Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gentlemen, start your engines

Straight up I say that I very much appreciate the men and women of the Saskatoon Police Service. I support the expenditures to ensure that they have the necessary training and equipment to do the job they have undertaken. Cops put their own lives at risk to protect the citizens they serve. They are honourable people in an honourable profession. But I do have a problem putting money into bricks and mortar and bells and whistles.

Whenever a presenter starts breaking down the total cost of a project it generally means they are trying to soften the blow to the recipients. The reality is we are spending $122 million on a new police station. That might seem like a bargain after the announcement of $130 million, but not when compared to the initial cost $91 million price.

When a presenter attempts to justify segmented expenditures, and I refer to the Chief's reasoning for underground parking (SP June 9/11) you can assume he is trying to limit the anticipated negative response. To state the savings because officers will not have to let vehicles idle for 15 minutes before they hit the road is inane. When the night shift comes in, and the day shift is heading out, are they using the same vehicles? I've seen police cars locked and running while officers are taking a lunch or coffee break. Why not leave them running for the short break shift change? How about investing in diesel engines? And why does my husband tell me a car doesn't need to run for more than five minutes to warm up the engine? Next winter when I want to run my car until its toasty, I'm going to whip the Chief's comments.

I hope that police officers keep themselves physically fit. It could save their lives. But could the Service not cut a deal with the private sector for memberships in facilities that already exist? I'd bet that the many workout facilities would tender for a reasonable membership cost based on volume. Officers could use facilities in their neighbourhoods.

I would better appreciate honesty by having the Chief say they are building a facility with all the trimmings because they want these things.

At this point I can only ask that the project will come in on budget. What are the chances?


  1. You forgot about the indoor shooting range, that will save oodles of time from having to drive to the other shooting range. Well I guess it won't save oodles of time, but will allow the cops to spend more time socializing with one another.

    Then there is the smoking room.... I thought it was a bylaw around the city that there is no smoking WHATSOEVER in any building. One office building I know was denied a permit to install a smoking room (with ventilation) in their office space, because they were informed that "The smoking ban in all public buildings is done for the well being of the public. To make exceptions for this bylaw to certain businesses is unfair." Well good to see that the cops can play by separate rules. I fully plan on now building a smoking room in our offices and can't wait to hear the challenge that I shut it down, perhaps I will subpoena Chief Clive.

    This is the golden palace for the police, they lied to the public about the building. Gave us the blueprints for a practical station then behind closes doors added as many bells and whistles as they could. It will be fun paying this station off for the next 30 years, especially when Chief Clive has moved on and the new Chief tells us we will need smaller stations around the city as well.

  2. How is there not a public outcry for the architectural drawings??? Not of just this proposal but all and a comparison of each coming to council and being available to the public?? OR is there only one bid?? Are they hiding the extravagant factors from the public. Have we not already paid each of those willing to tender a fee for these items?? Wasn't a preliminary design part of the "design build" RFP? Just like the south bridge each contractor was to provide at least a basic preliminary plan. How can the City evaluate a proposal based solely on a number. And why would it be kept a secret after the deadline?

    As to warming the car's engines, that's not the problem Mistress it is all that computer equipment that is in the vehicles. That's why you will see the vehicles running non-stop summer and winter. They need A/C in summer and heat in winter to operate. But ah there could be newer technology that would ease this problem but then that doesn't help the officer does it.

    And since when does an officer come on shift and immediately make it to his vehicle? Are the "Briefing" scrums only part of movie and television lore?? They make it to work 30 seconds before their shift and quickly jump into a car and hit the streets..... come on Chief even the most gullible person won't by that excuse.


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