Updated: May 8
NYSTPBA Newsletter Updates from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer On April 11, the New York State Police celebrated 104 years of existence. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons (and daughters) of God...” There was never a dull moment this week. From a deadly mistake in Minnesota to still another announced investigation of the governor and some juvenile hijinks, here we go… Minnesota A gunshot fired instead of a Taser has proved to a catalyst to more unrest and vandalism in many major cities and cries anew to “defund the police” nationwide. The miscreants in Portland have decided that it was the perfect opportunity to set fire to the Portland Police Association union headquarters, because it appears, at least in their minds, that police unions are the root of all evil. More and more activists and radical journalists are putting forth insane propositions to “reimagine” policing and some politicians are taking notice. In yet another example of jumping to conclusions and electing to toss the baby out with the bathwater, there is now a growing movement to push local governments to establish separate traffic agencies staffed by unarmed monitors who would handle noncriminal traffic enforcement duties. According to statistics compiled by the Stanford Open Policing Project, not exactly the bastion of conservative thinking, police officers conduct roughly 20 million traffic stops a year. Though the majority end without major incident, they admit, last year 121 people were killed by police after being stopped for a traffic violation - a percentage so small that you would need a calculator reaching out to eight decimal places to even register its significance (although any death is in itself a tragedy)! They made no mention if the motorists were armed and they certainly made no mention of how many members of law enforcement were killed on traffic stops either by gunfire or being struck by another vehicle. While disarming police officers and Troopers on the roadway is most probably a far-reaching concept, there are others nationwide who are touting technologies like red-light cameras and speed cameras that would take a large share of the human element out of traffic enforcement. This, my friends, would certainly spell an end to the NYSP as we know it. Another Investigation It’s beginning to look like the total number of investigations into Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration will soon surpass the total number of accusers who have stepped forward. It appears that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics is considering taking up an investigation into the governor’s use of staff on his book deal and that he prioritized COVID tests for his friends and family. I would not hold my breath on this one as commissioners appointed by the governor have the ability to veto probes into the governor’s office. By sheer coincidence, I am sure, the governor has announced that he is letting bars stay open to midnight. Touch Me “Now touch me babe Can’t you see that I am not afraid?” -The Doors The light display that has adorned the 44-story Corning Tower in Albany that has read “NY TOUGH” for most of the past year in recognition of the pandemic, was briefly changed to “NY TOUCH” last Friday. I must tip my hat because that prank required access to multiple offices on at least three different floors and now, I can only imagine the full-scale investigation that is going into finding the culprit(s). I can almost hear the conspirators talking about planning it now – “Now, we could fight ‘em with conventional weapons. That could take years and cost millions of lives. Oh, no. No, in this case, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.” 2020 & 2021 Raises In the many years that I have served on the NYSTPBA Board the one thing that I have come to expect, although I am not at all pleased, is the sloth-like pace at which things progress with state government. Take the payment of our contractually-negotiated raises. As you all know, funding was made available in the budget that was passed last week, however late by a week. You would think that the hardworking people in both the Division of Budget and the Comptroller’s Office would not have much to do to implement them other than polish and oil their abacuses, but what do I know? That being said, I have finally received confirmation that the 2020 and 2021 raises totaling 4% will be paid in the May 26 paycheck. The April 28 paycheck will reflect the increases in Expanded Duty, Location and Supplemental Location pay. The Comptroller blames the delay on the following: “Due to the large volume of programming, testing, and manual work required to pay these increases retroactively,” I guess I should be grateful, as NYSCOPBA (state corrections) members aren’t getting their raises until the end of June. Contact NYS Deferred Compensation to increase, decrease, or suspend your contributions at 1-800-422-8463 (Weekdays 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. ET, and Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET) or by accessing your account online at www.nysdcp.com Ben & Jerry’s The Vermont-based company is at it again. Stating that the shooting of Daunte Wright was “rooted in white supremacy,” they seemingly called for the defunding of the police - “This system can’t be reformed. It must be dismantled and a real system of public safety rebuilt from the ground up.” Dear aging hippies from Ben and Jerry’s: Please stick to making your overpriced, shitty ice cream, not lecturing us. Sincerely, Tom Mungeer NYSTPBA President Indian Point – Cutting off the Nose to Spite the Face When the last nuclear reactor goes offline at the end of this month, Indian Point will officially be shutdown, fulfilling a goal set by Governor Cuomo when he was attorney general, heeding calls from the far left of his party. But where is the energy going to come from now? In a hilarious and ironic twist, most of the electricity produced has been replaced by power generated by plants that burn natural gas and emit more pollution. So, the group that wants our energy to come from warm sunshine rays, cool summer breezes and cow farts will now have to grapple with the cold reality that the electricity to run their air conditioners and espresso machines has to come from somewhere. In the immortal words of Dean Vernon Wormer, “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” NYSTPBA in the News - Up in Smoke – Part III U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Charles Schumer has publicly announced that he expects to submit legislation soon that would legalize marijuana. “We’re going to move forward, period,” Senator Schumer said. The biggest detractor on the federal level? President Biden, who was the only major Democratic presidential candidate last year who wanted to keep the ban on cannabis. This segues into the following article in which the superintendent and I are quoted: https://www.pressrepublican.com/news/ny-police-agencies-frown-on-cop-pot-use/article_8e025600-9811-11eb-8c75-577409ebc668.html A Sign that the Apocalypse is Upon Us New York City - How are the reforms enacted by both the state legislature and the NYC Council working thus far? In New York City, violent crime has jumped this past month. Shootings are up 95%, homicides have gone up 60% and there has also been a 54% increase in rapes. Sounds like the city will soon resemble something Snake Plissken would readily recognize. Ithaca – The Cornell University faculty, apparently upset that the mayor of the city of Ithaca was “out-liberaling” them in his bid to replace his police department, approved a resolution to exclude ‘race’ from suspect descriptions in campus crime alerts. I can only imagine that gender will be next. In the near future a Cornell University crime alert will probably sound something like this – “Be advised that there is a report of a robbery in Collegetown. Be on the lookout for a human being, approximately 5’ 7” tall, 160 pounds, wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt.” A view from an alternate universe - Our weekly dose of “well things might be bad here but take a look at …” Portland, Oregon - In response to a nearly tripling of gun violence this year, the Portland City Council approved $6 million to help combat the drastic rise. Of this $6 million, $1.4 million will be funneled to the city’s Parks & Recreation bureau to hire unarmed park rangers, who would patrol the city’s parks and neighborhoods through the end of the year. Another $4.1 million would go to grants for nonprofits working with the city’s Office of Violence Prevention to reduce gun violence, mostly to provide street outreach to at-risk youth. As the above math reveals, there is ZERO money being given to the police department to help combat the crime surge. These rangers, in their new roles, would act as “unarmed, goodwill ambassadors” who would be “eyes on the ground” in the city’s parks and surrounding neighborhoods, according to a city press release. Oh yes, they will besupplied with a radio and a flashlight. Florida – The Republican-dominated Senate passed a bill last week to phase out the state's retirement pensions for new government workers. Under this plan, new state employees will no longer be allowed to enter the state's pension plan. Instead, they'll be enrolled in a 401(k) style "investment" plan. Currently, this bill does not have a companion bill in the house. A Special Notice for Troopers with Children with Disabilities Troop E Delegate Jason Sheridan has offered to help any active or retired Trooper who may have children with disabilities navigate the intricacies of the state insurance program. If your child has Medicaid as a secondary insurance, they may qualify for medical premium reimbursement or be eligible to remain on their parent’s insurance for life. Any questions, please contact Jason Sheridan at 607-378-8574 and he will help direct you to the proper insurance representatives for assistance. This email is an automated notification, which is unable to receive replies. To send a comment to the PBA, 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