From: Don Campbell, president of Unified Police Federation
I have had membership bring to my attention a new Fraternal Order of Police legal plan and ask me if we have as good a plan or if we plan on making any changes.
I am aware of the plan and have looked at it closely. One area new to FOP is offering a reduced rate on civil situations. A good idea and my appreciation to the FOP for the idea and offering. I have contacted our law firm and we will assemble a panel of attornies and offer the same discounted rate to assist members in some civil assistance.
The other portion of the FOP legal plan is an interesting one. Offering criminal defense representation for non-scope of duty criminal matters.
Some of our members have been told that this plan would cover them if they commit a bank robbery. Now I know the intention of this idea is to help someone with a DUI or Domestic complaint as two examples. And those are two areas we have a vulnerability about. And I think the bank robbery is being said with some humor and may not be a guarantee!
But it is being said. And that said I will tell you this; our plan will not cover outside the scope of duty criminal defense. We have referred members to criminal defense attornies who will often discount or even do pro bono work, but our legal plan will not cover this. And we have and continue to have legal representation for members in criminal complaints as it relates to Administrative review and POST review.
And this is why. It is unusual for any legal plan of a legitimate labor organization to offer such a plan. I think it presents its own problems which may not seem evident at the early stage of this particular plan.
I want you to understand this; if you are robbing banks, or breaking your wife's face, or molesting a child ~ our plan will NOT COVER you!
When I started in police work at Salt Lake City PD; I had to suffer for a number of years public scorn such as "here comes the bank robber cops" as I showed up in my proudly worn police blue shirt. We had several police officers that had formed a bank robbery crew. They were identified and caught by officers and brought to justice by my fellow officers. I am very proud of that. Their actions tarnished the badge I and so many officers proudly wore.
I do not expect my contribution to a legal fund to cover that. I don't suspect many of you do or want that added.
Is our plan as good? No ~ its still better! I hope you will recall our larger legal coverage by PORAC and all that offers. Our legal coverage and history is very clear. We are good in this area!
Fiscal Subcommittee meeting
Folks, as an older officer I am encrusted with cynicism! I will believe it when I see it! But I will tell you that I am very encouraged as we push an agenda that is meeting with some solid traction. It includes written agreement, equity, and coming up from below-market, and full participation in the discussion of how your pay and benefits will go. It is coming along well.
Thanks to those of you participating in the votes for endorsements. I know they are appreciated by those receiving them and on our part, we will make sure that those folks remember our help to them.
I hope you go to the online satisifaction survey about the current practice of review of assignments. Its a very interesting area these days. http://www.slcdsf.org
Its interesting that some of the Millcreek City folks are suddenly backing off on an anti-UPD push in connection with Millcreek incorporation. I was worried that citizens might not care. But many are supportive of UPD officers. I will remind you that those Millcreek folks have said that;
Fact #1. Incorporating Millcreek puts the UPD at risk. The decision to stay with UPD, contract w UPD but leave the district, or self-provide police would now be SOLELY up to the council -elect - 5-7 folks whom we know nothing about. They and they alone will determine the future of police and safety for Milcreeks 64,000 citizens. This is a risk. If incorporation is defeated, the future of UPD in Millcreek is secure.
Fact #2. Pro-incorporators have spoken in favor of Millcreek providing self-police. Mr Mark Crockett, a supporter of Millcreek City and a two-time panelist in your pro-incorporation meetings, said on 9/11/12 at a Willow Creek Community Council meeting, when asked if Milcreek AND Holladay should leave the UPD and join Cottonwood Heights, said Yes -twice!- "Yes...straight up...I could see benefits (to Millcreek and Holladay leaving UPD and joining Cottonwood Heights) for its police services. I believe it would be cheaper and provide them greater control and flexibility" in policing decisions.
The next night, at a pro-incorporators rally at Granite High, both Mark Crockett and Jeff Silvestrini discussed the feasibility of Millcreek providing its own police services, citing their own pro -incorporation fiscal analysis.
Fact #3 the pro-incorporation paid-for fiscal analysis, subsequent to the County's feasibility study, lists as one of FOUR key benefits to incorporation being the "option for local police force," where it go on to state "...Millcreek could likely self-provide police services at a cost less than UPDs current cost." Further, the report goes into to greater discussion and exploration (about 25% of an 8-page report) into the distinct possibility of "Additional Considerations: Self-Provision of Police Services."
Fact #4. No one can make any guarantees to what a future body may do. if its stated that there is no intention to leave UPD - there is no control over what a city council may do in either the short or long term. Case In Point: Cottonwood Heights pro - incorporators were on the record several times in 2005 and 2006 as saying there is no intention or desire to leave the SL County Sheriffs office and start their own police department - just as is being said today. This included several on-the-record comments by then pro-incorporator Kelvyn Cullimore, saying such. Of course we now know that this ended up not being true, and that Mayor Cullimore became the main force behind Cottonwood Heights leaving the UPD in 2010! Again, now that Mayor Cullimore has joined the pro/Millcreek City team and appeared at several Pro - incorporator meetings as supporting and speaking in favor of incorporating Millcreek.
Some additional facts you may want to consider regarding self -police, is that the most recent city to do that is, of course, Cottonwood Heights. When they left the UPD in 2009-10, their police budget was $3.6 million. By 2011-12, because of the lack of shared costs and pooled resources with UPD, this budget had ballooned to $5.0 million - an increase of $1.4 million or 39%! Had CH sated with the UPD, with our documented increases of approximately 2%, their budget for police services would have been roughly $4.1 million - a difference to their citizens of $900,000.
And lets not forget that pro/Millcreek City's revised Fiscal Analysis shows they can save 6-7% of the police budget by self-policing...by reducing officer count from 72.5 to 63. Those are UPD jobs being talked about. And that's in this study from this summer! It's alarming.