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News from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer

Updated: May 8, 2021

NYSTPBA Newsletter News from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer Justice Served! A jury found a man guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the death of Sgt. Jeremy VanNostrand, who died in the line of duty on Nov. 27, 2018 from injuries sustained in a multi-vehicle crash in front of the barracks in Montgomery County where he was stationed. Sentencing is scheduled for July 9. Sergeant VanNostrand, 36, was sworn into service with the New York State Police on Nov. 26, 2012. After graduating from the 199th Session of the State Police Academy, VanNostrand started his career in Troop F, working at SP Liberty. He later transferred to Troop G and worked at SP Granville and then SP Fonda. VanNostrand loved his job as a member of the New York State Police and was described as enthusiastic, hard-working, dependable and dedicated to serving and protecting the public. He had taken the sergeant’s promotional exam, scored well and was fourth on the list. Following VanNostrand’s death, then-Superintendent George P. Beach II praised VanNostrand’s work ethic and drive and posthumously promoted him to the rank of sergeant. In Memoriam The NYSTPBA offers our condolences on the untimely death of NYPD Highway 3 Police Officer Anastasios Tsakos, who was struck and killed on the Long Island Expressway while directing traffic at an accident scene. The intoxicated woman who struck him was operating with a suspended license and was arrested. Officer Tsakos leaves behind a wife and two children. We also offer prayers and thoughts to the friends and families of Sgt. Chris Ward and Officer Logan Fox of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina who were both shot and killed as they went to a check on the welfare complaint. As we all know, even the most mundane calls can turn bad real fast. On Sunday, Corporal Keith Heacook of the Delmar, Delaware Police Department responded to a fight in progress at a home. Officers who arrived shortly afterward found him lying on the floor, beaten and unconscious. His family made arrangements to donate his organs earlier this week. Please keep all of them in your thoughts and prayers. LeBron James Not surprisingly, despite a rash of violent attacks on police, LeBron James has not commented on how they could have done their jobs differently. 2021 NTC Picnic The three NJSP unions are joining forces to host the 2021 NTC Picnic in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the New Jersey State Police. Thursday, September 9, 2021 Seaport Pier North Wildwood, NJ Purchase tickets by visiting: NTCPICNIC2021.COM What’s in a Name? The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is this weekend (presented by Woodford Reserve) and two horses caught my eye – Midnight Bourbon and Bourbonic. I am rooting for an upset. Say No to Cuomo Chips The New York State Senate and Assembly gave the governor the legislative version of the genital cuff on Wednesday and voted to repeal his pandemic edict that forced bars and restaurants to make their patrons buy something to eat with alcoholic beverage purchases. A spokesman for the governor said that was of no concern as he was in the midst of doing that anyway. Sure he was. In a lesser-known action, they also voted to impose ethics rules on individuals that the governor brought back to “volunteer” and help his administration during the crisis. Larry Schwartz, the state’s “vaccine czar” and a familiar face to those of us who have been involved with gubernatorial politics over the past 15 years, immediately submitted his resignation. “May the Schwartz be with you.” Move along people. Nothing to see here. On the heels of a New York Times story that flatly states that the governor’s office’s effort to obscure the nursing home pandemic-related death toll was “far greater than previously known,” the governor announced more relaxing of COVID restrictions and the planned holding of the New York State Fair. Next month, according to the governor, outdoor stadiums can go to 33% of capacity, offices to 75% of capacity, casinos to 75% of capacity, and gyms outside of New York City to 50% of capacity. The New York State Fair will be held from Aug. 20 to Sept. 6 (18 days) and daily admission will be limited to approximately 50% of capacity. The NYSP detail will be 20 days in duration, however, Field Command is still working out potential work schedules so the extended length of the deployment will not create an undue burden upon our members. Oh yeah, back to the New York Times story - the “most senior aides engaged in a sustained effort to prevent the state’s own health officials, including officials, including the commissioner, Howard Zucker, from releasing the true death toll to the public or sharing it the state lawmakers.” “Lucy, you’ve got some splainin’ to do!” Other tidbits from the week that was The governor actually stood and took questions directly from the media this past week as he announced the opening dates of the State Fair. He promptly made news, flatly denying that he had ever sexually harassed anyone or had done “anything wrong.” Also, a pro-Cuomo billboard has popped up on I-787 in the Albany area. It says “Media, Cut the Baloney. Investigate Both Sides.” It also reads, “New York Stands with Governor Cuomo,” “We the Voters Decide,” “Governor Cuomo, You Make New York Better. Love Wins Always.” I guess we now know what his senior aides are up to now that they do not have to work on a book or hide nursing home deaths. “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” With the governor embroiled in scandal and numerous investigations, the state GOP is busy looking for the next George Pataki to run in and win the 2022 gubernatorial election. However, a Pataki-esque candidate doesn’t appear to exist. Says a Democratic strategist in Albany, “Right now, it’s beginning to look like searching for a unicorn, because such a Republican is not likely to emerge from the primary.” Governor Pataki, a moderate who was able to garner a large chunk of New York City votes, is the only Republican to win a New York governor’s race in five decades and the numbers certainly do not point to that outcome in the future. There are about 6.7 million registered Democrats in New York, about 3 million registered in no party, and about 2.9 million registered Republicans. I guess we can still hope – right? Law Enforcement Exodus It was reported this week that there appears to be a nationwide mass exodus of police officers from the law enforcement profession, either by resignation or retirement, blamed mostly on the anti-police rhetoric being pushed by extreme activists and fanned by the media. For example, more than 5,300 NYPD officers left in 2020, a 75% increase from 2019. The numbers for the Division of State Police are much more modest, with only a slight uptick compared to previous years. Much of that can be attributed to, in my belief, the mostly positive support that we, as Troopers, receive from the citizens in our respective patrol areas. That being said, I came across the following which may or may not be of value – Here are 14 states that do not tax pensions: Alaska — no income tax Florida — no income tax Nevada - no income tax South Dakota — no income tax Tennessee — no income tax Texas — no income tax Washington — no income tax Wyoming — no income tax New Hampshire – Taxes only capital gains and dividend income Alabama — excludes pensions from income tax Illinois — excludes pensions from income tax Hawaii — excludes pensions from income tax Mississippi — excludes pensions from income tax Pennsylvania — excludes pensions from income tax How valuable are our pension benefits? According to AARP, only 14% of Fortune 500 companies gave new employees pension plans in 2019 compared to 59% in 1998. Tweet of the Week The Tweet of the Week goes to upstate radio personality Bob Lonsberry regarding the Rochester mayor: “Lovely Warren, under felony indictment and reminding people she is innocent until proven guilty, wants the law changed so she can immediately fire police officers accused of wrongdoing.” A View from an alternate universe – Our weekly dose of “well things might be bad here but take a look at…” California - Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón is downsizing and renaming his office’s Hardcore Gang Division. The new Community Violence Reduction Division will be made up of experienced prosecutors who will collaborate with activist groups, gang intervention workers, and the Los Angeles Police Department “in some of the most challenged areas” and proactively prevent crime by working with community-based organizations and with county partners that deal with victim services, public health and violence prevention.” However, his own people are not happy about it. Eric Siddall, vice president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles County stated, “(Gascón) is engaged in a major social experiment, and unfortunately, we are the lab rats that he’s using to help further his ideological agenda. He’s dismantling (the Hardcore Gang Division) because he’s beholden to some fringe groups who don’t believe in the criminal justice system. He said he was going to turn the criminal justice system upside down, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.” Note - “At least 60 of the 105 homicides that had taken place in Los Angeles as of April 20 were believed to be connected to gang activity, police officials have said.” This email is an automated notification, which is unable to receive replies. To send a comment to the PBA, please contact us at

The Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers 120 State St. Albany, New York 12207 (518) 462-7448

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