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Pasadena Fire Chief Announces Retirement After Controversial Reassignment

As the world watched a pandemic unfold last week, Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington announced his retirement in an email to colleagues, quietly making an exit after a controversial reassignment to the City Manager’s Office led to weeks of City Hall protests. His last day will be April 10. Although Washington has avoided addressing the matter publicly, members of Pasadena’s black community — including two city councilmen — said the chief’s new position was simply…

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Layoff Notices Sent To Camden Firefighters, Causing Tension, Worry In Midst Of Pandemic

CAMDEN — Camden Fire Department members knew before the outbreak of COVID-19 that the loss of federal grant money might force layoffs. But receiving layoff notices this weekend — as part of a state-mandated 45-day notice — still felt like “a slap in the face to any first responder” in the midst of a public health crisis, as one firefighter put it. “It feels like we are expendable,” said Kevin Cooper, a…

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COVID-19 And Public Safety

Chicago Police Union President ‘Not Happy’ With COVID-19 Protection For Officers CHICAGO — As cases of COVID-19 rise, so does the need for proper safety — and there’s not enough for hospitals and first responders. Some of those workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and some feel they have contracted it while on-the job.  At least four Chicago police officers have contracted the virus, and Fraternal Order of Police…

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Public Safety Health & Wellness News

Grant To Provide Boulder County Sheriff’s Office With In-house Mental Health Services Law enforcement officers deal with tragedy on a day-to-day basis — from domestic violence situations to fatal car crashes and shootings. The challenges come with the job and a potential to leave a harmful and lasting impact on officers. “I think sometimes (emergency responders) get a rap for not feeling or having emotions for the stuff they…

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Danger EMTs’ Business But It Doesn’t Pay Well

Thirteen years ago, the state Court of Appeals upheld City Council legislation enacted over then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto granting uniformed status to Emergency Medical Service workers. The president of EMS Local 2507 of District Council 37 at the time, Pat Bahnken, was not as effusive as some might have expected over this ruling by the state’s highest court, simply saying, “I think this will enable us to address some…

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Kansas City Police Officers Rent Trailers To Skirt Residency Rule, Union Leader Says

The head of the Kansas City police union said Tuesday that some officers rent trailers and keep two homes to skirt rules that require them to live within the city limits. The comment came during a contentious exchange between Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 99 president Brad Lemon and police commissioner Cathy Dean, during a monthly meeting of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners. During the exchange, Dean questioned Lemon…

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Dracut Police Chief Reacts To Union Concerns

DRACUT — Dracut Police Chief Peter Bartlett released an unsolicited statement on Monday defending himself against what a representative of the Dracut Police Patrol and Supervisor’s unions says are concerns they raised about management within the department. In Bartlett’s statement he said, “Leading a complex municipal police agency in the 21st Century is challenging work.” “Progressive police chiefs recognize the importance of supporting the law-abiding women and men under…

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Oregon Corrections Officer Files $7M Hazing Suit Against State

SALEM — An Oregon Department of Corrections officer is suing the state, a former coworker and corrections officials for $7 million after he was attacked with a stun gun. The civil rights lawsuit filed last week on behalf of Michael Kilgus accuses Coffee Creek Correctional Facility of maintaining a culture of “silence enforced through violence, threats, and hazing,” The Statesman Journal reported. The lawsuit says Kilgus was tased in the back,…

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COVID-19 And Public Safety

Police Implement Sweeping Policy Changes To Prepare For Coronavirus Spread Local law enforcement officials across the country are rapidly making major operational changes in preparation for the continued spread of coronavirus, as they face potential strains in resources and staffing without precedent in modern American history. While policing is a public service centered around direct interactions with members of the public, several departments have already sought to limit responses to…

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COVID-19 And Public Safety

Cleveland Police Union Head Says Cops Should Focus On Major Incidents Amid Coronavirus Outbreak CLEVELAND, Ohio — The president of Cleveland’s police union said on Monday that officers should scale back “proactive policing” to protect officers from exposure to coronavirus. Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Jeff Follmer said he believes officers should focus on high-priority calls and crimes of violence and pay less attention to less serious calls like…

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Las Vegas Officer Fired For Inaction In 2017 Massacre Reinstated

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A veteran Las Vegas police officer who was fired for hesitating in a casino-hotel hallway in October 2017 while a gunman upstairs carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history has been reinstated to his job, authorities said Friday. Officer Cordell Hendrex is due to return to work March 21 following an arbitrator’s ruling in his bid to get his job back, according…

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NJ Plan Seeks To Let Police Officers And Firefighters Retire Early

A proposal moving through the New Jersey legislature that allows police officers and firefighters to retire after 20 years of service has divided union members and local governments.  Under the current law, workers in the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) must be at least 55 years old to get retirement benefits. The pension plan guarantees half their highest-earned salary every year for the rest of their life. Right…

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Health & Wellness Seminar Rescheduled

As a result of the CDC’s new guidelines for mass gatherings, we’ve made the decision to reschedule our upcoming Health & Wellness Seminar to July 15-17, 2020. The rescheduled seminar will remain at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. We have been closely monitoring the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation as it impacts our community and upcoming events. The health and safety of our first responder attendees and the…

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Portsmouth Firefighters Union Calls Staff Shortage Critical, Asks For Support

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Short staffing continues to put a strain on Portsmouth emergency services, according to the union representing the city’s firefighters and paramedics. Portsmouth City Council will soon review a budget for the next fiscal year. Portsmouth Professional Firefighters Vice President Levin Turner said the union plans to lobby for more money “This means a lot to them, the community’s safety means a lot to them,” Turner said….

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Police Departments Close Lobbies, Substations To Limit Contact With Public

The Bellevue Police Department has closed two substations to limit contact with the public amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Meeghan Black with Bellevue Police said this decision was important for the people that volunteer at the department. “Our volunteers, there are 16 of them that rotate through the substations, are considered to be at high risk if they were to contract this virus,” Black said. “We’re trying to reduce unnecessary…

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‘We’re Robbing Peter To Pay Paul’: Austin Police Move Officers From Specialized Units To Address Staffing Shortage

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday said the Austin Police Department (APD) will pull some officers from specialized units and put them back on patrol shifts. “They’re being moved off of specialized units like from our organized crime division, from our highway enforcement unit and from our parks division. And it has to be done because we have shifts with only two people on it, normally when they should have…

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$300,000 A Year Isn’t Enough To Persuade Psychiatrists To Work At California Prisons

A 24 percent pay bump offered three years ago failed to convince enough psychiatrists to go to work in California’s prisons, where inmate suicides reached record highs last year, according to prison and union officials. Lawmakers and unions agree the record 38 suicides recorded last year reflect fundamental problems in the state’s correctional system, and that a lack of psychiatrists contributes to the problems. “We’ve got a serious issue,”…

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Police Chief Is Out: Virginia Beach Council Won’t Increase Retirement Age For Public Safety Employees

The City Council does not plan to change the mandatory retirement age for public safety employees, meaning Virginia Beach will have to say goodbye to Police Chief Jim Cervera in the next two months after he turns 65. “I moved to Virginia Beach because I fell in love with the city and because I thought it was an excellent police department,” Cervera said Monday morning after leading the department…

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Baltimore Police Department Under Pressure To Recruit Officers

BALTIMORE (WBFF) As Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison battles the city’s crime, the department is also under pressure to recruit and retain officers. Mike Mancuso is president of The Fraternal Order of Police, the city’s police union. Mancuso is speaking out through a letter that puts the commissioner and Mayor Jack Young under scrutiny. The criticism comes as Harrison and Young welcomed a new class of recruits Monday to…

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Menomonee Falls Fire Union Blames Overtime Restrictions For Station Closure

Menomonee Falls, WI (CBS 58) – Staffing and equipment issues have plagued the Menomonee Falls Fire Department over the last year and a half. And now the village’s fire union blamed a new financial restriction for causing more of the same problems. Fire station five was closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 6th. One firefighter called in sick and the village shifted the other firefighter to…

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Lawsuit Says Woman Got Disqualified For Rochester PD Because She’s Too Short

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A 30-year-old woman says she was disqualified as a candidate to be a Rochester Police Officer because the city’s Civil Service Commission considers her too short.  The paperwork filed in this case says Alanna Perna-Polisseni was disqualified because, among a list of reasons, she smoked marijuana when she was a teenager and she got a speeding ticket as a teenager. Perna-Polisseini appealed that decision.  Her…

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Boston EMS Union Blasts Out Letter Over Coronavirus Concerns As MA Cases Spike To 13

Members of Boston’s EMS union are blasting Faulkner Hospital for not properly informing paramedics of coronavirus testing that took place in their sub-station, leaving their workplace possibly contaminated, a letter obtained by the Herald alleges. The flare-up comes as state health officials on Saturday reported five new cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts, bringing the total to 13 cases. “The disrespect this shows is outrageous, we are willingly putting ourselves…

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CT: Retirements Help Push State Police Overtime To $23 Million

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — A flood of retirements has helped push Connecticut State Police overtime costs to nearly $23 million this fiscal year. The agency is on track to finish the fiscal year that ends June 30 with an estimated $30 million in overtime costs, which has led to a $5.8 million deficit in the budget of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Hearst Connecticut Media reported Wednesday. State…

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FDNY Orders Firefighters To Stop Responding To Calls Involving Coronavirus Symptoms

The Fire Department of the City of New York has ordered firefighters to stop responding to calls involving potential coronavirus symptoms. The order issued on Friday directs firefighters to stop supporting EMS paramedics and EMTs on 911 calls involving coughing, fever, difficulty breathing or possible asthma attacks, the New York Daily News reported.  FDNY firefighters all have certified first responder medical training, and they often respond to medical calls to…

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What Happens When Rural EMS Systems Need To Be Rescued?

An Erie County community recently learned how uncertain EMS can be in rural towns. UNION CITY, Pa. (AP) — The first responders’ biggest fear was realized one night in December when someone called 911 for help in rural Erie County and nobody came. The first dispatch went to Union City Fire Co. When Union City couldn’t crew its ambulance, the call rolled over to neighboring Waterford Volunteer Fire Department….

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