Author: FOPAdmin

January 18, 2017

Based on the agreement for the transfer of personnel between the BPD and the Anne Arundel County Police Department, it is obvious that Commissioner Kevin Davis feels that a media specialist, with ni responsibility for fighting crime, is more important than two seasoned crime fighting Detectives. We are outraged. This is clearly another example of failed leadership and mismanagement of the Baltimore Police Department by Commissioner Davis.

Lt. Gene Ryan

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January 12, 2017

Despite continued assurances by representatives of the Department of Justice that our organization would be included in the Consent Decree negotiations, no request to participate was ever forthcoming and we were not involved in the process. As we were not afforded an advance copy of the agreement, neither our rank and file members who will be the most affected, nor our Attorneys, have had a chance to read the final product and, as such, we will not have a comment now. Be assured, however, that a response will be forthcoming at the appropriate time.

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January 4, 2017

Dear Mr. Rector,

This is our response to your recent article in the Baltimore Sun dated 1/2/17, “Baltimore Police say they’re prioritizing beat cops, officers who live in the city- but numbers have dropped’.

In this article, Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith incorrectly stated that the BPD “has limitations on how it can fill shifts based on its collective bargaining agreement with the police union.” In truth, as outlined in the current labor contract, BPD command is solely responsible for the allocation of personnel and the number of personnel assigned to individual units, including their roles and responsibilities.

During the last contract negotiation between the City and the FOP, the City (to include Police Command) requested the current Patrol work schedule of 4 days on/3 days off, for a 4 day/10-hour shift configuration. It was stipulated, and agreed upon, that the Department needed 1250 Patrol Officers, working in Patrol cars, to staff the daily shifts. This number was not to include specialized District units, such as Operations and Drug Enforcement; nor, did it include Officers on extended medical leave or suspension. This required number was never reached by the Department and has continued to drop significantly.

The numbers that were quoted in your article were supplied by the BPD in the annually required “Response to House Bill 771 Baltimore Police Department- Report on Community Policing”. In that report, Commissioner Kevin Davis states the following:

As of 12/1/16, 999 officers were in patrol out of 1255 or 79.6% staffed

As of 11/1/15, 1,102 officers were in patrol out of 1,271 or 87% staffed

However, the actual numbers published by the BPD via a Patrol Staffing report dated 12/14/16 are:

1067 officers are assigned to Patrol Districts, citywide. Of the 1067 officers, only 860 are assigned to Sector Patrol. Of the 860, 160 are not in a full duty job status. This leaves the actual number of officers performing Sector Patrol at ONLY 700, citywide, as cited in their own staffing report. This is a far cry from the numbers reported by the BPD on January 1, 2017.

In this same article, BPD spokesman J.T. Smith also reported that the Department had to redeploy Officers to deal with violent crime. He said it recently quadrupled the number of robbery Detectives. In the past, there were 24 Detectives working robbery cases from the DOU, Robbery and City Wide Robbery units. The newly formed Robbery Unit, in actuality, has 45 Detectives working cases; a far cry from the 100 Detectives that would be required if the number had honestly been quadrupled.

The FOP regularly hears numbers, issued by the BPD, that don’t always reflect reality, but have chosen not to address them so as to avoid a war of words over inaccurate propaganda. However, now we must say that enough is enough. We can no longer avoid a response when both our active members, and the citizens of Baltimore, are at such great risk. Our members are required to work many more hours over their normal 10-hour shifts in order to maintain basic Patrol staffing levels which are far lower than any professional law enforcement organization would ever consider even remotely adequate. This is a dire situation in terms of the operational safety of our Officers and can no longer be tolerated.

Equally as critical, however, is the risk that is being absorbed by our already fearful community. The few Officers that are working the various District shifts are only able to respond to calls for service with no time left for proactive policing of any nature. As a result, crime rises, due in great part to the fact that the criminal element of our community is fully aware that our low staffing numbers make us inefficient. Our members can only do so much and, at this point, the Baltimore Police Department is at the tipping point of being unable to protect the City and its citizens.

The rank and file feel as though they are severely understaffed and under attack from all sides, including from within the command ranks of the BPD. Currently there are upwards of 200-300 officers that could retire in 2017 and it is no secret that the BPD has become a training ground for police recruits intent on leaving for better paying agencies that put greater importance on operational safety and employee support. There are law enforcement agencies who regularly attempt to recruit our Trainees and sworn members and, in many cases, have been successful. It is imperative that the Baltimore Police Department hire qualified officers with a sense of urgency. If the city fails to make this job appealing both financially and by improving working conditions, in an expeditious manner, the situation that we have described will only worsen.

We urge Mayor Pugh and the Baltimore City Council to require that Commissioner Davis take swift action to rectify the current Patrol staffing levels of the Baltimore Police Department before the City faces a critical inability to provide basic police protection to its citizens.

Respectfully,
Lt. Gene Ryan
President

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December 8, 2016

Dear Members:

The Labor Commissioner for Baltimore City sent us a letter on December 2, 2015 advising that the City of Baltimore wished to reopen negotiations for a successor agreement to the current Memorandum of Understanding for both Units I and II which was due to expire on June 30, 2016. The letter also informed us that according to Article VI, Board of Estimates, Section 12, Sub-Section (b), the City was prohibited from negotiating a replacement agreement that was longer than one year in duration since a new Mayor would be sworn in during December, 2016. The letter further stated that as an alternative, the current Memorandum of Understanding could be extended for one (1) year, however, if the FOP desired to start the negotiation process, negotiations would begin in early 2016. The City of Baltimore contacted the FOP to start the negotiation process and the initial meeting took place on March 15, 2016 at which time, our counsel Herb Weiner inquired if the option to extend the current agreement was still in play. We were informed by the City of Baltimore that they would not entertain the request to extend the current agreement which was due to expire on June 30, 2016 for one more year but instead mandated that we engage in negotiations for a one year successor agreement.

The next meeting with the City of Baltimore took place on March 31, 2016 at which time, the City asked us to eliminate the 4/10 work shift for patrol and delete Article 16 – Discipline in its entirety from the contracts for Units I and II. It should be noted that Article 16 – Discipline prohibits the Police Commissioner from putting civilians on trial boards. The City did not offer us any additional money or anything else of value.

We met again with the City on May 4, 2016 and scheduled another follow-up meeting for May 24, 2016. The City cancelled the meeting scheduled for May 24, 2016 and advised that they would contact us to re-schedule the meeting. We were contacted at the beginning of September, 2016 to restart negotiations that had been broken off by the City at the end of May, 2016. We advised the City that we were in the middle of a Lodge election campaign and would be unavailable to restart negotiations until the first part of October, 2016.

On October 17, 2016, we had a meeting with the City who reiterated its desire to eliminate the 4/10 work schedule and replace it with a 5/2 schedule with permanent shifts and permanent days off. At that time, the City did not offer any financial improvements to the contract. Our negotiating team rejected the shift proposal and decided to survey the membership concerning this most important working condition. The results of the survey showed that 90% of our current membership in patrol want to maintain the 4/10 work schedule while 76% of those same members want the hours of the 10 hour shift adjusted. Most importantly, 82% of the patrol unit voted to oppose permanent days off.

We scheduled a meeting with the City of Baltimore for Friday, December 2, 2016 at which time, we planned to release the results of the membership survey to the City’s negotiating team. However, the City cancelled the meeting and we have not been contacted to reschedule same as of the writing of this update.

In closing, the FOP negotiating committee has made every effort to bargain in good faith with the City of Baltimore who has proposed replacing the 4/10 work schedule with a 5/2 work schedule with permanent shifts and permanent days off, eliminating the entire Discipline Article of the Memorandum of Understanding, and offering no additional money.

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November 30, 2016

In the early stages of the original discussion regarding the implementation of a Body Worn Camera program for the Baltimore Police Department, I represented our union as a member of
the Mayors advisory task force. I stated, at that time, that the use of these cameras would prove to be an asset to our profession and the footage released today clearly supports our position.

Obviously, none of us wishes to engage in a situation as was recorded by this camera; however,
these circumstances are a reality of the job that we perform daily. These highly qualified
Officers performed in accordance with their training and within the boundaries of the law. On
any given day, Police Officers are forced to make split second, life or death decisions and this footage makes that very clear.

We support Officers Jones and Brown and commend them on their actions as they did what was
necessary to protect the lives of many others, as well as their own.

Lt. Gene Ryan
President

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Baltimore City Lodge #3 Presents our 2016 Holiday Open House and 50th Anniversary Celebration on Friday December 16, 11 AM – 6 PM! We will be serving Oysters On-the_Half_Shell, Pit Beef, Pit Ham, Pit Turkey, Hot and Cold Buffet, and Assorted Desserts!

OPEN BAR IN THE HALL!!!

The first 1000 FOP Lodge #3 Members will get a 50th Anniversary Commemorative Glass!

Please Join Us!!

More Information

Lodge #3 is, once again, very proud to partner with the Baltimore Blast to sponsor 1st Responders Night. This season’s event will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2017 as the Blast take on the Harrisburg Heat at 7:05PM. Information can be found on the attached flyer, including how to obtain free tickets. There will also be a half-time game between the BPD and the BCFD which is always great fun. If you are interested in participating on our team, please contact Lisa Riha (lriha@fop3.org).

Blast Game 2017 Details

As President of Baltimore City FOP Lodge #3, I would like to respond to one of the reforms proposed, yesterday, by State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby concerning the elimination of bench trials in the State of Maryland.

Mrs. Mosby takes the position that a criminal defendant, police or citizen, should not
have the right to request a bench trial to determine their guilt or innocence, when criminal charges are placed against them. Mrs. Mosby points to the inability to convict any officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Every Judge in the State of Maryland, and particularly those Judges assigned to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, should be offended at this position because what Mrs. Mosby is saying is that she does not believe that Judges who hear cases, non-jury, would do so in a fair and impartial manner nor can they render a verdict solely based on the evidence presented.

What Mrs. Mosby is doing is questioning the integrity of every Judge in the State of
Maryland particularly those Judges in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. It should be noted that before anyone can become a Judge in the State of Maryland, they must be recommended for the position by a judicial nominating commission comprised of attorneys and citizens which determine their qualifications to sit on the bench. The Governor in the State of Maryland appoints all Judges and every Circuit Judge must be confirmed by the voters of the jurisdiction in which they preside.

Mrs. Mosby’s position makes a mockery of the judicial selection process. In the view of the Fraternal Order of Police, Judge Barry Williams rendered a verdict of not guilty in the cases he adjudicated concerning the death of Freddie Gray consistent with the law and in accordance with his oath of office requiring that his decision be fair and impartial based solely on the evidence.

I would like to extend my thanks to Senator James Brochin of Baltimore County for his immediate public statement and for expressing his opposition to any attempt to legislate the right of any criminal defendant who elects to be tried by a Judge within the State of Maryland. It is our hope and expectation that the General Assembly will see it the same way.

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October 11, 2016

The Honorable Vanita Gupta
Assistant Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Main
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Assistant General Gupta,

On behalf of our over 4500 Police Officers, Sergeants, and Lieutenants, active and retired, we are eager to join the discussion to reform the Baltimore Police Department. We are an organization of professional law enforcement personnel and our experience, views, and commitment to a safer city bring much to the conversation that currently surrounds the implementation of the Consent Decree that will dictate the future of not only the Baltimore Police Department but our profession.

The Baltimore Police Department has a very long and storied history. Our members are extremely proud of the badge we wear and have a vested interest in insuring that the future is more successful than the past. We are proud of our many decades of serving the citizens of Baltimore and it is our greatest hope that any reforms generated by the involvement of the Department of Justice will foster an improved relationship with all stakeholders.

In the spirit of a productive reformation, we recently held numerous focus groups in which our active members were encouraged to freely express their own thoughts and ideas for ways in which the BPD can improve its patterns and practices. We emphasized repairing the current climate of dissatisfaction that exists not only within the community but within the agency. Our members are the core of the Baltimore Police Department. We are the men and women who are tasked with the extremely important and highly dangerous job of securing the safety of our citizens. It is our membership who work daily to guarantee that Baltimore City remains a viable place to live and work.

With an eye on the problems outlined in the DOJ’s report, we brought our members together. The following are our suggested reforms to repair the damaged relationship between Police Officers and the community they serve. Those we represent have recognized that the policies and practices put in place by past administrations have led us to this point. Our union as a whole welcomes the Department of Justice and the reforms that they can bring to the Baltimore Police Department to better the agency and Baltimore.

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