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DaBigBR
09-13-2011, 09:38
http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2011/09/13/iowa-dot-blue-coat-officers-merging-into-department-of-public-safety/

The DOT enforcement folks are certified, armed, sworn, etc peace officers that primarily perform commercial vehicle enforcement duties. The state patrol is obviously a more general state law enforcement agency with primary responsibility for enforcement on state highways and interstates. Our state is very broad in the authority given to officers, so officers from both agencies (and any other agency) already have 24/7 peace officer authority statewide.

This merger is interesting for a number of reasons.

First, it appears that the governor executed the merger by executive order, and not through any legislative action. If I were a state employee, I would consider that to be mildly alarming, especially since I am of the impression that line employees of the agencies were not aware of anything until yesterday.

While it would be easy to look at this as a big potential "cost saving" measure, it worth pointing out that DOT MVE is/was entirely funded through road use tax, and not the state's general fund. Their jobs have been considered "layoff safe" in recent years because they are not funded by the general fund, which has taken a huge hit. The Department of Public Safety (and therefore State Patrol) IS funded through the general fund, and they have seen a tremendous drop in authorized strength in the last five years, have only been able to hire once since 2007, and have been threatened with layoffs each year as well.

DOT MVE also has a very high line/brass ratio because their sergeants are not supervisors. They have a lieutenant, six captains, and a major for their road patrol operation, which puts them at greater than 10:1.

So the questions I'm left with:

1) When there is talk of layoffs again next year, how will seniority work? Especially if CMV enforcement is it's own division and more importantly, how will funding work since road use money will be coming in to the DPS/ISP now?

2) What happens to rank officers with DOT? The Sergeants have no equivalent rank in ISP relative to their duties (they are officers with some sort of "specialty" in DOT and bosses in ISP). The Captains with DOT have duties more in line with a Lieutenant at ISP (post commander).

3) What's new uniforms for 100+ officers, new striping on 100+ cars, and all of the assorted other stuff going to cost the tax payers?

Patchman
09-13-2011, 09:56
It always seems that when a LE agency is merged with a traditionally non-LE agency (ie DOT), what's interesting will be where the new agency's top leadership comes from. If it's the SP who takes charge, I think the DOT enforcement personnel are going to chaff at the new (read: para-military) ways of doing things.

And I'm going to guess at the following:

DOT Sergeants, Lts and Capts will probably get to keep their rank (or be placed in ranks where they make the same amount of salary currently) and will be expected to take on the new responsibilities.

As for funding, the new agency will probably get a lot more funding from the Fed DOT.

And as LE pensions are generally slightly better than a non-LE civil service pension, it'll probably be a good thing for the DOT guys.

DaBigBR
09-13-2011, 10:18
It always seems that when a LE agency is merged with a traditionally non-LE agency (ie DOT), what's interesting will be where the new agency's top leadership comes from. If it's the SP who takes charge, I think the DOT enforcement personnel are going to chaff at the new (read: para-military) ways of doing things.

And I'm going to guess at the following:

DOT Sergeants, Lts and Capts will probably get to keep their rank (or be placed in ranks where they make the same amount of salary currently) and will be expected to take on the new responsibilities.

As for funding, the new agency will probably get a lot more funding from the Fed DOT.

And as LE pensions are generally slightly better than a non-LE civil service pension, it'll probably be a good thing for the DOT guys.

The State Patrol will, without a doubt, be the governing agency. DOT MVE is actually already a fairly militaristic organization. Their uniform standards, etc are already in line with the State Patrol, so that almost certainly will not be an issue.

I agree with your assessment on the command officers, as well. They will keep them with their titles and their money, but they will be phased out through attrition. I also suspect that more money may come from the feds, but the juxtaposition of the two agencies' seniority lists will be interesting if/when layoffs are discussed again. In other words, will somebody who came from DOT with 10 years experience maintain seniority over an ISP trooper with 5 years experience and vice versa. Obviously that will all be worked out, just interested to see how.

As far as pensions go, the State Patrol does have a slightly better pension (called SPOC), but the DOT enforcement officers are already in the state run IPERS pension as "protection occupations" employees, which means that their current pension system has the same pay-out rules (22 years of service and 55 years old for full benefits, 30 years service for max) as the State Patrol. The IPERS pension is not quite as good as the SPOC one, but it's pretty comparable and I would actually expect people that are vested to just stick with what they have (and they will most likely be given the option of doing so).

kirgi08
09-13-2011, 10:33
Our DMV officers got force fed inta the NCHP over a parochial/corruption scandal.I'm a very good friend of one such officer/I was at his daughters wedding.

He,an LEO for 15yrs coined the phrase of "Gray Gods".'08.

CJStudent
09-13-2011, 11:31
Must be the "in" thing; just happened last year or the year before with KY. Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, under the Transportation Cabinet, was merged into Kentucky State Police as the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement division. CVE Officers (formerly KVE) are full sworn LEOs with statewide jurisdiction; in reality, they have the same authority as a Trooper, just more of a focus on commercial vehicles, obviously; they had this authority long before the merger with KSP. I haven't talked to a CVE officer since the merger happened, though, to get their perspective on it.

ropin4gold
09-13-2011, 18:38
Tennessee Highway Patrol did this also several years ago.

South Fla
09-13-2011, 18:54
Must be the "in" thing; just happened last year or the year before with KY. Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, under the Transportation Cabinet, was merged into Kentucky State Police as the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement division. CVE Officers (formerly KVE) are full sworn LEOs with statewide jurisdiction; in reality, they have the same authority as a Trooper, just more of a focus on commercial vehicles, obviously; they had this authority long before the merger with KSP. I haven't talked to a CVE officer since the merger happened, though, to get their perspective on it.

I saw one of the newly marked KVC/CVE vehicles the other day (very sharp, btw) and they have the KSP door decal incorporated into their scheme now.

Don't know how long it has been that way, but I just saw it.

CJStudent
09-13-2011, 18:59
I saw one of the newly marked KVC/CVE vehicles the other day (very sharp, btw) and they have the KSP door decal incorporated into their scheme now.

Don't know how long it has been that way, but I just saw it.

Was it the same color as the old KVE cars? The ones I've seen have had "commercial" replace "Kentucky" on the doors, and replacing the KVE seal with the KSP one, basically. I can't tell if they're redone old cars, where they just replaced that part of the decals, or they put a whole new decal kit on it.

Like this:

http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/maysville-online.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/52/05211182-9e9d-11e0-af82-001cc4c002e0/4e04ed8d6d381.image.jpg

Vigilant
09-13-2011, 19:52
North Carolina is now bringing pretty much everything, including Corrections, under the heading of one newly-formed agency: DPS. It will be interesting to see how this pans out as well.

Nick.45
09-13-2011, 20:15
I actually had a friend from high school get on with ISP. Graduated the academy and went to Post 16 around the time they were talking about layoffs. He ended up transferring to the DOT to avoid it and was enjoying it. I will have to get a hold of him and get his opinion on it.


ETA: And I was really starting to like them going to a different vehicle color and going to Tahoes.

phuzz01
09-13-2011, 20:36
When we went through the same thing a few years ago, Sgts. and below kept their same rank. Lts. and above got demoted one rank, but kept their same pay. Seniority for the DMV guys included their time at DMV.

South Fla
09-13-2011, 21:03
Was it the same color as the old KVE cars? The ones I've seen have had "commercial" replace "Kentucky" on the doors, and replacing the KVE seal with the KSP one, basically. I can't tell if they're redone old cars, where they just replaced that part of the decals, or they put a whole new decal kit on it.

Like this:

http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/maysville-online.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/52/05211182-9e9d-11e0-af82-001cc4c002e0/4e04ed8d6d381.image.jpg

The one I saw was the same color as the old KVE cars. I think it had "Kentucky" replacing "Commercial" on the door, along with the KSP decal of course.

I can check better tomorrow when I go by the weigh scales in Grant County.

DaBigBR
09-13-2011, 22:09
I actually had a friend from high school get on with ISP. Graduated the academy and went to Post 16 around the time they were talking about layoffs. He ended up transferring to the DOT to avoid it and was enjoying it. I will have to get a hold of him and get his opinion on it.


ETA: And I was really starting to like them going to a different vehicle color and going to Tahoes.

There were apparently several that jumped to DOT from DPS in the last year, even some agents, I guess. I doubt you'll see much change in the vehicle transition as the Tahoe is better suited for their truck weighing and inspecting gear, anyway.

This has all started to blow up some in the press, with the democrat-led legislature pretty unhappy about it. The impression that I get is that this kept pretty low key until it was announced, and that's ruffling some feathers. Frankly, I understand the frustration on their part, but I'm not sure that in the end there will be much they can do about it.

Also pointed out in an article was that the DOT's investigations unit, which deals with identity theft, DL fraud, salvage vehicle fraud, use tax fraud, odometer fraud, etc was not covered and their fate is not specifically known at this point. They are also sworn/certified/armed LEOs and part of the same agency, but not working truck stuff. It will be interesting to see what happens to them. There are 20+ of them.

glockurai
09-13-2011, 22:18
Happened here in FL. DOT was absorbed by FHP.

Nick.45
09-13-2011, 22:18
From what the article said the 106 DOT officers that transition into DPS will still continue to deal with commercial vehicles but will be wearing trooper uniforms and will have their vehicles painted and striped like the troopers but will not be considered troopers. I guess I don't get it, why spend all that money in a down economy when they will be doing the same job after the transition? Other than it may look better on paper on the number of LEO's in the DPS.

BSA70
09-14-2011, 07:26
This happened seveal years with the NC Highway Patrol. At the time, it was a painful process but all the bad feelings have faded with time. It really saved money and has ended up working out. Now they are talking about merging with wild life.

jpa
09-14-2011, 08:45
From what I gather from people in DPS, Nevada Hwy Patrol is funded almost entirely by the highway fund and is thus unaffected by problems in the general fund. Commercial vehicle enforcement has been a function of DPS for a long time, there's a whole group of troopers where their primary duty is commercial.

DMV has their own investigative staff. Secretary of State has their own investigators. Welfare has "compliance/audit investigators". State Parks has their rangers (sworn and non-sworn). Wildlife has game wardens. Taxi authority and transportation authority have sworn investigators. The attorney general's office has sworn investigators.

There are lots of "sworn" positions across different state agencies. I think they would do well to consolidate them all into DPS. Leave the cop work to the cops and leave managing cops to the experienced cops.

DaBigBR
09-14-2011, 08:51
From what the article said the 106 DOT officers that transition into DPS will still continue to deal with commercial vehicles but will be wearing trooper uniforms and will have their vehicles painted and striped like the troopers but will not be considered troopers. I guess I don't get it, why spend all that money in a down economy when they will be doing the same job after the transition? Other than it may look better on paper on the number of LEO's in the DPS.

It makes me wonder why if they're going to piecemeal it like that, they can't just put new patches on their uniforms, buy them new badges and be done with it. One hundred sets of uniforms, one hundred sets of car markings, two hundred plus badges, one hundred plus new handguns (DOT = Glock / DPS = M&P), one hundred plus new rifles and shotguns (DOT has no long guns) is going to be pretty expensive, and you know as well as I do that DPS will spend the money.

My bet is that the DOT folks actually get the title "state patrol officer" (Trooper I) like the post 16 (capitol complex) folks do. They'll make a little less money than a Trooper II or III (as they hire in the future) and it will end up being a stepping stone that folks take to get to Trooper II or III. Seems to me that if you wanted to do it right, you would get everybody cross-trained for MCSAP first and turn it (CMV enforcement) in to something of a cush gig (like it is in some other states). DOT enforcement rarely works overnight and rarely works holidays. That would also succeed in putting more "actual" state troopers on the road.

Hunca Munca
09-14-2011, 10:22
If ISP swallows Dot, then does ISP now get access to the DOT funding?


Maybe that was the driving force?