NYSTPBA Newsletter News from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer In Memoriam Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to the men and women of the Massachusetts State Police as well as the friends and family of Trooper Tamar Bucci, who was killed in the line of duty last night when her patrol car was struck by a tractor trailer on I-93 in Stoneham as she tried to pull over and assist a disabled motorist on the side of the roadway. Trooper Bucci, 34, was a two-year veteran of the State Police and is survived by her parents, two sisters, stepbrother and stepsister. Advisory Council of the New York State and Local Retirement System I am honored to represent the NYSTPBA as a sitting member of the Advisory Council of the New York State and Local Retirement System. This past week, we met and were apprised by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and his staff on the overall fiscal strength of the retirement fund. I am happy to announce it is close to 100% funded at nearly $260 billion, making it one of the top performing retirement funds in the entire nation. The New York State and Local Retirement System is made up of two distinct retirement systems. · The Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) · The Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) · The average pension for all ERS retirees and beneficiaries is $25,783 · The average pension for all PFRS retirees and beneficiaries is $56,695 Tier 6 Currently, 39.9% of the PFRS are Tier 6 (joined on or after April 1, 2012), however, nearly 60% of the NYSTPBA membership falls into this category. During the Advisory Council meeting, Sen. Robert Jackson, Chair of the Civil Service and Pensions Committee, expressed emphatically that he would like to see changes made to Tier 6. In addition, I’ve had conversations this week in Albany with both Sen. Diane Savino as well as Sen. Jim Gaughran, who pledged their support on the topic. Our legislative team has taken the issue as one of the top legislative priorities and has partnered, in part, with the Police Conference of New York to work on suitable language to alleviate some of the financial burdens and hurdles Tier 6 has created for our members. There is lots of time left in the current legislative session; however, there appears to be a groundswell of support in Albany for modifications to be made to Tier 6. With Every Rose There is a Thorn Although the aforementioned Senator Jackson is keen on alleviating some of the hardships that accompany Tier 6 membership, he also is an advocate of eliminating qualified immunity for police officers. His bill (S.1991/A.4331) aims to curtail our current protections because he believes “qualified immunity has shielded law enforcement from accountability.” Albany politics are like an onion – many, many layers. Shrek: Ogres are like onions. Donkey: They stink? Shrek: Yes. No. Donkey: Oh, they make you cry. Shrek: No. Donkey: Oh, you leave ‘em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs. Shrek: No. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers. Donkey: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. State Republican Convention Congressman Lee Zeldin is now the official Republican candidate for governor backed by the party leaders following this week’s convention. However, a trio of other candidates, Andrew Giuliani, Rob Astorino and Harry Wilson, have indicated they are willing to go to the mat and stay in the race through the June primary. Although he only received 1% of the vote at the convention compared to Zeldin’s 85%, Giuliani has the satisfaction, at least for now, that he is polling ahead of all of the above candidates. Add in businessman Harry Wilson’s pledge to pump in $12 million of his own money into the race and it should be a long, bruising spring for the aspiring Republican gubernatorial hopefuls. “Screw the Republicans. A bunch of jerks,” Rudy Giuliani told Politico following his son’s poor showing at the convention. State of the Union President Joe Biden honored slain NYPD officers Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. “Both Dominican Americans who’d grown up on the same streets they later chose to patrol as police officers. I spoke with their families and told them that we are forever in debt for their sacrifice, and we will carry on their mission to restore the trust and safety every community deserves.” He went on to say, “We should all agree: The answer is not to defund the police. The answer is to find the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities. I ask Democrats and Republicans alike: Pass my budget and keep our neighborhoods safe.” Sounds good, Mr. President. However, actions speak louder than words. National Association of Police Organizations This is the latest from NAPO – NAPO participated in a listening session with staff from the White House Domestic Policy Counsel and the White House Counsel’s Office on the issue of violent crime on February 17. Specifically, the staff wanted to hear how the Administration can best support state and local law enforcement in our fight against violent crime. This listening session came three weeks after a meeting NAPO Executive Director Bill Johnson participated in with the Attorney General and U.S. Department of Justice leadership on violent crime and criminal justice and police reforms. NAPO reiterated our frustration regarding bail reforms and progressive prosecutors releasing criminals out of prison, many of whom quickly recidivate and are rearrested, and the impact that is having on violent crime. We made the point that police officers do not want to be sent out to enforce laws that prosecutors are not willing to prosecute. We cannot keep letting criminals out of prison, refuse to hold violent offenders without bail, and decline to prosecute certain crimes without expecting violent crime rates to rise in our communities. Officers are frustrated and demoralized when they continue to put themselves in harm’s way to arrest the same criminals over and over. NAPO believes that the Administration and the Department of Justice can support state and local law enforcement who are struggling with progressive prosecutors who decline to prosecute violent crimes to the fullest extent of the law. An example of why such support is necessary is the case of Los Angeles Police Officer Fernando Arroyos who was gunned down by four gang members. Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon refused to prosecute the cop-killers, so Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva went straight to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles asking them to prosecute the gang members, who are now facing serious federal charges. The Attorney General can set the tone for the Department and let U.S. Attorneys across the country know that the Department will prioritize protecting state and local law enforcement by aggressively prosecuting violent crimes against officers. We also mentioned the concern that many of the individuals being placed or nominated as U.S. Attorneys do not have law enforcement backgrounds and that impacts their relationship with law enforcement as they try to work together to address violent crime in our communities. State and local law enforcement must be seen as partners, with collaboration and cooperation in the fight against crime. Spy vs. Spy In case you missed it, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a $369,000, 30-second advertisement recasting himself as the victim of politically-motivated “attacks” in an attempt to convince New Yorkers that the entire misconduct case assembled by Attorney General Letitia James was without merit. In the meantime, the attorney general is also casting herself as the victim in the following missive her campaign recently sent out: “Earlier this week, New York Republicans selected someone to run against me for attorney general – and he’s determined to win.My opponent is attempting to fearmonger his way into the attorney general’s office. He thinks that he can throw words like ‘death’ and ‘destruction’ around to scare New Yorkers into voting for him, but he seems to have forgotten one crucial thing.I vow that I will do everything in my power to keep serving as this great state’s attorney general…” Personally, I would much rather he save his $14 million in his campaign coffers and hammer away at her all summer long. Get the popcorn ready. Oh and by the way, ourlawsuit seeking declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against Attorney General James and challenging her Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and their over-reaching investigations into our off-duty members is still alive. Road Sodas Gov. Kathy Hochul is continuing to push for takeout alcoholic beverages, which she called the “most popular item” in her executive budget released on Jan. 18. That would allow restaurant and bar owners to once again tap into the pandemic-era moneymaker of takeout alcohol, aka road sodas. “This is what kept people afloat during those dark, dark months and years of the pandemic. There has been a change in people’s attitudes. There is an expectation now, so why set us backwards? Why can’t you have a drink in a movie theater? Just look at all the laws that are in place that are holding us back.” State Trooper: You fellas been doing a bit of boozing, have ya? Sucking back on grandpa's old cough medicine? Harry & Lloyd: Oh no, no sir. State Trooper: Yeah, well what's that? Harry: That's nothing, sir. Lloyd: Yeah, nothing. State Trooper: Yeah, well you aware it's against the law to have an open alcohol container here in the state of Pennsylvania? Come on give me them booze you little pumpkin pie hair cutted freak! Third Grade Answers Our legal department spends considerable time every week stopping the sale of our NYSTPBA cards and stickers on eBay. The PBA's cards and decals are trademarked, and may not be sold, bartered, traded, reproduced, transferred, duplicated, transmitted, downloaded or broadcast in any manner, including but not limited to E-Bay. Our genuine items contain this warning. Usually, a strongly worded email to the seller is enough to halt the practice. However, every once in a while you encounter people like the following dick – Yankee_2020 has taken it upon himself (or herself, however they identify or which pronouns they use – he/she/it) to take our 9/11 image from last year’s card and make a 2022 version of it. On top of that, he/she/it used our PBA logo and scrubbed out any reference to the PBA and then had the balls (maybe) to insert this disclaimer - THIS DECAL WAS DESIGNED BY YANKEE_2020 AND DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL. THIS ITEM COMPLIES WITH eBay RULES & POLICIES. I do love the following cerebral conversation: NYSTPBACOUNSEL: Please be advised that these items are COUNTERFEIT. Therefore, I hereby demand you remove them from sale immediately. Failure to do so will result in a complaint to EBay for your selling counterfeit materials. Should you have any questions, feel free to reach me through the NYSTPBA website. YANKEE_2020: All the pictures and designs on my items were created from pictures found on google and Photoshop. Its impossible for the items I am selling to be counterfeit because none of the items I am selling say or convey any association or membership with the New York State Police Benevolent Association. Thanks for your concern. NYSTPBACOUNSEL: You clearly do not understand copyright law. Complaint is being filed with EBay. YANKEE_2020: You clearly do not understand copying... Until we meet again, Yankee_2020… Cardiovascular Screening The NYS Troopers PBA has partnered with Capital Cardiology to provide all active and retired Troopers and their family members with access to a FREE cardiac screening. This is a 15-minute screening that will include a blood pressure test, heart rate, cholesterol check and a calcium test score via low radiation CT scan of the heart. Each participant will have a very solid look at their cardiac health and will meet with a highly ranked cardiologist. No insurance will be charged for the screening, though they may need your insurance information if follow-up care is warranted. Please be advised that this is a screening performed every 5 years - those who have had this screening within the last 5 years are not eligible. The next screening dates are scheduled for Saturday, March 26, 2022 from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. and Saturday, April 2, 2022 from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Located at: Capital Cardiology Associates 7 Southwoods Blvd 1st Floor Albany, NY 12207 To schedule your free, 15-minute screening for you or a family member, please contact Emily Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-462-7448 Ext. 140. Lastly Our thoughts and prayers are with the brave people of Ukraine!! We are inspired by the bravery of their people and their elected leaders! This email is an automated notification, which is unable to receive replies. To send a comment to the NYSTPBA, please contact us at email@example.com.
The Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers 120 State St. Albany, New York 12207 (518) 462-7448 http://www.nystpba.org