News from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer 07-23-2021

News from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer Office of Special Investigations In 2015, Executive Order 147 designated the Attorney General as a special prosecutor for cases in which police officers are involved in deaths of unarmed civilians. This year, legislation created a permanent Office of Special Investigation within the Office of the Attorney General (OSI), empowered to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute cases where the death of a person (armed or unarmed) follows an encounter with a law enforcement officer. In April, I listened intently as investigators from OSI advised myself and other members of the Police Conference of NY (PCNY) of how they were interpreting their mandate to investigate any death of a civilian in which a police officer was involved. I must say, I was taken aback when they laid out a scenario in which an off-duty police officer involved in a fatal automobile accident would be subject to their purview despite the fact that the officer had nothing to do with causing the accident. Well, that hypothetical scenario is now a real one as one of our members was involved in exactly the same such scenario. Thank goodness he will be alright, but unfortunately the other driver, who swerved into the off-duty member, was tragically killed. OSI investigators responded to the scene and are currently investigating the incident. There are no jokes or movie quotes attributed to this section as I am sick and tired of how Troopers and other members of law enforcement are being treated differently than every other citizen. We did not check our constitutional rights at the door of the Academy and the NYSTPBA Board of Directors will be weighing our legal options and talking about how we are going to tailor our response so that our members will be given adequate representation in off-duty situations such as these. This is definitely a time when we have to stick together against the outside forces that be. Roswell Park Approved as site for Care of 9/11 First Responders This is welcome news for our members in western New York! Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center announced that it has been named a member of the World Trade Center Health Program provider network and can provide care for 9/11 first responders much closer to home and negating the need to travel to New York City. I would also like to thank everyone involved from our very own NYS Troopers Surgeons Group, which played an integral part in the process. NYSTPBA in the News I was recently asked for my reaction to a recent Gallup Poll showing while the media and Congress continue to lack public trust, law enforcement was the only institution surveyed to have gained public confidence since last year. Thomas Mungeer, president of the Police Benevolent Association of the New York State troopers, said the poll confirmed his suspicions. "I believe the results of the Gallup poll confirm what I and other leaders in law enforcement have been saying all year - the ‘defund the police’ rhetoric is dead upon arrival," Mungeer told Fox News. "American citizens are fed up with the unbelievable surge in violent crime and prefer to feel safe in their communities and homes." https://www.foxnews.com/media/experts-poll-media-less-trusted-police.amp Trooper Pay the Standard In this past week’s Chief-Leader, an interesting article appeared regarding the scheduling of the arbitration for the New York City PBA contract that expired four years ago. According to the headline, “Long-Delayed Faceoff Pits City Pay Pattern Against Big Gap vs. Troopers.” Trooper Pay the Standard What will be different will be the comparison point the union leans on: rather than citing major pay gaps that exist for its members compared to their counterparts in Nassau and Suffolk counties, as he often did in the past Mr. Lynch has made clear the union will peg its arguments to the growing divide with other cops assigned to New York City especially State Troopers. Under the most-recent Trooper contract, reached in the fall of 2018, even with relatively modest pay raises over a five-year period that ends next April 1, salaries are now $101,776 for officers with at least five years of service, compared to $85,292 for NYPD cops under the expired pact, who reach top pay after 5.5 years in the job. The gap gets significantly wider, however, based of several differentials, a couple of which date back to the administrations of Govs. George Pataki and David Paterson for hazardous-duty pay and expanded duty pay. Another was granted by Governor Cuomo for those based in New York City because of the higher cost of living here compared to upstate. Add those up, and throw in a longevity differential of $16,000 for the senior-most Troopers that is believed to be the highest in the nation, and the total compensation for senior officers hits $140,679. Rebuke Assemblyman Charles Lavine, head of the Assembly’s impeachment investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has rebuked the governor for comments his staff has made about the attorney general’s concurrent investigation. In a letter to the governor on Wednesday, he wrote that comments from his Communications Director Rich Azzopardi alleging that Attorney General James is playing political games with her investigation could have "severe repercussions.” He also wrote, "It is therefore difficult for me to comprehend your communications director tweeting that Attorney General James, whose office is conducting a parallel investigation, ‘says she may run against the governor. It is obvious that attempts to demean the Attorney General serve as well to undermine the investigation and send profoundly negative signals to witnesses." Well, I guess someone received a genital cuff. The governor’s attorney, in turn, responded he had “serious concerns” with Lavine’s warning and…You know something, on second thought, disregard this whole section. Who really gives a rat’s ass? Continue to beat each other up, boys. We will sort out the pieces this time next year to see who we may be dealing with in the next round of negotiations. Trouble in the Ranks It was reported this week that the six Democratic Socialists, who currently serve in the state legislature, vented at a recent virtual meeting of the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America after witnessing for the first time how the Democratic-run Albany legislature operates. Their bitches: too much secrecy, too many bills with popular support that fail to get to the floor for a vote and too many legislators who give lip service to legislation merely to appease activists - not because they mean it. Their solution: “run more socialists and oust entrenched get-along Democrats in the 2022 primary elections.” Well, comrade, welcome to Albany. Now please take yourself and your ilk and return from whence you came because we definitely do not need any more Socialists in the Capitol. We have found that there are numerous moderate or near-moderate Democrats currently in office who have gladly offered an ear to hear our position. We have also found that the Socialists are unwavering in their hardline ideology and they view those in law enforcement as the enemy. Isn’t That Lovely Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and her husband were charged with criminal possession of a firearm, a felony, and two counts each of endangering the welfare of a child and failure to lock/secure firearms in a dwelling resulting from a raid on their home in May. She bemoaned that the raid was politically motivated then; what say you now, mayor? Albany’s Unfunded Mandates Although the following observation does not directly affect the State Police, it certainly affects the communities in which all of us live. I saw a statistic regarding the recent early voting requirements which were forced upon the counties. The law states that an early polling location is needed for every 50,000 registered voters. In addition, polling sites must be open for nine days including weekends. I noticed that in my own county of Sullivan we were required to have one site. This last primary included six local election districts with a total of 4,400 people eligible to vote. In the end, only 58 voters took advantage of the early voting which, according to the election commissioner, amounted to $1,000 spent per vote cast once the pay for the staff to man the site was calculated. I’m sure many of your own counties have similar results. Food for thought. Upstate Cellular Coverage Task Force A group of upstate lawmakers recently sent Governor Cuomo a letter that basically asks “where’s the cell service?" Referencing the work of the Upstate Cellular Coverage Task Force, which last met in September 2019, Assemblyman Billy Jones of Plattsburgh stated, “We are requesting from the governor some kind of report to come out. Recommendations or implementations of these recommendations so that we can get better cell service here in New York State in rural areas.” Let’s see, a group of lawmakers who mostly represent districts which tend to vote red? I wonder why the powers-to-be in Albany aren’t taking more notice? Buffalo The Buffalo City Council passed a "Right to Know" bill which requires Buffalo police officers to offer a card with their name and internal affairs contact information to every person they pull over if there is no arrest or ticket issued. Congratulations, you have practically eliminated the most powerful tool in a police officer’s arsenal – discretion. I reference and highlight these local shenanigans not so much that they currently have an effect on our members, but rather offer insight on what may be lurking in the future regarding possible statewide legislation. Quote of the Week Austin, Texas Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon - “Last summer, the Austin City Council voted to defund the police department by $150 million, which resulted in canceling multiple cadet classes and disbanding multiple units responsible for responding to DWIs, domestic violence calls, stalking, and criminal interdiction.” He added that response times to 911 calls have slowed to 20-30 minutes on average, and the homicide rate has reached numbers “we’ve never really seen here before.” A Sign that the Apocalypse is Upon Us Minnesota In the wake of extreme violence where the city is on pace for a record-setting number of homicides and has already doubled the number of shootings compared to 2020, the Minneapolis Policy and Government Oversight Committee has overwhelmingly approved a measure to plan to replace the city’s police department with a “public safety department” that would handle emergency calls with a “comprehensive public health approach.” If the full council approves, it will appear on the general election ballot on Nov. 2. Let’s see – Defund the police – did not work Disband the police – did not work Replace the police – pending Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results Long-Term Disability Insurance The NYSTPBA Board of Directors was recently able to successfully renegotiate new lower rates for the voluntary long-term disability insurance plan (LTD). As of the August 4, 2021 paycheck, premium rates will decrease from 0.685% to 0.658%. The amount is reflected in the “After Tax Deductions” section on your paystub under the line item “PBA Disability Insurance.” In conjunction with the rate decrease, we anticipate an upcoming Open Enrollment for all current members! Stay tuned for more information later this year! Secure Emails to Members If you have retired or have been promoted to the BCI or Management Confidential unit recently, you have probably noticed that the PBA sent to you via email membership and payment forms. These emails originate from addresses of “membership@nystpba.org” and “retirement@nystpba.org” and have subject titles such as “PBA retirement info – secure” or “PBA promotion info – secure.” The “secure” wording in the subject line indicates that the email is sent to you via a secure method, which will prompt you to create a username and password to open the email you received. If you reply to the original email from the PBA, your response will also be sent securely back to the PBA. These secure emails are being sent since the PBA now offers ACH payment methods (automatic withdrawals from your checking or savings account) to our associate members in the BCI and the Management Confidential unit, as well as retirees - this secure email method will protect your banking information included in the ACH forms. If you have any questions about an email you received from the PBA or are concerned about its legitimacy, please contact the PBA office or your delegate. Dr. Evil Did anybody else immediately think of Dr. Evil of Austin Powers fame when they saw pictures of Jeff Bezos blasting off into space in his phallic-shaped rocket? This email is an automated notification, which is unable to receive replies. To send a comment to the NYSTPBA, please contact us at nystpba@nystpba.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

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