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Scranton’s Police, Firefighters Say They’ll Work Without Pay

SCRANTON, PA &#8211 In the event of payless paydays for Scranton city government, the police, firefighters and public work employees would still work, their union presidents said Tuesday. “Our guys will absolutely be there,” said John Judge, president of International Association of Firefighters Local 60. Bob Martin, president of Fraternal Order of Police E.B. Jermyn Lodge 2, said, “Police are going to show up. They’re not going to leave…

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North Las Vegas Votes To Suspend Parts Of Union Contracts

The North Las Vegas City Council has granted the city manager special authority to suspend parts of union contracts in an effort to deal with a budget shortfall. With little public comment and no debate, council members voted unanimously Friday night in favor of a resolution allowing City Manager Tim Hacker to mandate the concessions the city has been seeking from the police and fire unions, including an end…

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Controversial Law Spells Out When Indiana Police May Open Fire on Police

Every time police Sergeant Joseph Hubbard stops a speeder or serves a search warrant, he says he worries suspects assume they can open fire — without breaking the law. Hubbard, a 17-year veteran of the police department in Jeffersonville, Indiana, says his apprehension stems from a state law approved this year that allows residents to use deadly force in response to the “unlawful intrusion” by a “public servant” to…

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Stockton Police Try To Influence Former Chief’s Candidacy For Chief Position In Another State

FLAGSTAFF, AZ &#8211 Letters sent by members of the police union in Stockton, Calif., to Flagstaff officials have painted their former chief, Blair Ulring, as a politically ambitious man whose decisions hurt the cash-strapped department. The president of the Stockton Police Officers Association, Steve Leonesio, said Ulring — one of two finalists for Flagstaff chief of police — was a politician who was unwilling to stand up for his…

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Police Union Wants Chaplain To Resign For Gang Comment

NORWALK, CT &#8211 City police union officials are calling for the department’s chaplain to resign after she accused police officers of racial profiling following a Memorial Day incident in which a police officer calling for backup said more than 100 Crips and Bloods gang members were at Calf Pasture Beach. The Rev. Nellie Mann said she had no intention of resigning following Norwalk police union President Sgt. Tom Roncinske’s…

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Battle Shaping Up Between Chicago Mayor, Firefighters

CHICAGO, IL &#8211 Nearly four months after losing the hero fire commissioner who championed their cause, Chicago firefighters finally know what cost-cutting concessions Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seeking when their contract expires on June 30. In a plan the firefighters union calls “insulting” and “ridiculous,” Emanuel is taking aim at such treasured union perks as holiday and duty availability pay; clothing allowances; pay grades; premium pay; the physical fitness…

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Baltimore considering placing ads on city fire trucks

A Baltimore City Council committee approved a measure Tuesday that would allow advertisements to be placed on fire trucks to help support the department — and potentially prevent the closure of some fire companies. Firefighters and community leaders backed the bill, sponsored by West Baltimore Councilman William “Pete” Welch, expressing hope that the ad revenue could prevent three of the city’s 55 fire companies from being shuttered due to…

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Oregon county begins dismantling its sheriff’s office in response to defeat of tax levy

The dismantling of the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is under way. Last week, the department shut down its major crimes unit, saying current, unsolved cases have been transferred to the district attorney’s office. The records division, which handled non-emergency calls and reports, closed as well. There’s more to come as the department shrinks in reaction to the defeat of a law enforcement property tax levy in the May 15…

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Investigation Into Burning Of D.C. Firefighter And Police Personnel Records

WASHINGTON, D.C. &#8211 An investigation is underway into why some D.C. personnel records were being burned at the fire academy. Firefighters responded to a fire in two dumpsters Friday afternoon at the D.C. Fire Training Academy. According to Firefighter Union officials, after crews brought the blaze under control and looked into and around the dumpsters, they found some of their own personnel documents, as well as documents of their…

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Union Has No Obligation To Allow Fair Share Members To Vote On Contract

This article appears in the June issue of our monthly newsletter, Public Safety Labor News. Melanie Stallings Williams and Demosthenes Andrew Halcoussis are professors at California State University, Northridge, and are members of the faculty bargaining unit represented by the California Faculty Association. The collective bargaining agreement has a “fair share” clause allowing individuals to be non-members of the Association if they pay to the Association a “fair share”…

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Berkeley Police Chief Asked Officers To Track Down Son’s Stolen Iphone In Oakland

BERKELEY &#8211 When Berkeley police Chief Michael Meehan’s son’s cell phone was stolen in January, 10 police officers were sent to track it down, with some working overtime at taxpayer expense, police said Monday. A police report about the theft of the teen’s iPhone from a school locker was never written and the Oakland Police Department was never notified that officers on the department’s drug task force were in…

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Miami Facing Police Shortage, As Officers Retire And Hiring Drags On

MIAMI, FL &#8211 The Miami Police Department is short 84 officers — and city officials worry the gap will soon get worse. The lack of officers has nothing to do with budgetary constraints or too few qualified applicants, Chief Manuel Orosa said. Instead, Orosa blames outdated hiring practices and administrative hiccups. “If we were a public company, we would be fired,” said Orosa, who was tapped to lead the…

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Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Reassigned Pending Misconduct Investigation

Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Charles Hurley has been reassigned pending investigations into allegations of misconduct. Complaints filed with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Miami-Dade Public Schools reportedly accuse Hurley of directing officers to Baker Act rather than arrest students to make it appear that crimes have decreased under his watch. He is also accused of sexual harassement. Joe Puleo, staff representative for Florida State Fraternal Order of…

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Philadelphia’s Fire Union Wants Three Top Fire Officials To Resign

PHILADELPHIA, PA &#8211 Local 22, the union for Philadelphia’s firefighters and paramedics, blames the recent deaths of Lt. Robert Neary and firefighter Dan Sweeney on a compilation of tactical errors. The union is calling for Commissioner Lloyd Ayers and Deputy Commissioners Ernest Hargett and John Devlin to take responsibility for those alleged errors and resign. Philadelphia’s Public Safety Commissioner. Michael Resnick, was quick to respond: “There will be no…

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Patrol Car Cameras Receive Bumpy Reception From St. Louis Police

ST. LOUIS, MO &#8211 City police officers believe in-car cameras are being used against them, and they are trying to find ways to avoid driving cars equipped with them, according to union grievances. Emails dated April 13 from Capt. Mary Edwards-Fears to superiors and underlings reveal officers’ concerns that cameras — installed in about half of the city’s 300 patrol division cars — make police vulnerable to second-guessing. “We…

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Chicago FOP Erects Staffing Billboards In Advance Of NATO Summit

CHICAGO, IL &#8211 World leaders arriving in Chicago for the NATO Summit will be treated to a local controversy during their motorcade rides downtown, thanks to an advertising campaign bankrolled by the police union and timed to embarrass Mayor Rahm Emanuel. On Thursday, the Fraternal Order of Police paid to put up giant red billboards on the Kennedy, Dan Ryan and Stevenson expressways that state, “Keep Chicago Safe. Hire…

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Court Leaves Intact Most Of Wisconsin’s New Law Eliminating Collective Bargaining

This article appears in the June issue of our monthly newsletter, Public Safety Labor News. In 1959, Wisconsin became the first state to recognize the right of public employees to collectively bargain. In 2011, with the support of newly-elected Governor Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Legislature passed what was known as the “Budget Repair Bill.” The Bill created of two new classifications of public employees: “General” and “public safety.” Under…

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Despite Slapping Controversy, Fire Chief Contract Extended

FAIRFIELD, CT &#8211 Fire Chief Richard Felner, a half-century veteran of the Fire Department who was investigated earlier this year for slapping a subordinate, has been given a one-year extension of his contract. After more than an hour behind closed doors Thursday night, the Fire Commission voted 5-0 to extend Felner’s contract, which was due to expire in July 2014. Several commission members also spoke in support of the…

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Law Enforcement Agencies Utilizing Social Media In Investigations

Social media outlets such as Facebook are becoming important investigative tools for law enforcement agencies. Here are three recent examples of Facebook being used to catch suspects. Leveraging Social Media, Glen Rock Makes Arrest in Prescription Fraud Cases Had 21-year-old Armend Salijaj of Manhattan ‘liked’ the Glen Rock Police Department, he’d likely be at cozier digs than the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack. Salijaj was arrested in connection to…

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St. Augustine Beach Police Chief Placed On Paid Administrative Leave

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, FL &#8211 Police Chief Richard Hedges had the full attention of the City Commission’s Tuesday, even though he didn’t say a word. The board placed Hedges on administrative leave with pay. In addition, the commission voted to ask the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate a long list of violations of ethics, law and police procedures members of his department allege to have committed. Lastly,…

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Detroit Housing Offer Lures Few Police

DETROIT, MI &#8211 More than a year after Mayor Dave Bing launched a campaign to lure police and firefighters back to the city by selling rehabbed homes on the cheap, the program has sold six houses. City officials call that a start to a Project 14 program they’re confident will be a success. Skeptics say it’s a questionable use of $5 million in federal grant money that could be…

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Borough Sues Firefighters Union Over Volunteering Ban

CHAMBERSBURG, PA &#8211 The Borough of Chambersburg is suing the local chapter of a firefighters union over a dispute in which professional firefighters allegedly were told to stop volunteering in the municipality. In October 2011, International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 1813 President Patrick R. Martin sent a letter to area fire companies asking professional firefighters to stop volunteering in the Borough of Chambersburg. A letter last month from…

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Sacramento Firefighters March To Protest Cuts To Fire Budget

SACRAMENTO, CA &#8211 Sacramento firefighters marched to Sacramento City Hall on Tuesday afternoon to dramatize their solution to prevent the deepest cuts in the history of the city fire department. Photos From The Field: Firefighters Offer Solutions To Cuts Members of Firefighters Union, local 522, then held a news conference to unveil their solution to a department deficit pegged at $4.2 million. Union President Ryan Henry said the city…

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New Palo Alto Police Contract Cuts Wages, Imposes Medical Premium Co-Payment, And Slashes Pensions

PALO ALTO, CA &#8211 The nine-month standoff between Palo Alto and its police union came to an end early Tuesday morning when the City Council approved a new contract that imposes benefit reductions on the 82-member union. The council unanimously accepted an agreement with the Palo Alto Police Officers’ Association that forces the police officers to contribute 10 percent of their medical costs and to pick up the “employee…

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Fire Captain Demoted Over Facebook Post Blaming Trayvon Martin Situations On ‘Shitbag’ Parents

MIAMI, FL &#8211 The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue official who wrote on Facebook that “failed, shitbag, ignorant” parents are to blame in cases like the shooting death of unarmed Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin has been demoted. Captain Brian Beckmann, who has been with Fire Rescue since 1997, was demoted two rungs to the lowest rank of firefighter during a Monday morning administrative hearing and will be required to undergo…

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