Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

- Subsribe at
January 6th, 2012

Monticello Police Commission is a Charade

The concept of a police commission overseeing and reviewing a police force is a great approach to keeping things honest. However, the commission formed by the Village of Monticello to watch over their police department is nothing more than a deplorable disgrace that is extremely dangerous. It sends the wrong message to law enforcement while telling criminals with political connections that someone has their back.

Mayor Gordon Jenkins and his cohorts have no shame. They are so blinded by power and arrogance that they do not even see anything wrong with mixing politics and law enforcement. Elected officials do not belong on police commissions.

Having Jenkins appointed to the police commission removes any level of credibility it could have had. It also makes a total mockery of our criminal justice system. Need I remind everyone that Jenkins was sentenced after pleading guilty to five misdemeanors?

Police are told confidential information every day that put their lives at risk. Members of this commission could potentially tip off their friends and supporters with certain information. How can we ever expect our police officers to trust this commission?

A truly independent citizen review board would be a great initiative and should be considered as an alternative. This type of board could review complaints and make recommendations to the Chief and the Village Board for new procedures.

To add insult to injury, there are reports there is a move to further cripple the Monticello police department by dissolving its detective division and K-9 Unit.

Monticello PBA President John Riegler said morale amongst officers has gone from an all-time high to an all-time low. He noted how in recent years, Police Chief Douglas Solomon along with other police agencies, District Attorney Jim Farrell, and village officials formulated a plan that successfully combated gang violence. Now it has reached a point where communication between the Village and the PBA has become non-existent.

Riegler told me, “The village began imposing rules that violated the PBA contract and employee rights, and lawsuits followed. Some village board members became more and more opposed to police officers in general. Recently, the mayor appeared at the police station in the middle of the night threatening officers with suspensions, something he cannot do.”

“The Village Board has now adopted a Police Commission with no input from the Chief of Police, the Monticello PBA, and more importantly the District Attorney’s office.” Riegler added, “Politics and police work is a dangerous combination and simply do not mix.”

As an alternative to a Police Commission, the PBA feels that the correct way to do this would be to form a Human Rights Commission or a Civilian Review Board consisting of village residents, a trustee, along with the chief of police.

Riegler called members of the Police Commission “nothing more than a group of hatemongers on their own personal power trips.” He said the PBA will fight it with every resource available.

The PBA, along with District Attorney Jim Farrell, must do everything in their power to stop this charade of a police commission from happening. Jenkins and his gang have no respect, regard, or human decency for Sullivan County and its residents. Jenkins has single-handedly destroyed the once spotless reputation of our County Seat.

Comments are closed.