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The Michigan House and Senate voted to extend Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency order powers until April 30.
The 23-day extension passed instead of Whitmer’s recommended 70-day extension.
Karoub Associates shared the following Michigan Information & Research Service (MIRS) Breaking News article below detailing the decision.
NAPO’s Director of Governmental Affairs Andy Edmiston shared the following details about two issues NAPO is working on regarding recently passed COVID-19 response provisions.
The first concerns how the federal government is implementing the new coronavirus-related paid sick leave policy passed as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and its impact on first responders, Edmiston wrote in an email to members. The second regards the allocation of the $850 million in Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding through the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program.
FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT: SICK LEAVE REGULATIONS
On April 1, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued temporary rules regarding the implementation of the FFCRA, the second coronavirus stimulus that was signed into law on March 18. This bill provides for an additional 80 hours of sick leave related to COVID-19 exposure and illness. However, in the rules just released, the DOL included a sick leave exemption for “emergency responders”, which includes law enforcement. The DOL regulations allow first responder organizations to opt out of the 80 hours of COVID-related paid sick leave. NAPO is concerned that officers will have to use their own sick or personal leave when they are directed to stay home by their supervisors to quarantine or isolate themselves due to possible exposure to COVID-19.
The reasoning for this exemption (on page 36 of the attached rule) is that the DOL wants to ensure that localities are still able to provide the essential service of public safety and have enough officers to do so. While this might make sense for a temporary expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act, it is meaningless in the context of paid sick leave. Emergency responders are going to contract COVID-19 and they are going to be exposed to people who have COVID-19, increasing the chance that the employer will likely order them quarantined and they will not be at work. The sole question is not whether the employer’s staffing will be lowered – it will – but rather who is going to pay for the employee’s absence. Under the DOL rule, it will be the employee paying for it and not the employer. It does not make sense that law enforcement officers who are in the line of fire – many without proper PPE or any at all – are penalized for something out of their control.
NAPO is working with Congressional staff to fix this issue so that should any law enforcement agency order an employee home and not allow them to return to work due to potential COVID-19 exposure, the employer will provide up to 80 hours of paid time off and it will not be taken from the employee’s accrued personal leave. In the House, we are working with Democratic staff who are actively putting together a proposed Phase 4 stimulus package. While Republicans, particularly Senate Republicans, are pushing back against the need for a Phase 4 bill, we are also working with our allies in the Senate to move this fix – whether in a Phase 4 bill or some other legislative vehicle.
Please let me know if any of your members have faced this issue – that they are being ordered home due to a possible COVID-19 exposure and having to use their own personal leave.
CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING (CESF) THROUGH BYRNE-JAG
The Bureau of Justice Assistance has released the list of eligible allocations for CESF for current (FY 19) Byrne JAG grantees. The allocations were determined by the Byrne JAG program standard formula. There are many issues with these allocations as they are not based on need during this crisis, but rather an arbitrary formula that is meant to fund state and local criminal justice programs. Please reach out to your state or local grantee listed to request CESF funding for PPE and other emergency resources. For those localities without current funding, BJA has set aside $58 million in grant funding. NAPO is working with Congress to ensure state and local agencies get the resources they need whether from the $850 million in CESF, the $48 billion in FEMA Disaster Funding or an additional pot of funding that allows localities and agencies get direct access to funds.
Contact Andy Edmiston if you have any questions on either of these two issues at email@example.com
NAPO recently shared with members CDC guidance about caring for someone with the coronavirus and when they say it is safe to discontinue isolation. Also shared is CDC general guidance for law enforcement and a new document about cleaning and disinfecting facilities.
“Some of the recommendations from this last document may be difficult to apply to police stations or detention facilities, but they may still provide some guidance,” NAPO Executive Director Bill Johnson wrote in an email.
All of these documents can also be found at the CDC website.
Few exceptions to Executive Order declaring state public policy to stay home for those who test positive or show symptoms of COVID-19
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-36 on April 3, prohibiting all employers from discharging, disciplining, or otherwise retaliating against an employee for staying home from work if they or one of their close contacts tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of the disease, according to press release from the governor’s office. Executive Order 2020-36 also strengthens the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order by declaring that it is state public policy that all Michiganders who test positive or show symptoms, or who live with someone who tests positive or shows symptoms, should not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.
Executive Order 2020-36 takes effect immediately and will remain in place until the end of the governor’s declared emergency or until otherwise rescinded.
“People who are prioritizing the health and safety of their families, neighbors, and loved ones during this crisis should not be punished by their workplace. Staying home and staying safe is one of the most important things we can do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, and this executive order will ensure more people can do so without facing discrimination from their workplace,” Whitmer said. “We have taken aggressive measures to protect our communities, but it’s on all of us to work together to fight this virus.”
“Ensuring those who experience symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 and the people they live with remain in their homes will help mitigate community spread,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “It’s crucial that anyone experiencing symptoms, and those they live with, stay home and stay safe.”
Under Executive Order 2020-36, all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or who display one or more of the principal symptoms, such as fever, atypical cough, and atypical shortness of breath, must remain in their home or place of residence. This includes Michiganders who are otherwise free to leave their homes under Executive Order 2020-21. People who test positive or who are experiencing symptoms must wait to leave their homes until three days have passed since their symptoms have resolved and seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or since they were swabbed for the test that yielded the positive result.
All close contacts of a symptomatic individual or of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should remain in their home until 14 days have passed or the symptomatic individual receives a negative COVID-19 test.
Health-care professionals, workers at a health-care facility, first responders (e.g., police officers, fire fighters, paramedics), child protective service employees, workers at child caring institutions and correctional officers are exempt from staying home if a member of their household tests positive for COVID-19 or displays one or more of the principal symptoms provided their employers’ rules governing occupational health allow them to go to work.
Individuals and household members who test positive for COVID-19 or who display one or more of the principal symptoms may leave their home or place of residence when necessary to obtain food, medicine, or supplies needed to sustain or protect life and when those items cannot be obtained via delivery. People may also engage in outdoor activities, including walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity consistent while remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household.
When symptomatic people or their close contacts leave the home, they should wear some form of covering over their nose and mouth, such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief. For now, however, supplies of N95 masks and surgical masks should generally be reserved to health-care professionals, first responders (e.g., police officers, fire fighters, paramedics), and other critical workers.
Click on the links below for Executive Order 2020-36 and a flow chart to help Michiganders understand when they should stay home.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides several resource pages updated regularly regarding COVID-19. NAPO shared an email from the CDC containing the current webpage links below include disinfecting a facility if someone is sick from COVID-19.
“You can see that some of the recommendations (like leaving doors and windows open for 24 hours) are not going to be practical for a police or detention facility, but still, other recommendations should hopefully be helpful to show employers what they ought to be trying to do to protect officers as much as possible,” wrote NAPO President Bill Johnson in an email to members.
As of April 2, 2020 in the United States, there have been 213,144 confirmed cases of COVID-19 detected through U.S. public health surveillance systems in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the CDC. CDC provides updated U.S. case information online daily.
Please click on the following links below for more information.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
RESOURCES AND GUIDANCE
Communities, Schools and Businesses
The Director of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office and Executive Director of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, Phil Keith, penned a letter to all NAPO members on the work of the COPS Office to confront COVID-19 work-related issues, grant-related challenges and communications with law enforcement, first responders and stakeholders.
The letter also includes a brief update on the work of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice and the importance of NAPO’s close relationship with Director Keith and the Department of Justice.
Please click on the link below to see the letter to NAPO members.
The Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Programs (BJA) has posted the solicitation for state, local and tribal applicants for the $850 million in Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) that NAPO helped secure in the stimulus package signed into law March 27, 2020.
NAPO’s Director of Governmental Affairs Andy Edmiston emailed important information on this emergency grant funding to members below:
- The CESF Program will provide funding to assist eligible states, local units of government, and tribes in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the coronavirus.
- Allowable projects and purchases include, but are not limited to, overtime, equipment (including law enforcement and medical personal protective equipment), hiring, supplies (such as gloves, masks, sanitizer), training, travel expenses (particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas), and addressing the medical needs of inmates in state, local, and tribal prisons, jails, and detention centers.
- This grant is modeled on the 2019 Byrne-JAG grant, so any recipients from that grant should be eligible applicants for this supplemental funding.
- Only the State Administering Agency (SAA) who applied for the FY19 State JAG grant is eligible to apply for this grant. Localities have access to this funding through their SAA.
- The grant application is open until May 29, 2020 and applications must be submitted via OJP’s Grants Management System (GMS).
- The project period for this grant is 24 months, with an opportunity for a 12-month extension.
- Grant recipients may draw down funds in advance, or on a reimbursement basis.
- The project period will be established retroactively to January 20, 2020, but please note that federal supplanting rules apply.
- Applicants must submit a program narrative, budget and budget narrative, but BJA will expedite the review of these applications and move them as quickly as possible to award.
- $58 million has been set aside for localities that do not currently have a Byrne-JAG funding through their SAA, so please ensure your local agencies apply for this vital funding.
“NAPO spoke with the leadership of BJA about the CESF grant yesterday and they stated that BJA aims to get the funding out to grantees within 7-10 days of receiving an application,” Edmiston wrote. “The solicitation will remain open for 30 days, but BJA will be processing them on a rolling basis.”
For further information, Andy Edmiston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 549-0774.
By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
Jacob AC Yglesias’ volunteer work with the Detroit Goodfellows – distributing Christmas gifts to needy Detroit-area children – united him annually with Detroit Police while he was growing up. This past December, while applying for law enforcement positions, he was thankful for the help he received as recipient of a $1,000 Law Enforcement Education (LEEP) Award.
Yglesias was among the 29 pre-service cadets in a graduating class of 39 recruits Dec. 17, 2019 from Macomb Police Academy.
Photo courtesy of Macomb Police Academy Macomb Police Academy graduate Jacob AC Yglesias receives the LEEP Award from POLC Executive Committee Vice Chairman Brian McNair.
He worked as an Uber and Lyft driver to save money to pay for his academy training. “When I got accepted into the police academy, it basically took all my money,” Yglesias said. “As soon as I heard about a scholarship, I applied for every single one. (The LEEP Award) is going to help me tremendously. It will give me a cushion before I start working. I have no words for it. I really appreciate it.”
“Another reason the scholarship really helped is being at the academy you don’t really have time to work,” he said. “I’ve been going to academy and that really consumed all my time.”
The 24-year-old grew up volunteering through Detroit Goodfellows, where his father runs the warehouse. “When I was young, every Christmastime me and my family would help deliver packages to Detroit police precincts. The families that live in that area would come pick those up,” he said. “It was very fun, and I got to talk with a lot of police officers and that’s what got me interested in law enforcement too.”
Prior to academy, he obtained an associate degree in Criminal Justice from Wayne County Community College and bachelor’s in Criminal Justice at Michigan State University.
“He’s been very mature throughout the academy. He’s respectful to people, yet has a very strong presence, so he appears confident when he interacts with people,” said Macomb Police Academy Director Raymund Macksoud. “He’s above class average as far as academics in the academy. I had to find a reason to give him a demerit yesterday because he’s just a rule follower,” Macksoud said jokingly days before graduation.
“He loves to help people. He’s just a great young man,” Macksoud said, adding Yglesias also volunteers with City Rescue Mission of Lansing. “He’s going to be somebody who will care when interacting with people. You can see he’s compassionate. He likes to get involved with the disadvantaged in the community. This is a person who will understand peoples’ problems.”
UPDATE: NAPO is urging the Department of Justice to issue a new policy memorandum for the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program stating any public safety officer who perishes from COVID-19 is presumed to have contracted the virus in the line of duty, and are thus eligible for PSOB death benefits. NAPO sent a letter to Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Michael Costigan making this request (see link below). There is precedence for the BJA Director to issue such policy memos and NAPO strongly believes officers deserve to know their families will be taken care of as they work in this dangerous and uncertain time. If this change is not made through regulation, NAPO will pursue it legislatively.
NAPO President Bill Johnson and NAPO’s Director of Governmental Affairs Andy Edmiston participated in a conference call with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (“PSOB”) program administrators regarding claims for death and injury benefits due to officers’ exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19).
PSOB works like a life insurance program for officers killed (or grievously injured) in the line of duty. It covers almost all law enforcement officers in the United States.
For COVID-19 – or any other illnesses contracted due to on the job exposure – the “claimant” (the officer or officer’s survivors) must show it was more likely than not that the illness and/or death was due to exposure to the virus while performing a line of duty activity or action, Johnson wrote in an email to NAPO members.
“Unfortunately, there is no presumption in the PSOB program that an illness or injury/death of an officer was due to an on the job exposure,” Johnson wrote. “Some states do have such a presumption, but the national PSOB program does not.”
Johnson shared these important tips to protect officers and their families if an officer is stricken with this illness and dies:
- Document: Document every possible, likely or confirmed exposure to the virus, including calls for service to a facility or location where the illness/virus is suspected or confirmed or with individuals who are exhibiting symptoms of the infection (dry cough, fever, shortness of breath) whether or not they have received a confirmed medical diagnosis. If the location, such as a hospital ER or a nursing home, already is known or reported to be serving infected persons, that information should be documented.
- How to document: Include relevant facts in any official report you are required to make and take time to note it yourself in any personal log or report. If it’s an official police department report, that’s the best, but even personal notes, made at the time of the incident, will be considered by the PSOB program in evaluating a claim.
- What to document: Location (type of facility, on the street, vehicle, enclosed space, etc.); whether it’s known, reported or suspected that persons with COVID-19 are/were present; proximity of contact; length of time of contact. Was the person out of the country recently? Where? Have they been in contact with other people or locations where COVID-19 has been reported or suspected?
- Medical information: Whether you were informed there was a diagnosis of COVID-19 for that person/location. In the absence of a formal diagnosis, especially since testing is still lagging, note such things as “I observed the person had a fever, a dry cough, and was complaining of shortness of breath, which I recognized as symptoms of infection by the COVID-19 virus, according to published guidance by the United States CDC.”
For more information, please see the guidance letter from the PSOB office below.
As of March 30, 2020, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued the following Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 outbreak following the National Emergency declared by the President.
Please click on the links below for information on the individual Executive Orders.