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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Sheriff requests county rent house so Deputy's with long work commutes have a place to stay

    Marin County Sheriff Robert Doyle wants the county to consider renting a house so that deputies, some of whom face commutes that take two hours or more, have a place they can sleep overnight.
    The sheriff says renting a house where employees can spend the night is a way to help recruit deputies who can't afford to live in Marin. A five-year veteran deputy is paid $83,824 annually, plus benefits.
    It's better than having them sleep in the county jail, where some now spend the night. The four-bed jail dorm room was originally designated for emergencies, but is now in use around the clock.
    Doyle is shopping his idea to county supervisors who are interested, but not yet ready to commit county cash.
    "This is a way for us to keep abreast and remain competitive in the market," Doyle said. "It's a viable alternative."
    Eighty-five percent of Doyle's staff live outside Marin. Officials said 29 of the 200 deputies live at least 50 miles from the Marin Civic Center, with some as far away as Redding, Yuba City and Bakersfield.
    The sheriff's office pays for three vans for commuting deputies.
    Doyle said Marin's program would be modeled after a San Mateo County program, which rents a house in Redwood City and has a dorm in its substation at Moss Beach.
    San Mateo sheriff's Lt. Steve Shively estimates 28 to 34 deputies use the Redwood City house each week. It has six bedrooms and 14 beds.
    "It's pretty well used," he said. "It's a great benefit for the deputies."
    "They are in the same boat we're in," Doyle noted.
    Doyle said the rental would not be permanent housing for deputies, but a closer-to-work place where they can spend their "off" hours.
    Some deputies routinely spend the night in the jail's four-bed dorm room. Others rent rooms from employees who live closer to Marin. Every now and then, deputies find an open bed at a county firehouse.
    "I think it's a great idea," Doyle said, adding the program would be strictly managed. Doyle wants to make sure the deputies are good neighbors and that the home isn't an "Animal House."
    San Mateo County pays $3,800 per month to rent its house. It does not charge deputies for staying there.
    Doyle's proposal has the deputy sheriffs union's support. It was considering renting a house on its own, but concluded it was too expensive for the union's budget.
    "It's what's going on in law enforcement in Marin. The deputies can't afford to live here," said Sgt. Brian Fay, president of the Deputy Sheriffs Association of Marin.
    Most deputies work three 12-hour shifts a week and face lengthy commutes. After spending 12 hours on the job and four hours commuting, there isn't much time left at home other than for sleep before they have to return to Marin.
    "They come up and stay here in the jail," said Fay, a jail staffer.
    Supervisor Steve Kinsey says it's an idea the county should pursue, possibly buying rather than renting a house.
    "It's an outstanding idea as far as I'm concerned," he said.
    He said he's also confident there are answers to possible liability concerns regarding the county being a landlord for workers.
    "If a county like San Mateo has overcome the liability obstacles, I'm sure we can," he said.
    Supervisor Hal Brown is also interested in the idea.
    The goal, Doyle said, is to recruit and retain deputies in a competitive market.
    "It is part of the whole picture of us trying to attract qualified candidates, wherever they might be," he said.
    Other Marin agencies have wrestled with the high cost of housing as well.
    The North Marin Water District, for example, bought a two-bedroom cottage in Point Reyes Station and is renting it to an employee, who is paying just 40 percent of the rent in exchange for being on-call for West Marin calls. And San Rafael recently approved a low-interest home loan for its fire chief, who moved to Marin from Glendale.

  2. #2
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    It's kinda like that out here in South Dakota. We have a few contract towns we post deputies in. Most of the time, the deputies have to move their families to these contracts. It sucks. It's also hard to find places to rent in the contracts. Plus, if you want to buy in the contracts, it's extrememly expensive. I think if our county did this, it would make the deputies want to work the contract communities.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    "I think it's a great idea," Doyle said, adding the program would be strictly managed. Doyle wants to make sure the deputies are good neighbors and that the home isn't an "Animal House."
    Interesting idea but I found the quote in bold above to be an offensive assumption, not a great thing to say in a press release.
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  4. #4
    Star Man's Avatar
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    I see the time when a scandal erupts (pun intended) while male and female officers are in the same dorm and the spouses find out....

  5. #5
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    Man I wish I made $83,000 a year.
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  6. #6
    Star Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beans View Post
    Man I wish I made $83,000 a year.
    Same here,, that would be nice.



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  7. #7
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    thats a great idea, really. working 12 hour shifts and driving up to 4 hours a day to do it is ridiculous as hell...you'd end up with a max of 4 hours of sleep a night. then if you want to put in overtime and stuff, thats even more driving and less sleep.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    Eighty-five percent of Doyle's staff live outside Marin. Officials said 29 of the 200 deputies live at least 50 miles from the Marin Civic Center, with some as far away as Redding, Yuba City and Bakersfield.
    This is because the cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area is through the roof. I will say that it is quite a commute from those cities. These guys would spend all their off time in driving. I wonder if they thought of moving closer. Central California housing is quite affordable compared to this. Only a hour or two drive. Many in my neighborhood do this every day they work. $83,000 a year would be eaten up in housing costs. $1,000 to $1,500 a month just to rent a studio apt. It's outrageous there. I won't even begin to think what a 3 bdrm house would cost. Many families there are living three to four generations under one roof just to make ends meet.


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  9. #9
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    We have bunks at the station that the deputies can use if they need to stay the night. People use them all the time.
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  10. #10
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    The rents in the Fl Keys are outrageous, many officers come here to work and have their homes and families on the mainland. To accommodate them, the Sheriff built a Bunkroom in the jail. A co-ed living area. There are some people who have lived there for 4 years, make the same amount of money that I do, and meanwhile I pay a mortgage every month and other people pay rents that go anywhere from 2000 a month and up. The bunkroom folks pay much less on the mainland for their families to live in and they stay for free in the "bunkroom".

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Man View Post
    Same here,, that would be nice.
    Half of that would be nice (for me).

  12. #12
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    I can't believe that places do shit like this.


    I guess I don't understand why it's like that there, or anywhere else.

    We don't have beds at our station. And no one ever spends the night for their next shift.

    Cost of living is very reasonable here, and considering the cost of living, we get paid good.

    I'm just shocked that people would work for a department that requires a 2 hr commute before and after a 12 hr shift....

    But that's just because I've never had to experience it I guess...
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  13. #13
    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    I can't complain. I get paid well and live only 10 minutes away from my station. But I also made personal choices as to my housing and where I was to work in order to make it work for my family.

    Which is why I will not return home to Kalifornia to work or live. Never.

  14. #14
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    I know of officers in a few agencies who have crash pads that are split across a couple of officers who do their best to keep their shifts staggered.

    I also know of a couple of agencies that have put a small bunkroom in, with one or two beds, that officers can use under appropriate circumstances, like having to hold over for court following a midnight shift, or if they're stuck during really bad weather (every couple of years, we get a snow storm or hurricane around here that can get people stuck at work).

    And I know of quite a few firefighters who live several hours away... Of course, they can sleep on duty, and work 24 hour shifts. Do a little trading, and they work a couple days, then have the remainder of the month off. (Yeah, must be tough to work 7 days a month.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    I can't believe that places do shit like this.


    I guess I don't understand why it's like that there, or anywhere else.

    We don't have beds at our station. And no one ever spends the night for their next shift.

    Cost of living is very reasonable here, and considering the cost of living, we get paid good.

    I'm just shocked that people would work for a department that requires a 2 hr commute before and after a 12 hr shift....

    But that's just because I've never had to experience it I guess...
    You'd be suprised man. If some places around here would follow the state's direction when they passed law against residency requirements there would be a lot of it here.

    Within a half hour to two hours away I could easily make 2-2.5 times what I'm making here. It would be more than affordable to drive it and still make money.

    Locally we have a good relationship with the Fire Department and if needed we would just crash there in one of the bunk rooms.
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  16. #16
    Star Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    or if they're stuck during really bad weather (every couple of years, we get a snow storm or hurricane around here that can get people stuck at work).
    Where on earth can you get hit by snow storms AND hurricanes in the same geographical area???

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Man View Post
    Where on earth can you get hit by snow storms AND hurricanes in the same geographical area???
    North Carolina........when I lived there in 1996 Hurricane Fran wrecked the place. Then in January 2000 we got 1 foot of snow in Fayetteville. It was nuts.
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  18. #18
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Man View Post
    Where on earth can you get hit by snow storms AND hurricanes in the same geographical area???
    Anywhere on the East Coast from about southern North Carolina (maybe even northern South Carolina) up to Maine. You can probably go inland as deep as West Virginia or central PA, as well, if things break just the right way.

    And, for that matter, I bet you could get 'em both in parts of Texas, too.

    And, despite our current drought, they can happen in the same year!

  19. #19
    Star Man's Avatar
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    True, good point guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    Anywhere on the East Coast from about southern North Carolina (maybe even northern South Carolina) up to Maine. You can probably go inland as deep as West Virginia or central PA, as well, if things break just the right way.

    And, for that matter, I bet you could get 'em both in parts of Texas, too.

    And, despite our current drought, they can happen in the same year!
    Affirmative on SC. Snow isn't terribly common in the extreme western part of the state, but it happens. And hurricanes affect the entire state. Just about the only thing we don't get on a regular basis is tornadoes. Shame really, as we have an overabundance of trailer parks.
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