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Taser Exposure Not Essential To Job Of Detective

Jacqueline Lewis, an African-American police detective in Union City, Georgia, was terminated abruptly from her position in 2010, after about ten years of service. In January 2009, Lewis suffered a small heart attack. The episode was unusual in that a cardiac catheterization showed “no clot and no disease” in Lewis’s heart, although heart attacks generally are caused by a “clot inside the coronary arteries.” And while Dr. Arshed Quyyami,…

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Police Department Can Insist That Officers In Administrative Assignments Be Able To Make Forcible Arrests

On December 5, 2005, San Francisco Police Officer Kenneth Lui suffered a heart attack and had five stents inserted. He was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease. Following his heart attack, Lui took 11 months’ disability leave at full pay. On November 1, 2006, Lui returned to work in a 365-day temporary modified duty assignment performing light-duty work in the records room. After…

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County Not Allowed To Use Corrections Officers To Do Deputy Work

When a student disappeared from a local school, the Multnomah County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office set up a search and rescue operation. The SAR operation involved eight deputies and sergeants and hundreds of state certified volunteers and the criminal investigation included law enforcement officers from Multnomah County as well as from 39 agencies throughout Oregon and Washington. Federal agencies were also involved, including the FBI, DEA, ICE, U.S. Customs, and…

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Child Custody Dispute Not Part Of Corrections Officer’s Job Duties

Phillip Simpson and Emily Bonniwell are corrections officers in the Dakota County, Minnesota Sheriff’s Office. They became romantically involved and conceived a child born in 2009. The relationship ended and Bonniwell began dating a man she met while he was a jail inmate. Bonniwell and Simpson began a child-custody dispute in 2010. In it, Simpson sought to prevent the former inmate from having contact with their son. He submitted…

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Dispatchers Not Entitled To Increased Pay For Answering Telephones

The City of Elyria, Ohio and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) are parties to a collective bargaining agreement that governs the terms and conditions of work for several employee groups in the Elyria Police Department, including dispatchers. Records clerks in the Department are in a different bargaining unit, and are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). When the records clerks are not…

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Political Patronage In Sheriff’s Offices Still Open To Debate

In two decisions that are roughly 30 years old, Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347 (1976) and Brantie v. Finkel, 445 U.S. 507 (1980), the Supreme Court generally ruled that dismissals for political patronage purposes were unconstitutional. However, the Court found a narrow exception to the unconstitutionality of patronage dismissals for “policymaking positions.” The Court described a policymaking position as where “the employee acts as an advisor or formulates…

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