To try and understand Sheriff Franklin’s promotional system, you first have to understand her limited experience in law enforcement. You have to watch the Sheriff, she likes to exaggerate. Remember the Blog about the number of METH labs she reportedly busted? Exaggerating is putting it mildly. Prior to going to the police academy, she says she was involved in police K-9. She was not, she was involved in a citizen based search and rescue dog group in Limestone County. The group helped law enforcement when called upon, but they are not a police group. She was a reserve deputy in Limestone County. A reserve deputy unless APOST academy trained and a graduate cannot arrest, cannot write a ticket, cannot respond to/and investigate complaints, They may ride along with an APOST certified deputy. Franklin fell in the non APOST certified category, she did not attend the reserve academy. Franklin attended the academy after being hired in Morgan County, and upon graduation was made an investigator and served in that position for four years until she resigned.
After graduating from the academy Franklin never wore a uniform, rode in a marked patrol car, or answered calls. She had no clue of the very basics of patrol duty. With that being said, once she became Sheriff she made all investigators Sergeants. If there is a need for a patrol Sergeant, she pulls a Sergeant from investigation to patrol. This means that the first responders of the department, the patrol deputies have no opportunity to get promoted to Sergeant unless they are picked to become an investigator. This is an “antiquated” way of running a promotional system, and it is very demeaning. Sergeants are another term for supervisor. Investigators at the Sheriff's department supervise no one. Making an investigator a sergeant simply because they are investigators sends a message to patrol deputies that the Sheriff, their commander and chief thinks that the investigators are better deputies than the patrol deputies are. This is poor leadership and a huge morale buster. This practice limits the patrol deputies who are the “backbone” of the sheriff's office from seeking promotion. The sheriff's promotion practices are not approved government hiring practices. This is another case where you can't blame the investigators, blame the Sheriff.
If this practice is not enough of a morale buster, the Sheriff then turns around and hires a friend off the street as a Lieutenant. A friend from Madison County not Morgan County. The fallout of these type hiring practices means one Sergeant is kept from making Lieutenant and one deputy is kept from making Sergeant. Two career deputies that have paid their dues, performed countless hours of volunteer work on the sheriff's pet projects, stood guard at her house on Perkinswood Road, and lost valuable time with their families are being kept from advancing their careers. Why? Friendship. The sheriff uses emotion vice professional logic to build the structure of her administration. Any leadership human resource training coach will be the first person to tell you to stay away from family and friends when making employment decisions. You cannot be a boss and a friend. These hiring practices are emotional decisions vice professional leadership decisions. Unless the sheriff has a more nefarious reason for surrounding herself with "friends" vice professional law enforcement employees. When Franklin hired her common law son-in-law I believe it was her attorney that told the Decatur Daily that the sheriff could hire anybody she wants to. In the private sector that is a correct statement. That is not a correct statement for state, county, municipal, and federal government agencies. The Department of Labor writes regulations policies and procedures as does the state. Once the state writes their regulations it is the responsibility of their subordinate agencies to write unique regulations, policies, procedures, or manuals to cater to their unique mission. Franklin's practices do not even follow the spirit of the law. If I am not mistake the subordinate organizations may write more stringent guidelines than the federal and state agencies but they cannot write their guidelines at a lower level than approved guidelines. The sheriff keeps forgetting that though she is powerful her employees do have rights.
Franklin’s supporters continue to make comments that the private sector does this all of the time. Government jobs such as law enforcement are specialized professional fields, the positions are not private sector positions and should not be treated as such. Persons comparing law enforcement to the private sector reflects limited knowledge of state, county, municipal, and federal policies and procedures, manuals, and regulations. I feel comfortable that should the Department of Labor get involved due to complaints of unfair hiring practice and unfair promotion practices the sheriff would have some very engaging communications with DOL and possibly the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Sheriff Franklin favors investigators because that is the only law enforcement duties she ever did before becoming sheriff. She ran a gym that faltered. She did some catering. She acted as a non APOST certified reserve. She had pampered chef parties and sold pampered chef products. As a matter of fact, I know of someone who paid for their pampered chef products but never received their purchases. Sheriff Franklin favors hiring friends to ranking positions, Berzett from Lauderdale County a horse riding buddy, Livingston a campaign worker and contributor, and Zivat from Madison County a horse riding buddy just hired as a Lieutenant, and Brian Goodwin, then there is the 20 year old that was accosted by a fifteen year old young woman at the fair. Don't forget Dee Ann Goodwin is the vendor who drives a MCSO truck, wears MCSO attire, and has a MCSO gas card. Don’t blame these people. The buck stops at the No Show Sheriff Franklin's door.
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