is optimistic the department will not fall apart again.

"There is no failure option," he said.

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