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.
Heins fills MAP’s permanent position on MCOLES
By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor
Michigan Association of Police (MAP) President Rich Heins is excited that MAP now has an official permanent seat on the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) and no longer has to wait to see whether or not the Governor will appoint someone from the union.
Heins was sworn in as an MCOLES Commissioner December 2016, the same month the legislature agreed to allow the various police organizations already serving on MCOLES permanent seats on the commission. He was re-sworn in January 2017 due to the new standards that were set for the commission.
“They mandated somebody from each organization, the labor and management side of it, so you get both sides of the coin when discussing issues,” Heins said.
Heins is taking over the remaining portion of MAP Executive Director Fred Timpner’s two-year term, which expires December 31, 2017, while Timpner focuses on legislative issues affecting MAP members.
“He wrote a letter of recommendation and the Governor’s office appointed me to fill his spot,” Heins said. “Fred knows that I was very interested in getting involved more with the union. I want to make sure (the union) maintains a say in what goes on, how employees and unions are treated.”
“I’ve been union president of Sterling Heights Police Officers Association for a long time and it’s near and dear to my heart,” Heins said. “I told him I’d be more than willing to put in the drive time - they meet in Lansing typically every other month.”
MAP Executive Board Officers
Photo By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor
Michigan Association of Police (MAP) Executive Board recently elected board officers from left Treasurer Al Knapp of Waterford POA, Vice President Mike Hawkins of Trenton POA, Secretary Richard Day of Henry Ford Hospital and President Rich Heins of Sterling Heights POA. The four board officers were elected to one-year terms in December 2016.
National Police Week 2017
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15th falls, National Police Week. National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Listed below are the events planned at the national level in Washington D.C. as well as Michigan's Peace Officers' Candlelight Memorial Service, honoring those who died in the line of duty. National Peace Officer’s Memorial Day, May 15, 2017 falls on a Monday, however, some events will take place before the official dates of Police Week in 2017.
May 1 — Michigan
May 14-20 — Washington D.C.
Tuesday, May 2: 23rd Annual Blue Mass — 12:10 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 619 Tenth Street, NW (10th & G Streets). Call (202) 347-2713 or visit www.saintpatrickdc.org
Saturday, May 6: 6th Annual Corrections Officers’ Wreath Laying Ceremony & Honor Guard Competition — 10 a.m.-noon at National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Honoring Corrections Personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty. www.mwcog.org or call (202) 962-3200.
Thursday, May 11-16: National Police Week Retail Center opens 9 a.m. 309 E Street (Corner of 4th of E Streets, NW) Fellowship Hall of First Trinity Church, one block from the Memorial. www.nleomf.org/programs/policeweek/
Good luck 2017 scholarship applicants
Thank you and good luck to all who applied for The 2017 Carl Parsell Scholarship. Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2017-18 school year.
In March and April, the Scholarship Selection Committee begins the selection process which is completed in May. Scholarship recipients will be notified of their status by the end of May 2017. Carl Parsell Scholarship winners will be formally recognized during the 27th Annual Carl Parsell Memorial Golf Outing on June 8, 2017.
Carl Parsell Scholarships may be used to cover a portion of educational expenses, including tuition, living expenses, and other required fees during the 2017-18 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. Scholarship candidates must have completed a high school education or its equivalent, on or prior to June 30, 2017.
Funds derived from The Carl Parsell Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing determine the number of scholarships to be awarded annually. Due to an increase in funds raised because of the excellent turnout at the 2016 Annual Carl Parsell Golf Outing, MAP will be offering up to three scholarships this year to family members of union members. The maximum award available per student is $2,500. In July and August, The Carl Parsell Scholarship Fund mails Scholarship checks to each Scholar’s college or university.
U.S. Border Patrol hiring agents until April 7, 2017
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the premier law enforcement agency tasked with securing our nation’s borders while facilitating legitimate travel and trade. CBP is the largest law enforcement component in the Department of Homeland Security and is currently hiring Border Patrol Agents. This position has many openings along the southwest border. To learn more about this position or submit your application, please follow the link to the https://www.usajobs.gov
A career with CBP offers the full range of Federal benefits including health and life insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, and retirement. In addition, CBP may offer some candidates the added incentive of student loan repayment.
All positions require U.S. citizenship and the successful completion of a full background investigation and polygraph.
• Be between the ages of 18 and 37. Honorably discharged Veterans that do not meet the maximum age requirement of 40 may be eligible for an age waiver under the Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA) (https://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/shav/)
• Be a U.S. citizen and a resident for the past three years.
• Have a valid state driver’s license.
• Pass a thorough background investigation, polygraph test, medical examination, fitness test and drug test.
Individuals looking for important and rewarding work and an opportunity to serve their country are encouraged to consider career opportunities with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. To learn more about CBP, please visit www.cbp.gov/careers
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.