I think our Sheriff is getting some very bad advice.
For the second round of draconian layoffs, the Sheriff notified Orange County Employees Association (OCEA) on January 4th that they plan to layoff an additional 57 non-sworn personnel. These are the people who support our deputies, and in fact, make the entire department function. So far no sworn personnel, other than managers, have been laid off to address the need for budget reductions.
It is understandable that there will be further cuts. But that burden must not, and cannot, be placed solely on the shoulders of OCEA members. Thus far, suggestions for aÂ reasonable response to the funding shortfalls have been met by polite smiles and deaf ears. Because of this attitude, these employees, who make up half the department and are represented byÂ OCEA are being polled to determine if they would support a collective action of selecting a day or two that all OCEA members in the Sheriffâ€™s Department would agree not come to work.
While it is certainly not a call for a strike, it might present an opportunity for the OCEA members to demonstrate to Sheriff Hutchens what it would be likeÂ ifÂ her deputies had toÂ cook their own food, type their own reports, dispatch their own calls, retrieve their own records, gather their own crime scene evidence, perform their own scientific tests, and a host of other tasks we perform day in and day out?
The OC Register has more on thisÂ at Total BuzzÂ here.