Class Action Grievance Deadline for Corrected Form W2’s

On April 6, 2016 the FOP filed a Class Action Grievance on behalf of our members that incurred an extra tax preparation cost for submitting amended 2015 tax returns. We have identified 271 members who received corrected Form W2’s in March because stand-by pay was not included as taxable income. We are attempting to seek reimbursement from the county for any added tax preparation cost.

We are approaching the deadline of June 1, 2016 for those who were affected to notify us of the extra cost incurred and provide a paid receipt or proof of extra payment. If you or anyone with whom you work has been affected please notify me and send any necessary documentation.

Could you please provide the following:
1. An email address that is not your Baltimore County Government address
2. The amount of any additional tax preparation to file an amended return and a copy of a receipt.
Please send your response if you incurred an extra cost or not to both Second VP Dave Rose (2vp@foplodge4.org) and he will make sure you get added to our database for the grievance.

 

Police Chief Johnson’s Police Memorial Day Remarks

Today is Police Memorial Day, the annual remembrance of the nine Baltimore County Police Department’s who died in the line of duty, as well as department members who died while in police service.

BCoPD’s fallen officers are: Officer Edward Kuznar (d. 1969); Officer Charles A. Huckeba (d. 1977); Corporal Samuel L. Snyder (d. 1983); Officer Robert W. Zimmerman (d. 1986); Sergeant Bruce A. Prothero (d. 2000); Officer John W. Stem Sr. (d. 2000); Sergeant Mark F. Parry (d. 2002); Lieutenant Michael  P. Howe (d. 2008); and Officer Jason L. Schneider (d. 2013).

The ceremony, usually held at Patriot Plaza in Towson, was moved due to inclement weather to the County Council chambers at the Historic Courthouse in Towson. Here is the text of Police Chief Jim Johnson’ remarks:

Good morning, fellow officers, honored guests and citizens of Baltimore County. Thank you for taking the time to be with us as we observe our annual Police Memorial Day. This is an occasion to remember the nine Baltimore County Police officers who gave their lives in the line of duty and, in so doing, to contemplate the meaning of the work that we do.

I do not need to tell you that all across this nation law enforcement finds itself beset by turmoil, controversy and danger. Here in Maryland, police over the past 12 months have been touched by all three.

The turmoil from the 2015 unrest in Baltimore City – felt keenly here and the other counties touching Baltimore — carried over into the New Year and has yet to see resolution in the courts and in the court of public opinion.

The controversy spawned by the Freddie Gray incident and by contentious incidents in other towns, cities and states continues to dominate headlines, foment divisions and cast an unrelenting spotlight on our mission, methods and motives.

The danger is not – as some critics of law enforcement contend – a myth. Police have not invented a threat in order to avoid a conversation about accountability. We understand fully the need to explain and defend the use of the powers entrusted to us, and to confront errors and wrongdoing on our part. We are not imagining that the times have produced anger and resentment over everything from economic and racial injustice to mental health issues and the perceived failure of institutions. All of this has morphed into a feeling of disdain for governmental authority in general and of contempt for police in particular.

While most Americans respect police and understand the challenges we face each day, the present climate is a breeding ground for non-compliance with and violence against officers. Even wholly justifiable police actions are scrutinized, criticized and second-guessed in TV and newspaper stories, on social media and around water coolers. Pervasive anti-police rhetoric empowers the few – the unbalanced and the radical – to turn their feelings into deadly action.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice published a study on ambush attacks on police. It notes, “Concerns about targeted violence against police are rising in an era of strained community relations, struggles with police legitimacy, and anti-government extremism.”  After years of holding steady, the number of ambushes on police is rising and now constitutes the second-leading cause of shooting deaths of officers; the recent deaths of two Harford County sheriff’s deputies and a Prince George’s County detective in unprovoked, sudden attacks make us painfully aware of this fact.

It is nearly two years – an eternity in this era of 30-second attention spans — since events in Ferguson, Missouri started us down this difficult road, and still there is no end in sight. We must remember that the tenacity of this national debate shows that citizens in many communities have experiences and a point of view to which attention must be paid. The discontent is not based on nothing.

And yet, as an officer for more than 40 years who has witnessed the commitment and sacrifice of thousands of fellow police men and women and the ultimate sacrifice of far too many, I am disturbed by the disparagement of our profession. I am troubled at the stubbornness of the chosen narrative of “problem policing,” even when the facts show an officer properly responded to a threat.  I am concerned that the mood of the moment may cause some – even some of us – to question the nobility and worth of our calling.

Last year, 124 U.S. officers gave their lives in the quest for a peaceful, orderly world; 42 of them died by gunfire. Thirty-five already have died this year. These figures actually understate the risks. Given that the number of non-fatal shootings is rising, we can conclude that the number of fatalities would be even higher were it not for advances in protective gear and other technology – and especially for advances in the Fire, EMS and medical profession. These first responders are saving people who in earlier eras would have died, while taking on plenty of risk themselves. They are our partners, and we thank them.

To take a longer view, consider the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. More than 20,000 names of officers killed in the line of duty are inscribed on this monument; the first known death dates back to 1791. Regardless of when they lived and died, these were men and women of valor: Fearless in the face of danger, caring of their fellow man, driven by a cause more important than themselves.

Our nine fallen heroes are remembered there, as they are here:

Edward Kuznar … Charles Huckeba … Samuel Snyder … Robert Zimmerman … Bruce Prothero … John Stem … Mark Parry … Michael Howe … Jason Schneider.

This morning is a time to remember them as we knew them – as friends, as fathers, as sons and brothers. It is a time for laughter as we recall them in happier times. It may be a time to feel the pangs of grief anew.

But most of all, this ceremony is a chance to reflect on why we are police officers … and why – no matter how fraught the times – the work we do matters.

Baltimore Co. to phase in age-neutral pension contributions for county workers

Baltimore County will begin phasing in age-neutral pension contribution rates July 1 as a partial settlement of a federal age-discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit, filed in 2007, challenged the county’s practice of requiring older employees to contribute more to their pension plans than younger colleagues who’ve worked for the county for the same length of time in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Although the county changed its policy July 1, 2007 so that new hires would contribute to their pensions at a flat rate regardless of their age at the time they were hired, the contribution rates for employees hired before that date continued to be age-based, according to the consent decree signed last week.

Under the decree, which resolves the EEOC’s claims for injunctive relief, Baltimore County and six unions representing county employees are enjoined from requiring employees who are at least 40 years old to contribute to their pensions at higher rates than younger employees due to their age.

The decree establishes specific contribution rates that vary by employee title and classification, some of which will be phased in over the next three years.

For example, certain employees who are members of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Health Nurses and who were hired before July 1, 2007 will contribute 6.25 percent of their base pay to their pension starting July 1, a rate that will increase to 6.75 percent next year and 7.25 percent in 2018.

The consent decree does not address the EEOC’s claims for monetary relief, which will be addressed by the district court in later proceedings. The agency is seeking retroactive damages for employees harmed by the age-based pension policy as well as prospective damages for employees who may be harmed by the phasing-in of age-neutral rates.

“Baltimore County very much appreciates the wisdom of [U.S. District] Judge Richard Bennett in approving this settlement — the terms of which were brought to the court by Baltimore County,” said Ellen Kobler, a county spokeswoman. “We do not believe any employee was harmed and therefore do not believe any additional monetary relief is warranted. It is always important to remember, when discussing this case, that every single contract in question was arrived at through collective bargaining with all six of our employee bargaining units.”

‘Facially discriminatory’

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014 upheld a 2012 ruling by Bennett that the county’s former pension plan was “facially discriminatory” in violation of the ADEA.

Because all county employees are eligible to retire with a full pension after 20 years of service, an employee hired at age 45 would be eligible at age 65, whereas a 25-year-old new hire would be eligible at 45. But under the county’s previous plan — which provided for contribution rates tied to age — the younger employee would contribute a smaller percentage of his or her salary to the plan than the older employee, despite receiving the same benefits, the 4th Circuit held.

The appellate court ordered the case remanded to the district court to consider damages owed to older employees.

“We brought this lawsuit because older workers had to pay a larger percentage of their salary to the pension plan to receive the same pension benefits as younger workers. That’s age discrimination, plain and simple, as both the Fourth Circuit and district court found,” Debra M. Lawrence, EEOC regional attorney, said in a statement. “We are pleased that county workers will no longer be penalized in pension contributions based on age. We look forward to the final resolution of this lawsuit and getting the older workers the monetary relief they deserve.”

The case is U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Baltimore County, et al., 1:07-cv-02500-RDB.

By: Lauren Kirkwood  Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer

Message from National FOP President Chuck Canterbury

Brothers, Sisters and Friends:

We are a profession in crisis. No one knows this better than we do–the men and women on the street. Suddenly, all the good we do every day is forgotten, lost in the 24-hour news cycle and the ubiquity of social media.

The cause of our country’s crisis of confidence in law enforcement is a matter of some debate and our members can be assured that the FOP is at the heart of it.  But it is much more difficult for our members and for all law enforcement officers who work so hard to keep our streets, neighborhoods and schools safe. The loss of support and lack of trust from the communities we protect compounds the new realities of police work – doing more with less, reduced access to equipment, budget cuts, less training – has led to lower morale among active officers and fewer people interested in making law enforcement their career. These challenges are real and like any other challenge we face in our profession, we need to face them head on.

Our local lodges and communities need to work together to find solutions in their jurisdictions. As National President, I pledge that we will not only work with you to find and implement these solutions but also work to rebuild public support for law enforcement.

This month, during National Police Week, the Fraternal Order of Police will be launching a new national campaign to remind Americans just how critical our law enforcement officers are.

The FOP Foundation will be launching a new website and social media campaign to spotlight the heroism of law enforcement — and the incredible job our officers do every day.  We call this campaign “Our True Heroes.”

Our goal is to tell the stories of everyday American heroes who put their lives on the line so that our communities are safe. These stories happen every day, all across the country.  You wouldn’t know it because these stories are not featured on the 6 o’clock news.

Our True Heroes is FOP’s campaign to shine a light on the good work we do — a true grassroots movement to highlight the men and women who carry a badge, who perform incredible acts of courage and heroism, as well as the small acts of kindness that reflect our love for the job and the communities where we live and serve. Real people, real heroism.

While we applaud similar existing efforts on social media, Our True Heroes is our effort to tell our story.

Our website, Ourtrueheroes.org, will also have a corresponding Facebook page and both will launch during National Police Week. We need your help. Next week, we are gathering these stories for our website content.  We know that you likely have amazing stories of everyday heroes — and we need them for the launch of the website.  We will also continuously update this website with fresh content as part of an ongoing effort to shine a light on the fantastic people who have made law enforcement their career.

Can you please send a brief summary of such stories to Katie DuBerry (kduberry@agenda-global.com)?   It could be a couple of paragraphs, a photo or two, relevant news articles, and/or video.

Brothers, sisters and friends, this is an important effort.  Law enforcement needs to tell our story – and it needs to be an authentic and truly a grassroots effort.  The FOP is proud to serve as the platform for this effort and I hope I can count on you to help.

Fraternally,
Chuck

Annual Police Foundation Dinner Recognizes Exceptional Work

Monday night’s annual Baltimore County Police Foundation Awards ceremony honored 12 sworn officers and one civilian for exceptional performance. The honorees include Officers William M. Flaherty and Bernardo Tubaya, who put their lives on the line to apprehend a fugitive and murderer on February 14, 2015.

Master of Ceremonies Stan Stovall hosted the awards dinner at the Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn on April 25, 2016. Chief James W. Johnson, and Stephen P. Somers, Foundation President, presented the awards.

The following personnel received the 2016 Baltimore County Police Foundation Awards:

Valor – Officer William M. Flaherty, Precinct 2/Woodlawn and Officer Bernardo Tubaya, Special Operations Section/K-9

On February 14, 2015, Officers Flaherty and Tubaya responded to a crash in Precinct 11/Essex that followed a multi-county pursuit. The suspect was a teenager from Kentucky discovered later that day to have murdered his family. Officer Flaherty was shot in the shoulder while confronting the suspect, and Officer Tubaya fired and wounded the suspect.

Crime Prevention – Detective Albert Carl Lindhorst Jr. Criminal Investigations Division, Homeland Security and Criminal Investigation Section

A 28-year BCoPD veteran, Detective Lindhorst was honored for his work as a physical security specialist. His efforts to identify and prepare for security threats involve a comprehensive review, including recommendations, for all Baltimore County schools.

Distinguished Contribution – Mr. Mike Leedy, Planning and Crime Analysis Section, Crime and Traffic Analysis Unit

Mr. Leedy, a statistical analyst, has worked for the department for 21 years. In 2015, Mr. Leedy created the Local Crime Analysis Program (LCAP), saving the Department a significant amount of money.

Exceptional Performance – Sergeant Allen Meyer and Detective Gary Childs, Criminal Investigations Division/Person Crimes, Homicide/Missing Persons Unit

On April 20, 2000, 24-year-old Heidi Bernadzikowski was found murdered in her home. Sergeant Meyer worked this difficult case off and on for 11 years. In 2011, Sergeant Meyer brought in Detective Gary Childs. They re-examined DNA found under Heidi’s nails and found a Colorado man who was in Baltimore at the time of the murder. Another suspect, interviewed in Colorado, confirmed the man’s story. Both men were hired online by her boyfriend to kill Heidi. All three men were convicted.

Exceptional Group Performance – Criminal Investigations Division/Persons Crimes, Sexual Child Exploitation Squad:
Sergeant Kenneth Smith, Detective Christina Childs, Detective Dana Kaczynski, Detective Christopher J. Raut, and Detective Joshua Rees

The Squad began a new initiative, working with the Sex Offender Registration Team (SORT). The members accompanied SORT detectives to home visits with sex offenders and conducted computer scans to ensure that the offenders were not using computers to exploit children.

Community Service – Sergeant Mandy L. Biter and Officer Tabitha Hays, Precinct 8/Parkville

Working with an elementary school, Sergeant Biter assisted a needy family – a mother raising four children, including an infant. BCoPD provided essentials, as well as Christmas toys and other gifts. Sergeant Biter also “adopted” several elderly residents at the Morningside Assisted Living Center.

Officer Hays helped two grandparents raising their six grandchildren. Officer Hays and a friend from the Baltimore City Police set up a Facebook event to raise money, and made the holidays special for the family. Both officers spent many hours of their own time raising money, planning, organizing and preparing these events.

The awards program began in 1980 as a way to recognize Police Department employees for outstanding performance and to strengthen the relationship between the business community and the Department. The foundation contributes resources, including seed money and in-kind services, for the development of new projects.

All members of the department, both professional staff and sworn, are eligible for nomination.

Legislation Opposed by the FOP in the 114th Congress

H.R. 4461 (Price, R-GA), the “Federal Employees Rights Act,” which would repeal current authority allowing the deduction of labor organization dues from employee pay and prohibits federal agencies, including executive and judicial agencies, the U.S. Postal Service, the Postal Regulatory Commission, and the government of the District of Columbia, from deducting any amount from the pay of an employee for the dues of a labor organization;

read the entire list here

 

Changes to Memorandum of Understanding Effective July 1, 2016

The following contains the arbitration award issued on March 21, 2016 at the conclusion of the mediation and arbitration process pursuant to Title 5, Section4-5-505 of the Baltimore County Code.

The changes for FY 17 will be included in the 07/01/16 through 06/30/17 Memorandum of Understanding.

Section 5.6: Shoes -The Department shall provide each officer with a one hundred dollars ($100.00) shoe allowance per contract year, to be given in the second payroll check during the month of September to each officer on the payroll during the period covered by such payroll check.
(This is an increase of $18.00)

Section 5.7: Clothing and Cleaning Allowance – All employees will receive a cleaning allowance of two hundred twenty-five dollars ($225) for clothing maintenance per contract year, to be given in the second payroll check during the month of September to each employee on the payroll during the period covered by such payroll check. Detectives and other employees, as authorized by the Department, shall receive a clothing allowance of five hundred dollars ($500) per contract year.
(This is an increase of $25.00)

Section 5.10: Funeral Benefit– The County will fund a funeral benefit that will provide reimbursement of up to $15,000 for actual funeral expenses incurred in the event of a line of duty death, subject to the requirements of the County policy adopted and administered by the County Administrative Officer.  The surviving spouse shall be presented with the badge worn by the deceased member.  In the event there is no surviving spouse, the badge will be presented to the appropriate family member.  The badge will be suitably mounted.
(This is an increase of #1,000.00)

Section 5.15: Gun AllowanceAll employees will receive a gun allowance of one hundred dollars ($100) per contract year, to be given in the first payroll check during the month of December to each employee on the payroll during the period covered by such payroll check. (Each member will receive $100.00 per contract year to defray the cost of maintaining firearm proficiency)

Section 6.1: Wages
A) Effective July 1, 2016, pay schedule IV salary scale shall be increased by two (2%) percent.

B) Steps and longevities shall be provided in fiscal year 2017.

C. For fiscal year 2017 if any other bargaining unit represented by a union   receives a mutually agreed upon wage increase or any other form of compensation/fringe benefit, including but not limited to premium pay, allowances, special duty pay, reclassifications, pensions and insurance, members of the Fraternal Order of Police bargaining unit shall receive the same amount of increase on the same effective date. If such other bargaining units receive different increases in wages or other forms of compensation / fringe benefits, the members of the Fraternal Order of Police bargaining unit shall receive the amount of increase which is the highest for each category of wages and compensation / fringe benefit, provided on the earliest effective date agreed to by the County for each such improvement

Section 6.8: Shift Differential
All employees who are scheduled to work Shifts 3 & 4 shall receive a shift differential of 3.15% ($1.05) of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift. All employees who are scheduled to work Shift 1 shall receive a shift differential of 4% ($1.34) of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift. Overtime shall be based on the rate for the shift worked previous to the overtime.
(This is a new provision for shift #1. Shifts 3 & 4 will be $1.05 per hour and Shift 1 will be $1.34 per hour.)

Section 6.11: Holiday Pay
A) Employees working on the following holidays shall receive one and one-half times their regular rate: New Year’s, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, July 4th, Veteran’s Day and President’s Day and Columbus Day. Payment shall be on the basis of the majority of the shift hours falling within the holiday hours.
B) Employees who are directed by management not to report to work on Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Veteran’s Day and President’s Day and Columbus Day shall be granted leave for that day, without a change to their leave balances.

Section 10.7: Pension Modifications
F) Effective July 1, 2016 employees hired prior to July 1, 2007 contribution rate shall be 8.65% of base pay.
(Currently our members pay an age based contribution that ranges between 7.98% and 10.22% that was ruled as discriminatory by the 4th Circuit Federal Court. This will resolve that practice and place all members at the same contribution rate.)

Section 17.1 Furloughs and Lay Offs Bargaining Unit members shall not be furloughed or laid off (i.e. “riffed”) in fiscal years 2017.

Section 18.3: Duration This Memorandum of Understanding shall become effective July 1, 2016 and shall continue in full force and effect until June 30, 2017. This Memorandum of Understanding shall be automatically renewed from year to year after June 30, 2017 unless:

  1. Either party shall notify the other in writing no later than October 15, 2016 (or October 15th of any subsequent year thereafter in case of an automatic renewal) that it desires to terminate, modify or amend this Memorandum of Understanding, or
  2. The County Council fails to approve the necessary appropriations to support the fiscal obligations of the County under this Memorandum of Understanding for any year covered by this Memorandum of Understanding.

 

 

 

Please Call These Maryland Delegates to Protect the LEOBR

On March 10, 2016, the below listed members of the Maryland General Assembly Criminal Justice House Judiciary Sub-Committee began to contemplate the removal of Collective Bargaining language from the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (L.E.O.B.R.)

It is imperative that you and call the below Delegates to express your disappointment in their actions against police officers in Maryland and urge them to not amend or remove the Collective Bargaining language in the LEOBR.

The committee meets again on Monday March 14, 2016 at 4:00pm to discuss this issue.

joseph.vallario@house.state.md.us                301-858-3488

curt.anderson@house.state.md.us                  410-547-0425

frank.conaway@house.state.md.us                 410-841-3189

Marice.Morales@house.state.md.us               410-841-3528

samuel.rosenberg@house.state.md.us           410-841-3297

Will.Smith@house.state.md.us                        410-841-3493

Charles.Sydnor@house.state.md.us                410-841-3802

Please support Lynne Parry, the spouse of Baltimore County Police Department Fallen Hero, Mark Parry

Please consider donating to Lynne Parry, the spouse of Baltimore County Police Department Fallen Hero, Mark Parry, in her effort to raise money for the  Officer Down Memorial Page and the Concerns of Police Survivors.

She needs to raise $1,500 but only has her donation of $400. She is not on a team. It is just her from Maryland.

She has an event page Law Enforcement United:
Thanks so much! Any little bit helps, even $10!
Lynne Parry
The monies go to C.O.P.S. Kids camp and the ODMP.
OUR logo is “
Honor the Fallen, and Remember the survivors

FORM 1099R’s Issued by the County

We have received some calls in reference to some retired members who have received a 1099R from the County and their tax preparer has communicated to them that there was an error on the form.

We have contacted the retirement office about this issue and they have asked us to have anyone who discovers an error on their 1099R to contact the retirement office (410-887-8246) and they will re-issue another one as quickly as possible.

Retired Member Brandt Bradford Wins Retirement Benefit Case Aginst Baltimore County in Court of Special Appeals

Brandt Bradford Decision

Brandt Bradford retired in 2012 from the Baltimore County Police Department.  The County (Employee Retirement System) denied a benefit he felt was earned in his 35 years of service.  He appealed his case to the County Board of Appeals on April 4, 2013 in an evidentiary hearing. In an opinion dated October 18, 2013the Board of Appeals reversed the County ERS.

The County filed an appeal to the Baltimore County Circuit Court and at a hearing on December 12, 2014 the judge issued an order affirming the Board of Appeals decision for Brandt Bradford.

The County filed another appeal on January 12, 2015 to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.  The case was heard by the Court on February 8, 2016 after a couple of postponements. The Court issued an opinion dated February 24, 2016 affirming the Circuit Court decision.

Brandt’s monthly pension should be adjusted to reflect option #7 and the current deduction recalculated. The ERS must now refund him for the deductions it should not have made.

 

Please Contact These Members of the General Assembly and Tell Them to Support House Bill #50 That Makes targeting an Officer a Hate Crime

In the past twenty-four (24) days of this calendar year, eight (8) law enforcement officers have been shot and killed. Five (5) have been shot and killed in the last 2 days! Sheriff Gahler of Harford County believes that at least one of his deputies was killed simply because he was wearing the uniform.
http://www.policeone.com/officer-shootings/articles/74338006-Sheriff-Md-deputies-fatally-shot-because-of-uniform

National FOP President Canterbury is again calling on Congress to pass Hate Crime Legislation that will enhance the penalty for crimes against a specific class of citizens: those who wear a uniform and badge and who had vowed to protect these rights for others. He is calling on all law enforcement officers and citizens to write their Congressmen and demand that our law enforcement community be given the same rights as other protected classes of persons who are victims of crimes based on the offender’s bias.

This year in Maryland we have our own Hate Crime Legislation pending in the Maryland General Assembly. The proposed legislation HB50 will give Maryland law enforcement officers those protections here while we attempt to navigate the gridlock in congress and get these same rights to all law enforcement officers nationally.

Please contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to pass this legislation:
Joseph F. Vallario, Jr., Ch. (D) joseph.vallario@house.state.md.us
Kathleen Dumais,Vice-Chair (D) kathleen.dumais@house.state.md.us
Curtis S. Anderson (D) curt.anderson@house.state.md.us
Vanessa Atterbeary (D) vanessa.Atterbeary@house.state.md.us
Jill P. Carter (D) jill.carter@house.state.md.us
John Cluster (R) john.cluster@house.state.md.us
Frank M. Conaway, Jr. (D) frank.conaway@house.state.md.us
Glenn Glass (R) glen.glass@house.state.md.us
Trent Kittleman (R) Trent.Kittleman@house.state.md.us
Susan K. McComas (R) susan.mccomas@house.state.md.us
Michael E. Malone (R) Michael.Malone@house.state.md.us
David Moon (D) David.Moon@house.state.md.us
Maricé Morales (D) Marice.Morales@house.state.md.us
Neil Parrott (R) neil.parrott@house.state.md.us
Susie Proctor (D) susie.proctor@house.state.md.us
Deborah C. Rey (R) Deborah.Rey@house.state.md.us
Sandy Rosenberg (D) samuel.rosenberg@house.state.md.us
Carlo Sanchez (D) carlo.sanchez@house.state.md.us
Will Smith (D) Will.Smith@house.state.md.us
Charles Sydnor (D) Charles.Sydnor@house.state.md.us
Geraldine Valentino-Smith (D) geraldine.valentino.smith@house.state.md.us
Brett Wilson (R) brett.wilson@house.state.md.us

Letter from National FOP President Canterbury to President Obama

The Honorable Barack H. Obama II 12 February 2016
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

More than a year ago, I wrote to you and the leaders of Congress on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to urge, in the strongest possible terms, that the current Federal hate crimes law be expanded to include law enforcement officers. This call has gone unanswered and our nation’s law enforcement officers continue to die in the streets.

Under current law, persons who deliberately victimize another person because of the race, color, creed, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability are subject to greater penalties. The law passed with bipartisan support because Congress saw a need to expand the law to protect a group of our fellow citizens whom we suspected were being targeted as victims of violence and intimidation. In addition to increased criminal penalties, the law required the U.S. Department of Justice to collect data on these crimes so that we in law enforcement can do a better job of deterring and preventing them.

Mr. President, now Americans who choose to be law enforcement officers, who choose to serve their communities and put their lives on the line for their fellow citizens, find themselves hunted and targeted just because of the uniform they wear. Already in 2016, seven officers have been shot to death while on duty:

Officer Thomas W. Cottrell, Jr. of the Danville Police Department in Ohio was shot and killed in an ambush attack by a man who told his ex-girlfriend that he intended to kill a law enforcement officer.
Officer Douglas S. Barney of the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake in Utah was responding to the scene of a car crash when one of the drivers, a man with an extensive criminal background and active Federal and State warrants, shot and killed him. The shooter wounded another officer before being killed by responding officers.
Deputy Patrick Dailey of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland confronted a man at restaurant who was wanted in Florida for assaulting a law enforcement officer. As he took a seat at the man’s table, the man drew a firearm and shot and killed Deputy Dailey. The shooter was pursued by other officers, including Harford County Senior Deputy Mark Logsdon, who was killed during the ensuing gun fight.
Sergeant Jason Goodding of the Seaside Police Department on Oregon identified a wanted felon while on patrol and attempted to arrest the man, who resisted. Another officer struck the man with a Taser but he was still able to draw and fire his weapon at Sgt. Goodding, killing him.
Deputy Derek Geer of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado confronted a juvenile suspect while on patrol who immediately became combative. A Taser was deployed to subdue the suspect, but he was still able to draw a gun and shoot Deputy Geer, who died the next day from his injuries.

Officer Jason Moszer of the Fargo Police Department in North Dakota responded to a domestic violence disturbance call. A man, armed with multiple long guns, called dispatchers after barricading himself inside of his home and told them he was going to shoot at officers. He shot and killed Officer Moszer from his barricade.
Major Greg Barney of the Riverdale Police Department in Georgia was assisting officers from the Clayton County Police Department who were serving an arrest warrant. The subject attempted to escape and shot and killed Major Barney.

Mr. President, that is eight officers–six in less than a week–who have been gunned down by assailants striking from ambush or career criminals with active warrants who decided they would not be taken into custody, no matter the cost. Enough is enough! This must end.

It is not just talk; it is not just rhetoric. Those spewing this hatred and those calling for violence are having an impact. They have been given a platform by the media to convey the message that police officers are their enemy and it is time to attack that enemy. Social media accounts are full of hatred and calls to target and kill police officers. The vitriol, the hateful screeds and statements of those we are sworn to protect and defend, as well as public calls to kill and injure police officers, are horrifying. There is a very real and very deliberate campaign to terrorize our nation’s law enforcement officers.

Elected officials are quick to console the families of the fallen and praise us for the difficult and dangerous work that we do every day. Yet, too many are silent when the hate speech floods the media with calls for violence against police or demands that police stand down and give them “room to destroy.” The violence will not end until the rhetoric does which is why I have called on Congress and your Administration to work with us to address the surge of violence against police by expanding the Federal hate crimes law to protect police. We must stand up and reject, completely and without qualification, the use of violence, terror and hate as an instrument of social change. That is not who we are as Americans.

The great Irish statesman, Edmund Burke wrote “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Too many good men and women are doing nothing and saying nothing in defense of us, the defenders. As a result, we now have the crisis of this nationwide trend of violence against police officers. We need your help to solve it.

On behalf of the more than 330,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you for your consideration of our views on this issue and look forward to discussing them with you further.

Sincerely,

Chuck Canterbury
National President

Grand Lodge Data Base Breech

Message From National President Canterbury

Recently at FOP Lodge #4 we have upgraded our entire network and server system. Unlike the National FOP, member data is not stored on the same network (or server) as our web site or email.  So there is no public access to our server or network. The National FOP allows member access with a user ID and valid password. Our server is behind the Comcast router with a built-in firewall.  Comcast randomly reassigns our public IP, so the IP we send out to the world today is different next week.  We also added a domain service when we upgraded the server. One cannot get to any of our files without a valid login.

We have also taken the precautions of not allowing outside access to the network, requiring valid logins to access the network files, disabling the common default accounts, naming the internal domain separately from our email and web site domains and not sharing access with guests.

While nothing is impossible to access, as we have seen in recent times, we feel we have taken appropriate precautions.