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DC Police Union November Newsletter


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DC Police Union November Newsletter

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DC Police Union November Newsletter

  1. 1. DC Police Union Newsletter Volume 1, Number 7 1 CONTENTS 1. AHOD Update 2. Photo Radar Tickets 3. MPD Management Put Political Correctness Above Practicality 4. Erosion of the PSPD by D.C. Government Officials 5. Class/Group Grievance and Arbitration Updates 6. Thanks 7. The PD-119 NOVEMBER 9, 2015 VOLUME 1, NUMBER 7 1 AHOD UPDATE 2007: The first of a series of group grievance was advanced to arbitration in July after efforts to resolve the matters with the MPD failed. One of the group grievances was briefed and we are awaiting an award from the arbitrator. 2008: An arbitrator was recently assigned after efforts to resolve the matter with the MPD failed. The arbitration hearing is being scheduled. 2009: The DC Police Union filed a Class Grievance and prevailed in arbitration. The MPD did not appeal the Arbitrator's decision. The MPD and the Union are scheduled to return to the Public Employees Review Board (PERB), so the PERB can determine what type of payments should be ordered for the Enforcement Order in DC Superior Court. 2010: The DC Police Union filed a Class Grievance and prevailed in Arbitration and was upheld by the PERB Board. The MPD did not appeal the decision, but refuses to pay the award and the matter is currently before the 2 PERB in an enforcement proceeding. 2011: The DC Police Union filed a Class Grievance and prevailed in Arbitration and was upheld by the PERB Board. However, MPD appealed PERB's decision to DC Superior Court. The Superior Court recently denied the appeal and the MPD filed a notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals where the matter is pending. 2012: The DC Police Union filed a Class Grievance and is scheduled for arbitration on January 8, 2016. 2013: The DC Police Union filed a Class Grievance and is scheduled for arbitration on December 4, 2015. 2014: The DC Police Union filed a Class Grievance and is scheduled for arbitration on November 18, 2015. 2015: The DC Police Union filed a Class Grievance and is awaiting a date for arbitration. Photo Radar Tickets By: Michael Pratt, SOD Chief Steward You’re out on Patrol engaging the community in your PSA helping to make the District of Columbia a safe place. Weeks Later you are presented with a photo radar speeding ticket and ordered to take care of it. So what does taking care of it mean? You have three options when it comes to handling a ticket, after you have verified that the ticket is yours, and that you were assigned to the vehicle. Now let’s talk about the options you have (taking care of it) … CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 … Page 1 1-2 2-3 3 4 4 5
  2. 2. DC Police Union Newsletter Volume 1, Number 7 2 … CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 … 1. Go online pay the ticket and provide management with proof that it’s paid, receipt. 2. Contest the ticket by attending a Walk- In Hearing, and or Mail Adjudication (Photo Enforced Citations issued to government vehicles should not double because of the lengthy process of notifying the agency and identifying the employee that is responsible for the citation). 3. If you choose not to respond to the citation, you may possibly face discipline, either corrective or adverse action. Here are some things to consider when choosing to contest the photo enforced speeding citation: The use of radar to determine the speed a vehicle traveling on a roadway has to be done by a person that is currently certified in principles of Doppler radar and radar operations. This means that every photo enforced speeding citation that is issued to an operator of a motor vehicle, must be certified by an officer that has been trained and certified by the Metropolitan Police Department, which is supported by case law. When you attend your hearing, you will be presented with an MPD speed deployment log which has been signed by a person that is stating that he / she has been trained by the Metropolitan Police Department to operate the fixed photo enforced speed cameras. Keep in mind that the burden of proof is on the government to produce the certification of the radar operator, and that you have the right to face your accuser, or summons the radar operator to the hearing. The person who signs there name at the bottom of that radar speed deployment log has to be trained and certified in Doppler radar by the Metropolitan Police Department, as indicated on the deployment log. The hearing examiner will assume that it is the respondent’s responsibility to retrieve the certification from the issuing agency (MPD) prior to conducting a hearing or adjudicating the citation through the mail. Insist that the hearing examiner continue the hearing until the operator’s certification can be verified. The certification of the operator should be housed at the Automated Traffic Enforcement Unit (ATEU). As a member of the Metropolitan Police Department, you can contact the Program Director of the ATEU, and request the radar operator’s certification. STAND YOUR GROUND! Currently there are two certified radar/ photo radar instructors on the department, and they have certified sworn personal. When the hearing examiner presents you a copy of the speed deployment log, read the last statement above the signature at the bottom. The names that appearing on these logs since May 18, 2015, are civilian and contract employees, that were not trained by MPD certified instructors. Before any person can operate photo radar equipment they must have been trained and certified in traditional Doppler radar and Photo Radar Concepts by the Metropolitan Police Department. The bottom line is that MPD is issuing photo enforced speeding tickets to motorist by un- certified, non-law enforcement personnel. Notable Case Law pertaining to the training and certification of qualified radar operators: State of Wisconsin v. Hanson 1978 State of Minnesota v. Gerdes 1971 State of Connecticut v. Tomanelli 1966 United States v. Fields 1982 MPD Management Put Political Correctness Above Practicality By: Marinos Marinos, Secretary While addressing recruits at the academy the Executive Committee spoke to several members who were attending crime scene class. During the discussion the members informed us that they were being ordered not to wear the utility uniform while working as crime scene search officers (CSSO). The Executive Committee brought this issue to MPD’s attention and discussed the benefits of having CSSOs wearing the utility uniforms: • Members processing crime scenes may have to use fingerprint dust, crawl on the ground outside collecting evidence, or even enter a storm drain. Members have a high likely hood of getting dirt, mud, fingerprint dust, etcetera on their uniform shirt. If a member is wearing a light blue shirt it will be much more noticeable and citizens will not understand why their shirt is “dirty” and may perceive that the officer and the Metropolitan Police Department are unprofessional. … CONINTUED ON PAGE 3 …
  3. 3. DC Police Union Newsletter Volume 1, Number 7 3 … CONINTUED FROM PAGE 2 … • If CSSOs are wearing the utility uniform supervisors and managers would be able to easily identify who is certified and ensure they are answering up for assignments properly. However MPD has denied the Union’s requests to let CSSO’s wear a uniform that is conducive to the type of work they are required to do while processing crime scenes. The Union presumes that MPD is attempting to eliminate members wearing the utility uniform because citizens may perceive dark colored uniforms as “aggressive”. Trying to appease certain citizens while hampering the ability to do our jobs as police officers is not a new stance for the MPD, the membership saw that last year when the Chief disbanded VICE units due to political pressure. Once again we’re sacrificing rational policing decisions for political correctness. Erosion of the PSPD by D.C. Government Officials By: Leroy Williams, Chairperson, PSPD Labor Committee Some of you may be asking what happened to PSPD? While others will now say, what is PSPD and what is their function? The District of Columbia Protective Services Division; which was previously codified as the Protective Services Police Department (PSPD), under Former Mayor Adrian Fenty, is a Division of the DC Department of General Services (DGS) and is the DC Government Police Department/Agency responsible for coordinating and providing security and law enforcement services at and around all District of Columbia Government properties; as well as protecting District of Columbia Government officials, assets and interests throughout the city; this doesn’t only includes the traditional Government Office Buildings, but also Homeless Shelters and transition homes, Public Schools, Public Charter Schools, Public Libraries, City Parks and Recreation Centers to name a few. Starting with the Gray Administration in 2012, the number of sworn employees quickly dropped through attrition and PSPD management has failed to fill vacant uniform position. Presently PSPD, deploys two to three officers per shift in in the First District, mainly on day and evening shifts, which leaves the government properties in the other city districts up to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) units to provide services in those Districts to handle. The management of DGS and PSPD Command Staff seems to think it is completely acceptable to push the work that is entrusted to our agency off onto MPD; which would include the transporting of our prisoners when we are available and in service; even though the DGS Act of 2010; clearly places this responsibility on PSPD. The PSPD fleet is in shambles and some of the vehicles are being held together with duct tape and super glue. Cruiser/Vehicle acquisition and replacement ended in 2012, and no new transport vehicles or marked cruisers have been ordered since. Also in 2012, PSPD's vehicle maintenance was moved from MPD's Fleet Maintenance Shop to Department of Public Works (DPW's) Fleet Maintenance Shop. PSPD cruisers have now gone for months at a time for simple repairs and come back with the same or worse problems. No one in PSPD's command structure seems to believe this is a major problem as is evidenced by the lack of any progress being made. In PSPD's 35-vehicle fleet, there are many days where only 1 or 2 marked cruisers are in service and available for mobile use. Recently, a Special Order was issued by the Associate Director of DGS for PSPD; Mr. Anthony Fortune, which states that if a PSPD Officer observes a violent crime occurring in their presence and it is not within PSPD's jurisdictional area of responsibility; that the PSPD Officer has Absolutely NO DUTY TO ACT, and if the officer(s) chooses to act that they will be acting as a Private Citizen without the backing or legal support of the District of Columbia Government. The problems within PSPD are huge. Millions in taxpayers’ dollars are being extracted out of the government's bank accounts and handed over to cronies who are lucky enough to become a "consultant" for PSPD. We, the PSPD FOP Labor Committee have not been silent over the years and we will continue to expose the wrongdoings of our superiors and management; not to exclude the violence in the workplace incident that occurred on September 11th , 2015, which was initiated by Mr. Fortune that has seems to have gone unanswered and ignored by DGS.
  4. 4. DC Police Union Newsletter Volume 1, Number 7 4 Class/Group Grievance and Arbitration Updates By: Marinos Marinos, Secretary As an elected at-large member of the D.C. Police Union, I am tasked with ensuring that grievances involving all, or at least a large majority of our membership, are filed properly with the department and the arbitration committee. In 2015, the D.C. Police Union has filed grievances for scheduling violations for All Hands on Deck, Independence Day, Million Man March, the Papal Visit, and the Summer Crime Initiative. We have also filed grievances because the MPD added the Office of Police Complaints Director as a non-voting member to the Use of Force Review Board and the MPD created the Professional Conduct Intervention Board without properly bargaining with the D.C. Police Union. While the D.C. Police Union is actively filing grievances on behalf of the membership, one of the biggest complaints we receive is the length of time it takes for the grievance to be settled through the arbitration process. At this time MPD appears to be interested in settling some of our old arbitration cases, utilizing the conciliation process outlined in Article 19, Part E, Section 2 in the Collective Bargaining Agreement in an attempt to quickly and efficiently come to a resolution. The D.C. Police Union hopes that this process and a fully staffed Public Employee Relation Board (PERB) will help clear the back log of arbitration cases. One of the Executive Committee’s long term goals is to bring the time for a member to have his/her case completely litigated within a year of occurrence. Thanks By: Peter Newsham, Assistant Chief of Police It has been a very difficult year to work in the police profession. The media has taken every opportunity (many times unfairly) to paint law enforcement officers in a negative light, and our leaders from the President, the Attorney General and even film makers have made public comments suggesting that there is something wrong with law enforcement in our country. With that as a backdrop, the members of the Metropolitan Police Department have continued to excel. The local media has painted a picture of surging violent crime in the District of Columbia. At the risk of letting a few facts get in the way of a good story, I think it is important to know the facts. The facts are that currently MPD has a significant increase in the number of homicides when compared to the number of homicides we had last year. Although troubling and worth focusing on, this rise in homicides does not equate to a significant rise in violent crime. In fact as of November 5, 2015, there is no increase in violent crime. Also important to note is that the 137 homicides we have had this year equate to 2.6% of all reported violent crime and .4% of our overall crime. Interestingly, the one thing I have not seen reported on by local media is that overall crime is actually down 5% in the District of Columbia from last year. 2015 Year to Date - Offense 2014 2015 %Change Homicide 90 137 52% Sex Abuse 286 253 -12% Assault w/Dangerous Weapon 2,149 2,024 -6% Robbery 2,785 2,881 3% Violent Crime - Total 5,310 5,295 0% Burglary 2,749 2,122 -23% Motor Vehicle Theft 2,633 2,482 -6% Theft f/Auto 9,572 9,392 -2% Theft/Other 12,626 11,869 -6% Arson 23 15 -35% Property Crime - Total 27,603 25,880 -6% All Crime – Total 32,913 31,175 -5% The reason the District of Columbia has been able to continue to combat violent crime and continue to reduce overall crime is because of the continued efforts of the men and women of this organization. I am inspired by our officers who are not afraid to do their job because someone might complain on them. I am inspired by our officers who on a daily basis are being provoked, and react professionally and respectfully in return. I am inspired by the new members who have chosen to join this profession at such a difficult time. For those of you who have continued to put on your badge and answer the call – thank you.
  5. 5. DC Police Union Newsletter Volume 1, Number 7 5 The PD-119 By: Mark Dega, Shop Steward ISB/CSID All too often members are ordered by an official to make a written statement on a PD-119 for an internal administrative investigation. First off, a PD- 119 is the [MPD] “Police Department form #119, Complainant / Witness Statement”, in written form. The original intended use of this form was for gathering information in police criminal investigations. I have always questioned the use of this form with internal administrative investigations as most often the member is not a witness and almost never a complainant. I have always believed this practice to inappropriate and feel that an internal form should be created for administrative investigations. That having been said, here is some advice on making a written statement when ordered to do so: First, always contact a union representative prior to putting pen to paper. Article 13 Section 3 of the Labor Agreement provides the member for up to two hours in order to consult with a Union Representative; prior to giving their statement. Second, Fill in the boxes as appropriate. Box 1, CCN if appropriate or “N/A”. Box 2, “Administrative”. Box 3, “N/A”. Do not put your personal information, other your name with title, in boxes 4-10. Instead enter “on file”. Boxes 12 & 13, as appropriate. Third, preface your statement, (Box 14), with a header stating the date, time and official’s name who ordered the statement. The nature of the investigation. Who the target of the investigation is, if you’re not the target then what your role in the investigation is. If IS Numbers have been drawn and for what charge. Your statement should contain ONLY FACTS, as they pertain to the incident at hand or nature of the investigation, that you have FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE OF. Do not make any suppositions, do not include any ideas or theories, and do not include anything outside of what was asked for in your statement. Do not lie. Do not omit facts you have first-hand knowledge of. Do not sign and return to the investigating official until you and your Union Representative agree on the statement. If you can’t recall certain information then state that you “can’t recall” the information at this time. If you have no knowledge of the situation at hand then state that as so. Do not allow the requesting official to force or coerce you to add or remove any information in your statement and advise your Union Representative if this happens. If the investigating official needs clarity to some aspect of your statement or has follow-up questions to, or about your statement, that official can do a formal “Q&A” with you and your Union Representative. Fourth, when the requesting official receives and signs your statement get a hard copy of it and keep in your records. Bring this copy, and all other pertinent information, with you to any subsequent interviews, hearings and conferences. Lastly, remember, this a WRITTEN STATEMENT signed by you, in Box 15, which states “I HAVE READ THIS STATEMENT GIVEN BY ME OR HAVE HAD IT READ TO ME. I FULLY UNDERSTAND IT AND CERTIFY THAT IT IS TRUE AND CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE AND RECOLLECTION”. Assure that you have proof read your statement and are comfortable signing your name to it knowing that it will be entered into and considered in an investigation. An unclear or improperly written statement can truly come back to haunt you and negatively affect your career.