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Indian River County Deputy Suspended From SWAT Team Over Controversial Tiktok Videos, Investigation Concludes

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — An Indian River County Sheriff’s Office deputy was suspended from the SWAT team until 2021 after an internal investigation determined he violated the agency’s social media policy. Deputy Michael Dilks was investigated for three separate videos posted to his now-viral profile on the popular video app TikTok, according to an internal affairs report obtained by TCPalm. The investigation was prompted by a Daily Mail report…

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Police Union Tangles With City Of Saginaw In Dispute Over Coronavirus Safety Requests

SAGINAW, MI — The city of Saginaw and the union representing officers with the Saginaw Police Department are in a dispute over safety issues and compensation related to coronavirus. So far, three members of the department – two detectives and a clerk – have tested positive for COVID-19 and one of the detectives remains hospitalized. The police union has asked the city to provide laptops to detectives so they…

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Seattle Police Department ‘A Different Place’: City Seeks End To Consent Decree

The City of Seattle has asked a federal judge to terminate the Seattle Police Department Consent Decree sustainment plan, arguing that the SPD has enacted comprehensive reforms and improvements in its use of force and how officers interact with those experiencing mental crises. The city and U.S. Department of Justice filed motions Thursday with U.S. District Court Judge James Robard, who has overseen a lengthy reform process that began…

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Joliet City Employees Face Temporary Salary Cuts

JOLIET, IL — Because of serious financial problems caused by the new coronavirus, top Joliet officials are hoping to enact a temporary salary reduction that will impact all full-time employees within the next few weeks. Interim City Manager Steve Jones told Joliet Patch’s editor on Wednesday afternoon that the pay cuts would not be permanent. He said the salary reductions would be no more than 4 percent, and everyone…

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San Diego Plans To Cut Some Fire, Police Programs To Close Revenue Gap Created By Pandemic

SAN DIEGO, CA — San Diego is considering significant cuts to city public safety efforts, including limiting hours for police helicopters, cutting crime investigators and canceling firefighter training for water and cliff rescues.Other proposed cuts are eliminating a “fast response” firefighting squad in University City, delaying the roll out of roving fire engines that would reduce emergency response times, and eliminating money for police officer recruiting. The City Council…

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Over 2,000 Florida Corrections Workers Are In Self-Quarantine Right Now

Approximately 2,300 corrections workers have had to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to potential exposure to COVID-19, Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch said Tuesday. The corrections workers “have had to sit in ‘time out’ ” after answering questions that revealed they could have been exposed to the highly contagious novel coronavirus, Inch said. “I know each one of them did not want to shift the burden of their post…

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Local Governments Providing Hazard Pay, Stipends For First Responders

In March, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said hazard pay for first responders could be considered for future legislation to address the COVID-19 national emergency.  As federal officials continue working to implement the third COVID-19 stimulus package, several local governments have already passed their own legislation to provide hazard pay and stipends for first responders and other front-line workers.  Below is a list of municipalities, counties and other local governments that have implemented…

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After Members Test Positive, Iowa Firefighters Union Calls On Gov. Reynolds To Guarantee COVID-19 Protections, No Matter Where They Serve

The Iowa Professional Fire Fighters union is calling on Gov. Kim Reynolds to issue guidance requiring cities to cover medical costs for emergency first responders who contract the coronavirus. “We obviously are required to respond in emergencies and interact with people,” union president Doug Neys told the Des Moines Register. “And even with all the precautions that we can take, our duties put us in a position where we’re at higher…

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Federal Inmates Test Positive at a Rate of 70%

Just 2% of the inmates in federal prisons have been tested for the coronavirus. But 71% of them tested positive, the Wall Street Journal reports—at least 1,928 inmates out of 153,000. Corrections officials expect the number of cases to climb as testing expands. The difficulties in preventing the coronavirus from spreading in prisons are unique; guidelines on social distancing aren’t workable. “Really, this pandemic is challenging us to rethink almost everything…

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Nine More D.C. Firefighters Test Positive For COVID-19

WASHINGTON, DC — Nine more D.C. Fire and EMS members tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday, the fire department says. The total number of firefighter staff who have tested positive is now at 95 within the department. Of the 95 members, 57 have recovered and returned to full-duty. The nine new cases are home on self-quarantine and the Infection Control Group is working to notify those members in the department…

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Port Richey’s Police Chief Is Gone. Was It Retirement Or Revenge?

PORT RICHEY, FL — The chief never thought it would end this way. Gerard DeCanio spent half a century in policing and firefighting. In late 2016, he became chief of the Port Richey Police Department, one last stop before retirement. That is where his career ended — but not on his terms. The police chief says he was forced to retire by City Manager Vince Lupo in an effort…

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FDNY Fire Inspectors Sue Over Salaries, Lack Of Protective Gear During Coronavirus Pandemic

FDNY fire inspectors, already steamed over low pay, are now fuming over a lack of protective gear during the coronavirus pandemic, a new lawsuit charges. The class action case filed Friday in Manhattan Federal Court claims that the low salaries of fire protection inspectors compared to building inspectors is another example of the “long history of racial discrimination at the Fire Department of New York.” Roughly 30% of fire…

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Lynchburg Fire Organization Claims Fire Dept. Is Understaffed By Nearly 70 Firefighters

LYNCHBURG, VA — The Lynchburg FIREPAC and Lynchburg Fire Fighters Association has responded to the discussion that the City of Lynchburg is anticipating a $6.45 million dollar revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The council debated on how to make up the budget deficit at their meeting Tuesday, April 28. The Lynchburg Fire Department is hoping to use budget money to give their firefighters and civilian employees a…

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COVID-19 Creates Disarray On City Firefighter Shift

EAST CHICAGO, IN — The city racked up overtime costs after telling six firefighters to not report for their midnight Sunday shift and instead self-quarantine while they await coronavirus test results, officials confirmed. Then, the next day, the city reversed course and told the same firefighters Monday to return to work while waiting for the results — even though a fellow firefighter tested positive for the virus the day…

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Parma Heights Firefighters File Unfair Labor Practice Charge Against City

PARMA HEIGHTS, OH — Parma Heights International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 1690 recently filed an unfair labor practice charge with the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) related to the city’s attempt to unify pay periods across all departments. Representing Parma Heights IAFF Local 1690 is Susannah Muskovitz and Arish S. Ali of Muskovitz & Lemmerbrock LLC. “The city is holding back one week of pay from all…

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Precautions, Equipment Conservation Keep Clark County Responders Safe

CLARK COUNTY, WA — Precautions put in place more than a month ago at Clark County’s fire departments have largely prevented employee exposures requiring quarantine. All of the agencies told The Columbian that staff are employing practices that conserve their caches of personal protective equipment. But they are also ensuring the gear is being used when responding to calls and when inside their own facilities. To date, the Vancouver…

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Nevada Police Union Says State Has ‘No Plan To Keep Officers Safe’

Nearly two months after the first reported coronavirus case in Nevada, the state Department of Public Safety does not have a plan in place “to keep officers safe” or a protocol established in the event of an outbreak among its peace officers, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned. The alleged working conditions within the department — which oversees the Nevada Highway Patrol, the state’s Parole and Probation division and…

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Arizona Correctional Officers Union Threatens Walkouts Over COVID-19 Concerns

The leader of an Arizona correctional officers union says the COVID-19 threat is becoming so severe in state prisons that if their demands for more protective measures and transparency are not met, they will walk off the job. The Arizona Department of Corrections refuses to disclose the number of correctional officers who have tested positive for COVID-19. But Carlos Garcia, spokesman for the Arizona Correctional Peace Officers Association, says…

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Bearded Md. Police Officers On Paid Leave Due To CDC Guidelines

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD — Twenty-five police officers in Maryland will be on paid leave for the rest of the pandemic, not because they caught COVID-19, but because of their facial hair. A year ago, Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski broke with long-standing tradition and allowed his officers to grow beards. The order has now been rescinded temporarily at the request of the county health officer, who…

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Beverly Hills Police Chief Retires After Lawsuits Alleging Racism, Anti-Semitism, Harassment

Beverly Hills Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli announced her retirement Saturday, marking the end of a rocky tenure that saw the city pay out millions to settle lawsuits alleging that she had made racist remarks to subordinate officers and engaged in acts of harassment. Spagnoli’s last day will be May 15, though she will be taking vacation time between now and that date, according to an internal department email reviewed…

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El Segundo Police Officer Sues City, Police Department And School District, Arguing Retaliation, Lawsuit Says

EL SEGUNDO, CA — An El Segundo police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, the Police Department and the local school district, arguing that he was harassed and faced discrimination — including being overlooked for a promotion — because he criticized public safety policies, budget cuts and political decisions. Scott O’Connor, who filed the lawsuit Jan. 10, is asking for at least $25,000 for irreparable career…

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Cedar Falls PSO Investigated For Social Media Video Posts

A public safety officer is being investigated for videos he posted on social media. The investigation by the public safety department is looking at whether Cedric Danilson violated the city of Cedar Falls’ employee social media policies. Danilson was sworn in as a public safety officer in August 2018, according to Courier files. Craig Berte, acting chief of police, acknowledged an investigation around the videos when asked about Danilson…

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Push Underway To Make First Responders’ Deaths Due To COVID-19 ‘In The Line Of Duty’

Should COVID-19-related deaths of first responders be classified “in the line of duty” deaths?  Yes, say some local officials, backed by some state and U.S. representatives. Passaic firefighter Israel Tolentino was 31 when he died on March 31. It was the first COVID-19-related death of a first responder in the state. Paterson Police Officer Frank Scorpo, 34, died soon after, also due to complications from the novel virus.  Shortly after Tolentino’s death, Passaic Mayor Hector Lora…

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Coronavirus Update: Florida Police Union Requests ‘Pandemic Pay’ For Officers

LAKELAND (CBSMiami/AP) — Should law enforcement officers be paid extra for working during the coronavirus outbreak? A Florida police union says yes and has requested its members be given extra “pandemic pay.” The request was made in a letter Tuesday by the President of West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association, Nick Marolda, on behalf of its member officers in Lakeland, The Ledger reported. “While the dangers of chasing bad guys into dark…

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Cleveland Police Union Wants Extra Money For Officers During The Coronavirus Pandemic

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland’s police union on Wednesday asked the city for extra money for the union’s 1,500 police officers during the coronavirus pandemic. Cleveland Patrolmen’s Association President Jeff Follmer sent a letter, obtained by cleveland.com, to Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley and Councilman Matt Zone, the chairman of council’s public safety committee. Follmer asked for the city to approve an extra $1,200 per month…

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