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Interview With Attorney and Author Ron DeLord

Will Aitchison interviews Ron DeLord, the founder of Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT). In addition to being an attorney and experienced contract negotiator, Ron is a published author and respected historian of the law enforcement labor movement. Timestamp Topic 0:00 Introduction. 04:10 Ron’s background. 07:15 Founding of CLEAT. 11:28 The unique approach to law enforcement collective bargaining in Texas. 19:33 Books authored by Ron. 23:55 The police…

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Illinois Statute Only Requires Employer To Provide Lowest-Cost Health Plan To Disabled Employees

Terry Esser was a police officer with the City of Peoria, Illinois. In June and October 2013, Esser injured his back while at work. Esser eventually had surgery but was unable to return to work as a police officer. In September 2014, Esser filed an application with the pension board for line-of-duty disability pension benefits, which was later granted. In August 2015, Esser filed an application for health insurance…

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County Required To Arbitrate ‘Me-Too’ Grievance

The County of Rockland in New York and the Superior Officers Council of the Sheriff’s Corrections Officers Association of Rockland County are parties to a collective bargaining agreement that requires the members of the Association to be paid a certain percentage more than the rate of pay of the corrections officers they supervise. On December 17, 2017, the corrections officers’ union reached an agreement with the County to increase…

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Firefighter Fired For Refusing Vaccination, Accommodation

Brett Horvath was employed as a driver/pump operator by the City of Leander Fire Department in Texas. Horvath is an ordained Baptist minister and objects to vaccinations as a tenet of his religion. In 2014, two years after he was hired, the Department adopted an infection control plan that directed fire department personnel to receive flu vaccines. Horvath sought an exemption from the directive on religious grounds, and the…

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Officer Forfeits Pension After Conviction For Obstruction

Michael Lalley was a police sergeant in Newark, New Jersey. In early 2010, he was approached by agents of the FBI seeking his cooperation with an investigation of fellow members of the Department. Lalley declined to cooperate in the investigation. Unbeknownst to him, during the same time period the FBI was also investigating his sexual relations with M.H., who was then 17 years old, and other minors Lalley encountered…

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Officer Fails ‘Integrity Test,’ Loses Promotion

David Meadows is a police officer with the City of North Bay Village in Florida. In January 2017, Meadows sat for the sergeant’s examination and placed second on the promotional list. The City uses a rule of three. Under the collective bargaining agreement between the City and the FOP, the police chief has discretion in his promotional decisions, except that he must select from the top three ranked candidates….

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Who Does The Employer Deal With After A Decertification Vote?

In the fall of 2016, a consent election was held to determine whether the bargaining representative for Macomb County, Michigan Sheriff’s Department’s deputies and dispatchers should be changed. At the time, the employees were represented by the Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM). During the election campaign, the Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council (FOPLC) offered to decrease members’ monthly dues by approximately one-third and to provide assistance from…

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No Proof That Firefighter Could Control Weight By Diet And Exercising

Gregg Burns is a firefighter for the City of Las Vegas. Burns filed a workers’ compensation claim after suffering a heart attack in October 2013. When the City denied the claim, several levels of appeal occurred before the case wound up in the Nevada Court of Appeals. The key questions for the Court surrounded a Nevada statute that a firefighter meeting certain requirements is entitled to a conclusive presumption…

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Romantic Relationships And Due Process

Hosea Word is a sergeant and aspiring lieutenant in the Chicago Police Department. When he took the departmental lieutenants’ exam in 2006, he was ranked 150th of all candidates. The sergeants ranked 1 through 149 all received promotions. Sergeant Word was the highest-scoring candidate who did not. In 2015, when Word next took the exam, his ranking fell to 280th. He was passed over a second time. Word sued,…

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Detectives’ Long-Running FLSA Case Comes To Bizarre End

The opening of the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion in a long-running lawsuit brought by two Travis County, Texas detectives is one of the best descriptions of FLSA litigation to find its way into a court opinion: “Whether a worker is entitled to the FLSA’s time-and-a-half requirement for overtime pay is an important question for both employers and employees. Unfortunately, the answer is not always straightforward. A…

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Officer’s Firing For Facebook Posts Upheld

Anthony Venable, who had been an officer with the Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County Police Department (MNPD) since 2007, engaged in a Facebook conversation regarding the shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota. At the time, Venable was off-duty and the shooting had happened just the day before. During the course of the conversation, Venable posted a number of comments, including: “Yeah, I would have done 5,” in response to…

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Interview With Fire Chief Dan Kerrigan On Firefighter Health and Wellness

Fire Chief Dan Kerrigan talks about how to minimize the risk factors to firefighter health and how they can achieve and maintain what he calls functional fitness. This interview focuses on firefighters but is applicable to all public safety employees and employers. Topics covered: New awareness of the importance of firefighter fitness (00:02:35) Cardiovascular risks and what firefighters can do to prevent them (00:05:40) Cancer risks for firefighters (00:10:59)…

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Q & A

From New Jersey:Question: As a member of the FOP executive board, my deputy chief told me he is going to change a practice that involves our detectives. Although he did not identify specifics, he wants to rotate our detectives, a practice that we (the FOP) believe he cannot do. We believe our detectives are to be promoted. The question is what would constitute notification? If he says he is…

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Not Improper ‘Direct Dealing’ For Negotiators To Have Sidebar Discussion

Tom Jamison works for the East Lake Tarpon Special Fire Control District in Florida. Jamison filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the District alleging that Tom McQueen, an elected commissioner of the District, engaged in improper “direct labor negotiation discussions” via Facebook Messenger with Bobby Sullivan, a member of the negotiation team for Local 1158 of the International Association of Firefighters which represents the District’s firefighters. Sullivan admitted…

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‘No-Contact’ Order Ruled Illegal

The 22 police officers in the Oakdale Police Department in California are represented by the Oakdale Police Officer’s Association. The Department’s officers wear body cameras. On March 26, 2018, a lieutenant approached Police Chief Scott Heller to discuss concerns over how certain video files were indexed. After logging into the Department’s system to understand the lieutenant’s concern, Chief Heller noticed an unusual file named “delete.” The file was a…

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Detective Who Responded To Mother’s Welfare Check Call Before Her Death Loses Workers’ Comp Claim

Derek Henderson is a detective for the Phoenix Police Department. His primary duties did not include acting as a first responder for welfare check calls, but department policy allowed him to do so if he was available and in the vicinity. On September 28, 2016, Henderson was working at his desk when he received a phone call from his sister. She informed him that a caregiver who was scheduled…

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Arbitration Panel Rules In Favor Of Pre-Statement Review Of Video

The City of Newton, Massachusetts and the Newton Police Superior Officers Association Coalition of Police, Local 401 are parties to a collective bargaining agreement effective July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014. In May 2014, the Parties began bargaining for a successor agreement but were unable to reach a settlement. Eventually the matter ended up before an interest arbitrator. A key issue in the arbitration dealt with video systems….

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The Standard For A Fitness-For-Duty Evaluation

Bryan Gipson worked for the Tawas Police Authority in Michigan for a few years when he was in a serious car accident. Gipson hurt his back so badly that he was unable to return to work for over six months. When he did return, he needed accommodations. After a few months of work, his doctor wrote notes saying he couldn’t lift over 25 pounds and could only work the…

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Who Is ‘Similarly Situated’ For Disciplinary Purposes?

Morris Johnson was a trooper with the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Johnson pulled over a woman for a DUI, arrested her, and asked her out. A month later, he saw the same woman on the road and pulled her over without probable cause so he could talk to her. He asked her out again, told her he liked her, and asked her to go to the casino with…

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Reporting To Work On Time Essential To Firefighter’s Job

Darrell Hartwell worked as a firefighter/EMT for Naval Support Activity (NSA) Panama City for more than 16 years, until he was fired by Chief James Elston. For his entire career at the Department, Hartwell had trouble getting to work on time. The firefighters at NSA Panama City worked alternating 24-hour shifts starting at 7:00 AM. According to Chief Elston, Hartwell was late “almost every shift.” Until 2011, however, Hartwell…

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Corrections Administrator Wins $1 Million Whistleblower Action

Meg Yatauro was employed by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) as a prison administrator and was assigned to the Wagner Youth Correctional Facility. Following a demotion, Yatauro sued DOC under New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act, claiming she blew the whistle on certain improprieties. When a jury awarded Yatauro $1,000,000 in damages for her emotional distress and economic losses, the State appealed. Yatauro alleged four separate acts…

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Detroit Sergeant Was Not Illegally ‘Seized’

Johnny Strickland is a sergeant with the Detroit Police Department. In the early morning hours of January 22, 2017, Officer Casey Schimeck and her partner, Officer Lawrence Ballinger, responded to a call at a gas station regarding a suspicious package. The package turned out to be a grenade on the ground near the gas pumps. Strickland was off duty at the time and pulled into the gas station lot…

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Lying, Not Complaint About Profiling, Was Basis For Investigation Into Officer

Lamark Ferguson, who is African-American, is an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. Around midnight on the evening of August 18, 2014, while Ferguson was off-duty and returning home from a family function, he drove to a rental property in South Los Angeles that he owned and was renovating. Ferguson was driving his black 1999 Chevy Tahoe with tinted windows, 22-inch chrome rims, and low-profile tires. He was…

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Employer Required To Bargain Over Many Lexipol Policies

Prior to 2018, there was no one place where employees could find all the workplace policies and procedures utilized by the Snohomish County Corrections Bureau in Washington. There were two policy manuals dating from different eras, one from 2006-2007 and one from 2009. Each contained some policies and standard operating procedures that remained in effect until 2018. The County also used a file sharing platform that contained additional policies…

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Interview With Dr. Stephanie Conn On Emergency Personnel Resilience

What is resilience, how do emergency personnel develop it and how do departments foster it? Will discusses this important topic with psychologist Stephanie Conn in this special podcast. Topics covered: Dr. Conn’s book Increasing Resilience In Police And Emergency Personnel (00:02:44) What is resilience? (00:06:56) The four-part formula for resilience (00:11:58) I. Organizational resilience (00:14:38) Steps an employer can take to develop organizational resilience (00:16:34) Law Enforcement Mental Health…

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