Opinion: The following text was submitted by Stuart Oliver, a portion of his comments from the last Eastville Town Council Meeting.
Good afternoon, at the last town meeting Mr. Stubbs accused me of being a member of the defund the police movement or something of that nature. I was not being critical of the honest, hardworking members of an underappreciated profession… I was referring to the management of the Eastville Police Department. I find it a tad disingenuous that the second in command of a five-member force, getting paid more than the Sheriff of Northampton, is offended by a peon questioning his compensation.
I have obtained Calls For Service records from the Sheriff’s department relevant to the Incorporated Town of Eastville. Between January 2018 and August of 2021. The Sheriff’s Department answered 88% of Eastville’s calls between the hours of 10pm and 7am. The dangerous times when drunk drivers, domestic disputes, and break-ins are likely to occur.
There are few speeding tickets to profit from at these hours, so Mr.Eder and Mr.Stubbs are glad to let The Sheriff’s department handle their trash. On February 8th 2019 a young woman tragically hanged herself by the parking lot at Yuks. This is the same year Mr. Stubbs made $43,775 in overtime. No Eastville officers were available. They had to be called in.
Less than a year ago, an armed individual attempted to enter Yuks, and also attempted to enter an occupied private residence adjacent to Yuks. No Eastville officers were available. On January 22nd of this year, the motorcycle gang shooting started at this same location at about 10 pm. No Eastville Police were present. The shooting itself occurred approximately 125 yards away from the Eastville police station. No Eastville police were present. The Sheriff’s department had to respond. It took about 30 minutes to even locate Mr.Stubbs.
The Town of Eastville annexed Yuks to profit on food and beverage tax yet provides almost nothing in police service.
On the night of January 14, 2019, the same year Mr. Stubbs made $43K in overtime, one of my cars was totaled in my front yard in a felony hit and run incident approximately 250 yards from the Eastville police station. If I were to commit a serious crime I would do it on the steps of the Eastville police department at midnight… I would never be caught.
The Eastville police are extremely proud of their new rifles. They like to show them off to other cops. I filed a FOIA request to obtain the cost and models of these weapons. I was denied this request with the town citing a strained interpretation of a FOIA exemption. This is rubbish. I filed FOIA requests for weapon inventories from The Sheriff’s department, Exmore, and Cape Charles, and received complete, unredacted, reports from all… very modest expenditures.
But Eastville doesn’t want you to know what they paid for their rifles… it’s OK… other cops filled me in. You have suppressed, gas piston-operated, Sig Sauer assault rifles with high-end optics of SWAT team quality. Far exceeding the price that the Sheriff’s department uses. The suppressors alone cost more than the other departments’ rifles. It is worth noting that in the event of a school shooting Eastville will only play a supporting role. These high-dollar rifles will be used instead as protection from the speeding, sunburned, soccer moms heading home from the Outer Banks.
I was able to observe the removal of the Confederate Monument the other day. Two county cops had Courthouse road blocked. What a perfect job for the Eastville town police. They were out on route 13, leaving the dirty work to the sheriff’s office.
It is worth noting that my interactions with the other police departments on the shore were transparent, honest, and efficient. I perceived a feeling of animosity and contempt from most of the officers from other departments towards the Eastville department.
Virginia state code is clear. Police officers must be paid a fixed salary, and “shall have no interest in nor be permitted by law to accept the benefit of any fine or fee” S 46.2-102 with the exception of Mr.Eder, ALL officers are paid an hourly wage with liberal overtime provisions. If you track the increasing revenue from fines it will parallel the pay raises of all officers. If you have not crossed the line you are walking it.