By Editorial Staff
Published May 25, 1999
OPD increasing fees charged to businesses
By Bridget Hall, Staff Writer, Ocala Star Banner
OCALA — Businesses that want to hire Ocala Police officers for special security details starting next month will pay almost twice as much for the service and assume liability for the officer’s actions.
So far, no businesses have agreed to the new terms. Many plan to hire private security guards instead.
“We totally disagree with the contract,” said Allen Konchinsky, general manager of Easy Street Family Fun Center, which hires OPD officers for the weekends. “It’s a farce, and we’re not going to sign it”
Before the City Council approved the contract two weeks ago, OPD had no formal agreement with any of the businesses that hire police officers to work extra hours on security details. The officers are armed and in uniform but are paid by the businesses that requested them.
“We felt we should get a little control over the program,” said city attorney Patrick Gilligan, adding that a local abortion clinic’s pending lawsuit against the city for withholding special duty officers partly sparked the policy changes.
The contract, which businesses must sign to receive officers after June 1, states that officers on special duty assignments still report to their OPD superiors and do not take orders from the businesses that hired them.
“We wanted to eliminate for anybody the appearance that if you pay the guy you can tell him what to do,” Gilligan said.
The contract also exempts the city from any legal action over injuries caused by the officer while on special duty. Gilligan said it is up to the business avoid putting the officer in a bad situation.
“We have the expectation of those that hire us that they are going to act responsibly,” he said. “If the businesses don’t and suck us into it, they’re going to have to pay the Piper.”
“But some area businesses, including the Ocala Women’s Center abortion clinic, say the contract puts an unreasonable amount of the burden on them.
“Our interpretation was that it makes businesses liable for anything that goes wrong and then denies them access to the jury system,” said clinic spokeswoman Marti Mackenzie, referring to a provision in which businesses waive the right to trial by jury if they sue the city over the security program.
Gilligan said the jury trial waiver is standard business practice in contract law because bench trials are more efficient and three to five times less expensive.
Businesses will also face greater costs under the new policies. Instead of paying the officer directly, as they have been, businesses will now pay the city Finance Department, which will make the necessary Medicare, Social Security, pension and tax deductions before putting the extra pay in the officers’ paychecks.
Those deductions and some overhead costs are the reason the hourly rate will jump from $15 to
$28, Gilligan said.
OPD’s new rate is on par with what other law enforcement agencies charge. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office charges $25 an hour, while the police departments in Ormond Beach and Gainesville charge $30 and $32 an hour, respectively.
But some local businesses that were used to the $15 rate are not sure they can afford the security detail now.
“Most of our problem is with the rate increase,” said Hampton Inn general manager Carol Brockington, adding that the hotel is taking bids from private security companies for a guard to patrol the property nightly.
The policy changes come less than a month after a federal judge ruled that OPD cannot refuse to provide special duty officers to the Ocala Women’s Center while the abortion clinic pursues its lawsuit against local government and law enforcement.
OPD sent an officer to guard the clinic May 15, believing that clinic owner Dr. James Pendergraft would sign the contract, Deputy Chief Andy Krietemeyer said. But because Pendergraft has not, he has not received an officer since then, Krietemeyer said.
If the rate increase and contract restrictions cause fewer businesses to use the special duty program, the officers who earn overtime pay by volunteering for those details will also be affected.
“This cuts into the guys who need the money, the guys who need the extra hours,” Konchinsky said, “I feel bad for them. They’ve been very professional, but they’re going to be the ones suffering, and it’s not their fault. They’re caught in the middle.”
Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »
Your comments are welcome!
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)