Excessive Discipline Protection Database
Developed by a Police Officer Exclusively for Law Enforcement
Work Injuries (IOD) and Your Rights:
By Adam M. Walcoff, Esquire
What is workers comp? What happens if I am involved in an accident while working? What should I be getting from my employer? These often asked questions usually occur only after an employee is injured as a result of a work accident. But it is extremely important to know what benefits exist in the event of a work injury before an injury occurs so you know how to protect yourself. ... go to article....
EdPDLaw welcomes the New Jersey Gang Investigators Association
TheN.J.G.I.A. was established in 2005 by a group of law enforcement professionals who recognized the importance of having a gang based information sharing network narrowly but intensely focused on responding to the proliferation of street gangs in New Jersey. Like other states along the East Coast, a phenomenon also exist in New Jersey where well established criminal street gangs hailing from the West Coast, Mid West, and South West have recently, and increasingly joined the population of our existing gangs, bringing the potential of further criminal networking to a new, and more threatening level. Go to article
EdPDLaw welcomes Laurence Miller, PhD, forensic psychologist from Boca Raton, Florida to the Team
Dr. Miller will conduct Fitness for Duty Exams for officers that will be unbiased, based on the officer's complete employment record. Dr. Miller requires the officer's entire personnel file (or EdPDLaw Portfolio) and all Performance Evaluations throughout the officer's career, as well as a copy of the pre-employment screening for evaluation, not just the Internal Affairs records pertaining to isolated incidents of the officer's employment record. Unions may be assured that “independent” and “unbiased” evaluations are just that. Dr. Miller is not a hired gun and will call each case as he sees it, on an individual basis. Go to article...
NJ PBA Legal Protection Plan
The major misconception with the plan is the officer's belief that he must use his union attorney or retain an attorney on his own. This is entirely false. Members of the Legal Protection Plan can use any of the 120+ Law Firms that are enrolled in the plan (network) and any of the 3,000 attorneys in those law firms. There is no retainer fee and the attorneys bill is covered up to your policy limit of $20,000 or $40,000 per occurence. There is no deductible. Expert fees are also covered. go to article
EdPDLaw welcomes Police Psychotherapist, Stephanie Samuels, MA, MSW, LCSW, founder of CopLine™ to the Team
Stephanie Samuels, MA, MSW, LCSW, is a psychotherapist that has worked exclusively with law enforcement officers in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Ms. Samuels has lectured all over the country on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and its devastating effects on the law enforcement community. She has received numerous prestigious awards, has taught for 10 years at the Monmouth County Police Academy, lectured at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA and authored five legislative bills in the State of New Jersey. Ms. Samuels also authored a legislative bill in Pennsylvania pushing to have a psychological injury recognized as the equivalent of a physical injury. Go to article...
Drug Testing by EdPDLaw
On the collection of specimens, after a series of errors in the Chain of Custody, the Gonsalves Court finds:
"Though none of these factors standing alone would suffice to convince this court that tampering could have occurred, when taken in concert, they strongly suggest that IA does not take its responsibility seriously enough.
When a small group of people is entrusted with a great responsibility, and has the power and means to potentially end a fellow officer's career though their actions would be illegal, they owe that officer the highest duty of care, and are bound to exercise their utmost vigilance to ensure that the process and trust is kept safe.
They need not negate all possibility of tampering, but they must ensure, at the very least, that all samples are collected properly and transported to the Lab, that the chain of custody is maintained, and that all paperwork tracking the specimen from collection to the Lab is completed competently." Honorable CARIDAD F. RIGO, ALJ... Gonsalves v. Juvenile Justice Commission, CSV08061-02, OAL/NJ handed down August 15, 2005
DEFENDING THE INSUBORDINATION CHARGE
In the case where the Officer just SNAPS and goes off on the Supervisor, it is important to look at how the Supervisor treated the officer both prior to and during the "incident". Just as officers are held to a higher standard than civilian/citizens, Supervisors are held to higher standards than their subordinates. These standards are defined in both Rules & Regulations and Policies & Procedures. Download EdPDLaw Action Flow Chart go to article
EdPDLaw welcomes K-9 Expert Deputy Terry Fleck from Lake Tahoe, California to the Team
Terry Fleck, Ed.D., is a Deputy Sheriff II/Canine Handler (Ret.) in South Lake Tahoe, California. Deputy Terry Fleck has 23 years in the handling and training of patrol K-9’s, crossed trained for search and rescue, narcotics detection, evidence recovery, cadaver recovery and tracking/trailing. He is an expert in the field of canines and author of numerous publications. He is a leading authority in the canine industry on current case law and legal trends. He possesses a degree of Doctor of Education in Criminal Justice and has taught over 13,000 canine handlers, supervisors, administrators, agency attorneys and risk managers nationwide. go to article
Officer Involved Domestic Violence
Far too many officers get jammed up and fired over domestics which occur in their own lives. Don't be one of them.
Anthony Pope, Esquire advises to immediately consult with an attorney once a TRO is obtained. If the Judge has taken your weapon from you, have your attorney seek an interim order to permit you to carry your weapon on duty. If the offense is a disorderly persons offense, request administrative duties until the hearing for the Final Restraining Order. Have the hearing for the final order POSTPONED for as long as possible to allow for the gathering of evidence, preparation of witnesses, etc. go to article
Put it in Writing?
How many of us have been order to "put it in writing"? Only to have our reports used as the basis of discipline? Before you "put it in writing", the details surrounding an incident that will lead to Departmental charges, read these cases and consult with your union representative and attorney. go to article..
There are two forms of sexual harassment, (1) Quid pro quo and (2) hostile work environment. Keep in mind that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination and that harassment based on "sex" is interchangeable with all illegal forms of harassment, i.e. race, age, religion, natural origin, etc. These claims fall under Federal Code, Title VII, as well as individual state laws. (In New Jersey, refer to NJLAD (New Jersey Laws against Discrimination) laws). go to article...
Creating a Narcotics Resume
Gaining an appointment as a narcotics detective can be highly competitive. Many Departments either don't post openings or don't solicit resumes from members that are interested in the position. This leads to political appointments of officers that are either under qualified or not qualified at all. Find out how to get the position you want.
Officers in Crisis
There is none among us who can honestly say that we have not contemplated ending our lives. In this profession our death is the reality of the job, to be able to determine the day, time and manner in which it ends puts us in control of our destiny". anonymous officer
Creation of the Administrative Hearing Disciplinary Review Board through Collective Bargaining Agreement
The purpose of this article is to assure fair Administrative Hearings in police disciplinary matters.
If a law enforcement officer is brought up on charges internally, the charges are first heard at the local level by either a police or township official. The authority for these hearings is either Title 4A (civil service), Title 40, or a combination of both. go to article.....
Comp Time Off Denied?
Do you end up using your sick time because your request for the use of comp time is denied? Does this eventually land you on the sick time abusers' list? There may be help. A recent decision has stated that Departments needs more than the payment of overtime to deny a request for time off using compensatory time.
Defending the Nuisance Charge
Every officer faces them. They are usually equipment violations, not cleaning the patrol car, forgetting to gas up the vehicle, smoking, not wearing your hat, forgetting your flashlight.... the little ways the Department reminds you that they care.
The problem with the nuisance charges is that you are more than likely guilty. After all, who among us has not forgotten our flashlight? our hat? or worse?
Writing a Grievance
An employee's formal complaint regarding working conditions or failure by management to stick to its contract with the employee."
In order for a grievance to be successful you must be able to cite a specific clause in your contract that you feel the Administration is in violation of. In the alternative you can cite a violation of Policy & Procedures or Rules and Regulations which are usually incorporated in your contract. Many issues that officers want to grieve are deemed by the Administration to be "managerial prerogative" and therefore, the grievance is denied. Is this really the case?
"The commission uncovered a systemic pattern of official misconduct, nepotism and abuse of the public trust so pervasive in this community as to cause local budgetary hardships and jeopardize the local police department's ability to finance its operation." go to report...
Fitness For Duty Examination
Perhaps one of the most vulnerable areas for police officers is to be ordered to a Fitness for Duty Examination. Until a police union is faced with this career ending action forced upon one of their members, they take little action to prepare. This article, corresponding links and case law, is written to heighten your awareness of the very real threat that this action poses against unsuspecting officers and unprepared unions. more....
Mark Makler, Esquire on:
REPRESENTING EMPLOYEES IN THE DISCIPLINARY PROCESS
A. The Employee's Right to Representation - The Weingarten Rule
Employees are guaranteed the right to representation whenever an employee is being questioned under circumstances which may lead to discipline. These rights were first described by the United States Supreme Court and apply in a variety of settings. In each case, however, the employee is entitled to representation only if the employee requests representation. Absent a request from the employee, the employer has no obligation to notify the employee of the employee's right to request representation. more.....
Impact of Discipline on Promotional Scoring
The impact of discipline on promotional scoring is substantial. It has been shown that many Departments disciplining activities rise just prior to the announcement of a promotional test. Although safeguards have been set in place within the various state testing agencies, the scores can still be impacted with purpose to dictate the outcome of the list. The Departments goal is to get the desired candidate within the top three (Rule of Three) to promote.
Initial Union Summary Report
Initial Union Summary Report is the first in a series of reports that will be generated from the information collected from the members' personnel files. It will present a general overview of the results of the query, alert the members as to the contents of their personnel file and suggest areas that may warrant further investigation.
Sick Time Abusers List
Each September, or thereabout, the Departments frequently issue a list of "Sick Time Abusers" with the warning that anytime taken off from now until the end of the year will not be excused without a doctor's note. The Departments justification for the creation of this list is that frequent calling out by officers causes the Department to incur unwarranted overtime.
This is always a heated topic as Unions and Departments battle daily to find some common ground in this area. What is the fair way to make assignments to the various special units? Who should work narcotics? Community Police? K-9? Detectives? Dare Officer? Is there a fair way to make these assignments? How do you remove the politics? more...Truth or Consequences
Departments are sticking their necks out and creating liability for themselves every time they use this charge against one of their members. This is a lose/lose proposition for both the officer and the Department alike. It undermines the integrity of the Department, destroys moral and opens both the Department and the Officer to lawsuits.
By destroying an officer's credibility,
Attorney News Letters
A new and unique service is being offered to unions to assist the union attorneys is their representation of the union members. The service is simple, to maintain a duplicate personnel file of the union members. This takes the control out of the Departments hands and places it with the union.
There is no more guessing on the contents of the file,
Internal Affairs Investigations - Keep it Fair
Unfortunately, Internal Affairs is a necessary evil in governmental agencies. When done correctly and not politically, this can be an important tool for both the officer and the Department. The Division of Criminal Justice has set forth guidelines which are to be followed when conducting an Internal Affairs Investigation, you should become familiar with them.
Corruption Prevention Policy
Proactive Prevention Measures: A specific number of officers will be appointed or a separate unit will be established to handle corruption prevention measures. There responsibilities will be: To review the findings of the internal affairs investigations for patterns which are indicative of corrupt police behavior.
To review duty assignments to ensure that periodic rotations are occurring according to requirements.
To review overtime pay assignments......Corruption is defined as "acts involving the misuse of authority by a police officer in a ....
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