As previously announced, White Center’s assigned storefront deputy BJ Myers is moving on to a new assignment. He will not be immediately followed by a specific new assigned storefront deputy, according to KCSO’s Southwest Precinct Commander, Major Jerrell Wills. But the storefront still WILL be staffed, Major Wills explains. First, he shares the memo from Sheriff John Urquhart:
So here are the reasons for the operational change to the schedule in both storefronts [White Center and West Hill]:
1. The current 4/10 schedule does not allow for Friday and Saturday coverage at all. The new schedule does.
2. A storefront deputy should be available to the public five days a week, rather than four.
3. To reduce the need for overtime for community meetings by having the deputy more available during their shift.
4. Since KCSO did not receive budget authority for more deputies in 2015, a five day schedule allows for more deputies in the field.
5. Skyway, in particular, has seen a rash of gun violence this summer, and therefore the need for a deputy on at least that extra day compared to a 4/10.
6. The need to control costs. A non-rotating 4/10 schedule creates an extra expense (and days off) for Holiday pay.
In addition, due to budgetary reasons, it is unlikely we could sustain coverage with plain-clothes detectives for gang and firearm violence occurring in the West Hill community after August. So additional coverage with another uniformed deputy later in the evening is paramount. The new schedule allows the storefront deputy to work later (10:00 PM) five days a week. In addition that position can be “flexed” four hours either way. So if the need arises, the deputy can come in at 10:00 AM or work until 2:00 AM in the morning, for example on Friday and Saturday nights. (Actually having more deputies working later was a suggestion from one of our West Hill Deputies.)
Therefore, both storefront deputies were told they would be working five days per week, 8 hours per day, on 2nd shift, which is 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM, and affords Friday and Saturday coverage nine months of the year.
As Sheriff, I remain committed to the White Center and West Hill communities and doing what is best for that neighborhood and all neighborhoods where we offer police services.
Sheriff John Urquhart
Major Wills explained, “I regret to have to share the message from Sheriff Urquhart via email, but since there has been a transition of our White Center storefront deputy I felt I needed to get the word out as soon as possible. The immediate impact to this operational change means that neither the White Center or West Hill communities will have an assigned storefront deputy. I am hopeful that we will be able to identify a deputy for each community and the absence of your storefront deputy will only be temporary, but for now we will not have a deputy assigned to either community.
“I look forward to meeting with your community very soon and hope that we can work together to select your next deputy. In the meantime, please continue your vigilance against crime by calling 9-1-1 for emergencies and suspicious circumstances, and if you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call or email either Captain Ted Boe or I.”