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Officer Review Of Body Camera Video

There’s position piece circulating out there on officers reviewing body camera videos. It looks like it’s been out for a month or so, though I just tumbled across it. The author is the Daigle Law Group, a Connecticut firm that advises and trains police management on different issues. I couldn’t disagree more on the core points in the position piece. After describing the Graham v. Connor reasonableness standard in…

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And Then There Were Two

There’s a deal in the long-running negotiations between New York City and the union representing rank-and-file firefighters. You can find the details here. The gist of it is 11% spread over seven years, an amount that is likely to increase the spread between New York wages and surrounding jurisdictions, which are almost all paid at higher levels. What’s at work here? The article gently alludes to it. New York is…

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A Real Blast From The Past

Really? A 67-year old former Baltimore police officer performing in “blackface” as a fundraiser for the Baltimore officers charged in the Freddie Grey case? Against the wishes of everyone involved, including the Baltimore FOP? Thank goodness it was canceled. There’s a story behind the story. 30 years ago the officer won a big First Amendment lawsuit when he was fired after performing in blackface at a local club. In a…

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New Database Of Police Contracts

There’s a new free database of police contracts in larger cities called Check The Police.  It’s from an odd source — in fact, you can’t tell who is hosting the web page other than that the public records requests that produced the database seem to have been submitted through Muckrock. Part of this is a snooze, since most police and fire contracts in larger cities are posted on the…

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The DOL’s Proposed New Overtime Regulations Are Here

The Department of Labor’s proposed new overtime regulations are here. And wow, if they stay unchanged in the finalization process, will they ever increase overtime eligibility. DOL’s estimate is that more than 4.0 million people who today are classified as exempt from overtime under the FLSA who will become overtime-eligible. Far be it from my to second-guess an agency of the federal government, but I think that number is low….

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So What Would The California Ballot Measure On Pensions Do?

The latest salvo on California pension reform is very different than what was proposed the last time around. This time the sponsors of the measure, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio, have clearly decided to play the propensity of some California voters to want to vote on just about everything. You can find the text of the measure here. Almost cynically…

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Gallup Poll On Confidence In Police

This June 19, 2015 Gallup Poll on policing means there’s serious work to do. The percentage of Americans who say they are confident in policing has dropped fairly precipitously. From a high of 64% in 2002, to 57% two years ago, to 52% today. 25% of Americans say they have a “great deal” of confidence in police, 27% “quite a lot,” 30% “some,” 16% “very little” and 2% “none.”…

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Three Police Unions, Three Different Messages

I was struck this week by widely-published stories about how three police unions communicated with their communities. The first story came from San Jose, and involved an “open letter” written by San Jose POA President Paul Kelly to the community. Kelly framed the letter around a chance encounter with two young African-American men, his decision to interact with them, and the results. In the middle of that frame, Kelly…

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New FMLA/GINA Forms Released By Department Of Labor

The Department of Labor has issued new forms for employers to use dealing with the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act. You can find the new FMLA forms here. You’ll see they contain GINA information as well. Here’s an article from a management-side law firm explaining the new forms. While I don’t disagree with anything in the article, I’d add another point of emphasis. The…

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The Tests Of True Leadership

If we can all agree on something about the situation in Baltimore, it’s that the City is in desperate need of strong leadership. The Mayor of Baltimore is Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The Mayor took office in 2010 when her predecessor announced her conviction for embezzlement, and successfully ran for a full term in 2011, winning 52% of the vote in the Democratic primary (which is the only real election in…

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A Thought On San Jose’s Situation

There were two articles yesterday on the San Jose Police Department. One spoke more narrowly to the City’s flagging efforts to recruit more women as police officers. The other spoke more broadly about the Department’s retention and recruiting woes. It’s hard to overstate how bad things in the recruitment and retention department. Thanks to pay cuts, pension benefit reductions coupled with higher employee pension contributions, and huge increases in…

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