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Superior Officers Association

Police Department of Nassau County, New York

 

Police Department County of Nassau, New York

Superior Officers Association 

Police Department of Nassau County, New York 

Superior Officers Association Police Department of Nassau County, New York

 
   
 
 
 
 
 
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Brian Hoesl

President


E-mail: Nassoa@aol.com

Superior Officers Association Police Department of Nassau County, New York

Promotions and Retirements

The Commissioner has just promoted 28 Police Officers and Detectives to the rank of Sergeant, 10 Sergeants to the rank of Lieutenant or Detective Lieutenant, as well as 7 new Deputy Inspectors and one Deputy Chief.  I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of you on your well deserved promotions.     

However, I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that before these promotions the S.O.A. was down to just 300 members.  We have found ourselves for some time now in the unenviable position as the smallest of the three police unions, which it appears to me is not the smartest way to keep a greatly reduced police force running at top efficiency.  I find it unbelievable that, within just the past 5 years, we have lost over 100 positions.  Even with these recent promotions we are still well below what we need, yet somehow our members manage to keep the ship afloat as we take on water.  I believe that is a testament to the hard work that all of you perform and a credit to each one of you.  Do more with less is certainly the norm now and I hope the County appreciates how our members have stepped up to the plate.

However this gain in manpower will only be temporary as more and more members retire.  We are now back in the cycle that I have seen many times before on this job, a large percentage of the force eligible for retirement at the same time after having gone through a period of plentiful overtime. As they slowly make promotions to fill the voids those members sitting on the fence contemplating retirement will see their pensions going down due to the loss of overtime and make the decision to retire.  I believe it will probably take them to the end of the contract to finally stabilize this job, and that is only if they continue to hire and promote at a steady pace.  

While I will publically thank both Commissioner Krumpter and County Executive Mangano for these much needed promotions I must state that even with these new spots we are still woefully short of where we need to be to expect peak performance from an organization of this size.  However, promotions are always good for employee morale, and to that end we are grateful.

   

FIFTH PRECINCT RE-OPENS

Only two short years ago I stood on the front lawn of the Fifth Pct with hundreds of other former and present 5th Precinct cops and supervisors to have our photo taken as we sadly watched the precinct being converted to a ďCommunity Policing CenterĒ.  Somehow I thought to myself that this would never work.  The 5th was a great place to work, but it was a busy precinct.  I had arrived there in 1987 as a new sergeant, having worked as a 3rd Precinct cop.  When I was promoted I wanted to go somewhere that was at least as busy as the Third and I can assure you the Fifth met the bill.  I honestly enjoyed the time I spent there.  It had all the activity I needed and I found that the cops always seemed to know exactly what needed to be done with little supervision.  So to me, as I stood yesterday in the station house for a press conference to announce the re-opening, I felt vindicated as I thought to myself ďI told you soĒ.

I hate to repeat myself but we all know the main savings in this consolidation was the loss of supervisory spots.  In my mind this is one of the primary reasons that this job is floundering.  Supervisors cannot perform to the best of their ability when they are overloaded with paperwork.  Patrol supervisors need to be out on patrol.  Detective supervisors need adequate staffing to be present in the squads with their detectives.  Commanding Officers cannot efficiently run their commands when they do not have the supervisors they need, or for that matter the overall police and civilian staff they need.  I know it is all about saving money but just like the RMS system, someone has to finally stand up and say this experiment is not working; it is time to go back to our original configuration of eight commands.  I am not saying that in all cases consolidations do not work, but that would call for a smarter and better thought out realignment of all the precinct boundaries, not the haphazard way this was done. There were too many conditions put on the process to begin with.  It was doomed to failure from the start.  That and the fact that the whole plan seemed to be formulated over lunch one day didnít make me believe that there was any chance of success.  My only hope is that someone will finally admit that this was a mistake and the 6th and 8th Precincts also re-open in the near fuure.

Longevity

I know that I have told you before that we were making some progress with the longevity issue but, as usual, nothing seems to happen quickly in Nassau.  It is not the County holding it up but NIFA throwing up roadblocks at every turn.  We hope to move though this quickly and get back on track, and we will let you know as soon as we make some progress.  I am cautiously optimistic that this will be in the near future.    

 

Overtime, Overtime, Overtime

Believe it or not there are times when I hope that I never hear the word again.  It seems that every conversation I have with the Commissioner is about overtime, or rather how the supervisors are not managing it.  I have explained to him, on countless occasions, that when you shrink a police force to half of its one time size you are going to have a lot of overtime!  That and the RMS system that is hopefully on its way out the door are large components in the problem.  Neither he nor anyone else could prevent some of these spikes in overtime.  However, I would remind you that we do have a responsibility as supervisors to be conscious of the fact that when police officers are on overtime on assignments or arrests we should be trying to minimize the overtime if possible. Nobody benefits if the County blows a hole in its budget due to out of control overtime.  In addition you open yourself up to increased scrutiny of your role and whether you took all necessary steps to minimize the overtime as required by the department.   We do not want to be in the position, nor should you, of having to justify overtime on every arrest that comes into the station house.  Just be smart about it without giving away the store. 

As always, any questions on any of the above issues please feel free to call me at the office or email me at nassoa@aol.com.

 


Winter 2015

ONE DOWN, TWO TO GO

What else could I be talking about besides precinct consolidations?  It was certainly good news that the County came to their senses and decided to split the 4th and 5th Precincts back to their original configurations. While I am sure the County achieved some slight savings from consolidation, mostly on the back of the SOA and on the overall reduction in supervision, it was always a case of being penny wise and pound foolish.  I have said this time and time again, I am sure one of the greatest concerns  of our residents is public safety.  While many people do not think about it every day because of the fact that they feel secure in their homes, when something happens to call their attention to it they suddenly become aware of the job that we do.  I do believe, in spite of the overall downsizing of this job, that we still deliver a quality product to our residents.  But the pennies saved and the overall decrease in the morale of our members by constantly being asked to do more with less was not worth it.  I firmly believe that the consolidations have always affected the response times in certain cases, as well as the amount of time supervisors and police officers spend on patrol.

What should happen now is the 3rd and 6th Precincts should be next on the list to separate.  To have a single precinct that basically covers the entire Town of North Hempstead (with a population of just shy of a quarter of a million residents!) is ludicrous.  That is the same size as many cities within the US, all of which I am sure have more than one precinct or district covering it.  While the police unions will continue to complain about these consolidations it always helps when the local legislators add their voice to the mix.  Certainly Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages had remained vocal over the past several years regarding his opposition to the consolidation.  I am sure his input helped convince the County to relent, and we appreciated his help. 

But for now it will probably remain status quo for the 3rd & 6th and the 2nd & 8th consolidations, but I can assure you that we voice our concerns whenever we get a chance.   We now just wait patiently for the 4th& 5th to actually separate, and our supervisors finally get a chance to pick their 2015 vacations!

Longevity

We have addressed this topic every time we sit with the County regarding issues affecting the Police Department.  It is an unfinished part of the wage freeze and I personally believe it is an injustice that supervisors are paid less for their longevity years than cops or detectives.  Certainly our experience, which is why you receive longevity payments in the first place, is as valuable as that of the other ranks.  Just recently we have again been discussing this issue with the County.  While I can make no guarantees I believe that we are making some progress.  It is an issue that has to be addressed sooner rather than later.  I will advise you as soon as there is something solid to report.

RMS, OT Letters, Activity Reports

When supervisors spend their time sitting in the station house writing reports instead of out on the street supervising their subordinates there is an obvious problem.  Reports for every instance where someone works overtime over three hours.  What is the point?  Is it just to make the supervisorís life more miserable in the mistaken belief that somehow if we know we have to write a letter we will magically whisk the cop out of the station house and off duty?  The real problems are many, including ECAB and RMS.  Everyone knows RMS is an overtime generating system.  Good for the person who is looking to bolster their salary/retirement but bad for the job.  Why can we use Swift for some arrests and not all?  What is the point of continuing with a system that you know costs you twice as much with every arrest.  There are a million excuses why we continue with it but I still donít understand.  We have made our suggestions known but no one wants to make a decision and change the system.  So the OT goes up and the sergeants spend their days writing letters.  What nonsense but we do what we are told.

And of course the activity reports.  Maybe if morale improved a bit on this job things would improve in all areas.  Letís start by settling the entire contract (hint: Longevity).  Morale is a difficult thing to control but when the supervisorís morale is in the toilet from nonsense reports and the like it all rolls downhill.  Another waste of time but if you canít abuse the cops, abuse the sergeants!

Promotions

Just recently we had six of our members promoted to the rank of Captain and Det./Captain.  To all of you; Gary, Gary, Mark, Al, Greg and John, I offer my congratulations.  It is unfortunate that it is a rank which causes many to consider the option of accepting or declining a promotion.  I sincerely hope that going forward we will be somehow able to alleviate this problem. No organization can reach its greatest efficiency when there is a limited desire of the employees to advance to the upper echelons of the department.

 

As always, any questions on any of the above issues please feel free to call me at the office or email me at nassoa@aol.com.


 

   



  HELPFUL LINKS FOR UP-TO-DATE
LEGISLATION

 http://www.senate.state.ny.us/

  http://assembly.state.ny.us/ 

  http://sobb.com/states/newyork/nylinks.html

 http://www.state.ny.us/

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