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Aurora Police Union Responds To Colorado Attorney General’s Report

AURORA, CO — The president of the Aurora police union pushed back against the attorney general’s report that was highly critical of the Aurora Police Department. Marc Sears, president of Aurora FOP Lodge 49, said he is completely willing to work with the attorney general to make meaningful changes, but he said the report unfairly characterized Aurora officers as racially biased. “When you think about how rapidly our situations…

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Former Allentown Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald Faces Backlash After Fighting To Bring Change To Department In Iowa

WATERLOO, IA — The first Black police chief in Waterloo, Iowa — who is a former Allentown police chief — is facing intense opposition from some current and former officers as he works with city leaders to reform the department, including the removal of its longtime insignia that resembles a Ku Klux Klan dragon. Joel Fitzgerald says his 16-month tenure in Waterloo, a city of 67,000 with a history…

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Losing Badges: St. Louis Area’s Major Police Forces Struggle To Recruit, Retain Officers

WELLSTON , MO — When St. Louis police Chief John Hayden announced his retirement this month on the steps of St. Louis City Hall, he identified the biggest challenge facing the region’s largest police force: finding and keeping officers. “We’re competing for the best officers in the region and they can go elsewhere for more money and less demands,” Hayden said. In St. Louis and St. Louis County —…

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Policy Change Forces St. Louis Police Officers To Use Vacation Time For Disaster Relief Efforts In Louisiana

A dispute over a union contract is affecting officers helping other officers recover from Hurricane Ida ST. LOUIS — A group of St. Louis police officers who recently deployed to Louisiana to help officers there pick up the pieces of their own homes following Hurricane Ida have learned the city will not be paying them their regular duty wages for the volunteer mission — despite years of doing so…

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Brookline Settles For $11 Million With Firefighter Who Alleged Racist Environment

“This Select Board extends to Mr. Alston our sincere apologies for the Town’s mistakes.” BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — A former Massachusetts firefighter engaged in a years long legal fight with the Boston suburb of Brookline over what he said was a racist work environment has reached an $11 million settlement with the town, officials said. The settlement with Gerald Alston, who is Black, was announced Tuesday by Brookline’s Select…

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Former Police Union Head Steve Loomis Suspended For Facebook Posts

Former Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association president Steve Loomis has been suspended for one day for material he posted on Facebook last year. The decision was announced Tuesday during September’s Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB) meeting. The suspension is the result of an anonymous civilian complaint filed with the Office of Professional Standards (OPS) June 22, 2020, saying that Loomis’ since-deleted Facebook posts were offensive to the African American community. According to…

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New Philadelphia Police Contract Grants Raises, Some Reforms

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia police announced a new three-year contract with the city Tuesday that offers raises, along with a $1,500 bonus, but lets the city make some of the disciplinary reforms it sought. The more than 6,000 city officers will see raises of 2.75% this year and 3.5% in each of the next two years. City officials meanwhile promised more transparency in the disciplinary process a year after…

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Justice Department’s Oversight On APD’s Use-Of-Force Monitoring Could Change

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Major changes may be on the way related to how the Department of Justice oversees the Albuquerque Police Department through a court-appointed monitor. The announcement is welcome news to the city, police and the police union. The police union has been critical of the DOJ’s oversight and it’s come at a hefty price for Albuquerque taxpayers. However, the U.S. Attorney General just announced a major shift in how…

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Union Calls For More Prison Staff

“If we don’t recognize the heroes of this pandemic, we will run out of heroes,” said Kenneth Hayward, a correction officer at the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, during a virtual news conference held by his union Tuesday. Three locals of AFSCME Council 4, representing an estimated 75% of unionized state Department of Correction staff members, held the news conference to call attention to staffing shortages that they say…

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Vaccination Mandate Resource

It turns out there’s an organization that is tracking the wide variety of lawsuits filed challenging vaccination mandates. The Network for Public Health has created a “Fact Sheet” listing the cases filed in the last year and the current state of affairs in each case. You can download the Fact Sheet for free here. We’ve taken the information from NPH’s web site and have created this simplified table, adding…

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Facility Closures Continue As Florida Prisons Face ‘Unprecedented’ Staff Shortage

With almost 30% of security staff positions vacant across Florida prisons, the corrections department continues to close sections of its facilities to mitigate its now past-critical staff shortage, officials recently said. In late August, the Florida Department of Corrections announced the indefinite closure of three of its main prisons due to short staffing, a drastic measure that came amid closures of smaller work camps and dorms over the last year as…

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Company Pitches Liability Insurance For Colorado Cops, Following Passage Of Police Reform Law

Now that Colorado officers can be sued as individuals, following the passage of police reform legislation last summer, a small Texas insurance company is offering liability insurance starting in October. “I mean, the thing that you’ve got to understand is every industry out there has some kind of liability insurance. It doesn’t matter if you’re a notary, they have coverage,” Jeff Harrison, the president of Prymus Insurance, said. “It’s unusual for…

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COVID-19′s Impact On law Enforcement

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – New numbers show COVID-19 is a dangerous and deadly threat facing police officers. COVID-19 has killed more officers in the last year and a half than on duty shootings or crashes. Law enforcement officials say it’s a high contact job that calls on officers to react quickly. As much as departments do to protect staff, there’s only so much they can do. Oxford Police Chief…

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Bill To Decertify California Police Officers After Serious Misconduct Heads To Governor’s Desk

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A major milestone has been reached in Sacramento with the passage of a police reform bill. Now on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk, it would essentially end the careers of law enforcement officers who were fired for just cause. Under this bill, a special state commission would have the power to decertify an officer for serious misconduct including excessive force, sexual assault, making false reports, or intimidating witnesses….

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FDLE: Former Florida Police Union President Accused Of Stealing Nearly $50K

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – A former Clermont police officer has been arrested on felony charges, accused of stealing nearly $50,000 from a police union while he was its president, officials said. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in an email that Jeremy Kevitt obtained an ATM card in 2014 and used it to spend money from the Clermont Police Officers Union bank accounts without approval. Investigators said Kevitt spent…

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Fresno Chief Says He’s Adopted Some Police Reform Recommendations. Here They Are

Fresno police have implemented nine new policies recommended by the Commission on Police Reform, including some related to use-of-force, according to an update Friday from Chief Paco Balderrama. The commission recommenced 73 changes to how the Fresno Police Department operates, including deadly use of force, response to nonviolent calls for service, hiring and recruitment, contracting with school districts and a slew of other topics. The department began a process in April to put…

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Baltimore To Reimburse Current And Former Police Employees $3.45 Million In Unpaid Overtime

Baltimore has agreed to pay nearly 2,500 current and former Baltimore Police employees $3.45 million in unpaid overtime, ending a lawsuit filed in 2016. The city’s Board of Estimates voted unanimously to approve the settlement at its weekly Wednesday morning meeting. The settlement is the latest dispute about police overtime in the city, which has been struggling with persistent crime but a shortages of officers. For years the department…

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Vermont State Troopers Resign Amid Probe Into Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Cards

Three Vermont state troopers have resigned amid an investigation into allegations relating to fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. The former troopers — Shawn Sommers, Raymond Witkowski and David Pfindel — are suspected of having “varying roles” in a scheme to create fake vaccination cards that may violate federal law, the Vermont State Police said in a press release Tuesday. The agency said the allegations, which were reported by other state troopers, were also referred to federal…

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Evolving COVID Policies For State, Anchorage Workforces Leave Public Employees Anxious

As a super-contagious strain of the coronavirus sweeps across America, there are no mask or vaccine requirements for state and Anchorage city workers. That’s left an evolving patchwork of policies that public employees are unsure will leave them protected, with some increasingly nervous and scared as the new strain of the virus, delta, threatens even vaccinated Alaskans, according to interviews with union officials. “It’s just a lot of people…

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Unvaccinated Firefighters In South King County Won’t Be Allowed To Provide Care To Patients

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Some front-line workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be allowed to provide patients care and could be at the risk of getting fired due to a new policy for South King Fire and Rescue employees.  The South King Fire and Rescue Board of Commissioners issued a vaccination policy for firefighters and staff who are unvaccinated. This is in coordination with Washington’s vaccine mandate for all state employees.  Deadlines are quickly approaching for staff…

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Washington State Supreme Court Declines To Hear Seattle Police Union Appeal Of Court Ruling In Fired Officer’s Case

Washington’s Supreme Court won’t take up a Seattle police union petition seeking to challenge a court ruling that overturned an arbitrator’s 2018 decision to reinstate an officer who was fired for punching a handcuffed suspect in the face. Chief Justice Steven C. González’s one-page order on Wednesday denied the Seattle Police Officers Guild’s petition for a hearing about the Adley Shepherd case, effectively ending the union’s challenge of a Court of…

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L.A. Firefighters, Police Officers Dig In Heels Over Vaccination Mandate

Los Angeles firefighters and police officers who are angry over City Hall’s new requirement that employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 are mounting an offensive. Firefighters 4 Freedom, a group of Los Angeles city firefighters, was launched recently “to stop the mandated vaccinations for all city employees as well as the citizens of this great country,” according to its website. “We want to bring education and truth to the people…

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COVID Is Nation’s No. 1 Cop Killer, But Many Florida Officers Still Say No To Vaccines

By the hundreds they lined in formation, standing at attention when Sgt. Patrick Madison’s flag-draped casket was taken from the hearse. Many of them have gathered like this before for yet another full-honor funeral for a South Florida police officer felled by the coronavirus. As of Friday there have been at least 622 deaths in the U.S., according the National Fraternal Order of Police. That’s more than one a…

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Vashon Island Fire Chief Refuses To Get COVID-19 Vaccine Despite Washington State Mandate

A Puget Sound fire chief is refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in defiance of the state’s mandate that makes vaccination a condition of employment for most state employees and health care workers. Vashon Island Fire and Rescue Chief Charles Krimmert has declared that he does not intend to get vaccinated despite the mandate issued by Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this month that requires Washington state employees, contractors and health care workers to show proof…

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Estimated Austin Police Vaccination Lags Behind Travis County Rate

As the Austin Police Department grieves the deaths of two of its own from COVID-19, police are facing closer scrutiny about officers’ vaccination rate in the city. Interim Police Chief Joe Chacon on Friday estimated that about 50% to 60% of the department’s officers and civilian staff are vaccinated, but he added that the figure could be off because the Police Department does not require officers or staff to report their vaccination…

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