Monday, January 17, 2011

Todd Baxter's First Year

  
In February, it will be the one year anniversary since Todd Baxter took his oath to become Greece's police chief. One year ago, he appeared to hit the ground running, juggled community meetings, a murder/suicide case followed by a triple homicide and began rebuilding the Greece Police Dept. all at the same time.

For the first time in memory, GPD's inner workings became much more transparent to the folks who foot the bills: the Greece taxpayers. For several months, there was a refreshing openness about crime and law enforcement in this town. Then, sadly ... predictably even ... things in GPD slowly changed back to the more secretive ways of the past by the time school started last September.

One year later, the status quo we became accustomed to under Merritt Rahn's reign appears to have come full circle. The crimes that make it into the headlines disappear without follow-up once again. Other incidents fail to make the news at all. We are left wondering ... and talking amongst ourselves to fill in the gaps, just like before. Once again, politics has replaced transparency within the Greece Police Dept.

I'm deeply disappointed that Chief Todd Baxter caved-in to Supervisor John Auberger's political spin machine. We needed a tough, no nonsense leader who values transparency to rebuild trust in this town's PD. We had it, but it was so fleeting.
  

16 comments:

Dave Garretson said...

A word of support for Chief Baxter. In the year since he came on board, I've encountered him at dozens -- I'm not exaggerating -- of community meetings, events, gatherings. Chief Baxter is more visible than than anybody in town government.

Some of these meetings have the potential to be uncomfortable for the Chief, but I have yet to see him flinch or slink away to avoid a tough question. Contrast that to the former Chief, or to Supervisor Auberger. Chief Baxter is out engaging the public.

I do not work in the department and cannot say if things have changed significantly on the inside. As a citizen, I am impressed with Chief Baxter.

I wish the rest of town government could be staffed/elected with people of his caliber.

Anonymous said...

Why not ask the media why they don't follow up on stories? It is not Todd Baxter's job to determine what stories the press covers. It is his job to see that the bad guys get chased and caught and it is his responsibility to prevent release of information that might hinder investigation or prosecution of suspects. You and Wiki-Leaks need to sit back, take another Valium, and leave the good guys to do their job.

Anonymous said...

You're right about the politics SCATS. Just ask Baxter and he'll tell you he abhors it, BUT I agree, he goes along with it. Auberger just doesn't know when to back off and stop the pressure.

SCATS said...

To Dave ~~ Early on, he was everywhere. In recent months, not so much, right?

To 1:01PM ~~ I think I'll stick with my original contention. Baxter tauted the new PD website, started putting local law enforcement related stories news and blotters on it, then let it become out-dated. Even the current format is often out-of-date for weeks at a time.

By the way, whatever happened to the promised reintroduction of the Citizen's Police Academy program? Are we too closed & clubby to restart that?

Anonymous said...

So what incidents do you know of that haven't made the news at all?

Isn't it the media's responsibility to report these, if there are such supposed incidents?

SCATS said...

To 2:44PM ~~ GPD creates all of the CRs that comprise the weekly police reports columns the media picks through. At one point when GPD appeared to become more open in Baxter's early days, they were posting these on their own website. Almost as soon as they started, they fell behind. Then they stopped that and began using the crimereports.com website. The current monthly arrest reports tally is often posted 2-3 weeks after the month ends. Who is in a better position to communicate what crimes are happening in our town than GPD? Isn't the same true of our schools? We've paid to have SROs in the buildings, but we seldom hear what's really going on in the high schools. Last week Frank Oberg told us the BOE found out the hard way that a major incident occured at Odyssey that no one told the BOE about - not school administration or staff and not GPD - until the BOE received letters from parents.

Can anyone here tell me that Auberger doesn't still run the Greece Police Dept? Can anyone here tell me that Baxter isn't pressured by the politics?

Anonymous said...

Was Mr. Achramovitch any different then the other people who held his title presntly or in the current past. Thank you for any valid and business like info.
Mrs. Mom

Anonymous said...

SCATS the best you can do is creating CR numbers and not making public all arrests, you can do better then that. You need to dig deeper and you will be shocked, you were on the right track with Chatterton and his gang.

SCATS said...

To 5:28PM ~~ I cited only things the public knows about. Citing anything else at this point would be useless and fall on deaf ears.

Anonymous said...

Once again, those with all the answers have none of the responsibility. SCATS seems like a good place for them to hang out!

SCATS said...

To 2:08PM ~~ Once again, people like you are wrong. Once again, I hit home with a bunch of questions no one has answered, or even attempted.

My responsibilities have been met in the voting booth and in paying my taxes on time. Now it's the powers that be, Baxter & Auberger and their underlings to do their jobs!

Anonymous said...

SCATS---Did you go to college and major in Criminal Justice? Have you been an active duty police officer? Have you gone through the police academy? I'm guessing the answer to these questions are no. Therefore, how are you able to discern if the police department (Baxter's underlings) is or isn't doing their job when they are in fact experts, whereas you, if answering no to the above questions, would be considered a novice?

SCATS said...

To 4:47PM ~~ You're right! You are only guessing!! What if I did major in Criminal Justice? So what? Maybe I majored in Municipal Management ;)

And none of those things you mentioned have anything to do with Baxter caving into Auberger's politics or with Baxter not following through on his promises, do they?

Anonymous said...

4:47pm seems to (conveniently?) overlook the fact that taxpayer funded jobs like cops have are accountable to the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Chief Baxter has and is doing an outstanding job under the political circumstances that he is working under (Auberger).
It is difficult to re-create department services that are needed when they were abolished by Mr. A.
Why does the D&C not investigate greece more??????

SCATS said...

To 9:29AM ~~ The D&C is too busy putting their reporters out on unpaid furloughs to do any investigating at all. They rarely even bother checking facts when it comes to the reporting for Greece.