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Discussion in 'Pay, Benefits & Contract Discussions' started by StbbrnMedic, Feb 5, 2009.
I believe there are two or three serving with Gil that got their slips.
I heard Brockton is going to be getting hit worst within the next few weeks.
Probably - and it'll be more of the same... phuck up the finances and make public safety pay for it.
Meanwhile we have an MIA School Superintendant, clerks, teachers and aides that meander the hallways with nothing to do, and we're paying for bus drivers to hang out at Mcdonalds while they could be utilized for actual student transportation.
Time to call ESGR. http://www.esgr.org
Cities cutting police work
Tight budgets allow for only the basics Outreach efforts, special units slashed
By Eric Moskowitz and Maria Cramer
Globe Staff / March 5, 2009
Deep budget cuts are forcing urban police departments to wipe out gang units, trim detectives from investigation teams, pull back on community outreach, and eliminate specialized patrols, as cities pare back to the most basic form of police work: putting uniformed officers in cruisers for patrol and 911 response.
The trend continued in Boston yesterday, where Commissioner Edward F. Davis announced that 40 cadets and 20 civilian employees will be laid off July 1. The department could also disband its horse and bicycle units to help close a $20 million budget gap in the next fiscal year.
The law-enforcement budget cuts will be most acute in the state's working-class and formerly industrial cities, communities such as New Bedford, Fall River, and Brockton, which rely most heavily on state aid to provide basic services. Facing an ever-growing budget deficit this fiscal year and next, Governor Deval Patrick has slashed local aid and called for eliminating a grant program that funds extra officers, programs, and equipment to enhance community policing.
"This is the reality of what we're facing," said A. Wayne Sampson, a former Shrewsbury chief who serves as executive director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. "Most of our outreach programs are going to be eliminated just by the sheer lack of personnel to do them."
As a result of the strain, Worcester has just ended a popular foot patrol in its central business district. In Lynn, school resource officers were wiped out. And in New Bedford, the department dropped its gang unit, trimmed detectives from special investigation teams, and cut an entire division focused on building neighborhood connections, all to send experienced personnel back to cruisers after the newest officers were laid off.
New Bedford even called two canine officers back to patrol duty, forcing their highly trained dogs into early retirement.
There is little way to put a positive spin on it, Mayor Scott W. Lang said.
"The first purpose of government should be to keep our citizens safe and our kids educated," said Lang, who has asked Beacon Hill officials to provide more money to communities such as his to prevent police layoffs. "That's something right now that I think we're really putting a tremendous stress and test on."
Several cities, including Boston, Worcester, and New Bedford, have sought wage or benefit concessions to avoid layoffs, but unions have been reluctant to agree without a guarantee that all jobs will be protected.
That is a pledge that officials have been unable to make, given the steep decline in local revenues in recent months, combined with the deep cuts in state aid. Patrick made an immediate $128 million reduction to municipal aid earlier this year and has proposed deepening the cut to as much as $375 million for fiscal 2010, which starts July 1. He also reduced a $21.3 million grant for community policing by $5.1 million and called for eliminating it altogether next year.
Law-enforcement budget cuts would not affect police details at utility and road construction sites, an expensive practice that Patrick has sought to rein in, but which remains in place through local ordinances. Although taxpayers do not fund those overtime details directly, they pay for it in other ways, such as costs passed on through utility rates. Police have lobbied for keeping the details to enhance their visibility in the streets without straining municipal budgets.
The initial layoffs in New Bedford and elsewhere could be a preview for other cities. This week, Fall River laid off 53 police officers. Dozens of police jobs are on the table in Brockton.
Layoffs are expected across the state this spring and summer, as larger and needier communities come to terms with the economic crisis.
In Boston yesterday, Davis met with his command staff to announce the budget cuts, which he hopes can minimize the number of uniformed police layoffs.
"You can't deny that this is an across-the-board emergency that is affecting every sector of the public and private communities," Davis said.
The federal stimulus package, union concessions, and tax increases could dampen statewide law-enforcement cuts, but significant service reductions seem unavoidable.
"Over the course of time, police departments will be cut to staffing levels not seen in our lifetime," said James Machado, executive director of the Massachusetts Police Association, which represents officers across the state.
Already those reductions are prompting departments to reassign specialty and community divisions to cruisers, shifting from preventive to reactive police work.
The redeployments represent a basic "change in the way we do business," said Machado, a Fall River police sergeant.
Officials in multiple cities said they will try not to let response times for emergencies increase.
Other police work will necessarily suffer. That may mean slower investigations, with fewer detectives available. Waiting time could stretch for nonemergency calls, everything from car accidents without injuries to break-ins and robberies in which a perpetrator has already fled, officials and law-enforcement specialists said.
And departments could recede from community policing initiatives that many officials and residents have celebrated and endorsed in the last two decades, the relationship-building work with residents, business owners, and public-school students to boost neighborhoods and crack down on small crimes as a means to prevent larger ones.
Those initiatives were born out of the "broken windows" theory first espoused by criminologists George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson in a 1982 Atlantic Monthly article. They were applied prominently by Boston's William J. Bratton here, in New York, and in Los Angeles, where Bratton currently serves as chief.
In an interview yesterday, Kelling said it would be a mistake for cash-strapped departments to automatically reassign remaining employees to cruiser duty and 911 response.
"The tendency of police departments confronted with limited personnel is to focus on more serious offenses, and we know from New York City that concentrating and focusing on minor offenses is probably more important, because it gives you access to criminals," said Kelling, a professor at Rutgers University and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
Instead, he said, departments should conserve resources by spending less time responding to 911 calls, many of which are nonemergency, such as minor traffic accidents and break-ins that could be handled over the phone. Meanwhile, all officers in cruisers or otherwise, not just in special units, should be applying community policing philosophies, he said.
"Any retreat from preventive modes, I think, is more dangerous to communities than an after-the-fact response," Kelling said.
I'll bet MS-13 and such are happy to see this.
Not if everyone was armed and protected themselves.
Had to throw that in there, didn't they
I haven't seen many teachers getting the ax. So who's union is the MOST POWERFUL union in the country? Even the UAW has made concessions...
As I've said before, the teachers have thousands of little hostages, and thousands of parents who are terrified at the thought of actually having to spend the day with their children.
Ha! There are still plenty of teachers, teachers aide's, assistants, secretaries, guidance counselors, librarians and custodians with our school department while me and 30 other guys got the axe. They don't seem to be worried as far as cuts go.
If we're still in the recession stage, I'm dreading the depression stage...
I agree with 78th and stbbrn, in order for a paycut to be a logical decision, my finances would have to be in check, otherwise family comes first, unless of course the job at stake is a family member or close friend, then I would feel motivated to help them keep their job.
Maybe its just me but I consider all of the men and women that I trust my life with (i.e. co-workers) to be "close friends."
Not me....I'll crawl a hundred yards over broken glass to get to a cop in trouble, but that doesn't necessarily mean I like the person.
Dont think he is saying that lofu. I think he means he has to make sure he can feed the kids and wife or husband before he took the cut.
I'm seriously considering hoarding cash at home, not in the bank.
That is if my paycheck doesn't start bouncing.
yes all I'm saying is, if I have any doubt that my family will be ok with less money, then I will not take my chances. If I may have a struggle, but only to protect the unemployment of someone VERY close to me who may not have any other options, (I'm not an officer yet but YES I would consider anyone covering my backside in the line of fire close, but theres that to consider and then there's someone you really know and trust outside of the coworker circle), that would motivate me "MORE" than protecting the jobs of "other police" over the safety of my family. Call me greedy or stingy and what-not but its logical. There's the filthy rich, and then theres those who get by with a little extra spending money who are given the option to give up christmas presents and then some OR feel guilty about someone else getting layed off.
Obviously anyone who is in danger of being layed off would want everyone to take the cut to save their unfortunate asses, but you cant blame those who dont get enough as it is.
PS. Two dogs were hanging out at my cousins tonight after we got back from a bar, and one fucking chewed my sleeve apart on my way to the car. How fucking stupid is that. I called P.D. before and after, I better get some damn money for the teeth holes in my hoodie. Apparently, they're calling animal control. anyone know the procedure for these sort of calls?
I agree 100%. I would do the same...... With that said there are Cops that I work with that I don't have much respect for. I work with one guy in particular that made it perfectly clear that he wants his tiny raise and doesn't give two sh^ts if a lower seniority guy gets laid off. He has a whopping 5 years on the job, but has a lot of seniority because of turnover etc. He is an a$shole in my opinion (and many others), but I would still, as Delta said, "crawl a hundred yards over broken glass" to help his selfish ass..........
It's just you.......
That is so sad, yet so very true. I WANT to consider all of my co-workers close friends, but there are a few that, though I don't DISLIKE them, I distance myself for several reasons.
Lousy to be that way, but it's life in the fast lane...and pretty much in the breakdown lane as well.
Apparently!! In fairness, I should have elaborated on my statement. I should point out that my department is in the middle of deciding on a "wage freeze" and not a pay cut as discussed earlier so it seems like a no brainer to me. I agree with everyone who said that they might not like everyone personally they work but that they would do whatever it takes to help save their ass. I just don't see the difference in "crawling through broken glass" as Delta said to help them physically and holding off on getting a raise that I have not seen yet anyway if it means someone I work with on a daily basis can continue to provide for their family.. I understand that some some cities are asking for a "pay cut" and I can understand not being able to give up money that is already being made and part of someone's monthly budget for providing for their family. In addition, I know that if my union does not vote for this wage freeze some of the guys I can count on the most to crawl through that broken glass to help me when I need won't be around, thus leaving me to rely on someone who might take the long way around that glass in the hopes of saving themselves.
Sorry for the rambling, just came off a midnight shift and my brain is mush.
Viveiros wants chiefs to update public on effects of layoffs
By Michael Holtzman
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Mar 05, 2009 @ 08:13 PM
Last update Mar 05, 2009 @ 08:15 PM
Fall River —
The City Council’s Committee on Public Safety hopes to bring the fire and police chiefs to neighborhood meetings to discuss layoff impacts upon public safety, said Councilor Cathy Ann Viveiros, who sponsored a resolution.
Based on phone calls and questions Viveiros said she and councilors have received since 98 police and firefighters were among 149 workers laid off Monday, the public needs to have concerns over the layoffs alleviated.
Viveiros said the neighborhood groups are concerned about police visibility and availability and relationships forged to help targeted areas of the city and make them safer.
She also identified worries over reduced deployment of fire personnel and equipment impacting responses to emergencies.
Viveiros, who has acknowledged the possibility she will run for mayor this year, said recent layoffs in New Bedford have caused “rolling blackouts” of fire stations. She wondered if Fall River would be similarly impacted.
“There’s just a lot of anxiety out there,” Viveiros said Thursday.
She said the public safety subcommittee’s chairman, City Council Vice President Raymond E. Hague, strongly supports holding the meetings. Hague has held his committee meetings with neighboring groups at various times to collect information and discuss issues. The third committee member is Councilor Brian Bigelow.
In order for the committee to convene neighborhood meetings and invite city officials, Viveiros said a majority of the full counsel would need to support her resolution.
Her aim is to bring Police Chief John M. Souza and Fire Chief Paul D. Ford to neighborhood meetings within the next couple of weeks.
She hopes the chiefs can explain to the neighborhood groups what they can expect for services in the wake of the massive layoffs.
The council is slated to address the resolution at Tuesday night’s regular meeting. Viveiros said she expects the full body to support it.
But still no word of Correia being there.
Where is Sen. Joan Menard/State Rep's from Fall River?? I have not witnessed any public statement made by them, and Menard is Assistant Senate Majority Leader. Just shows me Fall River like N.B. is on an island. Next up to join them is Brockton (just a prediction).
I can relate to that statement.
You make some great points and I can't help but make a little comparison to doing whatever it takes and taking whatever risks to help a guy who might be getting physically beaten but not willing to take a risk for a guy who will be getting financially beaten.
It's like, "I'll take a bullet for another cop, but I won't give up a car payment." I would guess my family would rather miss a car payment than have me shot, but either way, I'd do what I could to help out a brother...or sister.
Again, I can't fault the guys who won't take pay cuts, I don't want a pay cut, but a freeze, if it'll save a few guys their jobs, I'd do it without batting an eye. I would just hope and actually demand that that pay freeze thaw out when economic times improved.
As for neighborhood meetings, great idea, but I just picture a small contingent of gang bangers sitting in the back asking, "So, where do you expect the PO-lice to be seen less and where and when will the patrols be less frequent. We just aksin cuz we care 'bout da hood z'all."
So let me ask a hypothetical question- It may or may not be an example of a situation that exists in a Massachusetts police department.
What if Management came and said "give us 10% back or we're laying off" and what if the Union said "do the layoffs" and the city did, saying that would cover the rest of the fiscal year.
Then literally a week later the city came back looking for more concessions, involving say, court time, and clothing allowance claiming they needed them to make it to the end of the fiscal year.
Would you think the city had any credibilty, or would you think they were contract busting?
'A Band-Aid on a gaping wound'
Federal funds come too late for Police Department, chief says
By Will Richmond
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Mar 06, 2009 @ 10:24 PM
Fall River —
The pumping of federal stimulus funds intended for police into the city’s coffers will have a limited effect on the ability to bring back officers.
Fall River is poised to reap $606,943 over four years as part of the Edward Bryne Justice Assistance Grant program, according to Mayor Robert Correia. The amount is the fifth highest to go to a Massachusetts municipality and is part of a $40.7 million allocation to the commonwealth.
Both Correia and Police Chief John M. Souza said their first priority will be to bring officers back, but they cautioned the money will not allow the city to replace a bulk of the 52 officers laid off Monday.
The funds, which are not expected for use until May, would bring back two officers, Correia said. The low number is due to the annual nature of the funds, coupled with auxiliary costs such as benefits and potential expenses associated with the Quinn Bill, which allows for higher salaries for police personnel with law degrees. The city also wants to ensure the funds are available to retain any officers rehired, Correia said.
“The idea is to retain, absolutely,” Correia said.
Souza said as soon the money becomes available he will seek to bring back officers.
“Once I get our share I’ll immediately bring back people,” he said. “If I can bring them back one at a time then that’s one less that’s not wearing a badge and uniform.”
The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multi-jurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.
According to a press release, the procedure for allocating JAG grants is based on a formula of population and violent crime statistics, in combination with a minimum allocation to ensure that each state and territory receives an appropriate share of funding. Sixty percent of the allocation is awarded directly to a state and 40 percent is set aside for units of local governments.
While pleased with the prospect of bringing back officers, Souza said the federal government’s effort are simply not enough.
“This is a Band-Aid on a gaping wound,” Souza said. “I’ll accept anything and we’ll use it in the best possible manner, but it doesn’t simply go far enough to address the needs in urban communities.”
Souza said he will personally contact the city’s federal legislative delegation to point out that bailout funds are being misdirected and should instead go toward supporting public safety personnel numbers.
“I’ll say ‘Thanks’ but it’s not even close to get us to the level that we need,” Souza said. “I’ll take it and I’ll utilize it, but I plan to ask for more.”
Mayor details post-layoff restructuring
By Will Richmond
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Mar 06, 2009 @ 01:12 PM
Last update Mar 07, 2009 @ 12:36 AM
Fall River —
Information on how the three hardest-hit departments will deal with Monday’s announced personnel losses was officially revealed Friday afternoon.
The police and fire departments, which lost about 20 percent of their personnel, announced significant changes that will include fewer officers and firefighters on duty.
On the police side, 26 officers have been transferred to the Uniform Division in an effort to maintain a police presence on the streets. The reorganization will cut school resource officers at all secondary schools in the city, take two officers out of the Court Liaison/Court Processing Unit, remove seven detectives from the Major Crimes Division — leaving three detectives and two supervisors — eliminate three officers from the Vice and Intelligence Unit, and take four officers and two sergeants from the Special Operations Divisions, including two K-9 officers. It was noted the dogs will remain on duty with their handlers.
All modifications in the Police Department have already taken place, as most layoffs in the department will go into effect Friday.
The personnel reductions will also result in some service reductions. Citizens calling for property crimes or other non-emergency matters may be informed to go to the station and file a report or transferred to an officer who may be able to provide telephone assistance.
To ease demand, the Police Department will attempt to expedite the installation of software that will allow minor incidents to be reported online and let them generate reports for insurance purposes. The department is also expected to automate its routine phone line to connect callers to various departments.
What won’t be lost, city officials say, is community policing, which will be supplemented during the summer months with grant funding to target high-need areas.
Police Chief John Souza said that while the changes will result in a smaller police presence across the city, the department’s goal will not waver.
“Our paramount concern is the safety and well-being of the public, as well as the safety and well-being of the officers,” Souza said. “With this plan, as it’s set forth, the public should know we are going to be able to respond and keep them safe in an emergency situation.”
Fire Department changes, which are scheduled to go into effect March 15, will result in a loss of services at two stations.
The Flint Neighborhood Station will lose an engine, while maintaining its ladder company.
The Center Fire Station will be changed from three complete companies, two engines and one heavy rescue to one engine company and the heavy rescue manned by one firefighter. Those companies will merge and run as a squad responding on certain alarms together as a unit. Four firefighters per shift will be on duty.
No stations will be closed and there will be no changes to the number of apparatus responding, though there will be two fewer firefighters on the rescue and District Chief Aides will no longer respond. Fire companies will also travel longer distances, resulting in longer response times.
The layoffs will also mean 28 firefighters will be on duty at any one time, compared to 38 currently. To ease the loss, city officials said they will seek mutual aid from surrounding communities to assist on calls.
To maintain the focus on emergency response, the Fire Department will delay smoke alarm inspections from two weeks to threes weeks and reviews of new construction plans will be done with a focus on completing those with complex projects. The department will also cut back on public education initiatives that are not required by law.
Within the Department of Community Maintenance — which comprises the municipal buildings, parks and cemeteries, traffic and parking, sanitation, and streets and highways division — changes appear to be limited though a focus will be on fulfilling the duties of collecting trash and recycling.
The trade-off, however, will be less frequent pickup of other items, including abandoned items, which had previously been picked up as they were called in. Those items will now be picked up as time allows. Other effects in the department include pushing the yard waste collection to from May 1 to April 1, while waste oil and paint collections will only take place once a month rather than twice a month.
The cutbacks will also affect street sweeping and pothole repairs, as they will be done periodically instead of daily.
Collection of paid bulky items, including refrigerators, air conditioners, TVs and microwave ovens, will be unchanged. Tires will still be collected at the city garage.
After reviewing the changes, consideration may also be given to implementing a five-day-a-week pick up of curb side solid waste and recycling. Currently those items are picked up on a four-day schedule.
“It’s quite an undertaking to shuffle around the loss of 21 bodies in a staff that was already, in my opinion, short-staffed,” Pacheco said after the changes were announced.
“I’m hoping we can limit it to this,” he said. “Hopefully soon things will change and we can go back to our old staffing levels.”
Local police could save jobs, programs with stimulus money
By Brian Boyd
March 07, 2009 6:00 AM
Mayor Scott W. Lang said he will be able to rehire some police officers who lost their jobs in recent layoffs by using new money provided in the federal stimulus package.
The Obama administration announced Friday that state and local enforcement agencies are eligible for $2 billion in assistance as a result of the $787 billion stimulus program. The money includes $588,345 for New Bedford and tens of thousands of dollars for other SouthCoast communities.
"My feeling is it will bring back officers," Lang said. "It's welcomed news."
Fairhaven Police Chief Gary F. Souza said he will be able to save his department's school resource officer program with a $39,163 allocation. Other communities have not decided yet how to spend their money.
Lang said he did not know how many officers he will be able to hire with the funds. The city laid off 31 police officers, as well as 35 firefighters, to close a $2.8 million loss in local aid for the current fiscal year.
Since the stimulus money is a one-time infusion of funds, Lang said city officials will want to use the money in a way that provides the most value over the long term.
"Every day we can have a safe city is a day we get closer to economic recovery," he said. "The one-time money that comes in will be applied to public safety to make sure we have safe neighborhoods."
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said the funds will help cities and towns protect the public at a time when they're coping with budget cuts.
"It clearly means more police will be working in the city than otherwise would have," Frank told The Standard-Times.
President Barack Obama said by keeping police officers on the streets and law enforcement agencies well-equipped, the money helps the economy and public safety.
"These funds are a vital component in our effort to not just revive our economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity and security," Obama said in a statement.
Souza had said Fairhaven was going to lose its school resource officer program after the current school year ended because the state eliminated the grant money.
The program "has been highly successful in detecting drugs in the schools and preventing violence and working with kids," Souza said.
The stimulus money will allow his department to retain the program for at least another year, he said.
The money is used to cover overtime expenses. Sometimes, when the two officers involved in the program are at the schools, the department has to pay other officers overtime to maintain the minimum level of patrol officers on the street, he said.
Souza said he would be reluctant to plan new programs or hiring based on the funds, since they represent a one-time boost.
For the same reason, Dartmouth Police Chief Mark Pacheco said he also would avoid launching a new program with his town's $57,404 allocation, only to shut it down a year later. He said he might want to use the money for equipment, repairs or capital improvements, but he has to figure out the specific guidelines.
"The devil is in the details," Pacheco said. "I really want to scrutinize to see what we can use the money for."
The law enforcement money will be distributed through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program. Pacheco said police departments will have to apply for the money and explain to the federal government how they intend to spend it.
"It's not just something they hand over and say, 'Here's your money,'" he said.
Westport police plan to take advantage of their $19,492 allotment, but they have not decided how best to spend it.
"It's really up in the air what we would use the money for," said Detective Jeffrey Majewski, police spokesman. "We definitely could use it, and we'll know better in the next few weeks where we can focus the use of the money, based on what the needs of the town are."
Wareham police are eligible to receive $121,603. However, police spokesman Lt. Irving Wallace said he was unaware of the money, and he could not comment on it.