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!
“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.)
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$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.)
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.)