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Retiring Costa Mesa Police Chief Alleges He’s Being Forced Out And Has Been Threatened With Investigations

Departing Costa Mesa Police Chief Rob Sharpnack has filed a claim against the city, alleging he is being forced out of his position after he raised issues about the most recent budget development process and what he considers the City Council’s “interference” in his department. The city denied the assertions Monday. “The city wishes Chief Sharpnack the best in his retirement,” said Costa Mesa spokesman Tony Dodero. “We are…

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Miami’s Black Police Union Calls For Chief’s Ouster Amid Racism Concerns

MIAMI (WSVN) – Officers with the Miami Community Police Benevolent Association are calling for the ouster of Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina over what they described as an inability to stop a hostile work environment for black officers. MCPBA Vice President Ramon Carr said the complaints against Colina are coming from some inside the department. “The story is racism,” said Carr during a news conference held Friday. At the…

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Battle Brews Within San Francisco Police Union Over Leadership Style

Less than two years after saying he would abandon the “bombastic style” of his predecessors, the president of San Francisco’s police union could be ousted over his new approach to leading the embattled association. San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tony Montoya and three members of his leadership team will have challengers when they run for re-election in January, the San Francisco Examiner has learned. When he became president…

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Arbitrator: Omaha Fire Union President Should Get Job Back After Incident With Woman At Bar

OMAHA, Neb. — Omaha Fire Union President Steve LeClair should get his job back with the department, according to an arbitrator ruling. The announcement was made Tuesday. LeClair was terminated after the city said the Human Resources Department did a thorough investigation into LeClair’s conduct involving an incident at Tiger Tom’s Pub in November 2018. An African-American woman told police she felt a punch in her back while sitting…

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Dallas Police To Drastically Cut The Number Of Hours Officers Can Work Off-Duty Jobs

New guidelines come in response to an audit that found some were taking on too many side gigs, creating potential risks. The Dallas Police Department is going to slash the number of hours officers can work off-duty jobs — from 72 hours each week to just 40. That’s in response to a November 2018 City Hall audit that said officers are taking too many off-duty jobs and working far…

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San Francisco Supervisor Apologizes After Seen Chanting ‘F*** The POA’ With Election Party Crowd

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — San Francisco supervisor Sandra Fewer issued a public letter of apology after she was seen on video chanting profanities about the union for San Francisco police officers. It happened Tuesday night at an election party for district attorney candidate Chesa Boudin. The video was recorded on the cell phone camera of KQED reporter Mary Franklin Harvin, who then posted it on Twitter. As Supervisor…

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San Bernardino Denies 9% Pay Raises For Police Chief, Assistant Police Chief

San Bernardino will not give 9% pay raises to the police chief and assistant police chief following a late-night vote Wednesday, Nov. 6. At about 11:30 p.m., council members Sandra Ibarra, Juan Figueroa, Fred Shorett and Jim Mulvihill denied the staff recommendation to increase the duo’s respective salaries to meet the average compensation of police leaders from Lancaster, Torrance, Santa Rosa, Thousand Oaks, Glendale, Jurupa Valley, Temecula, Moreno Valley, San Buena…

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Salem Police, Union, Municipal Assoc. Fight To Keep Unredacted Audit Secret

CONCORD — Lawyers for the Union Leader Corp. and the ACLU asked the New Hampshire Supreme Court this week to upend decades-old precedent that protects the names of problem police officers from public disclosure. In written briefs submitted on Tuesday, the two organizations said a 1993 ruling that sheltered the names of problem Dover police officers misinterpreted the New Hampshire Right to Know Law and is in conflict with…

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Rochester Voters Approve Police Accountability Board, Setting Stage For Court Battle

An overwhelming majority of Rochester voters said, “Yes,” to a proposed Police Accountability Board on Tuesday. Unofficial election results had the ballot proposition passing with 75 percent of the vote. Next up is likely another court battle, as the police officers union is all but certain to revive a lawsuit challenging the legality of the board. “This is history,” said a celebratory Pastor Wanda Wilson, who is part of the Police…

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Texas Overwhelmingly Votes To Allow Police Dogs, Horses To Be Adopted By Handlers After Retirement

Texas voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a measure that ensures animals who serve alongside law enforcement can retire and be adopted — amending the state Constitution, which previously considered such animals as a surplus property that could only be auctioned, donated or destroyed. The electorate voted in favor of Proposition 10 by 94 percent. Now, law enforcement agencies can transfer custody of dogs or horses to their handlers or…

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Author Of Police Transparency Law Calls On D.A.s To Obtain Their Own Misconduct Records On Cops Who Testify

The author of California’s landmark police transparency law is urging district attorneys across the state to obtain misconduct records on their own to flag problem officers who testify in criminal court. State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) said prosecutors should take advantage of the new law and request police disciplinary files instead of relying on the efforts of defense attorneys and journalists to uncover officers with histories of misconduct. Doing…

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From “Frito-Bandito” To “Watermelon” Comments: Warwick Police Face Social Media Criticism

The Warwick Police Department is facing criticism for its handling of social media, after recent posts including identifying a dark-skinned suspect as the “Frito Bandito” — and elicited a “bring the watermelon” comment on a post regarding two black suspects.  Warwick Police Chief Colonel Rick Rathbun addressed the “Frito-Bandito” post — and why the Department took it down, but plans on re-posting the appeal — with a new post. …

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PLEA President: “Morale Has Never Been As Low As It Is Now”

PHOENIX — It has been an eventful two weeks for the Phoenix Police Department. Multiple officers were fired by the chief, the police union discussed with members a potential vote of no confidence, and an officer was shot in the line-of-duty. Britt London is the president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, which has 2,227 members, making up about 92% of the Phoenix Police Department. “We are very proud of the Phoenix Police Department”…

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Pennsylvania House Approves Bills To Aid Stressed First Responders

Legislators approve 16 bills to help recruit volunteer firefighters, emergency personnel. Rushing to the aid of Pennsylvania towns that need to recruit more volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel, the state House of Representatives passed 16 bills in the past two weeks to support their efforts. State Rep. Frank Farry, R-142, of Langhorne, co-introduced House Bill 1459, which would create an Emergency Responder Mental Wellness and Stress Management Program that would assist…

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Firefighters Try To Extinguish Flames Of Dissent On Workers’ Compensation Coverage For PTSD

COLUMBUS, Ohio– When members of the military experience the horrors of war and return home suffering from PTSD, the federal government takes steps to make sure they receive the help they need as quickly as possible. When firefighters return from a call for help after working a traumatic scene suffering from PTSD, they are left on their own to figure it out. Some lawmakers want to change that by…

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Haunted By Violence, Some Cops Struggle With PTSD. Now, Miami-Dade Is Assessing The Toll

In 30 years as a Miami-Dade cop, he’d seen things he could not shake from his mind — a disemboweled body, a man bleeding out from a self-inflicted bullet to the brain. He’d been shot at, and shot back. He still hears the scream of a father learning his daughter had been killed in a car crash. In all that time, only once did a supervisor ask how he…

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Firefighter With PTSD Helping Others Recover

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Firefighters don’t just fight fires, they’re exposed to victims with serious injuries and horrific scenes of death and destruction. Heath Mooney, 41, is a father of two and a lieutenant with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. He is also a recovering alcoholic and battles post-traumatic-stress-disorder from his job. Mooney is not alone, but many firefighters don’t talk about the calls they respond to and the thoughts that remain in their minds….

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‘I’m Not OK’: First Responders Learn To Embrace Help For Mental Health During Symposium

When a medical call came in on June 24, 2015, to assist an intoxicated man at a trolley station, San Diego firefighter Ben Vernon thought it would be a routine situation. He had been on this type of call several times in the past, so he was not too worried. Arriving on the scene, however, tensions started to rise between a bystander and several security guards, and a fight…

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North Lyon Fire Must Pay To Retrieve Deleted Emails, Court Says

North Lyon County Fire Protection District must pay for an IT specialist to retrieve deleted emails regarding Ryan Hanan, according to a court order. District employees had admitted to deleting various emails, which were public documents under NRS. A judge at the Third Judicial District Court in Yerington has ordered the district to produce all emails to or from former Chief Scott Huntley, Office Manager Kasey Miller and other…

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Council Debate Over Memphis Police, Firefighter Residency Gets Heated

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A passionate debate about police and firefighter residency Tuesday was highlighted with one City Council member storming out of the session. In an effort to improve recruitment and retention, the City of Memphis has re-energized a referendum to allow officers to live within two hours of the city. It’s become a circular debate in Memphis: Do the police officers and firefighters who risk their lives in Memphis…

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Union Says Long-Term Plan Needed To Retain New Atlantic City Firefighters Hired With Grant Money

ATLANTIC CITY — The head of the city’s firefighter union wants to know the long-term plan for retaining a crop of new hires when the temporary funding used to bring them on board expires. The problem is — just as it has been in the past — there does not appear to be one, and the union president is concerned the fire department will, once again, be targeted for…

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New Jersey County Appoints State’s First Resiliency Officer Who Will Focus On Cops’ Mental Health

Mercer became the first county in the state to appoint a Law Enforcement Resiliency Program officer — a move every county will eventually make to comply with a new statewide initiative meant to focus on police department mental health. Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri and County Executive Brian Hughes appointed Agent Michael Pellegrino as the county’s program officer. The program will train appointed resiliency officers to serve as a…

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New Threats Put Wildfire Fighters’ Health On The Line

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — As fires spread across Northern California last year, Capt. Matt Alba and Strike Team 2253A found themselves wading through a smoldering jungle of plastic and metal in search of bodies. As they worked through charred auto shops and trailers, Mr. Alba kept thinking about the poisons they were kicking up, and that they did not have a single mask or hazmat suit among them. Wildfire…

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Why Pressure On Property Taxes Is Growing In Illinois Amid Pension Burden

Across Illinois, in many of the small towns and larger cities that manage some 650 independent police and fire retirement systems, those funds have placed an increasingly tightening vise on municipal finances. Much of the focus on the pension problem in Illinois has been on the massive liabilities facing the five statewide funds as well as Chicago’s citywide pensions. But in many ways the more pressing pension issues can…

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City: Firefighter Suspended Three Times

KANKAKEE — The Kankakee firefighter who received a one-shift suspension for allegedly attacking another firefighter during a fatal fire last year has been suspended twice since then, the city says. The city provided the information in response to a federal lawsuit filed by Kankakee firefighter Lt. Michelle Giese. Both she and the city say Lt. Nathan Boyce physically assaulted her during an Oct. 18, 2018, fire, which was in…

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