Police Survey Responses Criticize Leadership, Work Hours And Pay

COLUMBIA, MO — Several police officers cited poor leadership at the city and police department as reasons for low morale in surveys conducted by City Manager Mike Matthes. The responses to the survey, which was conducted in 2016, were released Wednesday after the city lost a fight for the public records. While the tenor of the responses was downbeat and critical, the head of the police officers’ union said…

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Nashville Tourism Taxes Will Now Pay For Police Overtime, Under First-Of-Its-Kind Agreement

NASHVILLE, TN — The Nashville Convention Center Authority, which receives much of the city’s tourism tax revenue, will for the first time help defray the skyrocketing cost of police and other visitor-related city services. An item in the Metro budget passed last week directs $10 million of the authority’s surplus to the general fund. The authority, which oversees operations and financing of Music City Center, will also transfer at…

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Body Cameras For Springfield Police? Not So Fast, Supervisors’ Union Says

SPRINGFIELD, MA — The head of the Springfield Police Department’s supervisors’ union is throwing cold water on this month’s announcement of a “landmark” agreement to implement body cameras for the city’s officers. On June 8, Mayor Domenic Sarno, Patrolman’s Union President Joe Gentile and Police Commissioner John Barbieri held a press conference at City Hall to announce a new contract, including pay hikes and a full-scale rollout of body…

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Texas Supreme Court Refuses To Hear City Lawsuit Challenging Fire Union Evergreen Clause

A new twist in the yearslong saga between the city and the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association came Friday when the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear the lawsuit the city filed against the union challenging the evergreen clause in the contract between the two, which expired in 2014. The city and the union have yet to meet at the negotiating table, despite the city’s invitations to the union….

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Wichita Union Says Firefighter Staffing Is Risk To Safety

WICHITA, KS — The Wichita Firefighters Union says reduced staffing is risking your safety, but the fire chief and mayor disagree. IAFF Local 135 put out a post Monday morning and another this weekend stating four units were out of service because of self-imposed budget cuts. The post encouraged people to contact the mayor. Mayor Jeff Longwell responded on his Facebook page about an hour later commenting that Wichita…

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San Diego Paying $440K To Helicopter Medics To Settle Overtime Lawsuits

San Diego is paying seven helicopter rescue medics a total of $442,000 because they didn’t receive overtime pay despite regularly working 56-hour weeks. Federal law requires overtime pay of one and a half times the regular wage for all hours worked over 40 in one workweek, but there is an exemption for government workers engaged in fire suppression. Helicopter rescue medics had long been covered under that exemption, but…

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Atlanta Police: Pay Raise Won’t Help Us Recruit

Atlanta police and firefighters say a pay increase approved by the City Council won’t do enough to replenish their thinning ranks. “Although it’s a good gesture, it’s not going to stop the problems we have,” Atlanta Police Department Union Representative Ken Allen told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. Trying to give the first responders a boost, the council on Monday approved a 2019 budget that includes a 3.1 percent…

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Fire Chief: Two Akron Firefighters On Paid Leave For Allegedly Making Porn At Fire Station

AKRON, OH — Two Akron firefighters have been placed on leave amid allegations they created pornographic videos in one of the department’s fire stations. According to Ellen Lander Nischt, a spokesperson for the mayor, Lt. Art Dean and Provisional Lt. Deann Eller were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. City officials called the allegations “shocking and distressing.” Officials said the two firefighters are not…

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Methuen Auditor: Police Contracts Are ‘Bankrupting The City’

METHUEN, MA — As Methuen suffers through the worst budget crisis it’s seen in years, two departments lie at the center of the city’s fiscal woes: the school department, already $4 million in debt from this past fiscal year, and the police department, whose contracts will cost the city more than $1 million in raises. While the School Department has fallen into debt mainly due to special education costs,…

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Yuma Police Department Faces Critical Officer Shortage

YUMA, AZ — The Yuma Police Department is faced with a major police officer shortage after losing nearly 40 officers to higher-paying agencies over the last three years. According to the Yuma Police Department Chief of Police, the department is adopting strategies that would improve officer retention and recruitment. “We’re losing our officers to other agencies who are offering these incentives,” Chief John Lekan said. “Offering higher pay, unfortunately,…

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