The New Improved ‘Police State’ Of Delaware

With the 2012 passage of HB 325, then House Majority Leader ‘Pistol’ Pete Schwartzkopf, along with Delaware’s super-majority Democratic Party, laid the groundwork for the nation,s first Socialistic police state. Schwartzkopf introduced HB 325 weeks after Republican 39th District Representative Danny Short struck a similar bill he had introduced, after taking heat from Tea-Party Conservatives, Libertarians and Independents from the entire state. HB 325 was a bill that simply went through Delaware’s Statutory law and removed the word ‘sheriff’ from any reference that included that the sheriff had powers of “conservator of the peace.” A simple enough task for ‘Pistol Pete’ Schwartzkopf but an unconstitutional move on his part as he well knew at the time that he drafted the bill. Aritcle XV section 1 of the Delaware Constitution:
The Chancellor, Judges and Attorney General shall be conservators of the peace throughout the State; and the Sheriffs shall be conservators of the peace within the counties respectively in which they reside.
Now this would seem to be very exact and plain and simple English for most Americans and in every state in the union, except for Delaware, it means that Delaware Sheriffs have police powers in their counties. But in the newly formed Delaware English formed by Sussex County Councilman Vance Phillips, Rep. Danny Short and “Pistol Pete” Schwaretzkopf, it now means “Official Paper Pusher.” One of the most disturbing pieces of legislation coming across the floor of the House is HB 147 that would in fact, remove control of Municipal and city police forces from the town and city administrators, and place that control in the hands of the state police and a tribunal of appointed police chiefs. Here is a synopsis of HB 147:
This bill updates the Delaware Code relating to Police Chief Due Process by providing that the hearing, which may be private or public, at the police chief’s request, is conducted by a panel of three persons appointed by the Delaware Police Chiefs’ Council, the Delaware League of Local Governments and the Delaware Criminal Justice Council. Furthermore, this bill authorizes the panel discretion to award attorney’s fees for a police chief in certain cases when there is a finding that just cause does not exist for dismissal, demotion or removal from office. This bill also allows the panel when just cause does not exist for dismissal, demotion or removal of a police chief to recommend other disciplinary action.
If a town hires a person as a ‘chief of police,” he or she is their employee, not the states employee. As everybody knows, employees are terminated for many reasons by their employer and not a panel of their peers. The towns have the sovereign right to hire and fire their chiefs of police as well as their police officers, unless of course, police chiefs and officers are special citizens that have far more rights than individual peons that live in Delaware. If a town or city is continuously dissatisfied with the performance or demeanor of a police chief, (an employee) they should have the right to terminate his employment and not have to answer to a commission, set up by his peers. This has the appearance of the fox watching the hen-house and we have enough of that already in Delaware. Sponsors on this bill are; Reps. Mitchell, Carson, Schwartzkopf, Atkins Jaques, Deeley Kowalko, Outten, Wilson and Smyk. Senators, Bushweller, Ennis, Hocker, Lopez and PettyJohn Recognize any re-appearing so-called republican names on this legislation. Remember at election time!!!

49 thoughts on “The New Improved ‘Police State’ Of Delaware”

  1. If the Rehoboth Beach Town Council decides to dismiss Rehoboth Beach Police Chief Keith Banks, under which circumstances would Chief Banks get a more fair hearing:

    1) Rehoboth Beach Town Council, who dismissed Chief Banks, conducts the hearing, or
    2) A panel of 3 people not associated with the government of Rehoboth Beach conducts the hearing.

    This bill doesn’t strip anyone of anything except the ability to continue their local “good old boys” system.

    I’m also curious about a few things in your article, Don, like why you fail to list Representative Dave Wilson (R-Lincoln) on your list of sponsors, and why you only highlight Republican legislators who sponsor the bill. Also why you fail to mention that every legislator who was a law enforcement officer is a sponsor on this bill. Representative Steve Smyk is a decent guy with a deep devotion to law enforcement in Delaware, your assertions to the contrary say more about YOU than him.

    Another baseless conspiracy theory brought to you by the IPoD. Your party symbol should be a tinfoil hat.

  2. Forgot to mention Wilson and I will add him. I stand by everything that I wrote about the bill.

  3. I’m sure you do stand by your incorrect interpretation of the bill, just like Pat Fish stands by her articles, the last of which stated that Kent and New Castle don’t elect their Register of Wills, when that is completely false.

    Put down your copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and write some fact based articles, you claim to be a journalist, try acting like one.

  4. My post is not even remotely analogous to Ms. Fish’s post and what’s more, you know it. My interpretation is my opinion and is an editorial. Thank you for your comment. You are the one using Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and I am merely stating my opinion, which you don’t agree with.

  5. If a town or city is continuously dissatisfied with the performance or demeanor of a police chief, (an employee) they should have the right to terminate his employment and not have to answer to a commission, set up by his peers. This has the appearance of the fox watching the hen-house and we have enough of that already in Delaware.

    The “fox watching the hen house” is what this bill eliminates. It ensures that if a police chief is fired, there is just cause, and the firing isn’t just another result of the good old boys system.

    Recognize any re-appearing so-called republican names on this legislation. Remember at election time!!!

    Don you were a “so-called republican.” When the heat was turned up, you fled the party like a 4 year old girl who had her dolly taken away.

    The Republicans who sponsored this bill are trying to do away with the good old boy system. With the one exception of Steve Smyk, they have been part of the Delaware GOP for a heck of a lot longer than you, they have lost elections and fought while the party was thrust into the minority, and they remained in the party unlike you, and unlike you, they continue to fight for good Republican policy.

    You, Don, ran to the IPoD after your first election loss. You are no longer a Republican, you no longer have the authority to decide who is and who isn’t a “so-called Republican” you, Don, are the poster child of “so-called Republicans.”

  6. Although I would differ with you perhaps on this topic, I would conclude Pistol Pete as you call him is running his House as if he were in a police state….

    1) You have issues with Republican Bills => police state
    2) You will have crony-ism to the highest degree, with your property tax dollars going to “friends of Markell”, if HB165 passes tomorrow. Charter Schools will use state funding for raising their buildings, repairing roofs, trimming the shrubbery, and feeding the kids just so the Friends of Markell can increase their profits. It is as if Taco Bell wanted the state to build their restaurant for them, so after all expenses were paid, they could step in and run it for a profit. This is probably the most blatant state money grab, since the golf course debacle…. Pistol Pete fast tracked it for tomorrow. If you know your House of Delegate’s rep, call him/her tonight and tell them socialism is dead. Charter Schools should not take funds away from public schools, because that public school money is ours… It belongs to the people, not to “friends of Markell.”’ Pete is sneaking this bill through with no debate, just like he hides Republican bills to also stymie debate…

    Call! Demand a no vote on HB 165 and make Pistol Pete lose this one!

  7. anonymous
    “you no longer have the authority to decide who is and who isn’t a “so-called Republican” you, Don, are the poster child of “so-called Republicans.”

    This kind of crap is the reason I changed parties. The Republican party is as corrupt as the Democratic party. Take Sen. Lopez, for instance. He was the deciding vote to expand background checks for buying weapons. A worthless bit of legislation that will only penalize lawful gun owners and do NOTHING to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. (a feel good knee-jerk reaction to the Sandy Hook massacre)

    Get real anonymous, I spent enough time in the GOP to know corruption and bullshit when I see and hear it,so don’t get self-righteous on me. IPoD is growing and the right people a changing parties for the better.
    BTW, you write like a woman, so you gave your gender away; not that it matters, this blogsite needs more female commenters.
    BTW, I have the authority to write my opinion and judge the GOP in any way I fell like.

  8. Take Sen. Lopez, for instance. He was the deciding vote to expand background checks for buying weapons.

    That legislation passed the Delaware Senate 13-8, so why don’t you explain to everyone how Lopez’s vote was the “deciding vote”. Come on, explain how Lopez was the deciding vote on that legislation when his vote wasn’t even needed to pass it.

    BTW, you write like a woman, so you gave your gender away; not that it matters, this blogsite needs more female commenters.

    And you act like a woman. I’d rather be a man who “writes like a woman” than a man who ACTS like one.

  9. If I wasn’t posting as Anonymous Doug Beatty I would point out the hypocrisy of people who anonymously tear others down, while refusing to identify themselves thus denying their victims equal footing. But I’m posting as Anonymous Doug Beatty so I don’t really don’t have any room to talk here 😉

  10. And here come the IPoDers, on cue, to defend Don Ayotte because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Notice how they don’t address the issue, they attack the person making the comment.

    Anonymous Doug Beatty, why don’t you answer the question, if the gun bill Don cites passed 13-8, how was Lopez’s vote the “deciding vote?” You are quick to chime in with your usual off topic attack at the gaul of someone being anonymous on a blog, but the question is valid. 13-8 vote, how was Lopez’s vote the “deciding vote.”

    Or is the math just too hard?

  11. Someone? Anyone? Can someone explain how Senator Lopez was the “deciding vote” on the gun background check legislation when the bill passed 13-8, and Lopez could have spent the whole day in bed and not voted, and the bill would have passed anyway.

    Hello?

  12. Come on Don, defend your statement that Lopez was the “deciding vote” on the background check bill.

    Don’t go crying to Wolfgang or Doug to defend you, defend your own comment.

  13. anonymous
    “That legislation passed the Delaware Senate 13-8, so why don’t you explain to everyone how Lopez’s vote was the “deciding vote”.”

    My mistake. It was the death penalty issue that he was the deciding vote on 11 to 10.
    And BTW, nobody has attacked you here on this site. Quit being so emotional. You’ve got to be a bit more patient while waiting for a response. I don’t sit on the keyboard to serve your every whim. I actually have a life.

  14. Dear Anonymous,

    When did I say that Lopez was the deciding vote? I wasn’t defending Don, I was attacking you for being a gutless troll. Or is the reading just too hard for you?

    Anonymous blogging commenting is an important defense for the underdog, for David to fight Goliath. However, when it becomes the refuge of bullies, liars, and propagandists I lose all respect. Just so you know.

  15. My mistake. It was the death penalty issue that he was the deciding vote on 11 to 10.

    A swing and a miss for strike two.

    Riddle me this, how was Lopez the deciding vote on SB 19 when he was one of 3 senate republicans to vote for it? The “deciding vote” was Senator Bryan Townsend, the 11th vote in the Senate, who was very honored to be that vote.

    SB 19 was bi partisan legislation, both Ds and Rs supported it, it had both D and R sponsors in both the House and the Senate.

    Believing in the death penalty is NOT conservative or republican. In fact, if you want to know who stopped that bill it was “Pistol Pete” Schwartzkopf and your best buddy AG Beau Biden.

    Anonymous Doug – this blog site specifically ALLOWS anonymous commenting, if you have a problem with that, go whine somewhere else. If all you have to offer is squealing like a pig about anonymous commenting, you shouldn’t blog.

  16. I would ask David Anderson and the moderator why I am being attacked for commenting anonymously when this site allows it? Not only is the attack an attack, it is off topic.

  17. 1. Avoid profanities, libelous statements, ethnic, religious or gender based slurs, or foul language unless it is contained in a necessary quote or is relevant to the comment or denegrading people on the basis of ethinic, religious, gender, or disability.
    2. Try to relate your comments to the topic.
    3. Disagree, but avoid ad hominem attacks.
    4. Threats are treated seriously, don’t make them.
    5. Spam and advertising are not permitted in the comments area.

  18. Now, to get back on topic, we’ve learned that the bill in the article does exactly the opposite of what Don Ayotte claimed it does.

    We’ve learned that Senator Ernie Lopez was not the “deciding vote” on the gun control legislation as Don Ayotte falsely claimed.

    We’ve learned that Senator Ernie Lopez was not the “deciding vote” on the death penalty bill as Don Ayotte falsely claimed.

    Want to take a third shot at a piece of legislation that Lopez was the “deciding vote” on, Don, or are you tired of being proven wrong?

  19. anonymous, you can’t be attacked if nobody knows who you are. attacking ‘anonymous’ isn’t an attack on any particular person. Homophobic slurs such as ‘squealing like a pig’ would be if I weren’t “Anonymous” Doug Beatty 😉

    Tin foil hats? typical. You disagree with Don, that’s your right but you are attacking him personally instead of addressing the issue and YOU complain about ad hominem? Again, if nobody knows who you are then its your posts that are being attacked.

    When you hide behind a screen name to say things that you wouldn’t say as yourself you really can’t expect any respect can you?

    I happen to agree with Don on this one. If a town wants to fire a cop that’s town business and if they are wrong the town can face the music. Local autonomy. We disagree on this point. That’s no reason to start throwing out insults.

    Rule number one, don’t start none won’t be none. Is the reading too difficult for you?

  20. BTW, if the vote was 11-10 ANYONE who voted with the 11 can be called a deciding vote. But for their vote… or is that too difficult to grasp. What we’ve learned is that you disagree with Don and you aren’t satisfied with debating on the merits of your argument, you have to attack Don.

    We have learned that you are a hypocrite because you then accuse Don of “Saul Alinsky” tactics. We have learned that you can dish it out but you can’t take it.

    But you are entertaining so by all means proceed. 😀

  21. Really Doug? Would you apply that same rationale to what happened to Dr. Issa at DSU? So when DSU decided to fire the Dr., DSU should have decided whether or not the firing was justified instead of a separate board?

    So if the Rehoboth Police Chief is fired by the Rehoboth Town Council, you would want the Rehoboth Town Council to decide whether or not the Rehoboth Town Council was justified in the firing? Sure, I see no problem with that <>

  22. anonymous
    No, what we’ve learned is that you disagree with me, and only that!!

  23. Don, why don’t you tell us again how Lopez was the deciding vote on the background check bill and the death penalty bill, and tell us how allowing the Rehoboth Town Council to decide whether or not the Rehoboth Town Council justly fired a police chief isn’t the fox guarding the hen house.

    Your article is rife with misrepresentations, this bill does exactly the OPPOSITE of what you think it does; your comments are inaccurate at best, lies at the worst.

  24. And you STILL don’t have the list of sponsors right, sheesh, all you had to do was cut and paste it.

  25. anonymous
    You are certainly disgruntled for some reason. I hope it doesn’t cause an ulcer.
    I appreciate your comments!

  26. Not disgruntled, tired of your lies and misrepresentations. Doesn’t all of that lying tire you out, Don?

  27. Now hurry up and defend your buddy, Doug

    How dare you OUT ME!! YOU THUG BULLY!! I AM ASKING ALL THE BLOGGERS IN THE STATE TO TAKE NOTICE OF HOW ANONYMOUS HAS OUTED ME!!!

    I’m posting as Anonymous Doug Beatty!! How dare you put my real name out there!!!

  28. John Daniello and the empty chair on Lancaster Avenue have never looked better.

  29. Anonymous I’ve read all the comments made by everyone. Quite honestly I find your complaint you are being “attacked” disingenuous to say the least. You engaged in a rhetoric that is inflammatory, with the intention of raising the ire of the person/persons you are addressing.
    Since you took the time to cut and paste the rules please look at:
    3.Disagree, but avoid ad hominem attacks.

    Flame wars are not welcome in this blog, there are plenty of other political blogs for that like DR or DL.

  30. anonymous
    Your comments are welcome and nobody here is lying so why don’t you get a grip on your emotions. Your comments sound like you are drunk.

  31. “anonymous” brought up some points I’d like to address.

    1. Dr. Issa and DSU:
    DSU is a part of the State of Delaware. They fired Dr. Issa, did they have to get a board from the federal government to do that? Should they? Of course not, so why should a town have to get permission from the State? Of course a wrongfully fired Police Chief would have avenues for redress as would any American wrongfully terminated anywhere.

    Any employer can be held accountable for wrongful termination. I disagree that adding this layer of state oversight in municipal government is a good idea. Your mileage may vary.

    2. Many of these municipal Chiefs are retired DSP like the Chief in Blades Delaware. This is a small state and we have enough cronyism now, thank you very much. Again, others may disagree on the basis that our local municipalities are certainly not free of cronyism and feel that this legislation addresses that situation. I disagree.

    3. Yes, Don made a factual error in a comment. That doesn’t make him a liar and stating his opinion isn’t a misrepresentation – it’s his opinion.

    4. Lampooning an ‘anonymous’ commenter who has nothing to say to my face when our paths cross in public but personally attacks me on blogs isn’t “squealing like a pig”. In fact given the context that’s a homophobic slur and ‘anonymous’ knows that.

    5. If you’re disclosing verifiable information or expressing an opinion that is volatile that may be a great reason to comment anonymously. If all you’re doing is being a provocateur and slandering people who are expressing opinions instead of debating their ideas then it’s clear that hiding behind a screen is only an act of cowardice.

  32. This isn’t “another layer” it replaces a faulty layer that stinks of cronyism with a neutral layer of review.

    Steve Smyk was the President of the Delaware State Troopers Association, why would he co-sponsor legislation that screwed police officers?

    Why would every single law enforcement officer in the Delaware State Legislature co-sponsor legislation that would screw their fellow cops?

    When you screw law enforcement in Delaware, you don’t get re-elected to anything, ever. This article is nonsense and everyone with a brain knows it. If the police didn’t want it, it would never be introduced.

  33. anonymous
    While you believe that a tribunal board to decide these matters in necessary, the municipalities that will still have to pay and put up with police chiefs they want to fire for whatever reason, will now have to deal with a tribunal of his peers.
    Other police chiefs making a decision for one their own smells of cronyism of the highest order. It is not acceptable!

  34. Other police chiefs making a decision for one their own smells of cronyism of the highest order.

    That’s not what it is, you’re so busy trying to prove you’re right and I’m wrong, you’re ignoring your own article:

    This bill updates the Delaware Code relating to Police Chief Due Process by providing that the hearing, which may be private or public, at the police chief’s request, is conducted by a panel of three persons appointed by the Delaware Police Chiefs’ Council, the Delaware League of Local Governments and the Delaware Criminal Justice Council.

  35. A recommendation to consider, why don’t we consolidate all of these many police forces throughout the state? We don’t need a NCC Police, Wilmington Police and all of the many city forces in such a small state.

    The Sheriff Debate seems to be more about personalities than policy.

  36. One more time, the City Council that fired the Police Chief should not be reviewing whether or not the City Council justly fired the Police Chief.

    Every law enforcement officer, including the former President of the Delaware State Troopers Association, is co-sponsoring this legislation.

  37. anonymous

    “Every law enforcement officer, including the former President of the Delaware State Troopers Association, is co-sponsoring this legislation.”

    Yea, I’ll bet they are!!!

  38. Don, why don’t you explain how allowing the City or Town Council that fired their own Police Chief to decide whether or not they fired their own Police Chief for just cause is not the “fox watching the hen house.”

    That would be like having the Sussex County Council rule on whether or not the Sussex County Council was correct in its interpretation of the Sheriff’s duties.

    Or like allowing your 5 year old to decide whether or not they have to eat their vegetables.

    Or like allowing an alcoholic to decide whether or not they are ok to drive.

  39. anonymous

    I have already explained my position. Further discussion with you on this subject will be fruitless and will not happen. grow up.

  40. The towns need to have autonomy for their police forces to consolidate accountability and responsibility.

    Mike I would opine that a city like Wilmington could use it’s own police department. Same with towns like Smyrna, Dover, and even some of the smaller towns. Personally I like the elected Sheriff model because it keeps the Sheriff responsive to the people.

    When they are elected the expectation is that they will keep the job until retirement age. If that doesn’t work out the people replace them. I prefer that system to appointing police leaders.

  41. Where could one find the platform of the IPOD ? As a recent college graduate with no hope of a job anytime soon (at least in my field) I am not happy with the ‘political’ choices we were served in the last election.

  42. IPad
    e-mail contactipod@yahoo.com I monitor the e-mails daily and will send you the platform as a doc.

    Thank you for your interest. We are tired of the two-party system that is doing nothing to improve economic conditions in Delaware or America.

  43. @Don

    “I spent enough time in the GOP to know corruption and b/s”

    Okay, but after the first five minutes, then what did you do?

  44. Nit

    Go to google and you’ll find out. Next time you see me in public, introduce yourself and tell me you are Nitpicker, the most negative person in the world.

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