New Disciplinary Matrix And Procedures Are Negotiable

For many years, FOP Lodge 12 has represented officers working for the Newark, New Jersey Police Department. The Newark Police Superior Officers’ Association (SOA) represents supervisors in the Department. When the City unilaterally implemented a disciplinary matrix, the FOP and the SOA filed unfair labor practice complaints with New Jersey’s Public Employment Relations Commission. PERC agreed with the unions and found the unilateral adoption of the matrix to be…

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No Due Process Right To Promotion From Expired List

John Cummings is a lieutenant in the Bridgeport Police Department in Connecticut. On October 21, 2015, the City held an examination for promotion to lieutenant. Cummings ended up ranked tenth on the promotional list. On January 12, 2018, after being alerted to the possible expiration of the list by the president of the police union, Chief A.J. Perez requested that the per­sonnel director, David Dunn, “provide the next highest…

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Internal Union Appeals Process Does Not Extend Statute Of Limitations For Filing ULP

Timothy Horvath was employed by the City of Westland, Michigan Police Department as a sergeant. On November 16, 2020, the City suspend­ed Horvath for 84 hours for allegedly sexually harassing a fellow police of­ficer. He was also required to take 40 hours of sexual harassment training and was removed from the lieutenant promotional list. The Westland Lieu­tenants and Sergeants Association filed a grievance on Horvath’s behalf challenging the discipline….

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No DFR Breach When Fire Union Balances Competing Priorities Of Members

Craig Gault is a firefighter with the City of Portland, Oregon, and is a member of the bargaining unit rep­resented by the Portland Firefighters’ Association. In 2019, Gault became a Fire Investigator, a job that required specific training. Under Oregon law, Fire Investigators are a form of police officer, and carry firearms. Shortly before Gault became a Fire Investigator, the Association filed a grievance challenging the City’s change in…

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‘Absolute Immunity’ Even Shields Placement On Brady List For Political Reasons

A group of nine Pierce County, Washington, Sheriff’s Department law enforcement officers who were assigned to the Department’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) sued Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys James Schacht and Fred Wist, former Sheriff Paul Pastor, Acting Sheriff Brent Bom­kamp, and Pierce County, claiming that they were wrongly placed on the local Brady list by Schacht and Wist. The deputies contended that the real reason for their designation on the…

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No Discipline For Following Lieutenant’s Guidance

Sergeant Willie Jenkins works for the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). On April 18, 2018, Jenkins, along with several other NOPD offi­cers, responded to a call concerning an armed robbery. Attempting to locate and arrest the suspect, Detective De­cynda Chambers spoke to the resident and obtained her verbal consent to enter the residence, upon which cer­tain officers entered, encountered the suspect, and arrested him. The officers who entered the…

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Arbitrator Finds Shift Change Violates Contract, Awards Damages

Patrol officers for the Village of Cal­umet Park in Illinois are members of the Illinois Labor Council of the Fraternal Order of Police. The contract between the FOP and the Village provides that “the regular work shift will be as follows: Shifts A and B shall consist of four ten-hour shifts. Shift C shall consist of five eight-hour days.” The contract also allows for a deviation from the schedule…

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Union Election Speech Protected By First Amendment

Al O’Laughlin and Crystal Little are captains in the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Department. Both are mem­bers of the International Association of Firefighters Local 2928. O’Laughlin was running for Local 2928 presidency. As part of his cam­paign, he created an invitation-only Facebook page, on which he posted a comment accusing Local 2928’s First Executive Vice President, Captain Jef­frey Newsome, of attempting to misuse time that union members had…

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Troopers Lose Post-Janus Attorney Fee Case

A group of current and former Connecticut state troopers filed suit in 2015 against the Connecticut State Police Union and various state officials alleging that the Union violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by deducting union fees from their pay even after they withdrew from union membership. While the lawsuit was pending, the Supreme Court decided Janus v. AFSCME, 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018), in which the Court…

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Q & A

From Michigan:Question: I just finished listening to this month’s podcast. At the end of the podcast, you talked about what if the sergeant had no supervisory responsibilities over the employee and you said in a non-union environment it doesn’t matter. Is the same true in a union shop if we also do not have a policy on nepotism but we have a conduct unbecoming policy? Answer: In a union…

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Detectives On The Streets, Understaffed On The Beats

Rookies not showing up at Madison Square Garden, what’s new? Last month, only 561 NYPD recruits graduated at the MSG swearing-in ceremony, roughly half of the incoming classes’ targeted numbers, according to the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York. The PBA blames low pay, inferior benefits and “constant abuse” for the lack of new, blue blood. “Hundreds of our most talented and experienced police officers—the ones…

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CA Federal Firefighter Levels Plummet

Aug. 4—As California’s wildfire season ramps up, the number of federal firefighters in the state is down — way down — plummeting to its lowest level in years, despite pledges by fire officials to have boosted the ranks before a potentially busy summer. The U.S. Forest Service, which operates the nation’s largest wildland fire force, entered the summer months with about 25% fewer firefighters in California than it had planned…

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Armed Police Return To Patrols At UW Dorms After Dispute With Union

After ending armed police patrols of student housing in the wake of the George Floyd protests, the University of Washington has reversed its decision and will bring back armed police patrols of UW dorms. The Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) found that UW failed to bargain with Teamsters Union Local 117, which represents the University of Washington Police Department, over the end of patrol shifts around the dorms. The report found…

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County Cancels Lake Waccamaw EMS Contract

After a brief executive session Monday, Columbus County commissioners voted to cancel the Lake Waccamaw EMS contract with the county. The motion was suggested by County Manager Eddie Madden and Asst. Manager Nick West, who is in charge of the county’s emergency services. Commissioner Charles McDowell made the motion, which passed six to one. Commissioner Giles “Buddy” Byrd cast the sole opposing vote. The measure was added to the…

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It’s Proving Increasingly Hard To Hire Cops In Kansas — And To Avoid Losing Them To Other Jobs

Police departments across Kansas are struggling to hire. In Dodge City, that means younger officers walking the beat. TOPEKA, Kansas — The Dodge City Police Department struggles to keep officers. Stress, in an era where police complain they’ve become pariahs, only makes it harder to hire and keep officers on patrol. All that turnover means more work for the officers that remain, which could bring on more burnout. Continue reading…

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Ithaca Increases Police Signing Bonus, Again

Police officers who transfer to Ithaca’s police department will now receive $20,000 as a hiring bonus. Ithaca’s Common Council voted unanimously to once again increase the police sign-on bonus for lateral transfers during a special meeting last week.  A lateral transfer refers to when a law enforcement agency hires a candidate already employed as a police officer elsewhere. Continue reading at www.wskg.com

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Virginia Police Departments Experience Staffing Shortages

VIRGINIA, USA — Like many industries, local police departments are facing staffing issues. Prince William County Police Chief, Pete Newsham says they could use 100 more officers to be fully staffed and Fairfax County has called a staffing emergency. “Across the Commonwealth, we’re all suffering from a lack of interest in becoming a police officer. Applications are down significantly,” said Newsham. Continue reading at www.wusa9.com

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Bad Advice From Employer’s Lawyer Can Violate Due Process

Dan Bodle was an officer in the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department in Indiana. In August 2018, Bodle suffered an injury to his knees and shoulders in the line of duty, leaving him permanently disabled. He was placed on light duty during rehabilitation. His doctor later said he would not clear Bodle to return to full duty. In October 2020, Bodle met with a county attorney to discuss his…

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DC Fire And EMS Seeks Diverse Firefighter/EMT Recruits

D.C. is looking to hire firefighter/emergency medical technicians through an application process that’s open for the next 30 days. “Quite frankly, there’s nothing more rewarding than being able to help someone every day that you come to work. I’ve grown up in this department for the last 30 years, and I’ve loved every minute of it,” D.C. Fire and EMS Chief John A. Donnelly Sr. said at a Monday…

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Montgomery Co. Police Provides Recruits More Chances To Pass Academy Tests, Officials Say

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (7News) — The Montgomery County Police Department is providing its recruits with more chances to pass their tests at the training academy before becoming sworn officers, the department confirmed Friday to 7News. “We’re looking at what’s fair in Montgomery County,” said Darren Francke, an assistant police chief who oversees the department’s Management Services Bureau. “The Montgomery County policy on testing for police officer candidates had been around…

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Jury: Louisville SWAT Members Not Entitled To Pay For ‘On-Call’ Time

A jury ruled against Louisville Metro Police Department SWAT team members who were suing the city for back pay and overtime compensation for the months they spent “on call” starting in 2002.  The decision in Jefferson County Circuit Court on Friday saved Louisville Metro from what was potentially a multimillion-dollar payout. Since the early 2000s, the city has paid more than $80 million in back pay and pensions for its firefighters…

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Small-Town Cops Are Quitting En Masse As Police Come Under More Scrutiny

When all five full-time police officers in tiny Kenly, N.C. handed in their resignations last week, citing conflicts with the new town manager, it made national news. But Kenly isn’t alone. Earlier this month the police chief and the only two officers Springfield, Colo., (population: 1,325) resigned from the force. The chief, Katrina Martin, cited personal reasons for the decisions while the two officers decided to take positions somewhere else. Continue…

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Former Prairie Village Police Officer’s License Revoked After Sexting Arrestee

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training revoked their certification of a former Prairie Village police officer following an investigation last month. In their investigation, the committee found that the officer, identified as Rolando Swaby, had made an arrest of a young female in March 2020. Following the arrest, investigators discovered Swaby made sexually explicit text messages to the woman he had arrested. Continue…

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Amid Shortage Of Candidates, Local Police Departments Re-Think How To Attract New Officers

EVANSDALE, Iowa (KWWL)- Times are tough for law enforcement departments across the state in terms of staff shortages. Big and small departments in cities have to make changes to how they retain and recruit new staff members. The city of Evansdale has been trying to recruit new officers for months but has only been able to get three candidates, and all three failed the initial exam. Continue reading at…

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Firefighter Shortages Stress Skagit County’s City Departments

When it comes to staffing, fire departments in Skagit County are stretched thin. Some of those involved in municipal departments say the problem is twofold — there are not enough budgeted positions to meet demand, and it is increasingly difficult to fill the positions that do exist. n 1996, the Mount Vernon Fire Department had a staff of 26 and received 1,863 calls for service — about 72 calls…

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