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Initial Union Summary Report
The 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.
This report supplies insight into the Administrative Strategies of the Department. One very effective Administrative Strategy is the ability to capitalize on the inability of officers to trust one another. Since no one truly knows what is going on, the Administration can discipline as frequently and often as they like with little concern about being detected. Even in the top ranks of the Administration it is very doubtful that one hands know what the other is doing as the Chief frequently directs different administrators to act in contradiction to each other. The Chief knows that this will cause strife among the ranks, which is what it is designed to accomplish, and uses this to successfully do as he pleases, without the fear of detection.
This maneuver allows him to discipline, assign overtime, schools, lateral transfers and promotions at his whim. He can treat Officers A, B & C, in three completely different ways although they all have essentially the same background and qualifications. He can accomplish this because he knows that Officers A, B & C will not discuss, trust or confide in each other and therefore will never detect the differential treatment.
The Initial Union Summary Report attempts to shine light in these dark corners and allows members to initiate their own strategies to combat same.
Different Unions experience different problems in various degrees and we attempt to focus on the problems that your specific union is facing.
Some frequent problems which we have faced are:
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 all sounds good on the surface, but deeper inspections into the Departments have revealed information to the contrary. To understand the discrepancy, one needs to understand how he finds himself on the list in the first place.
It's easy. The Department picks a number, usually around 15, and every member that has used more than 15 sick days in a calendar year gets placed on the list. Here is the first problem; using sick days in and of itself does not qualify for placement on the list. Only officers who have 15 or more "unexcused" days are eligible to be placed on the list. Make sure that days off where you have supplied a doctor's note are not factored in as part of your "15 days". Secondly, "calendar year", find out what the "calendar year" is, from (date) to (date).
The Database has revealed that most officers on the "Sick Time Abusers" list are the officers that take the least amount of time off in a calendar year and generate the least amount of overtime. This information is revealed when all of the time off, for all of the members of the Department is entered into the Database and calculated for the year. This includes, vacation, sick and comp time. The total amount of time off used is then calculated for the entire year for the Department and divided by the number of Department members to arrive at an "average" number of time-off that is taken per officer per year. Almost every officer on the "Sick Time Abuser" list comes in under this average number. The "secret" to avoid being placed on the "Sick Time Abusers" list is to use time off other than "sick time". Statistics reveal that comp time is the number one abused time off. Has anyone been placed on the "Comp Time Abusers" list?
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?
It is believed that the only fair way to make these assignments is to develop tangible criteria that can be articulated, and to use this to pick the candidates. This way, there is little room for dispute. All to often the assignment to these units are used as rewards to the favored members.
So what is a fair way to make these assignments? First, these assignments should be posted throughout the Department with a deadline for the submission of both a Letter of Interest and a Resume. An officer should put his interest in writing and submit his qualifications for the position. A closing date for the submissions of applications should be included in the posting as well as a brief description of the job duties and work hours.
Second, a committee should be formed to review and grade the applications of the candidates. This committee should be comprised of both supervisors, members of the unit to be joined, and members of the patrol division. A score card should be developed wherein each applicant is graded in different areas, to include, seniority, schooling/training, experience, and statistics (arrest statistics should be factored into the decision). Candidates should submit investigation reports that they conducted of a similar nature.
All of these separate factors should warrant a score, and a total score should be arrived at. All members of the committee should submit their recommendations, arrived at through the scores, to the Chief of Police for final determination.
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