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Chicago Has Spent $23 Million On A Fire Communications System That Doesn’t Work

CHICAGO, IL &#8211 After five years and $23 million, the Chicago Fire Department’s digital communications system still isn’t online. The failure of the new system is back in the news following report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that criticized the department’s lack of radios during a December fire that killed two firefighters. Chicago is the largest city in the country that doesn’t equip every firefighter…

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Former Houston Police Officer Gets 20-Year Sentence For Stealing $656K From Police Union

Former Houston Police Officer Matthew Calley was sentenced on Friday to 20 years in prison for embezzling at least $656,000 from the Houston Police Officers Union. Calley admitted to stealing the money from two different union accounts to fuel what his lawyer described as a gambling addiction. The judge in the case was relatively lenient in his decision. Calley could have been sentence to life in prison. From TexasWatchDog.org.

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North Miami Beach Police Facing Layoffs

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL &#8211 Unable to come to a contract agreement with its police union, the city of North Miami Beach, Florida is laying off 17 officers, 15% of its force. Both sides blame the other for the failure to reach a compromise. Union President Mike Pons said he offered over $600,000 in cuts earlier this year plus a 10 percent cut in officer pay and benefits, but…

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Philly FOP Fired Up Over Failing Facilities

PHILADELPHIA, PA &#8211 The Philadelphia FOP has filed a grievance over what it contends are the “beyond deplorable” conditions of many of the city’s police facilities. According to FOP President John McNesby, the union has had to send exterminators to officers homes because of they brought fleas home from work. Cells in one station have been closed since July because of a bed bug infestation. Other problems include flooding…

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Hollywood, Florida Residents Vote To Cut Pensions Of Firefighters, Police And City Employees

HOLLYWOOD, FL &#8211 Voters in Hollywood, Florida chose to strip police, firefighters and the city’s general employee’s of their current pension plans, saving the city $8.5 million. The city faces a $38 million deficit and was unable to come to an agreement with the its unions. Several other south Florida cities, which are also dealing with budget issues and increased pension costs, are eying the Hollywood ballot result with…

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Buffalo Firefighters Union Blasts City’s Deal With Doctors Group, Alleging Shoddy Care

BUFFALO, NY &#8211 Buffalo Firefighters are unhappy with the care they have received from Erie County Medical Center and Great Lakes Physicians Services. They claim that firefighters have been cleared to return to work while still injured and are not able to get timely appointments when they need medical clearance to return to work. The problem stems from a contract signed by the city with Great Lakes Physicians Services…

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City Must Pay Police $825,000 More For Overtime Mistake

PITTSBURGH, PA &#8211 The city of Pittsburgh must pay its police officers a total of $825,000 following a judge’s decision today that it ignored, for years, an arrangement with their union that boosted overtime pay. U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose held a non-jury trial on the issue in May, and after a review of briefs filed by the city and Fraternal Order of Police, found that the city…

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Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley To Lose Half His Bodyguards

CHICAGO &#8211 Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and his wife will have to make due with half as many city-paid bodyguards as they’re used to. Current mayor Rahm Emanuel is cutting the security detail from six to three police officers. FOP President Mike Shields doesn’t think Emanuel has gone far enough. Because of a hiring slow down, the city is almost 2,300 officers below full strength, and Shields…

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New Details Reveal Long Beach Police Pension Deal Savings

LONG BEACH, CA &#8211 A pension deal negotiated between the city of Long Beach, California and its police officers will save at least $16.6 million through 2016 and $69 million over the next 11 years. The new deal would change the current 3%-at-50 formula to 2%-at-50, meaning officers would get two percent of salary per year of service at age 50 instead of three percent. Officers’ pension contributions would…

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Investigation Is Launched Into NOPD’s Paid Details

NEW ORLEANS, LA &#8211 The Public Integrity Bureau of the New Orleans Police Department is investigating whether or not police officers have been accepting cash payments for off-duty work. Earlier this year, about a dozen officers were suspended and their detail privileges revoked because they were using LLC’s to manage off-duty work. The paid detail policy has been under scrutiny and is in the process reformation since a U.S….

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Tulsa Firefighters Union Hits Campaign Trail Despite Mayor’s Directive

TULSA, OK &#8211 The Tulsa Firefighters believe they have found a way around Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s executive order prohibiting public employees from campaigning in city elections. They have enlisted retired firefighters, friends, family and out-of-town firefighters to campaign on their behalf. “We don’t believe that we’re doing anything shady or out-of-line here. We’re simply just using citizens who still have the right to campaign,” Dennis Moseby, Firefighters Union President,…

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Suspended Police Chief Sues Miami Commissioners

MIAMI, FL &#8211 In a last-ditch effort to keep his job, suspended Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito has asked a court to disqualify two of the five commissioners who would determine his fate because they have already expressed opinions saying the chief should go. Exposito lost a year-long fight to keep his job on Tuesday when City Manager Johnny Martinez suspended him for insubordination and temporarily replaced him with…

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Federal Lawsuit Claims Police Officers Secretly Recorded By Pencil Sharpener Cameras

EUCLID, OH &#8211 A federal lawsuit claims Euclid cops were secretly recorded with hidden cameras rigged throughout the police department, with the knowledge of both the city’s mayor and retiring police chief. The lawsuit was filed by Euclid patrolman Kurt Eyman who claims that he received a three day suspension following a disciplinary hearing after he first came forward with allegations of hidden cameras. The cameras were allegedly hidden…

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Borough Presses Fight Over Cops’ Copayments

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ &#8211 The borough has filed a petition with the state Supreme Court, hoping to reverse an Appellate Division verdict that would force the town to reimburse police officers for higher copayments for doctor visits. The borough and Police Benevolent Association Local 275 have been at odds since the state Health Benefits Commission doubled the copay for doctor visits to $10 on Jan. 1, 2007. The police…

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Aurora Police Union Votes To Accept New Staffing Proposal

AURORA, CO &#8211 By a 6-to-1 margin, Aurora’s police union agreed to scrap the city’s controversial police-staffing mandate last week. After aggressively defending the mandate of two officers for every 1,000 residents for the past 18 years, the Aurora Police Association’s overwhelming support for the deal could be seen as a surprise. But APA President Mark Finnin said he wasn’t surprised at all that officers came out so strongly…

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New Details Uncovered About Fire Department’s New Facebook Policy

SOUTH BEND, IN &#8211 New details uncovered about the South Bend Fire Department’s new Facebook policy The South Bend Fire Department was supposed to implement a new Facebook policy Today but the local firefighters’ union has stepped in voicing serious concerns over the new social networking policy. The union says the new policy is violating the firefighters’ First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech. Right now firefighters are not…

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Deal Saves Four Minneapolis Firefighter Jobs

A last-minute compromise Friday between Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and the City Council spared four of the 10 firefighters facing layoffs as the result of the strained city budget. The surprise deal capped a week of vocal lobbying over hiring priorities, in which the city’s search for a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator took center stage. Following Friday’s deal, six firefighters are still set to lose their jobs as a…

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Police Union Erects More Billboards Criticizing Staffing

STOCKTON, CA &#8211 It’s a continuing sign of the times in Stockton, two new billboards from the Stockton Police Officers Association telling citizens just how hard the understaffed department is working. The first reads “A Service Call Every One and a Half Minutes Last Year.” The second telling Stocktonians there was “An Arrest Every 39 Minutes Last Year.” Billboard messages are nothing new for the P.O.A. In 2010, there…

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Michigan Firefighters, Police Take Three Year Wage Freeze

WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI &#8211 The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees approved tentative agreements with public safety unions at its meeting Monday in Town Hall. All of the agreements will have to be ratified by the independent bargaining units. The bargaining units representing the West Bloomfield Professional Fire Fighters Union, IAFF Local 1721, as well as the Police Officers Association of Michigan and the Command Officers Association of Michigan…

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YouTube Video And City Mailings Highlight Florida Pension Fight

HOLLYWOOD, FL &#8211 In one corner: a YouTube video features an animated firefighter questioning the mayor — dressed in a butcher’s apron and holding a hatchet — about why employee benefits are being chopped. In the other: the city’s quarterly newsletter, sent to about 60,000 households, with a front-page caption that reads “Your vote could SAVE Hollywood more than $8.5 million dollars.” With just two weeks before residents will…

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Judge Blocks Troopers’ Attempt To Block Layoffs

HARTFORD, CT &#8211 Hartford Superior Court Judge James Graham refused last week to grant a request by the Connecticut State Police Union for a temporary injunction stopping layoffs of 56 troopers. And while a union spokesman pledged the bargaining unit would continue the legal challenge to the layoffs, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration will argue next month to dismiss any lawsuit on grounds that the basis for the challenge…

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Orlando Wants To Show Police Lieutenants, Fire Chiefs That There Is A ‘Consequence’ For Not Agreeing To Mayor’s Wage Proposal

ORLANDO, FL &#8211 Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s administration wants a pound of flesh from more than 50 police and fire department administrators. Last year, to avoid layoffs and other cuts, Dyer asked city workers to give up voluntarily pay raises guaranteed in their union contracts. Nearly all of the city’s 3,000 employees agreed, except for two groups: district fire chiefs and police lieutenants. Those supervisors refused on principle, arguing…

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Police Chief Who Borrowed Money From K-9 Fund Returns To Work

ORLAND, CA — Suspended Orland Police Chief Paula Carr returns to work Wednesday, three months after she admitted to borrowing money from a police K-9 fund, and having the incident investigated by the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office. Firing her may be too harsh a punishment, City Attorney Tom Andrews said last week after reviewing the investigation report, but members of the Orland Police Officers Association didn’t appear happy Tuesday…

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Ohio City Runs Out Of Money To Pay Police, Firefighters

MASSILLON, OH — The city ran out of money to pay police officers and firefighters Friday and remains delinquent on thousands of dollars in bills dating as far back as May. It also must make a bulky $262,766 first-quarter payment to the police and fire pension fund by month’s end or face a penalty from the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund, like it did for the last-quarter payment…

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Ohio Firefighters Balk at Use of Time Clocks

DAYTON, OH &#8211 More than half the city of Dayton’s employees are not using time clocks five years after the city spent $650,000 to install them to better monitor employees, a Dayton Daily News investigation has found. The city’s police and firefighter ranks, which hover between 650 and 700, are not clocking in for work on the Kronos Inc. equipment installed in 2006. Other city departments have used the…

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