Police unions holding police reform hostage
At least that’s how it’s being sold
While they say they support reform, in many cities the police unions which represent the officers in those cities are holding reform hostage until they can gain monetarily from the reform.
This this month in Cincinnati, a local Police Union attorney sent a “cease and desist” letter to the city that said that officers should only use body cameras if the city was willing to pay them more.
Basically, unions are using the reform as a bargaining chip and are holding it hostage which is so very wrong. I can see something like, well the department needs more funds in order to purchase the body camera’s but, the unions are blatantly using reform as a way to increase police paychecks.
They are asking for money for officers from taxpayers to ensure officers are doing an effective and fair job.
According to a report at the Huffington Post, Daniel Hils, who is the president of one of Cincinnati’s Fraternal Order of Police lodges had this to say with regards to suggesting that police be paid more for the reforms:
“We recognize [body cameras are] the direction we’re going, but I believe this is a game changer, as far as complexity of the job. And this level of monitoring will result in positives and negatives about what it’s like to be a policeman. Because of that, I think it does require some additional compensation or at least bargaining for that.”
The argument is being presented in such a way by the unions that they are suggesting that adding the camera’s adds additional expectations, responsibilities and/or enhances the job of the officers.
Those have to be some of the weakest reason’s to be asking for an increase in police pay that I have ever seen.
Many police departments, not the unions that represent them are for the camera’s, from the top brass to the rookies. They want them, they support them and are willing to wear them. It’s the unions who are pushing back.
Boston just went down this road when the Patrolman’s Association fought the use of body cameras on a voluntary basis. The police in Boston are not being forced to wear them, so now the volunteers were selected by some third party, and the now forced volunteers are wearing the cameras for some time then an evaluation will be done by said third party who I assume is not associated with the department itself or the Patrolman’s Association.
Who wants to be under constant surveillance while at work, anyone? The answer is that none of us want that, you may say you don’t care but when push comes to shove, no one really wants that. The idea is uncomfortable for most us, we don’t want it and don’t like the idea of it.
Some think that police have been granted this enormous, great power to be above and over us, they have authority over us, they can abuse us, use unnecessary force against us, be unfair, racist, biased, kill us without reason etc.
The assumption is that police have been give this great power over all of us little people and it needs to be monitored, seen and it has to have this check and balance process.
I agree with that to an extent however…
I personally do not believe that all police departments or police believe that they have been granted this great power over us.
Sure, the ones for instance that we see splashed all over the news have this power and control issue. Except for the Commerce City, Colorado Police Department, those guys are just playing Pokémon Go while on the job. By the way does anyone know how many Pokémon they captured before they were busted?
I do know several police departments who don’t feel that way at all.
Both the Denver, Colorado Police Department and the Arvada, Colorado Police Department just to name a couple feel a sense of responsibility to the communities they serve and protect.
Sure they may have had at one time or another a bad apple or two, many of the officers that work for those departments do not truly feel that they have been handed this enormous power over the people.
I’ve had the privilege to work with many of them and to also know some on a personal level. They don’t feel over us in anyway, they feel a greater sense of responsibility the each citizen and the communities that they serve.
The sense of power over someone and the sense of responsibility to someone are two vastly different things.
All people are asking for are transparency and accountability, this requires nothing more out of police than what they should already be doing today.
Until the Fed’s can think of a way to prevent unions from holding reform hostage, this will continue to be a problem. I don’t know it feels like the unions are now pimping out the police.
The unions need to carefully consider that having the ability to see what it’s like being a cop just might clear up a lot of misconceptions the general public has about police and what they do while on duty… not all of them are playing Pokémon Go while on the clock.
Cristal M Clark
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What are your thoughts