News Posts and Articles

Boston Police Union Contracts Expire Tuesday Amid Funding Battle 

By SEAN PHILIP COTTER | sean.cotter@bostonherald.com | Boston Herald PUBLISHED: June 30, 2020 at 8:29 p.m. | UPDATED: June 30, 2020 at 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday marked the expiration date for nearly every Boston police union contract — and city councilors are planning to increase the pressure as the negotiations play out.

Ways & Means Chair Kenzie Bok said she plans to introduce four hearing orders in next week’s council hearing regarding police and the budget. The orders focusing on the BPD are a call for a hearing about how to rein in overtime spending and the other will be about “the police union contract as a public policy document.”

“These hearings and this very public conversation is designed to move us toward a reduced police budget for next year,” Bok said.

View the rest of the article here.


House passes sweeping police overhaul after Floyd's death 

Policeone.com, By Lisa Mascaro - AP Congressional Correspondent

Republican lawmakers say the bill goes too far and failed to include GOP input

WASHINGTON — The House approved a far-reaching police overhaul from Democrats on Thursday, a vote heavy with emotion and symbolism as a divided Congress struggles to address the global outcry over the deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gathered with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on the Capitol steps, challenging opponents not to allow the deaths to have been in vain or the outpouring of public support for changes to go unmatched. But the collapse of a Senate Republican bill leaves final legislation in doubt.

“Exactly one month ago, George Floyd spoke his final words — ‘I can't breathe’ — and changed the course of history,” Pelosi said.

She said the Senate faces a choice "to honor George Floyd's life or to do nothing."

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is perhaps the most ambitious set of proposed changes to police procedures and accountability in decades. Backed by the nation's leading civil rights groups, it aims to match the moment of demonstrations that filled streets across the nation. It has almost zero chance of becoming law.

On the eve of the vote, President Donald Trump's administration said he would veto the bill. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also said it would not pass the Republican-held chamber.

View the rest of the article here.


PERF Daily Critical Issues Report: Talk of “defunding” police brings focus on mental health co-responder programs 

www.policeforum.org

Recent calls to “defund” police agencies have focused on shifting some responsibilities and funding away from police departments and toward agencies that provide services to people experiencing mental illness, drug addictions, homelessness, and other issues.

It’s unlikely that police will ever be able to completely disengage from these types of social service calls, if for no other reason than the fact that unlike most social service agencies, police respond to calls 24-7. And social service providers often need police to ensure their safety when they are called to help clients who are behaving dangerously.

However, many police chiefs have said they would welcome opportunities to share more of the responsibility for social service-related calls with social service agencies. And this is already occurring to various degrees in cities across the country.

View the rest of the article here.


PERF Daily Critical Issues Report: Some Cities Are Seeing Sharp Increases in Violent Crime 

www.policeforum.org

Key Takeaways:

- Violent crime is increasing sharply in some cities. In New York City, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee, crimes are at high points going back years.

- The COVID-19 pandemic has been a key factor in rising crime, for several reasons. Jurisdictions released many offenders in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in jails. And courts in many places have been closed. That has led to a feeling among offenders that they can commit crimes with impunity. In addition, police in some cities are less proactive in their enforcement, in order to avoid interactions with the public that could spread the virus.

- George Floyd-related demonstrations have been another factor. Police officers who would normally spend their time investigating violent crime have been assigned to demonstrations.

- The mood in some departments is grim. Officers are discouraged when they are blamed for incidents that occurred in other cities, and they feel abandoned by elected officials. Many officers in Milwaukee are retiring early.

View the rest of the article here.


Congratulations Captain Kenneth Fong! 

The Boston Police Superior Officers' Federation would like to congratulate Captain Kenneth Fong upon his retirement.

Captain Fong spent 33 years working as a police officer, including 27 years with the Boston Police Department.

All the best to Captain Fong in all of his future endeavors!


Pa. legislator introduces hazard pay bill for LE, first responders 

Policeone.com

The Coronavirus Frontline Workers Fair Pay Act would provide retroactive and ongoing hazard pay

HARRISBURG, Pa. — U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-8, Moosic, unveiled a proposal that would provide hazard pay to health care professionals, law enforcement officers and other essential workers.

If the Coronavirus Frontline Workers Fair Pay Act is approved, high-risk health care workers would receive a hazard pay increase of $18.50 per hour, and other essential workers in police and sheriff's departments, fire departments, and other first responders would receive an increase of $13 per hour.

“I introduced this hazard pay bill to see that some of the enormous amounts of federal dollars going out go to these people who are the heroes of the war we are fighting now,” Cartwright said Friday.

The act, which is co-sponsored by legislators from California, Ohio and Colorado, would cap hazard pay at $35,000 for health care workers and $25,000 for other essential workers. It would be retroactive to Jan. 31 and available through year’s end.

Cartwright explained the proposal is meant to compensate workers for the risks they are taking and for the public services they are providing during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic emergency.

View the rest of the article here.


In Memoriam: The Boston Police Department Mourns the Passing of Active Duty Officer Jose V. Fontanez 

It is with deep regret that the Boston Police Department announces the passing of active duty Boston Police Officer Jose V. Fontanez due to complications from COVID-19. Officer Fontanez was a 29-year veteran of the BPD who was assigned to District E-13 (Jamaica Plain). Officer Fontanez received numerous commendations for his dedicated service during his 29-year career and was highly regarded by those he worked with, his supervisors and all who knew him. Jose will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues here at the BPD as we all send our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones during this tremendously sad and difficult time.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): Resources for Law Enforcement 

National Police Foundation

Law enforcement response to COVID-19 is evolving as new information becomes available. The following resources assembled and prepared by a variety of associations and organizations may be helpful as your agency plans, prepares and responds.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on law enforcement and other first responders, the National Police Foundation, in collaboration with the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation and Esri, has developed a real-time situational awareness tool for law enforcement agencies. The tool, featuring a real-time dashboard, provides critical insights for executives, commanders, and others to better assess and monitor the impact of COVID-19, including officer exposures, diagnoses, workforce impacts, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs and projections.

The interactive tool allows agencies to provide confidential, real-time updates that are instantly incorporated into the national dashboard and map. The dashboard identifies the number of officers exposed through their work, officially tested and diagnosed, placed in off-duty status due to exposure, and that are self-isolating due to symptoms or off-duty exposure. The dashboard also estimates the availability of necessary PPE, the most critical PPE that agencies are lacking, and current and projected shortages of PPE. The data is then aggregated and mapped at the state-level in order to show these impacts across the country. Individual agencies are not identified. Law enforcement agencies can then compare impacts in their state with those of other states.

View the rest of the article here.


COVID-19:Staying Healthy as a Police Officer 

IACP, International Association of Chiefs of Police

Educate Yourself. Stay Informed. Be Safe

Take the following steps to protect yourself to reduce the likelihood of contracting COVID-19.

Practice proper hand hygiene by promptly washing or sanitizing hands after coughing, sneezing, or physically interacting with others. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water

Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth).

Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Make sure to dispose of the tissue immediately. Wash your hands with soap immediately after sneezing or coughing.

Avoid close physical contact with others, including shaking hands and hugging

Read the rest of the write up here.


Coronavirus impact: As more Massachusetts first responders test positive for COVID-19, police and fire departments lean on each other to maintain services 

masslive.com - Scott J. Croteau

Police and firefighters in Massachusetts have started to test positive for coronavirus, prompting the question of what happens if one department has several members sick, or in quarantine?

While some of the larger departments in the state -- Boston, Springfield and Worcester for example -- can absorb having personnel out of duty due to quarantine or positive results of COVID-19, smaller departments may struggle.

Those struggles may come with a price. Coronavirus could be potentially expensive for taxpayers if there is a significant increase in overtime hours to cover shifts.

For fire departments and police departments across the state, the plan is to rely on mutual aid agreements, along with backup from the Massachusetts State Police and the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services if too many members are out due to COVID-19.

“We have a plan in place to deploy sworn members from non-patrol assignments both to backfill our own barracks if necessary and local departments that request assistance, if and when either scenario becomes necessary,” said Dave Procopio, spokesman for the state police. “We are likewise prepared to provide additional security for other agencies if needed.”

Check out the rest of the article here.


Disrespect for law enforcement our worst look 

Bostonherald.com, David L Ryan / Opinion, Editorial Staff, February 16, 2020

Disdain of police officers is an unfortunate reality in 2020. Not everywhere, of course but in enough places to require us to call out those influential parties who have fostered this environment.

Sadly, there is a maxim out in civil servant circles which advises potential recruits to join the fire department instead of the police department because, when the fire department arrives people cheer and when the police arrive, people boo.

To the extent that it is true, we needn’t look any further than the political class in Massachusetts to see why.

Last week, in Reading, a town Select Board member named Andrew Friedmann addressed a group of police officers, who had attended the meeting to address the ongoing search for a police chief. They’d been without a chief for over a year.

“I’m feeling pretty intimidated by the police officers in this crowd,” Friedmann declared. “You laugh at that, and you think that’s funny, but I have to live in this town and all of you drive around town with guns.”

Read the rest of the article here.


Man sentenced to prison for bombing a Boston police cruiser 

Boston.com, David L Ryan / The Boston Globe, February 1, 2020

BOSTON (AP) — A man has been sentenced to state prison for bombing a Boston police cruiser.

A judge sentenced 45-year-old Asim Kieta to 15 years to 18 years in state prison, followed by probation for five years, for planting and detonating an improvised explosive device next to a parked Boston Police cruiser, the Suffolk County district attorney said Friday.

The improvised bomb that included a propane tank exploded on Jan. 20, 2017 in South Boston.

It detonated in two stages and the second blast on a busy South Boston bridge injured three officers who were clearing the area of pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic during the morning rush hour, according to the district attorney. The officers fully recovered from their injuries.

Read the rest of the article here.


Batman-esque police technology could be game-changer for law enforcement 

Fox News - Benjamin Brown - Dec 16, 2019

PHOENIX -- A new tech gadget aimed at helping police might look like something out of a Batman movie, but it could prove to be a game-changer for law enforcement trying to apprehend suspects.

BolaWrap, which is designed by Wrap Technologies, shoots an 8-foot bola style Kevlar tether at 513 feet per second that wraps around a suspect. Company officials say it causes little to no pain.

It's the latest less-than-lethal technology available for law enforcement officials under fire across the country for fatal police shootings.

To read more about this technology click here.


LAW ENFORCEMENT MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS (LEMHWA) PROGRAM RESOURCES 

cops.usdoj.gov

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 (LEMHWA) was signed into law in January 2018, recognizing that law enforcement agencies need and deserve support in their ongoing efforts to protect the mental health and well-being of their employees. Good mental and psychological health is just as essential as good physical health for law enforcement officers to be effective in keeping our country and our communities safe from crime and violence.

Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act: Report to Congress Good mental and psychological health is just as essential as good physical health for law enforcement officers to be effective in keeping our country and our communities safe from crime and violence. With the passage of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act, Congress took an important step in improving the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services that will help our nation’s more than 800,000 federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers. Many things, including strong relationships with the community, help keep officers safe on the job. This act called for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to submit a report to Congress on mental health practices and services in the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs that could be adopted by federal, state, local, or tribal law enforcement agencies and containing recommendations to Congress on effectiveness of crisis lines for law enforcement officers, efficacy of annual mental health checks for law enforcement officers, expansion of peer mentoring programs, and ensuring privacy considerations for these types of programs. The DOJ is pleased to respond to this requirement of the act with this report.

Read the rest of the information here.

Notices & News Feeds


Notices 

Boston Police Peer Support Unit 

The Boston Police Peer Support Unit and Critical Incident Team has proven to be a valuable resource to many officers from many agencies in addition to our own so if you or anyone you know needs assistance take advantage of this resource. You can call 617-343-5175 during business hours or our 7 day a week 24 hour a day hot-line which is 617-594-9091 and remain confidential. You don�t have to tell us your name and you may ask any questions that you want in order to feel comfortable in coming forward or we can give you references to other resources. You can also call about another employee, who may not have seen emails regarding services, that you are concerned about and we will make a subtle attempt to offer them services.

The Boston Police Peer Support Unit has joined with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to create the Boston Peer Support Quiz. this is a safe, easy way to learn whether stress and depression might be affecting you. Using this service is completely voluntary and confidential. No information will be shared with the Boston Police Department. This is not an emergency response system. If you are in crisis or contemplating suicide, please call an on-call Peer Counselor immediately at 617-594-9091 or dial 911.

Do not suffer in silence,

Sgt. Mark Freire


Blue Line Financial LLC - Prepare for the Road Ahead.  

Retirement Planning, Education Planning, Estate Planning, Insurance, Investments

As with most other things in life, the key to achieving your long-term financial objectives is planning. Your goal may be to fund your children�s college education, protect your family during your working years, or guarantee your own retirement security. These things won�t happen by accident. It�s important to determine what you�d like to achieve financially and then map out a strategy that will help you meet those goals. The good news is that it�s never too late to start.

Please use our Web site as a resource, and do not hesitate to contact us for additional information or to schedule a meeting.


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