March 17th, 2010
07:50 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Dennis Walaker: The mayor of Fargo, North Dakota, has all the city's contractors on 24-hour shifts - preparing dikes, hauling dirt, delivering sandbags - as Red River communities in Minnesota and North Dakota face rising floodwaters. A sudden snow melt combined with heavy rain was expected to push the river above flood levels.

"We have never lost a flood fight here in Fargo," Walaker said. "We're going to be optimistic about this for the rest of the week, that we're going to be able to save our community one more time."

CNN: Northern plains brace for flooding

City of Fargo: About the mayor

Lee Baca: The Los Angeles County sheriff will go on patrol in uniform this Friday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

KTLA TV reports that Baca has begun preparations for his shift - checking out body armor and a ticket book - to help save some $58 million in overtime pay for deputies.

Each eight-hour shift Baca and other law enforcement executives cover will save the county $660.

KTLA: L.A. Sheriff to hit the streets

Marc H. Morial: The president and CEO of the National Urban League writes, "Unemployment among African Americans is 15.8% and 42% for African American teenagers as we approach the summer months. Washington must create new jobs now - a Jobs Surge - before conditions get even worse."

Morial's organization and the Congressional Black Caucus are hosting a hearing on jobs today "because many Americans can no longer wait while Washington drags its feet and offers up lukewarm solutions to burning crises."

National Urban League Web site

Ciaran Staunton: The Irish-American president of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform wants people to know that - while the debate over immigration is usually centered around the Hispanic community - at least 50,000 of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are from Ireland.

Staunton recently told the Denver Daily News, "There is no legal way for an Irish American in Denver to bring his cousin to America to work and to participate in the American dream."

Staunton said that in 2003, the United States issued a total of 703,000 visas, but Ireland secured only 983 of them.

Denver Daily News: Irish Americans say immigration reform debate is important to them, too

Dr. Mitchell Lee: The anesthesiologist likely saved New Yorkers, visitors and tourists millions of dollars by filing a complaint with the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission that resulted in the busting of thousands of cabbies who played fast and loose with their meters, swindling passengers out of $8.3 million.

The New York Post reports that Lee knew something was wrong when his normal $5 fare came to $7.

"New Yorkers are smarter than cabbies think," Lee said. "In these down times, everyone is watching the meter."

New York Post: How 1 rider exposed the great taxi rip-off

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. joe

    I think your're also missing other costs – gas and other expenses required to put them on the road. And, materials themy might use in the course of duty – pen, paper, cartidges, etc.$660 does seem light...

    March 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. njcop

    A little high on the price tag here. I am a cop in NJ and make 20 an hour not 100

    March 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. William

    Police officers in Fargo, MN "putting their lives on the line" or "getting shot at". You people are morons....have you even been to Fargo?

    March 17, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Keith

    Bernard,

    That probably includes everything – the car, gas, other expendables, etc. They probably figure out how much the patrol division spends each year and then divide it up "per shift." If they have some large events that use a lot of resources, that would get figured in too. The actual savings here probably is much less than what they are saying unless he and his LE executives run into major events during the shifts.

    -Keith

    March 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dew drop

    We live in a very crazy nation. A dude, or dudette, that leaves college with an MBA, at a very, very young and inexperienced age, receives a very rewarding salary. Why? Who the heck knows. That's the way 'they' set it up. But when it comes to first responders, the very first person to show up on a call-out, facing God knows what, are one of the lowest paid professionals there are. The one to face a shoot out,, a burning car or house, a robbery in progress, an often domestic dispute that turns very ugly, you name it,, they respond. But the little child with his or her MBA is handsomely rewarded. Yeah,, we got our priority's right. Of course we do.

    March 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jack

    Our company calls the total per hour cost of an employee the "burdened rate". That's what we get in our pockets, plust all of the overhead costs. Other comments are right on target in explaining this.

    Some of you also pointed out the dispatcher, records, and other costs. Again, right on! That police officer on the street needs those real-time backup services to do his job. If he stops you on suspicion of stealing the vehicle you are driving, you will be very grateful that he can radio in to records or dispatch and quickly confirm that your plate is legitimate. This saves us citizens time and money. And when he does the same thing to quickly recover the car that was stolen from your driveway, again it saves you money. So the expense of those folks back in the station works to our benefit.

    March 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Thomas

    Instead of paying all of this overtime, why not hire some additional officers? It is apparent they are able to pay them straight time rates.

    March 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
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