When will Marco Island finally have enough? This is embarrassing for the island.
The best the great city of Marco Island can provide is this dysfunctional, at best, police department?
What were the disciplinary problems? Why was the public not notified? Were the officers arrested and/ or will they face charges?
What is the status of police related litigation? Just more $$$ wasted.
This craziness needs to end. Hold your elected officials accountable. Hopefully the new city manager wakes up and smells the coffee- soon.
Not to mention the money the city of Marco Island would save from LAWSUITS if we were to revert back to the Collier County Sheriffs Office.
What is the conviction rate of people arrested on Marco Island?
John Derrig, disgraced cop who was fired by the city for lieing- who is currently employed and policing our lovely island as we speak- has a pending lawsuit against the city. Is this a joke? Not only has he been the target of numerous lawsuits, but now he has the audacity to sue the same city that had to hire him back and pay him 6 months back pay?
Only on Marco Island. Unreal.
Can someone educate me as to why us taxpayers tolerate this mind boggling display of unprofessionalism and wasteful spending on lawsuits and settlements?
I thought Hunter was supposed to fix this? Here we are a year and a half later.
I could understand if the MIPD was effective, but all I am seeing is incompetence, wasteful spending, and an upward trend in crime.
Last time I was reading about Marco lieutenants, Carr was reducing the number from 4 to just Beucler and Goetz. Now both of these guys are gone as lieutenants?
At least we didn't fire them... because as evidenced by Derrig, d’Allesandro, and Morine (settlements of 6 months back pay- $10,000- $100,000, respectively) the MIPD can't competently terminate ANYONE.
We have these liabilities running around the island. How is Officer Tige Thompson (demoted from Sgt.) doing on a current high profile investigation??
If you can not manage your own finances you should not be put in charge of the city's.
Regardless of financial times, we can not afford to continuously mismanage our funds. Maybe city councilors who have expressed difficulty in managing their own finances should not be entrusted with managing ours.
"this council is, dare I say, a little dysfunctional."
Excellent observation on the city as whole, including the city departments that live in la-la land. When will taxpayers have enough and demand accountability?
Shocker! More taxpayer money wasted by the incompetence of the MIPD.
As evidenced by this article- if there is ever serious crime on Marco Island, the MIPD calls the sheriff office for help. Please let's merge the MIPD back with the CCSO and call it a day!
The Marco Island police are EXTREMELY overpaid security guards, that cost tax payers millions in their pensions and never ending lawsuits!
When can this issue finally appear on a ballot???
MIPD is a waste of money.
Check out the full list of city salaries... check out what some of the police OFFICERS make. (http://www.marcoislandflorida.com/app...|topnews|text|Home)
Tige Thompson is so full of S***. He was fired by the County for lieing and covering up evidence. (http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2005/m...) Marco makes him a sergeant. This guy has no credibility. He's a bully and anyone who actually leaves their computer screens knows this. This guy needs to be removed immediately.
He was the main arresting officer on the two kids who got arrested for "practicing medicine without a license" on the beach. Go on collierclerk.com and look at the deposition of their cases. (http://apps.collierclerk.com/public_i...) All charges dropped. Just like this case with Joe, the state attorney refuses to prosecute the charges. What good is our great police department if no one can be prosecuted and convicted?
FDLE please come and investigate this asinine example of a police department.
I would also like to point out that the charges against these guys were dropped by the State Attorneys office, essentially meaning they went through all this for no reason- they were never prosecuted- much like most people ever arrested on Marco Island. (http://apps.collierclerk.com/public_i...)
So let me get this straight. Officer Mariani signs a sworn statement saying he did in fact commit misdemeanor battery. Then, he still has a job, and in addition the City of Marco Island now has to pay thousands of dollars defending his actions.
Sounds about right.
Fire every officer that has ever had a complaint and start over?
This is a very necessary step in fixing our police department. Thank you Chief Carr for all that you have done, but the department is in need of serious overhaul and new management.
Tige Thompson was fired from the Collier County Sheriff's Office in 2005 for destroying evidence and lying about video taping topless women during Canoe Races (http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2005/m...).
He was then hired by the MIPD. Last year, he routinely crashed his patrol cruiser into a lamppost. No sobriety test was conducted. (http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2010/f...)
Tige Thompson is the man involved in many of the past few high profile arrests, including the practicing medicine without a license kids. This man has no credibility when it comes to judicial proceedings.
He was fired by the county for lying and covering up evidence, and the Marco Island Police Department makes him a sergeant.
How does such a small police force with relatively no crime, and a budget of over $4 million annually and growing, bring this much attention against themselves? Time to go away, MIPD.
August8: Thanks for your opinion, but no- this issue is not a dead topic. This is the beginning of a thorough investigation into the over spending and mis-management of island entities, such as the police department. Many islanders will not be satisfied until we know that government spending is under control.
I, for one, will not sit here and continue to pay taxes for a council that continues to sit back and support a department tainted by poor management and wasteful spending. We see lawsuit after lawsuit, officer firings, and questionable arrests- all without SOME KIND of investigation?
Shall we just sit back and watch as even more money is spent on top of the department's $4+ million budget to defend itself from lawsuits and settlements?
We need change and we need guidance. If the current management can not run an effective police department, we will use our democratic power to vote for people who can and will make necessary changes. If that change is the elimination of the Marco Island Police Department, so be it.
Falconpilot: I'm glad you joined marconews.com just to respond to my post. Welcome.
What I am suggesting is that we remove the Marco Island Police Department, and have the Collier County Sheriff's Office patrol the island.
Ratsnake: exactly, exactly, exactly. I recommend some of these bloggers actually go outside and you will see this lunacy going on.
It is no secret the Marco police harass islanders. Following too close? Come on.
Its all fun and games until not the chief (while sober hopefully) launches an investigation and fires the officer (John Derrig/Sherminator), but one of these kids refuses a plea, gets the case dismissed, and files a very large lawsuit against Marco Island. For what? Violation of the 4th amendment, maybe.
I'll just sit back and say "I told you so." How many lawsuits and mess ups do we need until we finally get rid of the MIPD? We already pay way too much for them in the budget anyway, and that's without all the additional costs of these lawsuits.
Do we even need to vote?
"Let's get attention away from the Chief's lawsuit for showing up drunk to a scene by having Tige Thompson (who might I add was fired by the CCSO years ago for throwing beads at women during canoe races and then tried to cover it up by deleting evidence) go undercover on the beach at night and illegally search teenagers."
Just a few nights prior, good buddy Tige (who also one year ago crashed his MIPD patrol cruiser for no evident reason, but Sgt. Guerrero who investigated did not administer a sobriety test???) arrested two teens for fake id possession, again illegally.
I mean I am all for busting drug operations, but not when these idiots are going to do it illegally and completely against the bill of rights. Those arrested go to jail, hire Berry, Day, and McFee and get off easy ALL THE TIME due to the MIPD's mistakes. If we spend that much more money to have "our own local police department" then they should at least be competent.
Next topic on the ballot- ELIMINATE the Marco Island Police Department.
Sad. Its a shame most of the charges are going to be dismissed based on MIPD's typical ignorance and complete lack of respect and knowledge of the judicial system and bill of rights. Just wait and see-
Islandeye- respectfully, no one is trying to make personal attacks here. The issue at hand is the mismanagement of and over spending on the Marco police department.
Your statement that the MIPD has significant support from the residents of this island may be true. It was definitely true 10 years ago. But now, as you can see on this forum, support is dwindling. In this economic time, I'm not trying to be a spend thrift, I'm trying to be logical and adhere to common sense. We are paying way too much for police protection, it is not necessary.
We need to realize this overspending and snap it before not only we go back to the sheriff's office, but there is no city of Marco Island.
This topic has enough controversy surrounding it, that I truly believe a discussion, review, and eventually a vote is necessary.
This topic is so frustrating, its mind boggling. We have already established that the police budget INCREASED from $3.9 million in 2009 to $4.4 million in 2010. In a recession and time of struggling, the budget increased. Now, we come to find out that even though we threw more money at the police, crime increased.
We have also established that Marco Island pays for sheriff protection in ADDITION to the $4.4 million we pay for the MIPD.
It is time for us to save the $4+ million annually and go back to the Collier County Sheriff's Department. Petition the city manager and council.
May I ask why we don't have Marco Island rezoned to a "better" public school in Naples such as Barron Collier or Naples High?
Then we would have bus transportation for our kids, a better quality education (Lely supporters- please don't argue with me over that), a lot of saved money, and the exposure to the real world and more kids.
Sounds like a winner with no drawbacks, besides maybe being farther than Lely but not by a considerable amount, to me!
"If the police budget was at 1997 staffing levels no one would complain. But I'm sure the police force today would say it is impossible to be at or around 1997 staffing levels. THUS the need to shut them down."
I absolutely agree.
Well said "JohninMarco". Excellent letter Mr. Tsandoulas.
The City of Marco Island pays roughly $4.4 million a year for the Marco Island police department. This 2011 budget figure is up from $3.9 million in 2010. Yes, even in a time of economic recession and significant cuts by the city, our police department’s budget increased. This $4.4 million is in addition to the city’s annual cost of Collier County Sheriff protection. So yes, we are plain and simple paying twice for police protection on Marco Island.The police presence on Marco Island is undoubtedly EXCESSIVE. We do NOT need a minimum of 5 police officers on patrol at any given time. There are many people on this island who do not want to spend the $5 million for the MIPD on top of what we pay the Collier Sheriff, especially when the Sheriff are more than capable of performing the job themselves. We need change. We need an answer.
Islandeye and waverunner, you both are entitled to your opinions. However, there are many people on this Island that do not want to pay $5 million for the Marco Island Police Department on top of what we pay the Collier Sherrif, when the Sherrif are more than capable of doing it by themselves.
Judging by the sheer amount of comments and views of this article, we need to vote on this issue.
Islandeye: Can you please explain how cutting the police entirely would risk our safety? We would simply have the sheriff patrol, who have much more resources to do so effectively, instead of a local police force. In addition, we would save roughly $5 million- because we pay for it now anyway.
Look at Mr. Joel. It is obvious that the city NEEDS cuts in the budget. The police NEED to be cut or even TRIMMED. Would anyone in their right mind be opposed to only having 2 police on patrol at one time? Right now we have five (during both the day and night shift, and all year long).
The police presence and budget on Marco is EXCESSIVE, and the budget is irresponsible. We are paying twice for police protection. This is a fact.
For those of you who are not yet willing to cut the MIPD, lets compromise. Let's try a $2 million budget. Instead of 34 officers, lets try 17. We don't need new high tech equipment every year- the police hardly face any crime.
Although we, THE TAXPAYERS, will still be paying TWICE for police protection- atleast we aren't spending close to $5 MILLION above what we already pay the Sheriff for.
If you read the letter, the Police are not being attacked. Even though the multiple law suits and wrong doings of the MIPD over the last few years could easily have been exploited- the letter focused on a strictly FINANCIAL aspect. The main purpose of the letter was also to revert back to the Sheriff department for police protection. The fact is that the 2010 police department budget increased from $3.9 million to $4.4 million. We spent MORE in 2010 than we did in 2009. All these firings and "spending freezes" such as with the new police cars are simply a PR stunt- spending increased.We all live here and care about the Island. We are in an extremely tough economic time. Let's start civilized discussion about the topic and figure out what is best for Marco Island.
Arturo's is a great restaurant, great tradition.
Although it will be expensive, smaller classrooms equals more personalized and better education for our kids. Good to see the State (usually not regarded as great in education) cracking down.
Great job CCSO getting this criminal off the streets!
Wow. Giving the police a name of his own relative?
Why not just send our kids to Barron Collier or Naples High School?
If all the banners celebrate different holidays, it is OK for some to mention one holiday, one another, etc.
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