St. Louis police riled over collection of their DNA

ST. LOUIS, MO &#8211 St. Louis police officers routinely swab the mouths of suspects for DNA samples, but what happens when the swab stick is turned on them? Chief Dan Isom said the department has stepped up efforts in recent months to collect genetic information from officers to eliminate unknown genetic profiles collected from crime scenes and bolster the chances of successful prosecutions. Advances in DNA technology mean that…

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3 Officers to face discipline for handcuffing city council member

NEW YORK, NY &#8211 The Police Department will discipline three officers for an episode in which a city councilman and another city official were detained and handcuffed after the West Indian American Day Parade in September, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. The department’s Internal Affairs Bureau found that there was “sufficient evidence to partially substantiate” the complaints by the councilman, Jumaane D. Williams, and the city…

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Santa’s rounds cancelled by POA

Even Santa Claus can’t dodge these tough economic times. The Redondo Beach Police Officers’ Association announced last week that it has canceled Santa’s annual sleigh visits to neighborhoods because of the city’s budget cuts. Sgt. Dave Taneman, president of the police union, said furloughs, pay cuts and a reduction in the force have reduced the number of officers available to volunteer in their free time. “It takes at least…

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Ohio Turns Back a Law Limiting Unions’ Rights

COLUMBUS, OH &#8211 A year after Republicans swept legislatures across the country, voters in Ohio delivered their verdict Tuesday on a centerpiece of the conservative legislative agenda, striking down a law that restricted public workers’ rights to bargain collectively. The landslide vote to repeal the bill — 62 percent to 38 percent, according to preliminary results from Ohio’s secretary of state — was a slap to Gov. John R….

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Police union files suit over pension changes

HOLLYWOOD, FL &#8211 Hollywood’s police union has filed suit over drastic changes made to their pensions, saying the city violated an agreement going back to 2006 and never should have put the issue to voters this September. The lawsuit, filed Monday in Broward Circuit Court, is the first of what will likely be several challenges to the legality of the pension changes, said PBA President Jeff Marano. “It was…

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Voters end binding arbitration for palo alto police, firefighters

PALO ALTO, CA &#8211 Palo Alto voters on Tuesday passed Measure D by 67.3 percent, ending binding arbitration for police and firefighters. The measure’s passage repealed an article of the City Charter that mandates binding arbitration when contract negotiations between the city and public safety unions come to an impasse. Tony Spitaleri, a 38-year veteran in the department who also serves as president of the International Association of Fire…

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Poll finds voters split on political campaigning by police, firefighters

TULSA, OK &#8211 Mayor Dewey Bartlett issued an executive order this year banning such activities, reversing the policy of his predecessor Kathy Taylor. An even 50 percent of the 508 likely voters surveyed by SoonerPoll.com from Oct. 27-Nov. 1 agreed with Bartlett. Forty-seven percent said the police and firefighters should be allowed to campaign, with a majority of those saying police and firefighters should even be allowed to wear…

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Police Union’s Grievance Deals With Cage Fighting Exclusion

LINCOLN< NE &#8211 When wearing the badge, police officers can trade bullets with bank robbers or redline their cruisers in pursuit of the getaway car. But if they test their skills in a mixed martial arts cage or atop an ATV while off duty, their employers increasingly don't want to provide their health insurance. That's at the heart of a dispute between the City of Scottsbluff and the local...

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Miami police challenge trooper’s arrest of officer

MIAMI, FL &#8211 Some Miami police officers are furious that a Florida state trooper took a Miami cop down at gunpoint and put him in handcuffs after a high speed chase through Broward County. Trooper Donna Watts arrested Miami Officer Fausto Lopez early on the morning of October 11th. Her dashboard camera recorded the Miami officer, in a marked police car, blowing past her and other traffic on the…

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Long Beach council OKs firefighter pension reform deal

LONG BEACH, CA &#8211 The Long Beach City Council voted 8-0 Tuesday for a firefighter pension reform agreement that saves $35.9 million over the next 10 years and reinstates four-responder engine staffing. Councilwoman Rae Gabelich was absent. Though the deal restores four-person engine staffing, which had been cut to three on some engines, it also gives Long Beach’s fire chief latitude to alter the department’s deployment model during “emergency…

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