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Local 724 Political News
Keep it right here for you latest Team 724 news and events.
Political Director Chuck Flynn will posting vital info to the campaign
and Team 724's next move..

NOVEMBER UPDATE

As November begins our cops have now been dealing with the daily risks of COVID 19 for eight months. Since the beginning of this pandemic nationwide 132 officers have died from COVID. Our members have selflessly put fear aside responding to help those in need during this crisis ensuring emergency calls were answered at our own personal risk. New London is now deemed a hot spot in Connecticut with COVID uptick as we continue to respond without protest. We took this job to help others in need, it's what we do.

Officers believe in this current climate cops are wrong until proven right and many community members consider their perceptions more important than facts or laws.
Officers have pulled back from being proactive, less willing in neighborhoods to get criminals off the street fearing the risk of their own arrest, termination and lawsuits for simply doing their jobs, compounded by no support coming from any elected officials. The result is many officers actively looking to transfer to less volatile suburban areas or simply leave the profession.

The facts is most police officers are actually proactive during their shift by targeting specific crime hot spots during high risk hours with intermittent and intensified patrol activities, police can effectively manage the risk of criminal and disorderly events. With the new Police Accountability Act loaded with provisions of uncertainty and vagueness it has resulted in policing especially urban policing becoming increasingly more difficult.
To borrow a quote from Aurora Police Association President Judy Lutkin on soaring crime rates and police "walked away" from pro-activity stated, "As far as we can tell our people are executing what the public wants. If this isn't what the public wants they should do something about it."

One of our local politician's statements would have you believe that our concerns as Union leaders on the Police Accountability Law are just "drama,..fear mongering …a lot of untruths and misinformation"… that any officers leaving must be the bad cops or afraid of new accountability. Who said in his own words, "the bill was not perfect" has done nothing to amend it.
Union leadership has consulted with several highly experienced lawyers on police use of force and constitutional law who reviewed the new law in its entirety and concurred our concerns were legitimate and detrimental to working police officers.
Hypothetically, if a police officer was to routinely drive around all shift not seeing or doing anything other than responding to obligatory calls or simply watch YouTube videos and update their facebook posts while assigned to station house duties then the politician is right, this hypothetical cop has absolutely nothing to be afraid of in the new public act.
Although many now find it puzzling how this same politician, telling everyone he's a champion of police accountability measures to remove bad cops from police forces with quotes like; "I believe police need to be accountable…for treating someone the way you shouldn't be treating people… you don't have think twice about what you're doing if you're doing the right thing" and "I was doing what my community voted me to do", is the same person protesting at city hall over an agency Internal Affairs finding against a police officer for excessive use of force.

So the agency does what it supposed to do ensure citizens are being treated fairly and with minimum use of force necessary for a lawful objective and it's suddenly not fair? Are you for police accountability only when it fits your victimhood narrative or only under certain circumstances when it's politically beneficial for you? In this instance the only one looking out for black victim in this excessive use of force case was the police department's Internal Affairs, it certainly wasn't our state representative.

To be clear this Union exists to represent every member on wages, benefits and working conditions. We are unapologetic for our fierce representation of all our members with the results to prove it. Unions don't hire, fire promote or discipline any members for their actions, employers do. We represent all ensuring their rights are upheld, due process was afforded with fair and complete investigation and any discipline imposed is fair and equitable.
What we don't have is the ability to change facts, they are what they are. In this particular case the facts have been sustained. We don't condone the behavior but at issue is the discipline, which is being contested and within the member's full right to do so. We support each member's right to have that hearing and challenge their discipline.

In the meantime we now face a triple threat—fewer applicants, more resignations, and a looming retirement bubble— comes at a time when many agencies are short staffed. NYPD has over 2,500 retirements up 86% over 2019, Baltimore is down 800 cops, Chicago needs 600, Atlanta 400, Minneapolis 175, Seattle 118 while in Connecticut the State Police need 250, New Haven 100, here in New London we have eight funded vacant positions while many more plan for their departures. The city in anticipation of a mass exodus of officers is considering implementing two 12 hour shifts for patrol in order to maintain minimum agency needs.

Current manpower shortages have resulted in unexpectedly higher overtime costs. NLPD has spent $100,000 a month in overtime for the last three months just to meet minimum agency requirements. In just the last two months aside from officers volunteering for vacant shifts there were over 130 ordered in shifts -our members forced to work 16 hour shifts. That number doesn’t even include dispatchers also short staffed with many orders in as well some times 20 hour straight relieved for four hours and expected to return back to work.
That much overtime is unsustainable, puts our operating budget in the red, comes at a tremendous human cost to the employee and their families forced to work this much and not safe for the public either. As more personnel leave-both officers and dispatchers, mandatory overtime demands will break the will of our younger officers to stay and seek other options too.
The agency faces some difficult challenges not only with current vacancies but anticipated vacancies in the next 200 days compounding staffing issues. NLPD is actively recruiting new officers for the eight funded vacancies but fraught with disappointing results. Our most recent written test from October 25th had thirteen applicants show up but only two passed. Yet to be determined is the test flawed or indicative of the pool of applicants were finding. Either way it does not solve our vacancy problems

This past month NLPD went operational with body cameras for all personnel. Body cams will capture all our public interactions. The Union was never opposed to the idea, we were and continue to be most concerned that high costs to maintaining the camera program ($1.2 million for first five years) will be at the expense of loosing equipment, training and personnel. Since even in a good year New London never has enough money the Union fears the City will require body camera costs will come at the expense of having enough manpower on the street. Because cameras won’t arrest criminals or save people in distress, cops do.
The public has made it clear they want police transparency and accountability. So do we. The public will be shocked to see how our men and women are treated. We strive to provide honorable service to each call with only few resulting in any complaints made and even fewer sustained.
Going forward if citizen complaints are proven by these body camera videos and subsequent investigations to be unfounded by deliberate false written statements or intentional omissions of pertinent facts with the intent to mislead a public official to implicate or malign our police officers we expect them to be charged with false statement.
Recall if you will the recent Congressional chorus during the recent impeachment hearings, "nobody is above the law". We agree and people shouldn't get to game the system with false police complaints at the expense of our men and women's reputations.

While City Councilors continue to congratulate themselves for their celebrated vote preventing our armored MRAP vehicle called "Rescue One" being operational fearing community outrage and paralyzing fear if anyone from the community had to actually see the vehicle driving down the street. Well it came with unintended consequences.
The PD was unable to locate and place the vehicle with any qualified law enforcement agency eligible to accept federal surplus equipment from the government's 1033 program. Compounding the problem was a new state law effective October 1, 2020 preventing any law enforcement agency from accepting military surplus equipment. Therefore, the only option is to ship it back to the military but not before the city must dismantled it first, at a cost of $25,000!

At the October 6th regular meeting of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) one usual member in particular was "disgusted" the police department digital message board posted "TELLMYFAMILYILOVETHEM" the last radio transmission of mortally wounded Toledo Ohio police officer Anthony Diaz. We posted it to pay tribute to a real life hero. A cop who put his life on the line protecting the community he served.
But our anti police member who measures every thought and word regarding police through their own prism of racism and oppression believes the time and point of the message was to "say black family’s don’t matter and police families matter more". In the member's usual opinion such messages are essentially "racist" and should not be up there.
Our same PCRC member also re-tweeted on May 31st of this year " Policing really is about a constant low level harassment and arresting of poor people on frivolous charges for the most part." We guess you told us how you really feel.
This same member operates full time on an implicit biased agenda against all police with a conclusion in search of facts. True activists will run on feelings when they lack facts. However, when treating feelings as facts creates dangerous confusion allowing those feelings to selectively be used to look for facts to back up their conclusions.
With such strong anti police beliefs why are city councilors allowing this person to remain a member of PCRC charged with improving police community relations? Such disdain for police in not helpful to the PCRC mission and certainly not in the public's best interest.
Committee members also warned they will be monitoring our Union social media in search of anything to report they "feel is cyber bullying". We assume that includes our members calling them out with facts that go against their eliminate/defund/re-imagine police narratives.

PCRC is on another quest to turn the public against police. This time to revisit the death of Lashano Gilbert while in police custody on October 4, 2014. Committee members mentioned wanting to meet with the Gilbert family and make public it was a homicide with nobody being arrested.

If these troubled PCRC members hope to use this incident as their new hot button reason to defund our police they should read the Use of Force Investigative Report by New London State's Attorney Michael Regan. Had they read it, they would have learned the conclusion by the medical examiner Dr. Gill, who stated "The final anatomic diagnosis found that Gilbert suffered from Sickle Cell Trait with resultant cardiac hypertrophy.
His examination found no evidence of internal injuries or internal collection of blood. Dr. Gill stated that his examination failed to reveal any trauma or injury to Gilbert that would have caused his death. Dr. Gill explained that the acute psychotic episode and the altercation with the police caused Gilbert's blood to sickle. Once Gilbert's blood sickled, the blood was not able to carry enough oxygen to his body, ultimately leading to his death.
Mr. Regan concluded that members of the New London Police Department did not use deadly physical force, the prevailing law on the use of deadly physical force at the time of the incident is relevant to the facts in this case. Further, that the use of physical force was necessary to restrain Lashano Gilbert, in order to prevent him from harming himself and the police officers present and to prevent his escape. The use of physical force was, therefore, appropriate. But don't take our word for it read it yourself. CLICK HERE

Perhaps the most important election in our generation occurs on Tuesday November 3rd. The winner will decide the future direction of this country. Progressives intend to push socialism into every corner of the country while Conservatives want to bring the country towards the center right.
If you support socialism, higher taxes, wealth re-distribution, free government everything, open borders, global economy, equal outcomes, more government regulations, expensive highly tax subsidized green energy projects, carbon footprint taxes, more social programs, weaker military, less constitutional protections, decriminalize everything, eliminate prisons, pack the Supreme Court and Senate, eliminate the Electoral College, increased identity politics, weak economy and erasure of our country's history- VOTE!
If you support traditional American values of a strong work ethic, competition, independence, individual expression, equal opportunities, free market capitalism, less government regulation, less taxes, brining manufacturing jobs back to America, strong national defense, sanctity of the Constitution, a strong economy and upholding law and order - VOTE!
If you're somewhere in the middle - VOTE! Your voice won't count unless you - VOTE!



The views expressed by the author may not necessarily reflect the views of all Local 724 members.


 

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Why Political Action

THE DECISIONS that a legislative body makes, whether it is a school board, city council, county board, state legislature, or the U.S. Congress, affect AFSCME members and their families in dramatic ways.

Elected officials vote on budgets that affect employee wages, benefits, working conditions and pensions. They vote on issues of particular concern to AFSCME members, like privatization, and they vote on broader issues of concern to all working families, such as health care reform and workers' compensation. That's why working people need to have allies among elected officials. And that's why working people need to work to elect these allies.

The Local 724 executive board has the collective responsibility to provide vision and direction for the local. It is up to the leadership team to look ahead, set goals and develop a plan to make strategic planning a critical element to having a strong union which can only come about when membership is informed, educated and active.

Unions can never hope to match the hundreds of millions of dollars big business pours into every election. But working people have superior numbers, so they can get out in the streets and work for candidates. And if members pool their cash, unions can help make sure that their endorsed candidates have enough funds to compete against business-backed opponents in the ever-more important media ad wars.

Through the political process we can be involved in setting important public policy. Through the political process public employees can elect representatives who are sensitive to maintaining vital public services and committed to dealing with workers fairly.

Local 724 accomplishes this through political action in conjunction with the exercise of collective bargaining process, growth and community involvement to produce a just and rewarding workplace.

   

Local 724 gets recognized on the national level!

On January 28, 2011 at the Council 4 Campaign for the Middle Class Seminar in Meriden The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO thanked the New London Police Union- Local 724 for their efforts in the Labor 2010 campaign.

Lee Saunders, International Secretary-Treasurer and AFSCME Council 4's Sal Luciano who is also an International Vice President honored Local 724 with a certificate "In recognition of their tireless work and commitment during the 2010 State of Connecticut general elections". To this day labor leaders throughout the state continue to praise our Malloy/Wyman Pre-Debate Rally as a new benchmark of what local labor can achieve when committed to a goal.

Chuck Flynn was honored to accept the award on behalf of our entire membership which will hang proudly in the 724 "Hall of Justice". I want to personally thank everyone that participated in some way no matter how big or small. Our election success was due to the collective efforts of our TEAM-Together Everyone Accomplishes More.

 


724 helps East Lyme fight the cause

Why Political Action


Shooting from the lip
Political Director C Flynn

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