State Of Michigan To Pay $750K To Settle Women’s Prison Federal Lawsuit

LANSING — The State of Michigan will pay about $750,000 and make other changes to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Justice Department on behalf of female officers at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility near Ypsilanti. The federal lawsuit was brought in 2016, alleging the Michigan Department of Corrections discriminates against female officers by forcing them to work excessive overtime at Michigan’s only prison for women. Chris Gautz,…

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The Message From Families Of Fallen Firefighters: ‘Leave Us Alone.’

HOUSTON, TX — Five firefighters were killed in the Southwest Inn fire in May 2013. The families sued radio-maker Motorola, claiming radio malfunctions led to the firefighter’s deaths and reached a settlement recently. That legal action was between the families of firefighters and Motorola, not the city of Houston. The city wasn’t a party to the suit nor did it help the firefighters win the lawsuit, but now the…

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Alaska Governor Announces Trooper Pay Raises Amid Statewide ‘Retention Crisis’

MEADOW LAKES, AK — A pay increase is coming to hundreds of Alaska State Troopers to try to keep them from leaving the job. Flanked by blue-shirted supervisors, Gov. Bill Walker announced a 7.5 percent raise for state patrol and wildlife troopers at a news conference Wednesday held at a Mat-Su post that’s one of the state’s busiest. The raise, effective Sept. 1, is the result of negotiations between…

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Wage Difference Forces Santa Fe Police To Albuquerque

SANTA FE, NM — Santa Fe City Council is set to discuss recruitment and retention of police officers Wednesday after the department says it’s losing staff over pay gaps. According to The Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe Police claims to be losing officers and commanders to Albuquerque Police because of salary. The paper reports a starting police officer with SFPD makes $19 an hour while that same recruit…

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St. Louis Prosecutor Says She Will No Longer Accept Cases From 28 City Police Officers

ST. LOUIS, MO — St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner will no longer accept criminal cases from 28 city police officers and is reviewing their open cases for “viability.” Gardner delivered the list of officers to the police department Tuesday, calling it an “exclusion list,” according to documents obtained by the Post-Dispatch. A written statement from Gardner said, in part, that prosecutors have “the responsibility to defend the integrity…

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Little Rock Police Chief Testifies He’s Used Racial Epithets

On two occasions in his out-of-court testimony in lawsuits over the firing of police recruits, Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner acknowledged he’d used racial epithets since he was 16. He was being questioned by Robert Newcomb, attorney for two police recruits fired for having been found to have quoted racial epithets in song lyrics on Facebook pages. Buckner said he’d used the words “nigger” and “nigga” since he…

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Charter Amendments Proposed By Fire Union To Appear On November Ballot

SAN ANTONIO, TX — Three charter amendments proposed by the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Union have received the green light to appear on the November ballot. The Fourth Court of Appeals ruled not to block the amendments Wednesday night which include capping the salaries and tenures of future city managers and requiring that the city enter into arbitration over labor contract disputes. The third lowers the signature requirements for…

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Washington High Court Sends Deadly Force Measure To Ballot

OLYMPIA, WA — Voters will have their say in November on a measure designed to make it easier to prosecute police for negligent shootings, the Washington Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. But in a split ruling with multiple dissents, the justices decided to keep a compromise bill preferred by law enforcement, advocates and many lawmakers off the ballot. The decision concerned Initiative 940, which was submitted to the Legislature earlier…

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Firefighters Face Certain Risk For Uncertain Rewards

Hundreds of unionized firefighters work side by side as wildfires ravage California and other Western states, but their rates of pay and benefits vary widely. Federal and state employees are among those trying to control the 55 uncontained fires burning as of Aug. 24, according to data from the National Interagency Coordination Center. The efforts have cost taxpayers billions of dollars and resulted in 16 firefighter deaths. The task…

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Responding Appropriately To Harassment Complaint Insulates Employer From Liability

In her first two weeks as a patrol officer for the City of Fort Pierce, Florida, Nicole Patsalides reported that she was sexually harassed by a co-worker. During that time, by her account, a male patrol officer with whom she worked touched her repeatedly in ways that she considered to be inappropriate, and in general showed an undue interest in her. Over the relevant two-week period, the male officer…

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