Category: President’s Blog

The FOP is relieved to announce that Police Officer Dante Arthur who was shot and critically wounded last Friday evening, 23 January 2009, is recovering from his wounds and is expected to make a full recovery.  According to Dr. Jim O’Connor, Director of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery at R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, P/O Arthur is following commands and is doing very well.  The FOP is also pleased to announce the Homicide Unit has made three arrests in connection with the shooting of P/O Arthur.

P/O Arthur is assigned to the Central District and was working in a plainclothes capacity when he was shot during an investigation into narcotics activity.  Given that he is still in recovery, visitors are limited to immediate family.  Please keep P/O Arthur, his wife, and his family in your prayers.

Fraternally yours,

Bob Cherry

Questions on Leave and the MOU

The following was drafted by Brother Greg Robinson, Chairman of the FOP District Representative Committee, and placed on the Novell Groupwise system.  Please read it as it has a lot of useful information that may answer many questions and concerns our Members have during this time of year. 

When does the book go around?  Leave for the year is requested during the month of January (1st – 31st), starting with the most senior to the person with the least amount of time on.  When you get the book you can put in all of your leave to include any leftover medical vacation days from July of the previous year.  You can put in 1 single day up to a block. On February 1st, it is first come first serve.

Seniority: Seniority is time in grade.  This does not count Cadet time.  

Rank:  Again this is time in grade and not sequence number.  I have been asked who gets the book first, if two (2) Sgts or Lts get promoted on the same day?   We have won grievances on this and this is the answer.  The person higher on that promotional list gets the book first.

What is a block of vacation:  A block consists of a minimum of 5 total days, not including H-Days but they are included in you total block.  You must use at least 3 vacation days and 2 P or PL-Days.  When a block is put in and approved during the month of January, this is protected and can only be canceled by the commissioner for extreme emergency.  Remember, you can put in one single day during this time period. A single vacation day is also protected if put in and approved during the month of January. You can put in a single P or PL-Day during January but it can be canceled for operational needs.

All officers:  When you fill-out your Leave slips, please ensure you get a copy of the signed slip.  It is helpful if you time stamp the slips when you give them to your supervisor. This is the only time of the year when the supervisor has more then 10 days to approve or deny your request.  All slips that you turn in for request leave (vacation for the year) during January; the supervisor does not need to be approved or denied these slips until February 10th of this year.  If a supervisor advises you that you are denied a day, please ensure that the supervisor signs the slip denied.  This way you get a 45-day extension or if the day becomes available, you are the first to get the day.

If a grievance arises from any issues of vacation you must have signed slips (denied). You will need this as part of your grievance.  There is no grievance unless you have signed slips.  There is no grievance, if you are denied leave do to manpower being short at the time of your request.

If there are any concerns or questions, please go to the FOP website ( and there is a copy of our contract (Memorandum of Understanding.) There you should find all of your answers.  If there are any further questions, please contact me or members like Paul Blair, Dan Fickus, Brian Atwood, Al Savage or your District Representative.

Policing Baltimore and Budget Cuts

n the 12/08/2008 issue of the Baltimore Sun, I was quoted in an article written by Justin Fenton concerning the spike in homicides during the month of November and the first couple weeks of December.  In that conversation I had with Mr. Fenton, I stressed to him the significance of the crime reductions we have accomplished this year through the hard work of the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department and complimented the early tactical decisions of Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld.

Let me say further that the FOP realizes that money alone will not solve the crime problem that persists in the City of Baltimore.  In order to combat crime, there needs to be an operational approach from the Police Department that is both flexible and innovative as well as cooperation from many factions within the City and beyond.  The Police need the cooperation of the citizens to report crime and we also need our citizens to be willing to testify in Court to help convict the thugs who plague our City.  We also need the continued cooperation of the Federal and State government and the many programs they provide to aid the Police in the daily fight to keep the pressure on the criminal element and to provide the resources that aid the Police in that process.

Having said that, money is and will always remain a factor in fighting crime.  While I agree with Commissioner Bealefeld that it is not wise to just throw money and police out on the street in an indiscriminate way to combat crime, it is a fact that the criminal element operates on the opportunity to commit crime.  Remove the opportunity to commit crime, and the occurrence of crime is lowered.  In order to accomplish this we need an aggressive vanguard of uniformed and plainclothes police officers in all areas of the City – including areas that are not affected by violent crime.  Overtime is a necessary by-product to maintain this police presence and the FOP will continue to argue this position in the media as well as to the public officials who make the decisions regarding the Police budget.  

The City Administration’s targeted FY2010 budget cuts will severely hamper our ability to keep crime going down.  The FOP will continue to urge Mayor Sheila Dixon to rethink those targeted budget cuts that will affect Public Safety.  The twin pillars of any community have always been the Public Safety of its citizens and the Education of our children.  Even in this economic recession, we must focus on prioritizing budget cuts and Public Safety must remain a constant priority.

Fraternally yours,

Bob Cherry

The Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #3, Baltimore City has been approached by a number of our Members to address the policy of tattoos instituted by the Baltimore Police Department.  As a police officer I feel strongly that the image we project to the public is important and we all need to maintain a professional standard that includes our personal appearance and clean uniforms.  As President, I am also attentive to the varying needs and concerns of our members who feel certain policies have disproportionally and unfairly affected them.

Having said that, the FOP is assisting the United States Employment Opportunity Commission in compiling a list of FOP Members who feel they have been ordered to cover their tattoos in a manner that has been inconsistent as compared to other FOP Members who also have tattoos.  If any FOP Member feels they have been unfairly targeted based on the appearance of a tattoo that is not considered vulgar or offensive and is interested in speaking with the United States Employment Opportunity Commission, please call Lisa Clinton Jones, Senior Investigator in the Baltimore Field Office at 410-209-2754 or email her at n // –> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The FOP at this time is not adopting an official position on the policy of tattoos and again it should be stressed that a professional personal appearance should be a priority of all our members as this is the image the majority of our citizens will remember long after we code our calls, clear a crime scene, or finish testifying in Court.

Fraternally yours,

Bob Cherry