NYSTPBA Newsletter Message from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer Justice Served Aaron Munise, the man convicted of criminally negligent homicide in April for the death of Sgt. Jeremy VanNostrand, was sentenced to one to three years in state prison. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Sergeant VanNostrand’s family and coworkers following his line-of-duty death on Nov. 27, 2018. Critical Incident Thank goodness our Troopers are fine after a shooting in Troop K – New Lebanon yesterday morning. Their training and professionalism were apparent and this is yet another example of why the whole concept of sending social workers to MHL complaints is an asinine idea. In Case You Missed It – Part I In case you missed it, Gov. Andrew Cuomo appeared alongside Eric Adams on Wednesday to discuss the spike in gun violence. Currently on a victory tour in the wake of his NYC mayoral primary victory - which included television appearances and a meeting with the president at the White House - Eric Adams is the hot ticket right now in the political circles. The governor, an astute politician, stood next to Adams and lavished the probable next NYC mayor with adulation and temporarily basked in Adams’s newfound celebrity. The only thing lacking in the love-fest was Governor Cuomo taking a selfie with Adams. As for the substance of the press conference, the governor blamed rising crime on a “general sense of lawlessness in the city” while Adams said, "There's just a sense that we have a city where any and everything goes.” And how did we get to this point, gentlemen? In Case You Missed It – Part II In case you missed it, a use of force report was released by DCJS and the press has been jumping all over the fact that a disproportionate number of minorities were the subject to force between July 11, 2019 and Oct. 31, 2020. The law, passed in 2019, requires each police department, sheriff’s office, and New York State Police to report incidents in which a police officer or peace officer used force against an individual while on duty to the DCJS. From the Daily Gazette in Schenectady - A report last week by New York’s Division of Criminal Justice Services that encompassed 280 police agencies included the big takeaway that Black people were the target of half of all use-of-force incidents involving police. Statewide, 49% of all targets in 6,052 use-of-force incidents were Black during the study period of July 2019 through Oct. 31, according to the report. This is disproportionate to the ratio of Black people who live in the state. The state’s population is 19.4 million, of which 17.6% of residents are Black. I sent a comment to Spectrum News regarding the DCJS report and I referenced the fact that although we had the most uses of force (289) outside NYC, only 1% involved someone of color. Of course, there was ZERO mention of this fact because the media, in their quest to “one-up” their competition, will continue to have a field day skewing these numbers and sowing discontent throughout society as a result. As president of the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association (NYSTPBA), which represents uniformed members of the New York State Police, my preliminary review of the DCJS report revealed a vastly different picture than what some media have reported regarding race and larger cities in the state. We believe that any data is subjective to the various interpretations applied to it and those numbers can be skewed. The results of the DCJS report appear to be in the eye of the beholder. We do not believe the data in this report can be objectively analyzed without the greater picture and statistics of overall encounters between police and civilians. In our view, the DCJS report confirms that NYSTPBA members follow the extensive training they proudly receive. We are thankful for funding for resources and tools, such as the ongoing implementation of body cameras, to help us accomplish our mission of serving and protecting in today’s ever-changing society. New York City — 1,916 New York State Police — 289 Suffolk (county PD) — 227 Rochester (city) — 142 Syracuse (city) — 113 Troy (city) — 103 Elmira (city) — 101 Amherst (town) — 99 Schenectady (city) — 90 Jamestown (city) — 87 Nassau (county PD) — 79 Albany (county) — 60 Suffolk (county sheriff) — 55 Schenectady (county) — 53 Buffalo (city)— 52 Newburgh (city) — 49 Rockland (county) — 47 Niagara Falls (city) — 37 Albany (city) — 36 Utica (city) — 35 Watertown (city) — 32 Onondaga (county) — 31 Oswego (city) — 20 Binghamton (city)— 16 Monroe (county) — 8 Erie (county) — 4 Sunday Haircuts, Anyone? In a long-anticipated moment at the Capitol [sarcasm], Governor Cuomo signed legislation ending an antiquated law that prohibits “shaving, hair cutting or other work of a barber” on Sundays. Those who violated this statute could have been convicted of “Sabbath breaking” and subjected to a $5 fine. What is interesting about this legislation is that its lead sponsor was Sen. Joe Griffo, a Republican. Here is Albany in a nutshell: Republican-sponsored bills such as a repeal of bail-reform are dead in the water, yet the barbering community can now breathe a sigh of relief that the Sabbath Police will not shutter their business for operating an electric razor on a Sunday. I have an idea - why not put politics aside and repeal the so-called bail reform debacle so thugs carrying guns are not turned back onto the streets to terrorize the public? For some levity, the scene from the Clint Eastwood movie "Any Which Way You Can" comes to mind. The bumbling outlaw biker gang the Black Widows are pulled over by two Wyoming State Troopers for apparent V&T violations but while they are walking to the lead motorcycle, they notice all the bikers are wearing women’s wigs. Cholla, leader of the Black Widows - Why don't you just shut up and start passing out them tickets, there. Wyoming State Trooper - I ain't got the heart. You've got enough trouble. Cholla - Wait a minute. You have to give us them tickets. You have to. I mean, didn't you see us? We're lawbreakers. I mean, we are totally despicable. We have earned them tickets. Trooper - Son, you are a walking violation of the laws of nature. But we don't enforce them laws. Delta House As referenced last week, the Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, surprising some epidemiologists and public health officials. Unfortunately, this Delta doesn’t wear a pledge pin on their uniform so it’s no laughing matter. Do not become complacent, continue to observe the hygiene procedures that became commonplace over the last 16 months and be mindful of your interactions with the public. 2% NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced that local government property taxes in New York next year will hit their statutory cap of a 2% increase. The 2011 law limits property tax increases at 2% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. This is only the third time in the last 10 years that inflation has exceeded 2% as it pertains to this law. (The 2021 limit was set at a 1.56% increase.) United Nations In a “head-scratching” move, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a “formal, standing invitation” for United Nations officials and the United Nations Human Rights Council – a body that includes China, Cuba, Russia, and Venezuela - to investigate “systemic racism” in American policing. Sounds like we may have new 2-shift partners in the near future. Sen. Marco Rubio, who is of Cuban descent, slammed the Biden administration and said that instead, officials should “ask them to go to Cuba.” KAPOW! Another Anti-Bail Reform Ally Chalk Democratic Albany County District Attorney David Soares up as another politician lashing out at the ill-conceived bail reform law. His recent op-ed in the New York Post was a notable moment because Mr. Soares was always deemed more progressive than conservative over his years in office. He stated, “The real problem isn’t catching the criminals roaming the streets with illegal handguns. The real problem is what we do — or rather, don’t do — once we catch them……If they are serious about gun violence, one common-sense step stands out: New York must give judges discretion to keep dangerous offenders in jail.” Thank you for a dose of reality from someone in the trenches, Mr. Soares. Now if someone across the street from your office in the Capitol would only listen. https://nypost.com/2021/07/11/cuomos-weak-crime-plan-misses-the-real-issue-bail-reform/?utm_campaign=iphone_nyp&utm_source=pasteboard_app First Amendment Rights Those of us in the police union world are watching with much interest the saga of my friend, Ed Mullins, president of the New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association. Ed, who has never been shy about expressing his feelings publicly, recently filed a federal lawsuit alleging city authorities, the NYPD and the Civilian Complaint Review Board have abridged his right to free speech by trying to silence his lawful union activism through threats of disciplinary action. He is set to come up on departmental charges resulting from three tweets he sent out last year in which he called the head of the city’s health department a “bitch,” a city councilman, who is now a congressman, a “first-class whore” and referenced the arrest report of the mayor’s daughter who had been arrested for participating in last summer’s riots. The health department head garnered Ed’s ire when she allegedly told then-NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan last spring that she did not give “two rats’ asses about your cops” in a dispute about protective equipment at the height of the pandemic. Congressman Ritchie Torres was slammed for his “reforms that support criminals, budget cuts for the NYPD and his unscrupulous moral values.” None other than prominent civil liberties attorney Norman Siegel believes Ed has a very strong case. The Ongoing AG Investigation POLITICO’s Anna Gronewold sums up matters very succinctly: The uncertainty (of its results) has paralyzed much of New York's Democratic political apparatus. State lawmakers have put their parallel impeachment investigation on a very slow burn. Cuomo has not revisited his pre-scandal pledge to run for a fourth term in 2022. And potential Democratic primary challengers are waiting to see if they’d face a wounded Cuomo, a vindicated Cuomo, or perhaps no Cuomo at all. It is reported that Governor Cuomo will be deposed by investigators from the attorney general’s office tomorrow. I picture it going a route similarly taken by another of our esteemed leaders more than two decades ago - “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the - if he - if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not - that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement. … Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.” Gubernatorial 2022 The last six months of financial disclosure reports are in and it looks like the Republicans are finally gearing up to take on the establishment - Lee Zeldin - $4 million Governor Cuomo - $2.5 million Attorney General James - $1 million Rob Astorino - $744,000 Need A New Shotgun? Attorney General James will host a community gun buyback event in Newburgh next week. What do you get for bringing in a gun, you may ask? Assault rifle - $250 Handgun - $150 Rifle or Shotgun - $75 Non-working or antique gun - $25 I propose we set up a table outside the buyback location and offer $80 for those rifles and shotguns. Any volunteers? NYC Retirees Although this does not affect our retirees, it is an interesting and disturbing thing to watch. About 250,000 retired city employees will begin receiving their health coverage through the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus Program plan starting on Jan. 1, 2022 after the de Blasio administration and the Municipal Labor Committee reached an agreement that will save the city an estimated $600 million a year. As you probably can guess, the retirees are pissed. The Cuomo administration unilaterally pulled shady shit like this in December 2011 and a coalition of state employee unions (NYSTPBA, NYSPIA, CSEA, PEF, UUP, NYSCOPBA and AFSCME Council 82) filed lawsuits in federal court challenging the increase in the percentage of health insurance contributions required of state retirees beyond the level at which they retired. I said at the time, "The New York State Troopers PBA will continue to fight for the well-being of our retired members. It is imperative that the active members of the PBA protect those members who came before us and proudly wore the gray uniform while sacrificing so much in the name of public safety." Believe it or not, this lawsuit is still pending after a decade. Quote of the Week From the NYC Democratic mayoral primary nominee Eric Adams, who has prematurely declared himself “mayor of this city” - “We have thrown up our hands and we have surrendered our city.” Welcome to the shit show, thanks to the NYC-based politicians in Albany. A Sign that the Apocalypse is Upon Us Illinois - Legislation recently signed into law in Illinois allows anyone who finds anything, even a detail or error, that they believe to be untrue – even it was an innocent error in a report or statement – can use it as a basis of a criminal accusation against that officer. In addition, it also mandates that a police officer cannot review his or her body camera footage before writing a report in a use of force incident, all but guaranteeing there will be inconsistencies between the report and the recording of a high-stress critical incident. This is a recipe for disaster for the law enforcement community as it sets an impossible bar for human beings to pass. California - The Los Angeles Police Department, in conjunction with the offices of L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón and L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, will begin to implement a plan to divert individuals with mental health disorders, substance use issues, and/or those who are “unhoused” who are arrested for select misdemeanors and non-violent felonies “to community support programs in lieu of filing criminal charges, prosecution, and transportation to jail facilities.” Hey, I’m all in for giving someone a second chance but I see this running off the tracks immediately. Thought Going into the Weekend All bourbon is considered whiskey but not all whiskey is considered bourbon. And that’s all I got to say about that! This email is an automated notification, which is unable to receive replies. To send a comment to the NYSTPBA, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers 120 State St. Albany, New York 12207 (518) 462-7448 http://www.nystpba.org