July 11, 2018
To: Editorial Staff, Baltimore Sun
In your recent Editorial (“Monthly City Council meetings on police overtime are about 15 years overdue”, July 9, 2018) you very correctly named all of the fiscal years that ended with an inordinate amount of overtime spending by the Baltimore Police Department. We fully agree with your belief that 15 years of these huge overages requires that the Department’s disbursements must be audited and more tightly controlled.
What we cannot accept, however, is your premise that there is a toxic “culture of overtime” in the Department. That statement seems to blame our members for much of the problem and, to a certain extent, insinuates that our greediness is the reason that the City must dig itself out of this hole year after year. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. We know, as well as anyone, that there are a few bad apples in blue uniforms who have learned to abuse the overtime system and we commend the Department and the City for anything they can implement to stop such abuses. But to say that there is an ethos in our community that encourages and tolerates overtime abuses goes above and beyond the truth.
Like most Americans who work to support their families and educate their children, our members are no different. Yes, overtime pay does make it a bit easier, in many cases and, yes, we do have a few members who work extraordinary amounts of overtime as is exhibited each year when The Sun publishes its list of the highest paid Baltimore City employees. What we do not have, however, is a general philosophy that overtime is there for our benefit and should be used whenever possible. In fact, while the overtime costs might be rising, our members are spending less and less time with their own families; a situation they would rather not be in despite the money they might be making. In many cases, these extra hours worked are no longer voluntary but are mandatory to keep Patrol shifts at a required minimum number of officers.
No, ladies and gentlemen of the Sunpaper Editorial Staff, we are not the cause of the ever-rising increase in BPD overtime spending. We are the working stiffs who must pull off on the side of the road to catch a nap on the way home, so we don’t kill ourselves or others, after working 15 hours straight, often more than once in a four-day period.
The Baltimore City Council is right to meet regularly to attempt to control the situation and when they do, we can promise that the fault will not rest with our members but rather with the poor management and planning of the BPD. We, unfortunately at this point, are as much a victim as are the City taxpayers who must foot the bill.
Lt. Gene Ryan
President, Baltimore City FOP, Lodge #3
Brothers and Sisters,
As I know you are aware, our Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights is, once again, under attack in Annapolis this year. This Law is of paramount importance to our profession and must be defended whenever necessary. The majority of this year’s opposition legislation will be heard on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 and, as a result, that day has been identified as LEOBR day in Annapolis. State FOP President, Vince Canales, has asked that we pack the hallways and hearing rooms of the State House with as many of our members as we can muster that day. Last year, our attendance sent a very clear signal and we are hoping to be able to do the same this year.
If you can attend, we ask that you be aware of the following:
–Carpooling is recommended as parking in Annapolis is relatively limited
–Hearings begin at 1PM so we suggest not arriving before 11AM
Your continued support of our efforts to halt any changes to our LEOBR are greatly appreciated and we hope to see many of you in Annapolis on the 23rd.
We have received many inquiries into the current condition of our injured officers. The latest information is as follows:
Ofc. Craig Chandler remains in stable condition in the ICU at Shock Trauma. He
has a very long road to healing.
Ofc. Andrew Groman is also in stable condition in the ICU at Shock Trauma. The
medical staff are working through complications to get him on a clear, smooth
track to a full recovery.
An update on Officer McNeill will be provided as soon as it becomes available to us.
Please keep these men and their families in your prayers especially during this most special time of the year.
The Baltimore Sun is taking an online poll today asking readers if they support the Police and Fire unions’ plans to proteest at the 2011 U.S. Conference of Mayors in Baltimore over recent pay and benefits changes.
Click on the link below to cast your vote:
Should the current investigation determine that an independent review is warranted, the FOP would fully support such a review at that time. We, too, want a thorough investigation of this incident to reveal all the facts of that night’s events. However, at this point, this action seems premature. Mayor Rawlings-Blake should have confidence in her Police Commissioner and the Baltimore City Police Department and give them a chance to conduct an exhaustive investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragedy. The Baltimore City Police Department has one of the premier homicide units in the nation and a system of checks and balances is already in place, as the independent Baltimore City State’s Attorney investigates every police-involved shooting in Baltimore. The Baltimore City Police Department wants to work closely with the State’s Attorney’s Office to get to the bottom of this occurrence. For Mayor Rawlings-Blake to utilize this tragic incident for political gain is a tragedy in itself.
We regret to inform our membership that on Wednesday, October 20, 2010, Baltimore Police Officer Thomas “Tommy” Portz was killed when his patrol vehicle struck the rear of a Baltimore City Fire Engine on Route 70 near the Stricker Street bridge. P/O Portz was transported to University of Maryland – Shock Trauma whereupon he was prounced dead. P/O Portz was assigned to the Patrol Divison – Western District and joined the BPD on December 21, 2000.
Many of Tommy’s colleagues from the Western District gathered at Shock Trauma and later back at the Western District roll call room to remember their fallen colleague. P/O Portz was married and had three children. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Portz family and the men and women of the Western District, as well as our entire BPD family especially during this time when we have lost three of our colleagues over the last month. May the Good Lord watch over their families and protect all our police officers.
Patrol Officers, let your voice be heard!! I am conducting an independent doctoral research study with the University of Phoenix. This survey is in no way tied to the Baltimore City Police Department. Please take the time to complete a simple survey that will provide valuable information on the impact of leadership styles on officer motivation. Your response will be completely anonymous. Results of the study will be published at a later date. You will be provided more specific details on how to answer each question as you begin the survey and your response should take no more than 15-20 minutes. You may start the survey using the following link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VTKW7KG. Your participation is requested before 11/1/10. Feel free to contact the researcher at firstname.lastname@example.org if further information is needed. Thank you for your help! Cordially,Ericka N. SmithDoctoral Candidate-University of Phoenix
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the FOP and City of Baltimore for Fiscal Year 2010 covers the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.
Included in this MOU and ratified by the Membership on December 15th includes a new Patrol Work Schedule that will be implemented on the next shift change in all nine (9) Districts on January 17, 2010. The schedule operates on a 5-2/4-2 format and shift change will continue to take place every twenty-eight (28) days. This is the first time in over forty (40) years that members in Patrol will have an opportunity to work a schedule other than the 6-2 format. The FOP has been able to deliver a new schedule that not only gets our Patrol members off of the six (6) day work week but in turn will lower the total amount of hours worked per year thus raising the overtime rate for each officer working this schedule.
The members of the FOP turned out today and voted to accept the City of Baltimore’s final contract offer for Fiscal Year 2010 (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010).
Despite this ratification and given the comments, feedback and number of “REJECT” votes received today, there remains a significant concern among our police officers that any type of reduction to our benefits and compensation in the future is not worthy of the men and women who go out every day and night to keep our City streets safe.
The vote tally was as follows:
Unit I (Police Officers, Police Agents, Flight Agents)
Unit II (Sergeants and Lieutenants)