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Morning Lineup – January 15

Tuesday Morning – Fire Safety
Takes a Tumble in Tampa

You most likely don't remember the name Milton Jenkins because it has been just over two years since we mentioned him back in December, 2010.  (See the Firegeezer story HERE.)  Milton is the incompetent fire investigator whose story began in our column: 

A TAMPA (FLORIDA) FIRE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATOR has been demoted because he has lost his service revolver for the second time in two years. Milton Jenkins was a supervisor in the investigations department where the fire investigators are required to be qualified reserve police officers and carry police-issued firearms.

Milton Jenkins  (WTSP)

He not only lost his guns, but he compounded the situations by not reporting their disappearance in a timely manner.  When it turned out that the 2nd theft was committed by Jenkins' son, he impeded the police investigation.  A string of related missteps and violations led to Jenkins being demoted.  At the time, we wondered aloud why he wasn't fired from the department.  These were serious -almost criminal – violations of procedures and responsibility.

So here we are, two years later, and Jenkins is still livin' right with the chief because the (very same) fire chief has just promoted him to Chief Fire Marshal despite the fact that over the past two years Jenkins had continued to rack up unsatisfactory performance evaluations in which he was criticized for requiring assistance on routine matters; not reliable under unusual circumstance; having disinterest in the job; and reacting negatively to criticism.

The tv station that devoted a lot of investigation into Jenkins' escapades two years ago, WTSP-TV has picked up the ball and run with it again, filing this video report which includes the fire chief double-clutching on camera in a pathetic attempt to justify his puzzling decision to promote Jenkins:

 

While we will leave it to the citizens of Tampa do digest this misfeasance, I will take a moment to sympathize with the firefighters in Tampa.  The fire chief has literally dumped on them all by indicating, in effect, that of the entire uniformed force, this clown is being put forward as the most qualified member of the department to be the chief fire marshal.  Talk about contempt and disrespect of your own subordinates, this is the worst.

Count your blessings and then let's get started with the equipment check.  And when you plan your vacation to Disney World, pay attention to which jurisdiction you book your motel room in.  I'm heading for the Bunn-O-Matic now, so I'll catch you later in the day room.

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