Monday, March 10, 2014

Gloucester, VA Animal Control On Patrol?

8:25 AM Monday, March 10th, 2014.  Animal Control vehicle number 72 driven by Laura Dickie, Senior Animal Control officer for Gloucester County, Virginia stopped at 7-Eleven for breakfast on the run.  Using a county vehicle for personal use while on the clock.   (She came from behind the shopping center main building where Animal Control has their Animal Shelter).

There she is coming out of 7-Eleven now.

She had some trash from other stops where she has done the same thing as she is throwing away a McDonald's bag and other trash that was in the truck.

Here is yet another shot of her getting rid of trash.  Truck must have been stuffed.

There she goes.  Time to head in to the office and check in.  Hope she got enough for everyone.

We started posting about Gloucester County employees using county vehicles for personal use back in April of 2013.  It all started with Animal Control.  Here we are one year later and we still see Animal Control continuing to break county employee rules.  This is an officer sworn to uphold both county and state laws.  Plus to add insult to injury, the Animal Control truck she is driving does not appear to have proper ventilation on the back bed for animals that need to be transported.

  Since Steve Baranek has taken office as the Chief Animal Control officer, we have now reported that each member of his staff has seemed to violate a number of county and state codes.  Again, these folks are sworn to uphold laws, not break them.  What gives?

  We are in budget time here in Gloucester County.  We would suggest that the Board look this department over as possibly being bloated with more employees than really needed.

Now the above is the latest monthly report coming out of Animal Control and it shows pretty much all of their number are down.  How are they justifying such a large department?  Here is something for the board to consider if they do not wish to cut this department.  To seriously reduce or eliminate overtime and weekend calls, create two shifts and a weekend shift.  With two shifts, there are no after hours calls in most cases.  Work the staff from whatever hours they presently have and stagger them until 10 or 11 o'clock at night.

  With a weekend shift, there are no overtime calls for weekend calls.  That can save a pretty substantial amount without changing anything else.  Right now, Animal Control has at least 4 full time staff on Monday through Friday from 7:30 until 4:00PM?  One part timer that comes in during those same hours for a total of 5 on during this short shift.  Not very cost effective.

  Or just eliminate all but one full time person and cut expenses way down and put that money to better use.  We do not need dog catchers that cost us $600.00 per doggie incarcerated when one can save a life for under $500.00.   Just something to consider and there are substantial savings when county employees are not using county vehicles for personal use, violating codes and laws and just making everyone look bad.
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