News from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer

News from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer On the eve of the Fourth of July weekend, let us pause to wish a continued speedy recovery to our fellow Troopers in Troop C - Becky Seager, Ryan Thorp, and Sgt. Bryan Meehan - all of whom were injured by gunfire in two separate incidents. NYSTPBA Scholarships I am pleased to announce that the deadline for filing an application for a NYSTPBA scholarship has been extended to Friday, July 9, 2021. There are now 52 scholarships worth over $200,000 open to children/stepchildren of all NYSTPBA members (active, retired and BCI Associate members) in good standing. Visit the NYSTPBA website for an application - https://www.nystpba.org/, and on the member homepage click on the page “NYSTPBA Scholarships for 2021” In Case You Missed It Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law yesterday a bill that blocks public employers from penalizing workers who used sick leave or compensatory time to quarantine or seek medical treatment due to a coronavirus diagnosis or contact. While I believe that Division did a pretty decent job covering our members during the pandemic, if you believe that you have a situation that may be covered under this new law, please contact your delegate. 2022 Gubernatorial Race As you are probably as equally concerned as I as to who our next governor is going to be, it appears as though the Republicans are strongly leaning toward Congressman Lee Zeldin as their candidate. State Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy stated that after Zeldin earned 85% of a weighted vote in a recent unofficial straw poll among county leaders, he will now be considered the “presumed nominee.” Although the odds are against him based on the recent history of Republicans getting elected to a statewide office, it will be interesting to see how his poll numbers fare over the next 17 months. Code Red I see that the leadership of the New York State Nurses Association and their anti-police leanings - including calls to defund the police and calling those in our profession murderers last summer - have retained their positions during a recent internal election. Although their views were not popular with their rank-and-file members, it is hard to attain change when only 8% of the 40,000 membership takes the time to cast a vote. Ranked Choice Voting Debacle As Eric Adams sees his lead dwindle in the New York City mayoral race amid gaffes by the election board and musical chair-like rules of the new ranked choice voting, he and his fellow candidates are decrying the system and filing lawsuits in anticipation of potentially negative results. I still need someone to explain to me how a Socialist who was third after the results were originally tabulated now has a chance to win the election. My friends who head the five New York City Police Department unions and I are watching this race carefully. Alice in Wonderland Congresswoman Cori Bush of Missouri is introducing a bill to establish a Division on Community Safety within the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill will “limit people’s encounters with law enforcement by funding community systems led by health officials, to respond to mental health emergencies, rather than police.” Congresswoman Bush, a card-carrying member of the Defund the Police movement, had outlined her views on police-civilian interactions earlier this year when she stated, “Almost a thousand people have been murdered by police, have been killed by police since George Floyd lost his life, almost a thousand. We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect something different.” Well, when Alice finally pulls her head out of the rabbit hole, maybe she will realize that there are bad people in the world and if she might take a step back and objectively look at those nearly 1,000 fatal shootings, she will see that nearly all were justified. Quote of the Week In response to the Oakland City Council slashing his budget by nearly $18 million, Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong lashed out at politicians at a time when the murder rate has almost doubled from last year. “We see clearly that crime is out of control in the city of Oakland — and our response was for less police resources.” He saved his best for the activists who argued that the budget cut was necessary although they acknowledged that there would a “bump in the road” as the police department lost key resources. “For me, those speed bumps are 65 lives lost so far this year. All of these crimes are not speed bumps. These are people,” he said. “Isn’t it ironic” - Alanis Morissette I found this little gem that should be filed under the heading “You Can’t Make this Shit Up!” So where did the $18 million cut from the Oakland Police Department go? It was apparently reallocated to the newly-formed Department of Violence Prevention, a group that aims to counter violence in the city by sending out "civilian violence interrupters and life coaches." On Monday, just days after the budget cut, the violence prevention director triumphantly stood on the steps of City Hall giving an interview to a local news crew. This is when a pair of armed men approached the group and attempted to relieve the news crew of their possessions including their camera equipment. Thankfully, an armed security officer who happened to be nearby intervened, scaring the would-be robbers away and thus saving the day. I am really sure things will get much easier from this point on Mr. Director. By the way, I hear Walmart has a sale so you can purchase a new pair of underwear. "Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act” aka AUO 3rd? No Problem The Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act, which Governor Cuomo signed into law six months ago, went into effect on Tuesday, changing the fine process and how it relates to the suspension of a person’s driving privileges. As I had previously reported in an earlier newsletter, the sum and substance is that it would block courts from suspending drivers’ licenses if a motorist fails to pay a ticket or if they fail to appear in court. The court would also be required to offer an installment payment plan for the fine. Driving privileges will still be subject to suspension but only after numerous reminders and payment options are provided to the driver. My first impression is that while this is more of a court issue than a police one, drivers will flaunt the law and also revenue will drop. I’ve been told that other states have seen the opposite effect, and report that compliance and fine payment have increased by 250%. I, however, predict a drop in fines that help fund local courts and operations. As a result, the burden of supporting the court infrastructure will eventually be transferred upon the taxpayers. So, despite the glowing reviews in other states, I still remain pessimistic but we will see… A Sign that the Apocalypse is Upon Us (Closer to Home) While I have evoked the name of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón for all that is wrong with the progressive police reform agenda, there was always some comfort that it was taking place 2,800 miles away. Well, a New York state D.A. has garnered a few headlines lately with her own troubling agenda. Westchester County D.A. Mimi Rocah has recently announced that her office is reviewing two previous police-related shootings, from 2010 in White Plains and 2011 in Pleasantville, respectively. A grand jury declined to indict the officers involved. Wait, there is more. Ms. Rocah has also decided to bring "attempted assault" charges against a New Rochelle police officer stemming from an incident last February in which he took police action in an off-duty capacity when he observed and intervened in a violent domestic dispute. The suspect struggled with the off-duty officer and responding officers but was finally placed under arrest. New Rochelle PBA President Christopher Greco sums up this latest action by the D.A. perfectly - “The Westchester County District Attorney has sent a clear and extremely risky message to all of law enforcement in Westchester County – that the D.A. will personally decide what is acceptable and what is not, rather than determine what is lawful and what is not. The arrest of Officer Vaccaro, along with anti-police legislation and rhetoric only serves to inspire criminals, weaken law enforcement and leaves society in danger.” George Floyd Justice in Policing Act On June 24, Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), the top negotiators on police reform, released a statement on the status of negotiations saying they have come to an agreement on “a framework addressing the major issues for bipartisan police reform.” The statement went on to say that there is still more work to be done and “nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.” While there is an agreement to a framework, no actual language has been agreed to yet. Behind the scenes there is a lot of conflict among the various police organizations tasked to lobby on behalf of law enforcement. NAPO continues to be involved in the process from the Republican side, while the FOP and the IACP are trying to work with Senator Booker and the Democrats. The National Sheriffs’ Association seems to be using their own playbook. Here are the positions on qualified immunity amongst the various factions – 1. NAPO and Senator Scott (R) - Hard line against touching qualified immunity for individual officers and if there is a compromise it would be to put the liability on the municipality 2. FOP, IACP and Senator Booker (D) – Although many Democrats want to totally eliminate qualified immunity, Senator Booker stated he would compromise to keep liability on the employer but allow for the employer to hold the employee accountable 3. National Sheriffs’ Association – No liability on the municipality It should be noted that any changes to municipal liability need to be tightly crafted to include caps on damages to be paid, limitations on how liability insurance companies dictate police practices and policies for the municipalities they cover and keep the cases it applies to very narrow. From our discussions with the Troopers in Colorado, which eliminated qualified immunity for officers and increased municipal liability last year, there have been significant consequences that are harming departments and officers that the state legislature must now fix. Will there be a final bipartisan deal before Congress adjourns for August? It will depend on which one of the police groups wins one of those so-called measuring contests. The Pendulum Swings Back - Refund the Police Based on a lawsuit filed by several residents, a Hennepin County District Court judge has ordered the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey to "immediately take any and all necessary action to ensure that they fund a police force." In a strongly worded decision, he gave the city until June 30, 2022 to bring the police department’s manpower level back to full contingency. Although this is a great shot at the Defund the Police movement at its epicenter, the city of Minneapolis will have to do a hell of a lot more to attract willing candidates to the force. How about an increase in pay and benefits? With a top base pay of $40,740, it is going to be tough. Just saying. Mailbag After a long drought, the Mailbag section has been rejuvenated thanks to a repeat honoree, retired Troop G Trooper Robert A. Nelson, who sent in not one, but two emails to the NYSTPBA office in a span of five minutes last Friday night. Impressive! 1. Hey Tom, why don't you leave the politics to the politicians. And really, do you think the Troopers that you represent are at all interested in who runs for Governor? Bottom line is, what can you do for the Troopers? And since you like to quote movie lines: "Let it go" Figure that one out, and if you are still confused, you should throw your hat in the ring. Or maybe, you might time it just right to retire from your pseudo political position and run for the Attorney General job, or hell, just run for Governor, what the hell!!!!! 2. As I read your news letter [sic], I was wondering, if you left all of the political talk out, you would be sending out a blank piece of paper with your name on it. Well, sir, as I shake my head in disbelief as to your lack of even a rudimentary understanding of the labor history of the New York State Police, I must invoke one of your much-hated movie quotes from Adam Sandler’s movie Billy Madison which, in my opinion, sums up your emails in their entirety and needs no further comment from me – Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. We will end the week on that note. Have a great Fourth of July Weekend! God Bless America! 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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