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Please join NAPO for the 32nd Annual Police, Fire, EMS & Municipal Employee Pension & Benefits Seminar to be held at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 26-28, 2020. Participate in discussions on the pressing topics that are affecting your pension fund and benefits. Click on the Registration Brochure below for more information; NAPO is working with Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) House Ways and Means Committee staff on efforts to increase the cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions and reinstate above-the-line itemized deductions for work-related out-of-pocket expenses for first responders; A recent Oregon Supreme Court ruling regarding officer inquiries during traffic stops limits officers to questions “reasonably related” to the purpose of the traffic stop or that have “an independent constitutional justification”. Under this ruling, officers cannot ask unrelated questions during a traffic stop unless the officer can justify them on other grounds; With an increasing number of states and localities banning or considering banning law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology, NAPO has joined with national law enforcement organizations to oppose legislative efforts to impose any moratoriums or bans on the ability for federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to use this technology in support of public safety. For more information on these and other legislative issues, please click on the Dec. 9, 2019 Washington Report and related links below.
Don’t let your TOP COPS nominations get lost in the holiday shuffle! The January 13th deadline for nominations will be here before you know it.
Please take the time to nominate examples of outstanding police work for this prestigious award. NAPO counts on members to help get the word out about TOP COPS and obtain nominations for officers nationwide. Join NAPO in honoring America’s Finest by nominating a case today.
Click on the nomination form below, which must be postmarked or faxed to (703) 684-0515 by Jan. 13, 2020. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact NAPO’s Director of Events Elizabeth Loranger at email@example.com or (703) 549–0775.
2020 marks the 27th year NAPO has hosted the TOP COPS Awards®. The TOP COP Awards® Dinner will take place Thursday, May 14, 2020 at MGM National Harbor Hotel & Casino, coinciding with National Police Week.
With your help and partnership, the TOP COPS Awards® will continue to be a tremendous success!
Photos courtesy of MLEOM The newly constructed Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial dedication ceremony was held in July. The panels are removable so future names of Michigan Officers who die in the line of duty can be added to the monument.
By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor with excerpts from MLEOM.org
When a Michigan police officer dies in the line of duty, they are recognized by fellow officers, family, friends and the news media, but now their memories will live on in another way as their names are added to the newly constructed Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument (MLEOM) in Lansing.
Nearly 500 people came out for the reveal of the state’s long awaited law enforcement memorial coined “The Sentinels,” near Veterans Memorial Park, at the corner of Allegan Street and Butler Boulevard in downtown Lansing July 27, 2019.
Family members of fallen officers, members of the law enforcement community, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the public joined the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument Fund Commission for the monument dedication ceremony.
Lefty, the granddaughter of Michigan State Police (MSU) K9 Gero, sits in front of one of the 10 illuminated panels at night. MSU Captain Mary Johnson worked with Gero as a K9 Officer. Lefty posed near Johnson’s brother’s name, fallen Michigan State Police Trooper Rick L. Johnson.
The ceremony included a reading of 588 fallen officers’ names, which are inscribed on 10 sentinels.
To locate a particular officer’s name at the memorial, visit the MLEOM website and click on Fallen Officers. Names are arranged alphabetically by department on the website. Within each department, the names are in chronological order by their end of watch date. Each name listing includes their sentinel number and whether the officer’s name is on the east or west side of that Sentinel.
The “Sentinel” design by David Milling, of David Milling & Associates/Architects of Ann Arbor was modified in 2017. It includes 10 sentinels – 4’ X 8’ metal panels engraved with the names of fallen officers – ‘standing vigil over the memories of those lost.’
“It’s amazing and phenomenal. We really appreciate that this has finally come to be,” said Michigan State University Police Captain Mary Johnson, an MLEOM Commissioner. “People are going there to reflect and find the names of people they know and have worked with.”
For Johnson, the name she was looking for was her brother’s, Michigan State Police Trooper Rick L. Johnson. Trooper Johnson’s end of watch was May 6, 2000. The 35-year-old died shortly after he was struck by a car during a traffic stop on I-94 in Van Buren Township.
“Every time you go down there it’s like a reunion because you run into people you know,” Captain Johnson said. “It’s such a great purpose. There’s so many people going down there to use that as a place to remember and come to some peace. They’re still dealing with the loss of the people they worked with … and family members.”
MLEOM Commission Chairperson Lin Emmert’s son, Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Officer Scott Flahive’s name is also on one of those Sentinels. Officer Flahive was 28-years-old when he was shot and killed Dec. 13, 1994 after stopping a vehicle containing an escapee from the Ottawa County Jail.
“It looks awesome, particularly at night, as the panels are lit from within,” Emmert said.
The monument project began after Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed PA 177 into law in 2004, creating the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument Fund. In early 2018, Gov. Snyder signed a supplemental appropriation for a $1.18 million grant to build the Memorial Monument, pushing the 14-year fund-raising efforts past the goal needed to begin construction.
The first line of duty officer death recognized is Deputy Marshal Charles Ring of Saginaw PD in 1864. Over 200 Detroit Police Officers names are inscribed, including three who died in 2018. Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association made a $1,500 donation at the dedication ceremony, where each of the fallen officers’ names were read.
Construction is nearly complete with some landscaping and lighting to be finalized, however, donations will continue to be needed for site maintenance.
“New names will need to be added, and that is an expensive project because the panels need to be removed with heavy equipment in order to add names,” Emmert said. “We’d also like to have an on-site and/or online way for people to locate their officer(s).”
The Commission is also looking into the possibility of an educational/historical component housed in the Library of Michigan across the street from the memorial.
To donate online with a credit card, visit www.mleom.org, then go to DONATE and click on DONATE NOW or call 517-241-4083. Make check or money order donations to Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and mail to: Michigan Dept. Technology, Management, & Budget/Financial Services, Cashiering Unit/Law Enforcement Memorial, P.O. Box 30681, Lansing MI 48909-8181.
For more information about the memorial monument, visit www.mleom.org.
The Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument can be seen day or night.
Get the early bird rate by registering by Dec. 1 for NAPO’S 32nd Annual Police, Fire, EMS & Municipal Employee Pension & Benefits Seminar to be held at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 26-28, 2020; NAPO’s President Mick McHale sits on the National Consortium on Preventing Law Enforcement Suicide, a program of the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance’s National Officer Safety Initiatives. Over the next year, the Consortium will lead a national conversation around the issue of law enforcement suicide. The result will be a comprehensive report with recommendations on research and data collection improvements; suicide awareness and prevention tools; and resources for law enforcement officers, agencies, and family members; NAPO has pledged it support for the Public Safety Retirees Healthcare Protection Act (H.R. 4897). Under the previously passed HELPS Retirees Act, retired public safety officers can use up to $3,000 annually from their pension funds tax-free, including defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans, to pay for qualified health insurance premiums. The Public Safety Retirees Healthcare Protection Act would increase that amount up to $6,000; NAPO also endorsed the Expanding Health Care Options for Early Retirees Act (H.R. 4527 / S. 2552), which would allow retired public safety officers ages 50 to 64 to buy-in to Medicare; NAPO supports the Stop the Importation and Manufacturing of Synthetic Analogues (SIMSA) Act (S. 2764 / H.R. 4963), that would combat the manufacturing and importation of fentanyl from countries such as China and Mexico. For more information on these and other legislative initiatives, please click on the Nov. 20, 2019 Washington Report and related links below.
While lawmakers take their annual Thanksgiving/hunting break, the supplemental budget will remain unresolved. With the House and Senate not returning to session until Dec. 3, the fiscal impact on groups depending on the dollars Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed when she signed the FY 2020 budget are beginning to seriously feel the pinch; If legislation overturning the Natural Resources Commission deer baiting ban reaches her desk, Gov. Whitmer’s press secretary has confirmed the Governor will veto it; Under legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Whitmer, Michigan’s 17-year olds would no longer be automatically charged and treated as adults for any criminal offense under the 18 “Raise the Age” bills; The Attorney General’s office has filed a brief asking the Michigan Supreme Court to instantly bypass the Michigan Court of Appeals and vacate the Court of Claims preliminary injunction stopping Gov. Whitmer’s ban on flavored vaping products; The House passed a package of legislation that would legalize sports betting and internet gaming. Former Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed similar legislation late last year; The Reproductive Health Act, a package of soon-to-be-introduced House Democrat-backed legislation, supported by Gov. Whitmer, would roll back all current restrictions on abortion in Michigan, including the statutory ban ruled inactive by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling in Roe v. Wade; The Governor has signed into law legislation that allows solar panels to be installed on business owners’ and homeowners’ roofs without them seeing an immediate property tax increase. For more details on these and other legislative issues, please click on the November 2019 Karoub Report below.
By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
Baraga County Deputy Sheriff’s and Corrections Officers were concerned their old union was a little too comfortable with status quo. As the time for contract talks drew near, they decided to move forward with the Police Officers Labor Council leading the way.
“We’ve been with POAM as long as I’ve been here, which is 15 years,” said Deputy Joe Brogan. “Things had run their course. We weren’t really satisfied with the representation we were getting.”
Brogan said the Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the County Corrections Association were contacted by Lloyd Whetstone, POLC Membership Services representative, earlier in the year asking how they liked their existing representation. “We kind of kicked it around for a few months then reached out and set up a meeting,” Brogan said. “We weren’t really pleased with how things were going when we had a meeting with (POLC Labor Rep.) Hal (Telling) and Lloyd. I guess the rest is history.”
Both units brought in the POLC by unanimous vote in July with their contracts set to expire Sept. 30, 2019. “They seemed they were eager and motivated and they were confident in their union,” Brogan said of POLC representatives. “The things we felt were lacking with our old union seemed like strong points with the POLC. The guys in our unit said we need somebody who’s going to be a little more aggressive when it comes to bargaining.”
“There was too much comfort level with where we were at,” Brogan said of POAM representation. “There wasn’t an eagerness for them to bargain. It was kind of like ‘this is what the County says they have, and that is what we’re going to do.’ There wasn’t a lot of fight left.”
Brogan said the units will be seeking wage increases and would like to bridge contract language gaps. “There was a discrepancy between the Deputies’ contract and the Corrections’ contract in which the CO’s had the ability to comp their overtime and Deputies don’t,” Brogan said. “We want to get everyone on the same page.”
Another language issue the groups would like to address is retiree health care insurance. Currently, retirees are provided health insurance between ages 59 and 62. Employees would like to see that coverage language effective from the date of retirement, which could be earlier than age 59.
On Oct. 28, President Trump signed an Executive Order establishing a Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. The Commission will study issues related to law enforcement and the criminal justice system and make recommendations to the Attorney General on actions that can be taken to prevent, reduce, and control crime, increase respect for the law, and assist victims; NAPO pledged support to the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act (H.R. 4540), which would reform the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) to reduce its impact on public employees’ Social Security benefits. The bill would create the Public Servant Protection (PSP) formula designed to more accurately account for years a public employee paid into Social Security versus the years paid into a public pension system in a non-Social Security covered position; NAPO endorsed the Restoring, Enhancing, Strengthening, and Promoting Our Nation’s Safety Efforts (RESPONSE) Act, which would provide for and expand access to mental health services, give new tools to law enforcement and bolster school safety with the goal of preventing future mass violence; On Oct. 23, the House passed the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act (H.R. 777) by a vote of 402-1. The Debbie Smith Act was originally signed into law in 2004 to provide much needed resources to state and local agencies to end the DNA backlogs for unsolved crimes, analyze DNA samples, and increase the capacity to process DNA samples in order to prevent future backlogs; Click on the links below for more legislative information, NAPO’s updated “Sponsor/Cosponsor” spreadsheet, and to join NAPO for the 32nd Annual Police, Fire, EMS & Municipal Employee Pension & Benefits Seminar at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 26-28, 2020.
Republicans have introduced 47 supplemental budget bills in the House and Senate to bring back $256 million of the $947 million of the line-itemed vetoes that include private college grants, charter school funding increase payments to local governments and county road patrol money restoring spending Gov. Gretchen Whitmer eliminated with her vetoes; Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens has blocked the state from enforcing the emergency rules on Gov. Whitmer’s ban on flavored vaping products; A change in state policy raising the asset limit for three major public assistance programs this winter will allow more Michigan residents to take advantage of those services; The House unanimously approved legislation that would require many out-of-state websites that facilitate online sales in Michigan to collect and remit the 6 percent sales tax; Gov. Whitmer has ordered that new limits on the amount of PFAS compound that can be in Michigan drinking water be committed to rules; By Aug. 1, 2021, every Michigan school and daycare center would need to install lead-free drinking water stations per 100 occupants; and by a vote of 107 to 1, the House passed SB 47, which would exclude the placement of solar panels on residential real property from assessments of true cash value in regards to property taxes. The measure heads to the Governor’s desk. If signed, Michigan assessors, previously told to include solar panels in assessments, will have to reassess those property values. For more on these and other legislative initiatives, please click on the October 2019 Karoub Report below.
Save the date for the 2020 POLC/GELC Annual Conference Oct. 21-23, 2020. The conference will take place at a new location and give attendees a chance to enjoy the beautiful fall colors in northern Michigan.
Click here for details. More information to follow as the event draws near.
Photo by Dave Millar, Photographic Impressions North From left, Jackson Police Officers Michael McCord, Patrick Rose, Trent Marcum (center), Sgt. Wesley Stanton and Officer Justin Thoresen received Outstanding Service Awards at the POLC/GELC Annual Conference Aug. 27, 2019 in Traverse City.
By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor with excerpts from nbc25.news
Six Jackson Police Officers and a Mt. Morris Township K9 Officer were recognized for bravery by putting their lives on the line to save others.
POLC Outstanding Service Awards (OSA) were presented to the Jackson Officers Aug. 27, 2019 during the Police Officers Labor Council/General Employees Labor Council (POLC/GELC) Conference at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City. The Mt. Morris Officer received his award in September. They were nominated by fellow POLC Officers for the annual awards.
JACKSON OFFICER PATRICK ROSE AND SGT. WESLEY STANTON
On Jan. 28, 2019, two Jackson Police Officers protected a woman whose armed ex-boyfriend attempted to forcefully enter her apartment in the middle of the night. The 29-year-old suspect shot at three officers, who returned fire, eliminating the threat.
The officers were dispatched around 2:45 a.m. to Southridge Park Housing Complex on Warwick Court after a female caller told police her ex-boyfriend, who regularly carries a handgun, was banging on her doors and windows, attempting to get into her apartment.
When Officer Patrick Rose arrived, the suspect fled on foot in the yards outside the complex, despite Rose’s orders to stop. Officer Rose tactically searched for him using his handgun-mounted flashlight. The suspect emerged from between buildings and fired at Rose, who returned fire, striking the suspect in the back.
Rose took cover while Sgt. Wesley Stanton and a now former Jackson officer, responded from the opposite direction where they found the suspect lying face down on the ground holding his gun. They gave several commands to show his hands. The suspect got up and fired at the former Jackson Officer. Sgt. Stanton and the Officer returned fire, eliminating the threat.
Jackson Officer Marc Smith commended the officers for their quick response locating and stopping the suspect.
“Officer Rose did an outstanding job in approaching a dangerous situation in a tactical manner,” Smith wrote in his nomination letter for OSA Awards. “The suspect was clearly lying in wait to ambush Officer Rose. In today’s world of police work, the decision to shoot someone as they are running away can be a difficult choice to make. Officer Rose absolutely made the correct decision.”
JACKSON OFFICERS TRENT MARCUM, ANDREW FUGATE, MICHAEL MCCORD AND JUSTIN THORESEN
On Feb. 2, 2019, Jackson Police Officers Trent Marcum, Andrew Fugate, Michael McCord and Justin Thoresen responded to a call regarding a suicidal/homicidal suspect threatening suicide by cop on the 100 block of W. Mansion Street around 6:30 p.m.
When the 29-year-old suspect realized police were outside the home, he began screaming he had a gun and was going to kill his mother. Police heard the mother also calling for help.
Courtesy of Jackson Police Department
Jackson Officer Andrew Fugate
Officer McCord went around the side of the house and looked through a window where he saw the suspect holding his mother in a headlock with a knife in his hand. Officer Marcum made the decision that entering the home was necessary to protect the mother. Officer Fugate kicked in the door and all four officers entered.
The man, who still had his mom in a chokehold with his left hand, while holding a knife in his right hand, was yelling at officers to shoot him and that he was going to kill his mother. After officers ordered the suspect to drop the knife, he raised it as if to stab his mother. Officer Marcum fired at the suspect. He went down and his mother got away.
Police discovered she had been stabbed in the right side, which punctured her lung, upper chest and her hand before officers entered the home.
“The decision to make entry in order to protect the female was heroic,” wrote Officer Smith in his nomination letter. “Officers entered under the belief that the suspect was armed with a gun based upon his own statements. It is highly plausible that had entry not been made at that moment, the suspect would have killed his mother.”
“The professionalism displayed by officers following the shooting was equally as impressive,” Smith wrote. “Aid was immediately rendered to the suspect as well as the mother.”
Both were taken to Henry Ford Allegiance Health for treatment.
MT. MORRIS K9 OFFICER BLAKE PAULIC
On Nov. 19, 2018, Mt. Morris Township K9 Officer Blake Paulic rescued an unconscious elderly woman trapped inside her burning home.
Officer Paulic was first on the scene of a house fire at 5413 Farmhill Road around 11:45 p.m. It was unknown if the home was occupied. Paulic noticed the home was well-kept and there was a garbage can at the road, so he rushed to the back of the home where the flames were coming from.
Photo courtesy of Mt. Morris Township Police Department Mt. Morris Township K9 Officer Blake Paulic is receiving a POLC Outstanding Service Award for rescuing an elderly woman who was trapped inside her burning home.
Through thick smoke, he saw what appeared to be a motionless human hand. With the homes’ doors and windows covered in Armour Guard security bars, Paulic pulled as hard as he could on the rear door slider, which was slightly ajar.
Paulic was able to free the bars, and without pausing to consider his own safety, he ran inside. “Through thick smoke and tremendous heat from the flames, Officer Paulic then pulled the elderly female from the burning home and carried her to the safety of the front yard away from the burning home,” said Mt. Morris Township Police Det. Sgt. Michael Veach.
Paramedics arrived seconds after they escaped and treated the 78-year-old victim for smoke inhalation. She had soot in her mouth and throat, but no burns, Veach said.
Thanks to Paulic’s heroic actions, the victim survived the fire after originally being admitted to the hospital in critical condition, Veach said.
“What’s crazy about this job is you never know when it’s going to happen or what’s going to happen,” Blake told nbc25news. “My actions weren’t because I was law enforcement or a first responder. It’s human nature to save somebody else. What kind of person would I be if I stood back and did nothing?”
Firefighters searched the home, but there were no other people or animals inside. Mt. Morris Township Fire officials said the fire was caused by a space heater in the woman’s bedroom. The house was a complete loss.
“Officer Paulic demonstrated tremendous bravery for risking his own life to enter the burning structure to save the life of a complete stranger,” Veach wrote in his nomination letter for the OSA Award.
To view published articles on the 2019 POLC Outstanding Service Award winners, click on the links below: