Department Cannot Fire Officer Who Followed Training

On January 29, 2010, Portland, Oregon police officer Ron Frashour was one of approximately 15 officers responding to a call that an armed man, Aaron Campbell, was threatening suicide by police. Because he was certified in the AR-15 rifle, Frashour was assigned as “lethal cover” for a custody team that set up in a parking […]

City Must Arbitrate Grievance Over Retirement Benefits

The City of Portland, Oregon has had a pension fund for police and fire employees for many years. In 2006, following public criticism of the Fund and its board, the City’s voters approved a ballot measure that, among other things, would restructure the Fund’s board and require new employees to become members of the statewide […]

Paramedics Are Firefighters For Purposes Of Pennsylvania Bargaining Law

Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters is the bargaining representative of all uniformed fire personnel employed by the Philadelphia Fire Department, including firefighters and about 200 paramedics. Both firefighters and paramedics have been included in the Local 22 bargaining unit for over 20 years. However, on March 12, 2009, the City filed […]

Failure To Train And Sexual Misconduct

Joshua Mozeleski is a Chicopee, Massachusetts police officer. On the night of November 9, 2007, Yolanda Claudio was acting as the designated driver during celebrations for her cousin’s birthday. After she dropped her cousin off at the end of the night, she noticed Joshua Mozeleski, whom she did not know, in a nearby parked police […]

Officer’s Criminal Convictions For Accessing Other Officers’ Computer Records May Result In Pension Forfeiture

On October 26, 2006, Edward Bettencourt, a former member of the Peabody, Massachusetts Police Department, was convicted of 21 counts of accessing an unauthorized computer system. The same day, Bettencourt filed an application for retirement with the Peabody Retirement Board. After a hearing, the Board issued a decision approving Bettencourt’s retirement, ruling that his convictions […]

Leaving Loaded Firearm In Unlocked Locker Room Costs Corrections Officer Her Certification

Judith Lucke, a corrections officer with Multnomah County, Oregon, left a loaded firearm unsecured on a bench in an unlocked locker room at the jail, where it remained undiscovered for approximately eight hours. When the Multnomah County Sheriff terminated her, Oregon’s Department of Public Safety Standards and Training initiated proceedings to revoke Lucke’s certification as […]

Soliciting Dates While On Duty Disqualifies Deputy From Unemployment Insurance

David DuBay was a deputy sheriff for Watonwan County, Minnesota from September 2008 to July 2010, when he was terminated for numerous instances of insubordination and inappropriate conduct toward women while on duty. Early in DuBay’s brief career, the Department began to receive complaints from women that DuBay solicited dates from them while on duty. […]

Changes In Staffing Rule Subject To Arbitration

Beginning in 1999, the Chief of Police of the Village of Horseheads, New York issued a series of general orders setting forth various rules and regulations relative to departmental operating procedures and policies. The rules included General Order A–13.1, which required that a minimum of two officers be assigned to patrol duty for each shift. […]

Arbitrator Rejects Proposal To Remove Lieutenants From Bargaining Unit

Baltimore County, Maryland and Lodge 4 of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) bargain under a local collective bargaining code. One provision of the code defines the rand-and-file law enforcement collective bargaining unit as including lieutenants. Notwithstanding the code provision, the County made a bargaining proposal to the FOP to remove lieutenants from the bargaining […]

Retiree Health Care Grievance Is Arbitrable

The collective bargaining agreement between the Town of Orchard Park, New York and the Orchard Park Police Benevolent Association calls for the Town to provide some retiree health care benefits. When the Town announced it intended to change retiree health care benefits, the Association filed a grievance on behalf of affected retired members protesting the […]

Requiring Employees To Explain Health-Related Absences May Be Unlawful

A recent decision from a federal court in California, E.E.O.C. v. Dillard’s, Inc., calls into question the legality under the Americans With Disability Act of routine requests for “doctor’s notes” to justify sick leave use. Background Corinna Scott, an employee at one of Dillard’s stores, was absent from work from May 29 to June 3, […]

Firefighter’s Statements Critical Of City Council Potentially Protected Speech

Ron Westmoreland is a firefighter for the City of Bay Village, Ohio. The Fire Department has roughly 24 firefighters. Budget concerns in the spring of 2008 led to the adoption of changes that substantially reduced overtime for firefighters. In addition, the Fire Chief recommended that the dive team be eliminated, a recommendation approved by the […]

Camden Moves To Halt Referendum On Takeover Of City Police

A campaign to let Camden residents decide the fate of a controversial takeover of the city’s police department by Camden County hit a roadblock Wednesday when the city filed an injunction seeking to block the referendum. In a complaint filed in Superior Court, Camden attorneys argued that the decision whether to implement the plan is […]

Troopers’ Union Opposes Red Light Cameras Bill

HARTFORD, CT &#8211 The president of the Connecticut State Police Union is speaking out against legislation that would allow cities and towns to place traffic cameras at busy intersections and record drivers who run red lights. Sgt. Andrew Matthews told The Hartford Courant on Wednesday that the bill’s goal appears to be increasing revenue for […]

Firefighter’s Statements Critical Of City Council Potentially Protected Speech

This article appears in the May issue of our monthly newsletter, Public Safety Labor News. Ron Westmoreland is a firefighter for the City of Bay Village, Ohio. The Fire Department has roughly 24 firefighters. Budget concerns in the spring of 2008 led to the adoption of changes that substantially reduced overtime for firefighters. In addition, […]

Nevada High Court Sides With Union, Delays Coroner’s Inquest

LAS VEGAS, NV &#8211 An emergency appeal with the Nevada Supreme Court to delay Thursday’s coroner’s inquest process has been granted. A three-judge panel ruled that the inquest involving Eduardo Lopez-Hernandez is stayed until at least May 11. The police union said it believes new inquest guidelines and parameters are unconstitutional because an ombudsman is […]

Chattanooga Police Officers Offered Housing Incentive

CHATTANOOGA, TN &#8211 Chattanooga is offering police officers up to $20,000 each to entice them into moving to redeveloping neighorhoods of the city, local leaders announced Tuesday. Among the 461 commissioned officers, only 42 percent live within Chattanooga, according to a residency study conducted by the city last year. “We have an inherently dangerous job. […]