Message from the Director
Law enforcement officers nationwide are being executed simply for doing their job. In fact, for the fifth year in a row, ambush-style executions were the number one cause of felonious officer deaths, according to a 2014 report released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).
So why are some U.S. politicians and other leaders encouraging the public to question the integrity of public safety officers, who are hired to PROTECT the public and the officials who represent them?
The current anti-police sentiment is in reaction to citizen deaths during altercations with police officers. The most noteworthy case is that of a Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown, an African American, on Aug. 9, 2014 while he was fleeing police. In this case, like many of the others, Brown was not cooperative with police during his attempted arrest. However, much of the media coverage does not discuss that very critical fact. Shortly before the shooting, Brown was captured on video camera robbing a nearby convenience store, stealing several cigarillos and shoving the store clerk. Police said a struggle between Brown and a Ferguson officer over the officer's gun led to his death.
MAPO takes part in Governor’s task force to analyze retirement funding for public employees
By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor
MAPO representatives recently participated in a meeting with the leadership of the West Michigan Policy Forum to discuss ways to tackle unfunded liabilities in communities without breaking the bank when it comes to the state’s budget. This meeting was connected with Gov. Rick Snyder’s Responsible Retirement Reform Task Force.
Attending on behalf of MAP members was Rich Heins, MAP President, to hear concerns of task force members which include state and local officials, private sector business leaders and employee representatives. Michigan Association of Police Organizations (MAPO) President Mike Sauger is a member of Governor Snyder’s task force. MAPO represents MAP and several other Michigan public safety unions.
“We’re going to have all the information first hand because he’s on that task force,” Heins said of Sauger.
The Feb. 15, 2017 meeting in Grand Rapids at Western Michigan University highlighted concerns leaders have with municipalities, such as Detroit and Flint, both previously placed under the leadership of state Emergency Managers to fix their budgets in an effort to avoid bankruptcy. Going forward Snyder and other leaders are trying to avoid situations like these where communities cannot afford to fully fund pension plans and retiree healthcare.
“Now the governor has taken this on as one of his causes,” Heins said. “He’s trying to figure out a way to fix it without it being entirely on the state.”
Union leaders want to ensure their members aren’t stuck paying the bill either now or in their retirement. “In the lame duck session this past year, there was an effort to pass legislation that would harm retirees and the prospect for retiree health care for active employees” Heins said.
Karoub Report highlights Governor Snyder's latest moves
Governor Rick Snyder has formed a task force to tackle local government retirement reforms; he expressed serious concerns about the proposed income tax rollback going before the House; with state revenues on the rise, he proposed a 2018 budget; and he appointed a Chief of Staff and Lottery Commissioner. These topics and more legislative issues are featured in the February 2017 Karoub Report.
Major changes to PA 289 require officers to be licensed
Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards Executive Director David L. Harvey recently highlighted new licensing standards for Michigan Law Enforcement Officers. Prior to the changes to PA 289 in December 2016, Law Enforcement Officers were certified. Now they are licensed and must adhere to the following standards to remain licensed:
• License is revoked if the licensee obtained it by making misrepresentation or fraud.
• License is revoked if the licensee obtained it because another person made a misrepresentation or fraud. (Note: If an agency falsely attests that a candidate has complied with the licensing standards, the officer’s license will be revoked.)
• License is revoked if the licensee is adjudicated as guilty of any offense in any jurisdiction punishable by more than 1 year of imprisonment.
• License is revoked if the licensee is adjudicated as guilty of any of the following Michigan misdemeanors, or their equivalents in any jurisdiction:
1. Second offense of domestic violence.
2. First offense of assaulting an individual without a weapon and inflicting serious injury, without intent to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm.
3. First offense of domestic violence without a weapon and inflicting serious injury, without intent to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm.
5. Unauthorized possession of hallucinogens or Schedule 5 drugs.
6. Unauthorized use of Schedule 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 drugs, ecstasy, cocaine, or hallucinogens.
7. Second OWI or OWPD within seven years.
(While felony convictions at any time would result in license revocation, there is no retroactivity of this law for officers convicted of misdemeanors.)
• An order of probation for a first-time domestic violence offense is now an adjudication of guilt that may result in revocation for a qualifying offense.
MAP helps maintain pensions in a 401k climate
By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor
Having a pension is an important part of a successful retirement savings plan, but something many employers are taking away from their workers and replacing with 401k plans. In the public safety realm, pensions are an even more crucial component of retirement since a majority of these employees are not eligible for Social Security benefits. MAP works hard to maintain Defined Benefit (DB) plans, a type of pension plan, for its members.
When 401k plans were introduced to employees in the 1980s, it was never the intent of early backers that these would replace pensions.
“401k’s were not designed to take the place of (pensions),” said MAP Executive Director Fred Timpner. “If all people have is a 401k and Social Security, that will not be enough to maintain the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to.”
In an effort to save money, employers are substituting these market-based plans for pensions. The problem is market volatility can negatively impact 401k savings compared to the steady growth of a DB plan.
“(Pensions are) the most important part because they’re not environmentally changed,” said Stuart Raider of Raider Dennis Agency. “The Defined Benefit is a payout based on a formula, like Social Security. Social Security is the cornerstone of most people’s retirement, although most police and fire aren’t eligible to receive this benefit.”
That makes DB’s even more important to public safety employees, assuring them a certain amount of money will be set aside for their retirement. The plan is ‘defined’ because the formula for calculating the employer’s contribution is known ahead of time. However, DB’s are different from other pensions, where the amount of payout depends on the return of the funds invested. If there is a shortfall from investments set aside to fund the employee’s retirement, employers must make up the difference.
“One of the advantages is the Defined Benefit puts all of the responsibility of the risk on the employer,” Raider said.
But that doesn’t mean DB plans will become a hardship for the employer, Timpner said. “If a DB plan is properly funded by the parties, then there could be minimal or no cost at all to the employer,” Timpner said. “For example, the City of Sterling Heights went years without putting one cent into the pension fund. There were no employer contributions due to the fact that the pension fund was overfunded.”
Karoub Associates highlights new year legislative issues
House Republicans are proposing a roll back of the state’s 4.25 percent state income tax to 3.9 percent in 2018 and eventually eliminating the income tax completely; the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously elected Justice Stephen Markman as its new chief justice; and Gov. Rick Snyder has now appointed three of the four-members of the Michigan Civil Service Commission (MCSC) - including former House Speaker Jase Bolger, the leading legislator behind the enactment of Right to Work in 2012. Click on the January 2017 Karoub Report for more information on these and other legislative topics.
Apply now: $2,500 scholarships available until March 1, 2017
MAP union members and their families are invited to apply for The Carl Parsell Scholarship Fund. Applicants must submit their fully completed, signed application by March 1, 2017.
To qualify, candidates must be permanent residents of the State of Michigan and be a member of MAP or immediate relation to a member of MAP. Candidates must have completed a high school education or its equivalent, on or prior to June 30, 2017.
The mission of The Carl Parsell Scholarship Fund is to assist members and their families who are motivated to improve society by enhancing their future careers through a college education. Carl Parsell Scholarships are awarded to deserving college bound students who desire assistance with their college tuition.
Carl Parsell Scholarships may be used to cover a portion of educational expenses, including tuition, living expenses, and other required fees during the 2017-2018 school year. Scholars may use the award to attend any United States accredited university, college, community college, junior college, two or four year accredited degree-granting institution, or vocational training institution that grants a certification or license. Funds derived from The Carl Parsell Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing determine the number of scholarships to be awarded annually. The maximum award available per student is $2,500.
Sterling Heights Police encourage area departments to help cancer patients' families
Sterling Heights Police talked with Santa during New Day Foundation for Families Holiday Gift Giving Program. Det. Ken Mercer (above) and MAP Executive Board President and Sterling Heights Officer Rich Heins (below) along with other Sterling Heights Patrol Officers sponsored a cancer patient’s family in December 2015 & 2016.
By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor
Sterling Heights Police have a history of helping their community and they are encouraging other area departments to join them in supporting the newest organization they are helping, New Day Foundation for Families.
On Dec. 12, 2016 Sterling Heights Police Officers Association (POA) President and MAP Executive Board President Rich Heins along with Det. Ken Mercer, Sterling Heights POA Vice President, presented gifts for a single mother, who suffers from cancer, and her three children during the New Day Foundation for Families Holiday Gift Giving Program. New Day Foundation for Families in Rochester supports area cancer patients and their families, who are struggling financially, physically and emotionally.
Sterling Heights Patrol Officers shopped for and wrapped gifts of needed and wanted items for the 34-year-old and her sons ages 15, 10 and 7. Mercer and Heins presented the gifts to a family friend since the woman was unable to attend due to treatments and a weakened immune system. She was diagnosed with B-cell Lymphoma in July 2016 when a tumor was found behind her sternum. Lymphomas are blood cancers in the lymph nodes. Now she is undergoing six 21-day treatments, which involve in-hospital stays.
“She was working full-time,” Heins said of the single mom. “She had two jobs.”
Diagnosed July 28, 2016, she is unable to work due to treatments and her weakened immune system. “She’s a waitress and she hasn’t been able to work,” Mercer said. “She was just so lethargic and short of breath that the doctors said she’s not allowed to work. Her blood cell count is down from chemotherapy and she could get sick.”
New Day Foundation for Families is the genesis of Gina Kell Spehn and Michael Spehn after losing their young spouses to cancer. They married and between them have five children who have lost a parent to cancer. Together they wrote the New York Times bestselling book “The Color of Rain,” which was adapted for the screen as a Hallmark Movie Channel original, premiering on May 31, 2014, and continues showing throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
“New Day provides short-term financial assistance for basic living expenses and emotional resources to family members. By reducing financial and emotional burdens, our programs have a profound impact on quality of life and treatment outcomes for cancer patients and their families,” said Josephine Long, Development Director at New Day.
Hough Counseling waives C.O.P.S. Health Trust co-pays, deductibles
If you, a family member or friend is struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction or a physical disability, Hough Counseling and Assessments can help. And there are no out-of-pocket costs for people with medical insurance through C.O.P.S. Health Trust as Hough will waive all co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles in 2017. Hough is owned and operated by Tami Hough, the wife of retired Detroit Police Officer Tom Schneider, who helped develop and run C.O.P.S. Health Trust. Our licensed counselors are familiar with the traumatic events law enforcement officers must endure on the job. We provide a full range of behavioral health services to clients of all ages and offer educational, psychological and vocational assessments. Our Certified Rehabilitation Counselors specialize in working with persons with disabilities. The office is located in Troy, in the same building as MAP corporate offices.
Notice of funding opportunity for terrorist preparedness program
The following is a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the (FY) 2016 Program to Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks (CCTA Program).
The FY 2016 CCTA Program provides $35.94 million to local, state, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions for improving their ability to prepare for, prevent, and respond to complex coordinated terrorist attacks in collaboration with the whole community.
The FY 2016 CCTA Program intends to enhance resilience and build capacity for jurisdictions to address complex coordinated terrorist attacks that may occur across the nation. Following a competitive process, selected local, state, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions will receive funding specifically to build and sustain capabilities to enhance their preparedness for complex coordinated terrorist attacks, to include the following components: identifying capability gaps, developing and/or updating plans, training to implement plans and procedures, and conducting exercises to validate capabilities.
Awards will be made on a competitive basis to applicants who present an ability to successfully meet the requirements described in the NOFO. FEMA encourages interested jurisdictions of various types, sizes, and capabilities to apply.
The application period will remain open until Feb. 10, 2017. The FY 2016 CCTA Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is located online at: http://www.fema.gov/grants
A series of webinars have been scheduled to assist potential applicants with understanding the FY 16 CCTA Program’s objectives and priorities, application requirements and review process, timeline, and grant application systems. Applicants will have the opportunity to ask questions about the information presented. The same webinar will be offered on the following dates:
Webinar on the FEMA FY 2016 CCTA Grant Program
WHO: FEMA’s CCTA Program Office and Grant Programs Directorate
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec.14, 2016 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. (EST)
Thursday, Dec.15, 2016 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (EST)
Monday, Dec. 19, 2016 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (EST)
Webinar on Non-Disaster (ND) Grants System
The FEMA Grant Programs Directorate will be offering the following online training sessions for potential grant recipients who may not be familiar with the Non-Disaster (ND) Grants System 3.0:
WHO: FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate
WHEN: Dec. 15, 2016 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (EST)
Additional details regarding registration and delivery method are forthcoming. For more information on Notice of Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year 2016 Program to Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks, click here.
Lame Duck success!
Public safety employees stop bill that would've ended future retiree health benefits
House Bill 6074, which drew protest from public employees in Michigan and a barrage of calls to State Legislators will not be moved out of the House as part of a package of bills.
Early this morning, the House Local Government Committee reported that the only bill in this package that will be moved is House Bill 6075, which creates reporting requirements between public employers and Michigan Department of Treasury. This bill has no effect on retiree health care.
MAP Executive Director Fred Timpner wanted to thank MAP members for their support! MAP members participated in the MAPO effort, contacting State Legislators to make this victory possible.
However, Timpner also wanted to alert members that is this a temporary win and MAP members may be called on again soon. Republicans are expected to introduce bills as early as January 2017, after new legislators have been sworn into office, that would negatively impact public employee healthcare and pensions.
In the meantime, Legislators were clearly swayed by the overwhelming involvement of MAPO members.
Karoub Associates highlights issues in lame duck session
With the impending transition to newly elected leaders, state legislators are addressing a number of topics in the lame duck session; leadership appointments are being made; and topics such as energy reform, clean water in Flint and a plan to tackle lead exposure are all discussed in the Nov. 21, 2016 Karoub Report.