What we have here is a failure to communicate
There has to be a chain of command, especially in such things as the military, government, business, etc. There are times though when common sense should trump any chain of command.
Last week, a disgruntled man made threatening phone calls to two Wayne County departments, talking to the department secretaries in both cases. During the man’s heated tirade, he threatened to show up with a gun to get satisfaction (see page 1). Okay, the guy may have a few screws loose by the threat of using a gun in a moment of fury. He was arrested and is currently in jail on $54,000 cash/$104,000 bond.
What really upset me was how the incidents finally got reported. One of the secretaries in the County Attorney’s Office came over to Debbie Liseno in the Supervisor’s office to have a paper signed. She related to Debbie about an earlier phone call containing shouting and threats.
Debbie was immediately concerned and asked if the incident had been reported. It seems everybody in the County Attorney’s Office knew, but that is where it stayed. A similar call and threat was made to one of the secretaries in the County Treasurer’s Office, again with no calls to police.
Debbie Liseno confronted the County Administrator who said the matter should be passed on to the County Board of Supervisor Chairman. The Chairman was not in and the issue finally ended up back with the County Attorney.
The County Attorney then called the Wayne County Undersheriff on his cell phone and passed the incident along, asking what should be done.
Undersheriff Rick House immediately sent a deputy down and ordered court security to respond to the building. Debbie, meanwhile, told the girls in the County Attorney’s office to lock their doors.
The disgruntled man was arrested the same day and faces some pretty serious charges. His pistol permit was immediately cancelled and a warrant was obtained to seize his pistols and long guns.
In lieu of disgruntled employees, citizens and nut jobs and all the recent activity concerning mass shootings, why did a threat like the one received by two secretaries at County departments have to go through a chain of command before police were called? How many businesses, hospitals, schools demand any instances of violence, or threats go through the boss before action is taken? What if the boss is not present?
Sure, we are all pretty gun shy with the recent mass shootings and media hype, but Wayne County better have a policy in place for such incidents in the future. Time could have been of the essence in this case, but luckily the man involved was blowing smoke (hopefully).
I called Walworth Supervisor/Committee Chair Bob Plant and fellow Public Safety Committee member Sodus Supervisor Steve Leroy and asked if there was a policy to address such a situation,and if there was, are the County employees aware of it? No one knew for sure.
Stay tuned, I am sure the County will form another committee to study the problem.