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DC Police Union Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 6
1
CONTENTS
1. Engaging the Community
2. Integrity Versus Loyalty
3. AHOD Upd...
DC Police Union Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 6
2
… CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 …
After the results were published, The Washington...
DC Police Union Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 6
3
AHOD Update
2007: The first of a series of group grievance was
advanced to...
DC Police Union Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 6
4
… CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 … wages,
benefits, retirements, working conditions...
DC Police Union Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 6
5
… CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 …
If you want to continue and expand this fight, i...
DC Police Union Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 6
6
… CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 … Because,
providing anything other than factual i...
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October 2015 Newsletter

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Here is our Newsletter for October 2015!

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October 2015 Newsletter

  1. 1. DC Police Union Newsletter Volume 1, Number 6 1 CONTENTS 1. Engaging the Community 2. Integrity Versus Loyalty 3. AHOD Update 4. Dues Increase FY 2015-16 5. Politicians Control Your Wages 6. Quality Customer Service Makes a Difference OCTOBER 9, 2015 VOLUME 1, NUMBER 6 1 Engaging the Community By: Marinos Marinos, Secretary Since the beginning of the current Executive Council’s term we have been trying to build stronger ties with DC residents. Our first mission was to complete CrimeDC.com, which is an interactive website where citizens can easily look up crime statistics for where they live and work. The feedback we have received from citizens has been very strong. The citizens have told us how much they appreciate CrimeDC and how much it helps them learn about the surge in violent crime. The Executive Committee has also built a strong relationship with Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC) across the city. ANCs are valuable allies because they have a strong line of communication with both citizens and other elected officials. Our newest initiative is to make sure the underprivileged youth of the District have the proper clothing for the upcoming winter season. The D.C. Police Union has purchased $1,000 worth of winter apparel and has sent letters to citizens, businesses, and civic groups asking for their assistance. 2 The D.C. Police Union believes that by showing the citizens of the District that we care deeply about the community, it will improve our relations with them. In turn, citizens will be more inclined to support the members of D.C. Police Union, as we lobby for better working conditions. Please keep in mind that we want the Metropolitan Police Department to be a desirable workplace again, and we believe that a methodical approach that engages the community is the best way to experience this long- lasting change. Integrity Versus Loyalty By: Delroy Burton, Chairman Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier is often portrayed by an admiring media as an almost uniquely popular and effective law enforcement leader, who has made the District safer than ever by putting together one of the most effective big city police departments in the country. Sometimes what is reported is the result of spin and public relations rather than fact. District police officers had an opportunity in August to express an opinion of Chief Cathy Lanier. Of those who voted, 97.5 percent cast a “no confidence” vote. The results were released on Aug. 31 by the D.C. Police Union shortly after Chief Lanier had told a WAMU radio questioner that she “was taking the vote seriously.” Her attitude changed significantly once the results were known, however, demonstrating once again to those who look to her for leadership why the vote came out as it did. … CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 … Page 1 1-2 3 3-5 5 5-6
  2. 2. DC Police Union Newsletter Volume 1, Number 6 2 … CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 … After the results were published, The Washington Post weighed in supporting the chief, dismissing the vote as “misguided” and questioning the wisdom of the union in even holding such a vote and three days later, publishing a piece by D.C. Police Commander Ralph Ellis, one of Chief Lanier’s staunchest allies within the department, titled “Why I support Chief Lanier.” The public had to have been confused by why almost all of those who voted expressed no confidence in such an effective leader, but any attempt to tell “the other side of the story” was ignored by many in the area media. The Post’s editorial position could have been predicted in advance as the paper’s editors have backed her since she first became chief in 2007. Whenever Chief Lanier’s integrity, judgment or leadership has been questioned, The Post has weighed in on her behalf. There are many reasons for rank-and-file dissatisfaction with Chief Lanier’s leadership, but the controversy surrounding her decision to dismantle the department’s drug and vice squads has been a major factor. The paper’s Sept. 1 editorial dismissed the union’s criticism of the chief’s decision to dismantle the District’s drug squads, arguing that the squads had proven ineffective and claiming that “drugs do not seem to be a driving factor in the increase in homicides.” The evidence suggests that the chief’s argument on this score was more fantasy than fact. The drug squads had been remarkably effective and anyone familiar with the increase in violent crime in D.C. and elsewhere knows better than to dismiss drugs as a primary cause. On Oct. 24, 2014, Chief Lanier issued a Teletype message to the force (the teletype is part of an internal communication system used to announce department-wide changes or publications), numbered TT-10-111-14. That message read the following: “All District Vice Lieutenants shall ensure that all current and ongoing vice operations are closed out, or transferred to the Investigative Services Bureau, Narcotics and Special Investigation Division (NSID), by January 4, 2015. On that date, all district drug enforcement operations will be centralized and conducted out of NSID. Additional details are forthcoming.” And yet, on Aug. 26, the chief provided Mayor Muriel Bowser “facts” on drugs and crime in the District for inclusion in the mayor’s newsletter alleging, among other things, that: “The productivity of the vice units had dropped precipitously. In the first four months of 2015, non-marijuana drug arrests had decreased by 31 percent. Search warrant and gun recoveries by these units were also declining. Those were telling signs that we had to modernize our approach and change our tactics.” Those of us on the force found this interesting. The squads had been disbanded as of Jan. 4 and were here being blamed for poor performance during the next quarter. One can imagine the internal reaction among officers familiar with what had actually happened. The facts according to the Department’s own records, are that in 2014, the last year of their existence, District vice units recovered 279 illegal guns, executed 355 search warrants, made 3,960 arrests, and seized $292,289.68 in U.S. currency. Officers who served in these units and our colleagues on the streets were proud of these statistics and were shocked both when the units were disbanded and by the chief’s denigration of those who put so much effort into making them as effective as they were. It was this performance on her part along with a new deployment strategy that relegated police to simply standing guard at light towers, standing under tents handing out fliers, and being assigned to fixed posts from which they were forbidden to depart without the express permission of the watch commander that led to the vote of no- confidence. Sadly, this was not the first time Chief Lanier has been caught misleading the public or the D.C. Council. When it was revealed that the department had, provided a police escort for actor Charlie Sheen, Chief Lanier made public and sworn statements that the MPD provides escort to the president, vice president and dignitaries only. After investigating the incident, however, the inspector general for the District of Columbia concluded, contrary to Chief Lanier’s claims, the department was almost routinely providing such escorts to celebrities and sports teams. It would be absurd to claim that Chief Lanier is without friends or supporters within the department, but those who have given her outspoken support are officers who, like Commander Ennis, have little experience on the streets of the District, but who have been part of her immediate staff. Loyalty is an admirable quality, but not when it requires one to sell a false narrative to the press and the public on behalf of one’s superior.
  3. 3. DC Police Union Newsletter Volume 1, Number 6 3 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 in the Fall 2015. 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 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, which is currently pending on appeal in DC Superior Court. 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 November 24, 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. Dues Increase FY 2015-16 By: Gregg Pemberton, Treasurer As we wrap up fiscal year 2014-15, a number of reviews and year-end reports will be created. As the Treasurer of the DC Police Union, it’s my job to evaluate our financial situation and determine the health of our accounts, budgets, and coffers. While the state of our accounts and budget are excellent, and our overall performance fiscally is well above par, there is one item that concerns me—our legal budget. In 2011, a legal and political assessment was voted on and approved by the membership, doubling your dues and giving the Union ample funding for legal matters like trial boards, arbitrations, and medical retirement challenges, along with monies to align ourselves with political candidates that share our perspective on how valuable police officers are in this city and how to recruit, retain, and compensate them competitively. This funding was essential given the fact that top- notch representation at trial boards, arbitrations, and medical retirement appeals are tremendously expensive. Any member that was subject to these hearings was provided a highly effective attorney affiliated with a powerful law firm and was able to receive all the benefits of such representation and in most cases, had a successful outcome. That special legal and political assessment expired over a year and a half ago in March 2014. While a considerable balance remains from this assessment, those funds are projected to be depleted and the DC Police Union will be back to operating on just revenue from our regular membership dues. This means that we will have to cut back on the amounts we spend on legal fees. For example, members facing termination in a trial board may have to be represented by a Union official, not a law firm. Additionally, the number of cases we elect to send to arbitration will have to be attenuated considerably, diminishing our capacity to put pressure on the department to act within the contract and within the laws. Further, many of you know members who have been improperly put up for medical retirements. Legal resources for those cases will also have to be reduced. The other funding that will no longer be available will be monies for political activity. While I know that many members question getting involved in politics and don’t always agree with certain positions of the various parties, I have to say this: Politicians control your … CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 …
  4. 4. DC Police Union Newsletter Volume 1, Number 6 4 … CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 … wages, benefits, retirements, working conditions, and most importantly, the person who is going to call themselves the Chief of Police. In order to preserve and improve those very important quality of life issues, we as an organization must participate in politics. It is the single most important thing we do as a Union. Our Union must be a factor in thirteen City Council elections as well as the Mayoral and the Attorney General elections. These positions control the level of law enforcement services dedicated to the community, how you do your job, and the benefits you receive. We must participate in order to effectively protect the rights of our members and preserve everything we have fought so hard to achieve for our members and our chosen profession. We must elect politicians who will support us and fight to keep public safety a number one priority. Political action gives us a voice when it comes to the issues that are most important to public safety and the safety of you and your loved ones. I know that politics is distasteful to so many of us in law enforcement. We have all chosen this profession to protect and serve our community—not to play politics. But politicians have been using an unlimited supply of taxpayer money to attack us. The result of the last contract arbitration decision is a great example. Creating a Political Action Committee will allow us to command respect from our government officials when they know we will have a hand in campaigns and voting blocs. A dues increase would allow us to create and fund a Political Action Committee. We, of course, understand that not everyone will want their dues to go to political activity in DC government. Because of this, each member would have the right to opt out of the PAC donations. Everyone would still be charged the same increased dues amount, but those opting out of the PAC would have their entire dues payment directed to the operating budget and have none of their monies contributed to the PAC fund. The PAC fund and the operating budget will be completely separate accounts and PACs are governed by very strict laws, reporting requirements and oversight. Secretary Marinos and I have been conducting research on this topic and have compiled that data for our members to review, comment upon, and engage in an open, informed discussion. In the attached charts, you can see where the DC Police Union dues charges stand against 21 other police unions in the country, including comparable major departments like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Boston, Seattle and several others. You can see on the first chart labeled (CURRENT) that the DC Police Union ranks second to last in amount of dues collected. You can also see that most agencies charge 1% or 2% of a top officer’s salary, while DC Police Union takes 1% of a starting officer’s salary. This puts our Union $38.62 below the average dues amount collected by large metropolitan unions. On the second chart, labeled (PROPOSED), you can see that going from 1% of a starting officer’s salary to 2% of a starting officer’s salary puts our Union at a position much more consistent with the industry average while doubling our revenue. At 2%, members would be paying $41.34 cents per pay period, just 84 cents above average. Of that $41.34 bi-weekly contribution, $5.16 of that amount (12.5%) would go into our PAC, allowing us to fund an aggressive political agenda geared toward improving the MPD for all members. While a doubling of the dues from 1% to 2% might sound like a lot, I believe that $42 per check is a reasonable amount to contribute to fund and strengthen your Union. Over the past six months, the DC Police Union has been aggressively challenging MPD management and District government leadership. You have probably seen us in the media highlighting the ineptitude and multiple failures of management. These tactics have been successful, but the most powerful part of our agenda has been communicating to citizens about why the police department is in a state of crisis. We’ve given presentations at ANC meetings, civic groups, and non-profit organizations. We’ve written articles for blogs and list serves. And we’ve answered an untold number of calls and emails due to our community outreach; however, we could expand this arm of our agenda exponentially literally overnight with access to mainstream media like commercials, billboards, sponsorship, and public service announcement campaigns. Rallying the support of the community, in my opinion, is by far the most effective method to achieving our goals of changing the direction of how this agency is managed. Let’s just not fool ourselves into thinking it can be done on the cheap. … CONTINUED ON PAGE 5 …
  5. 5. DC Police Union Newsletter Volume 1, Number 6 5 … CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 … If you want to continue and expand this fight, it must be well funded. Media appearances and confidence votes are only the beginning of the battle. We must continue with not only an aggressive legal front handled by the best law firms we can find, but also an unrelenting political and social campaign to inform and rally citizens and help to elect upstanding candidates that support our positions. This is the only way we can move to unseat the venality that is our command staff and create a new and improved department that is the pinnacle of policing, with the best trained and well equipped police officers in the nation; along with improving working conditions and enhancing our compensation. Because of these above stated facts, I am proposing an increase from 1% to 2% of a starting officer’s salary. This would make each member’s bi- weekly contribution (after the 3% raise in October) $41.34. The Executive Council looks forward to all input from our members. Please discuss your thoughts, ideas, and criticisms with each other and with us. Secretary Marinos and I will be accepting and reviewing any emails from those that have questions or suggestions. Please put “DUES INCREASE” in the subject line so we can appropriately review and respond to them in a timely fashion. We will be visiting roll calls and specialized units over the next month to try to inform and have discussions with as many members as we can. You can expect an online vote in the next 4 to 6 weeks. Politicians Control Your Wages By: Marinos Marinos, Secretary (With Orange County Sheriff’s Union) Politicians control your wages, benefits, retirements and working conditions. In order to preserve and improve those very important quality of life issues, we as an association must participate in politics. It is the single most important thing we do as an association. It is time to make the DCPU Political Action Committee our priority. Political action gives us a voice when it comes to the issues that are most important to public safety and you and your loved ones. I know that politics is distasteful to so many of us in law enforcement. We have all chosen a profession to protect and serve our community -- not to play in the world of politics. Unfortunately, we must participate in politics in order to not only ensure our communities and families are safe from the ever-present threat from criminals, but to effectively protect the rights of our members and preserve everything we have fought so hard to achieve for our members and our chosen profession. We must elect politicians who will support us and fight to keep public safety a number one priority. Our Union must be a factor in thirteen City Council elections. The Mayoral election and the Attorney General control the level of law enforcement services dedicated to the community and how you do your job and the benefits you receive. Elections are expensive. Participating in these countywide races can cost upwards of $1 million dollars -- for each race. We simply cannot sit around and hope that the people in power do the right thing. Politicians have been using an unlimited supply of taxpayer money to attack us. The last contract arbitration decision is a great example. Bolstering our PAC will force politicians to use their own money if they choose to continue to attack. The problems we face today and will face in the future are political problems. They require a political solution. We must remain united. *Research of the PAC provided with the assistance of Orange County Sheriffs Association Quality Customer Service Does Make A Difference By: Hiram Rosario, 7D Chief Steward The DC Police Union does not interfere with Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) rights to manage. However, District of Columbia (DC), residents, visitors, business owners, and members of MPD deserve better. I strongly believe that Quality Customer Service shall be for all, and not for some. While, I recognize that the majority of us provide Quality Customer Service, there may not a small number of people that forget the importance of Quality Customer Service. Our primary customers, which are our citizens, deserve better. Let me start out with the information that MPD provides to the citizens which in many cases is not factual. … CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 …
  6. 6. DC Police Union Newsletter Volume 1, Number 6 6 … CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 … Because, providing anything other than factual information is bad customer service. As professional police officers, we are held to higher standards. But, too bad that we cannot say the same for most of the MPD’s command staff, some of DC elected officials, and the mayor. As Union officials we continue, and are committed to providing our citizens with Quality Customer Service. But, we are also committed to ensuring that the rank and file also receives Quality Customer Service from MPD. I guess that some individuals may forget that the rank and file members are also customers, we are internal customers. I would like to see that the Customer Service that we get is the same Quality Customer Service that we provide to our citizens. However, as we know that is not always the case, because in many instances the Customer Service provided to out rank and file members some garbage. I have to say that happy employees do make a difference, and in any organization where there is good practice of providing Quality Customer Service internally is usually likely that it leads to the internal customers providing Quality Customer Service to the their external customers. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOP), CUSTOMER SERVICE STANDARDS and TESTING, Part III (Basic Customer Service Requirements), provides in part, that: “Every member, regardless of rank, grade or assignment, is responsible for providing the highest quality of customer service. Failure to do so may result in adverse action up to, and including, removal from the position.” General Order GO-PER 201.35, (CUSTOMER SERVICE STANDARDS and TESTING), Part I (Background), provides in part, that: The very essence of police business is service. Every member of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) provides a service – to the public or a fellow member of the department. The quality of the service provided defines whether the action taken was successful. Every contact between a sworn officer or a civilian member and the community determines the public perception of the Metropolitan Police Department. The overwhelming majority of MPD members are professional and courteous in their communications with others. They understand that every phone call, visit, and request for service demands the highest professional standard. This General Order and the corresponding Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Customer Service sets down the minimal expectations of all members when communicating with the public and other members of the department. It is based on the simple principles of common courtesy. MPD employee performance in implementing customer service standards will be evaluated by internal and external customer service checks. Hiram Rosario, 7D Chief Steward, can be reached at (202) 276-7115.

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