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!
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
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.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)