Chief Feithen to Hold Press Conference Today

Police Chief Bill Feithen has sent ’round the following memo:

In our continuing effort to keep the media and citizens informed on the progress of the police facility project and the Citizens’ Police Facility Advisory Committee a press conference will be held on July 22nd , 2008 at 3:00 pm in the basement classroom of the municipal building.

The press conference will consist of a brief Powerpoint presentation presented to the City Council and community groups in past years but with updated information. A general summary of the work of the committee to date will be presented and a tour of the current police facility will be conducted. Council members and Citizens’ Police Facility Advisory committee are welcome to attend.

The Citizens’ Police Facility Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday, July 24th, 2008 for a final review of the space needs recommendation and funding options in preparation for the July 29th, 2008, 6:00 p.m. special City Council meeting.

I appreciate the heads up.

8 thoughts on “Chief Feithen to Hold Press Conference Today”

  1. On Monday the 29th, that would be the Committee of the Whole. We have been told that we will be seated just as the finance committee was in front of the mayor and city council.

    One observation that I have noted was that some are saying that we should combine with the NIU police department. I’m not to say yes or no but do wish to point out that the police station that we will be recommending to the mayor and council would not be big enough for that. Size of departments hinge very much on the personel within the department and how the shifts are comprised. Communications is another big part of that and I can only imagine how many more stations would be needed to handle the NIU phone system. Holding cells, interogation rooms, locker room facilities, parking for police squads and guests. It would all just have to be bigger.

    If you are looking at combining NIU and DeKalb departments to save money, where would you save? NIU’s department just recently grew in tremendous proportions. I would have to say that the site wouldn’t be big enough now and that you could almost use another 35 to 40,000 square feet if you did this. I really do not see the practicality here but maybe someone has an idea that would work. Just something to think about.

  2. I rem reading a $11M figure for the new station. This means another bond and additional tax for us. The police could make a case to have satellite locations.

  3. The most disheartening part of this committee process was not coming up with a police station concept. It was not accepting the fact that a station is desperately needed. It was not the fact that I gained even more respect as to how Chief Feithen has run his department and shown us his fiscal prowess. What is sad that the councils and staff over the past 7 years have not found a proper vehicle to fund this station.

    They know there was a need, they knew it was inevitable and they knew that this day would arrive. We need a police station and we don’t have the money. It is awful that this station’s faith and the biggest tool that our police officers really need will not materialize due to very poor planning. It is also very difficult to explain as to why it can’t be built when you see new hospitals and clinics being built, new schools on their way, downtown being revitalized but sorry, we can’t squeeze in something as important as a police department.

    We have 2 new fire stations and a really nice public works facility but we can’t get a new police station unless we tap the homeowner’s real estate tax one more time. While the committee is charged to make recommendation to the mayor and council about what to build, how to build it and when it should be built will just cause a major uproar in the community because we will be looking for another tax.

    It did not have to come to this and I encourage the council to not just think about today but to somehow figure how to plan for the future needs of this communty and figure a creative way to get it done with as little burden to the hard working taxpayers of this community.

  4. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: IMO Chief Feithen runs the tightest ship in the city’s “armada.” He is one of few who have treated the budget crisis as an actual crisis.

    This is not the way to treat the folks who so earnestly play by the rules. I hope we can change this.

    Long-term we have to reduce personnel costs to the amount that can be paid from the property and sales taxes and exercise the discipline required to stash the revenues from fees and fines for buildings, equipment and reserves.

  5. The committee will make its recommendation to the city council on Tuesday, July 29th at 6:00 pm in the council chambers. This is a meeting of the whole and will be publicly broadcasted on the community cable channel 14.

    The setting is to be the same as it was for the budget and finance committee. As far as I know, this is the only topic for the night but there could be some additional items. It is also open to the public.

  6. Ivan… since you asked:

    THE BIG GUY: If you are looking at combining NIU and DeKalb departments to save money, where would you save?

    McANSWERONE: Administration… huge savings on recurring operations cost. Feithen or Grady? Reduction of admin costs alone could abate a major portion of construction debt for building a newer, larger, better equipped Public Safety building.

    McANSWERTWO: Diversification of revenue streams. Add NIU’s contribution, minus admin savings; plus City of DeKalb’s contribution, minus admin savings and taxpayers of both institutions would save money through enhanced efficiency such a collaboration would bring.

    McANSWERTHREE: NIU and DeKalb working together would dramatically improve chances for Federal or State assistance and could serve as a test pilot to spread the love to similar communiverCities across the nation. A professional lobbying firm, like the Daley Group (of whom NIU and DeKalb are clients), should be able to take such an idea, well, ummmm… straight to the bank.

    Simple solutions may not be easy solutions but they get straight to the point. :-)

  7. Those are waters that have a torrential current flowing through them Mac.

    I like the concept on paper but we all know that there truly is not the community/university willingness to work on matters of real importance.

    I do agree cutting administration is the first way to cuts costs within an organization but I am very fond of the work the the DeKalb Police Department is doing for this community and do harbor some doubts with regards to Chief Grady and some of his internal policies especially when it comes to the lack of transparency and the willingness to answer FOIA requests.

    Many hurdles here on the university side of this but maybe this is a seed that needs to be planted.

    I’m afraid that this might be bigger than both of us Mac!

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