Master Police Officer
Lumberton Police Department, North Carolina
End of Watch: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Bio & Incident Details
Age: Not available
Tour: 6 years
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 7/17/2012
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Master Police Officer Jeremiah Goodson was shot and killed as he and another officer attempted to arrest a homicide suspect at a local gas station in the 5000 block of Fayetteville Road.
Officer Goodson, who was off duty, was at the gas station and recognized the subject as being wanted for homicide. He called the police department and notified other officers of the subject’s location. Another officer arrived and the two began to approach the car the subject was sitting in. The man opened fire from inside the vehicle, striking Officer Goodson in the chest. The second officer and other responding units took the man into custody.
Officer Goodson had served with the Lumberton Police Department for six years. He is survived by his expectant wife and one child.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Chief of Police Michael McNeill
Lumberton Police Department
1305 Godwin Avenue
Lumberton, NC 28358
Phone: (910) 671-3845
Bloxom VA July 17 2012 A member of the Bloxom Volunteer Fire Company was killed in a fire engine crash Monday morning.
Firefighter David R. Chew Jr., 30, was responding to an earlier collision when the engine crashed about a half mile west of U.S. Route 13 on Nelsonia Road shortly after 11:30 a.m., according to The Delmarva Daily Times.
The driver of the apparatus, Firefighter James Richard Lambirth, lost control while negotiating a curve before veering off the road and striking several trees, The Virginian-Pilot reports.
The impact caused the apparatus to overturn and Chew, who authorities say wasn’t wearing his seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lambirth was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salsbury, Md. for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Chew worked as a paramedic with the Northampton County Department of Emergency Medical Services and was a United Methodist minister.
He is survived by his wife and their 3-year-old son.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
According to the Tampa Police Department, Sandy Johnson, 33, was in his white Chevrolet Silverado about 1 p.m. Sunday when he pulled behind a woman, honking his horn and attempting to block her in. The woman rolled down her window and Johnson asked her where he could get drugs.
The woman replied she didn’t know and drove around his truck, attempting to leave the area.
Police said Johnson, 5202 Seneca Ave. in Temple Terrace, blocked the woman again, this time pulling out the plastic badge and telling her he was a police officer.
After the woman drove away, Johnson, according to the report, followed her for several blocks. Police found him nearly 30 minutes later and arrested him in the 5000 block of 30th Ave. East.
Johnson, who remains in jail with a $2,500 bond, is charged with unlawful use of a police badge and impersonating a police officer.
Clark County WA July 17 2012 A tan 2008 Honda Civic crawled through parking lots of strip malls along Highway 99. Inside, a man and woman sporting tan polos and yellow mesh vests scanned for suspicious activity including broken windows, fresh graffiti or virtually anything out of place.
Dan Enright and Kim Evans are two of five volunteers in the Clark County Sheriff’s Office newly formed Neighbors on Watch program. The program, modeled after one in use by Vancouver police for several years, puts volunteers on the streets to be extra eyes and ears for police and to potentially prevent crime.
Outgoing Vancouver police Chief Cliff Cook brought the idea from his previous job at the Fort Worth, Texas, police department, which had a successful volunteer program.
Vancouver’s NOW program started with 16 volunteers in 2008. It now has dozens of volunteers who patrol neighborhood streets, talk with neighbors and help police monitor neighborhoods and find stolen cars.
People from the unincorporated county wanted to get involved but couldn’t because Vancouver’s program was only open to people who live in the city limits. Those interested came through the sheriff’s advisory board and neighborhood associations asking the sheriff’s office to start a similar program, said sheriff’s outreach Sgt. Shane Gardner.
Gardner spoke with Vancouver police and arranged to send a few county volunteers to the city academy. The sheriff’s office will start its own academy in early 2013, Gardner said.
“This is a great complement to all the other (volunteer) programs we have going,” Gardner said.
Tuesday night was the third patrol for Enright, Evans and the sheriff’s program.
They started just after 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Winco parking lot. Before leaving, Evans calls Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency to let dispatchers know about the patrol.
“This is CCSO NOW patrol calling into service,” Evans announced on her cellphone. The dispatcher asked for her radio number.
Unlike Vancouver’s NOW program, sheriff’s office volunteers don’t have access to police radios. To save money on equipment, someone on patrol keeps a log of where they are and what they see. If anything catches their attention, they call 911 with cellphones.
“‘The strip’ of Highway 99 is probably one of the busiest crime spots in the county,” Enright said. “That’s why we’re doing this.”
Enright, the first official sheriff’s NOW volunteer, spent the last seven months working with Vancouver’s program while he waited for other county volunteers to make it through training. He said he helped recover six stolen vehicles while on patrols in Vancouver.
His work in the county isn’t quite as exciting — yet.
“These patrols can be very boring,” he said, adding that things have been quiet on the first two patrols.
Even if they don’t see anything of interest on patrol, their presence (and the presence of a car labeled with two sheriff’s NOW magnets) can serve as a crime deterrent, Evans said.
The two spotted a person sitting in the driver’s seat of a white car on the side of Walmart.
“It’s probably an employee on a break,” Evans said.
“Probably,” Enright agreed.
Volunteers can keep an eye on things that patrol deputies generally don’t have time for, including spending time creeping through parking lots, Gardner said.
“I think it allows us to address some of the crimes that affect more people that are considered lower priority,” he said.
NOW volunteers are also trained to give detailed suspect descriptions that can help deputies track people down after an incident occurs.
So far, Gardner hasn’t heard anything negative from patrol Sgt. Randon Walker, who is working with NOW volunteers. He said they have a good attitude, are very professional and followed his requests for assistance, Gardner said.
Source: the Columbian
New York City NY July 17 2012 A 36-year-old man was charged with trying to steal two bags from Franklin Park and then spraying mace at the bouncer who stopped him.
The man grabbed the bags at about 12:15 a.m. on June 27 at the bar, at 618 St. Johns Place at Franklin Avenue.
When the bouncer stopped him the man threatened to spray him with mace if he called 911.
The thief then threatened to kill the bouncer and sprayed the mace. In the bags were $9,480 worth of goods including a MacBook Air laptop and cash, according to a police report.
Police were able to locate and arrest the suspect but did not release his name.
Chicago IL July 17 2012 A University Police officer was charged with a weapons violation July 4, after shooting a firearm multiple times in the South Side of Chicago.
Witnesses observed Wesley Jackson, 30, on the east side of Hyde Park shooting a firearm over Lake Shore Drive towards Lake Michigan, said Andy Conklin, spokesman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. Conklin said bystanders who witnessed the incident, which happened around 10 p.m. in the 5400 block of South Shore Drive, called the police.
“The witnesses and Chicago police heard the gunshots and saw muzzled flashes,” Conklin said. “A few of the police observed the defendant with a magazine in one hand and a firearm in another.”
University of Chicago Police Department officers ordered Jackson to drop the firearm, and he complied, Conklin said. Then, the UCPD contacted city police.
In an interview with Chicago police, Jackson said he was “just shooting at the lake — it’s the 4th of July and everyone is doing.”
The Chicago police report also said Jackson told the police multiple times he was intoxicated after consuming five beers and was “f—– up.”
After being taken into the Wentworth District police station, Jackson was identified by his supervisor as a member of the NU police department.
The University of Chicago police recovered the firearm and discovered it to be a chrome .45-caliber firearm loaded with seven live rounds. After University of Chicago police contacted city police, the latter recovered nine .45-caliber live rounds, with six .40-caliber live rounds in the area Jackson was arrested.
CPD recovered 23 spent shell casings, Conklin said.
“I don’t know if it was his officer’s weapon, but that’s the gun he was with,” Conklin said.
NU Spokesman Alan Cubbage said while he does not know what gun Jackson used when the incident happened, the University required the officer to surrender his university-issued weapon.
“After the incident occurred last week, while he was off-duty in Chicago, the university has placed the officer on administrative leave and is reviewing the incident and what might be the appropriate disciplinary action,” Cubbage said.
Jackson has been with the NU Police Department for about six years, after passing the University’s hiring process, said Cubbage.
“I’m not aware of any similar incidents with other officers or anything like that,” Cubbage said. “And I’ve been here now for 15 years. I don’t remember anything like this previously.”
Cubbage also said the University officials are not sure when they will decide on the disciplinary action and do not have a deadline for the decision.
Jackson’s bond was set at $50,000 on June 6.
Source: Daily Northwestern
Police responded to Mickey’s Irish Pub, on the corner of Third Street and Court Avenue, around 12:15 a.m. They charged Sigfredo Cruz, 28, with assault, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Joseph Greubel, 31, a bouncer at the bar, told police he was attempting to hold a patron who had stolen a beer. When Cruz tried to pull the patron away, Greubel interfered, and Cruz punched him.
Cruz was arrested walking away from the bar, and officers found a bag containing a substance that looked like marijuana and a pipe in his front pocket. He was transported to the Polk County Jail.
Source: DesMoines Register
HONOLULU HI July 17 2012 – Filming for ‘Hawaii Five-0′ went dramatically off script Friday.
Police were called to Ala Moana Beach Park after two men caused trouble on the set. We’re told the crew was filming a scene at the Ala Moana Shopping Center when the men took a plant, threw it into the background and ran off.
Crew members took action once the two men fled.
“We went for a short foot chase, caught up with them at the park, restrained them until HPD came and now they are handling it,” said Val Morrison, a ‘Hawaii Five-0′ crew member. “They now know not to disrespect ‘Five-0.’”
Police arrested at least one of the two men. Joseph Tui, 31, was charged with assault.
Warren County OH July 17 2012 Ohio police have arrested an alleged drug kingpin, a 17-year-old accused of running a multimillion dollar ring that distributed high-grade marijuana through two school districts and netted $20,000 a month.
When cops raided the boy’s bedroom at his parents’ home, they found over $6,000 in cash, prosecutors said.
Authorities have not released the student’s name, because he was a 16-year-old minor at the time he committed the alleged drug deals. Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said the boy will be tried as juvenile.
Cops first became aware of a high-grade hydroponic strain of marijuana being sold for $350-$400 an ounce in the Mason school district near Cincinnati last year. An undercover agent began making buys at Mason High School, where the teenager was a student, and uncovered a dealing operation headed by the arrested student.
Warren County Drug Task ForceWarren County authorities uncovered a massive drug growing operation after a 17-year-old student was found dealing $20,000 worth of marijuana a month. Drug-Smuggling Tunnel Discovered in Arizona Watch Video
“The undercover officer uncovered six students or former students working for that individual and trafficking drugs in two school districts,” Fornshell told ABC News.
“The group supplied an overwhelming amount of marijuana in the Mason and King school districts,” Fornshell said.
The marijuana previously sold in the areas was a lower-grade variety smuggled into the U.S. through the border, but the weed they began seeing last year was a much more expensive product.
The student helped lead cops to uncover a major grow operation, run by locals out of warehouses and other buildings in three nearby towns.
Six other adult individuals were ultimately arrested for their role in growing and distributing the drug.
Authorities seized 600 plants from the three grow houses, with an estimated street value of $3 million.
All of the individuals have been indicted by a grand jury, but have yet to be arraigned or enter pleas.
Officer Marc Brady, 32, an eight-year veteran of the force assigned to the 22nd District in North Philadelphia, was hit about 11:40 p.m. while riding his bike at Musgrave Street and East Meehan Avenue, police said. He was rushed to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:05 a.m. today.
Police initially described the death as a hit-and-run, but Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey later told reporters at Police Headquarters that the motorist stopped his white Acura nearby and remained with the vehicle.
Homicide detectives confirmed that they are investigating the possibility the killing was intentional and were questioning a man with whom Brady had argued earlier Sunday. The nature of the argument was not disclosed.
Law enforcement sources said the officer had been wounded in 2010 an off-duty shooting stemming from an unspecified domestic dispute.
The officer’s death comes two days after the police buried another one of their own, Highway Patrol Officer Brian Lorenzo, who was killed early July 8 when his motorcycle was hit by an allegedly drunk man driving his car the wrong way on I-95.
COLERAIN TWP OH July 17 2012 — Police are patrolling a new beat in town: Northgate Mall.
In an arrangement that could be the first of its kind in Ohio – and a twist on a national trend – on-duty Colerain Police officers replaced mall security guards who had no firepower and no arrest powers.
“This is like an old-time walking beat – but with a roof,” said Police Chief Dan Meloy.
Colerain police added the beat recently after the shopping center’s new owner agreed to contract for police protection. The new owner, Zeshan Tabani, says his goal is to shift perceptions – and to re-attract customers and tenants to the struggling mall.
The Dallas-based Tabani Group bought the 916,000-square-foot regional mall for $21.5 million in March; In 2005, a previous owner, Feldman Mall Properties, had paid $110 million.
“There’s a reason the $100-million mall became a $20-million mall: Perceptions,” Meloy said.
Asked whether crime statistics became an impetus for police to assume mall security duties, Meloy replied, “It wasn’t based on crime statistics.” In 2011, police were called to the mall about twice a week, statistics show. But Meloy said, “fear of crime has more impact than actual numbers of crimes.”
A lifelong Colerain resident, Meloy kept hearing that people felt unsafe at Northgate. He thinks that’s a big reason the mall isn’t as busy as it once was. “If your friends and your neighbors are afraid, and if your mom tells you not to go somewhere because she thinks it’s not safe, you’re not going to go,” Meloy said.
Although some other shopping centers also are home to police substations, Meloy said he thinks Northgate could be the only mall in Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky where local police have a 24-7 presence and have replaced security guards.
Ken Hinkle, president of the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, said he was unaware of any public-private partnerships quite like the one Colerain has established.
“It really sounds like a very neat concept…you may be onto something very cutting-edge there,” said Hinkle, who is police chief in Obetz, near Columbus. “That’s very innovative thinking when you have a police chief who ‘thinks outside the box.’”
Across the nation, growing numbers of police agencies have been establishing partnerships with malls and other shopping centers for many years, said Joseph LaRocca, spokesman for the National Retail Federation in Washington, D.C. But typically, police augment existing security guards rather than replace them, he said.
The vast majority of shoppers are law-abiding, LaRocca said. But some people turn to crime if an opportunity presents itself while others simply are career criminals, he said. Both those types of potential criminals “maybe think twice about doing something wrong,” if they see police in a mall, LaRocca said.
The Colerain arrangement was first discussed about a year ago, when Tabani was just considering buying the mall. While researching the market potential, he also heard safety concerns from shoppers. “They were saying they’d see large groups of people and they felt it was intimidating,” Tabani said.
So Tabani approached Meloy and proposed stationing police at Northgate. With a visible presence from police – as opposed to security guards – he’s convinced people will feel more secure.
“When customers come back, sales go up,” he said. Then, with resolve in his tone, Tabani declared: “We are going to turn the tide here.”
Meloy said he and Tabani “met in the middle of what I think was a good idea.”
Meloy said he’s always looking for new approaches to public safety, which he knows goes hand-in-hand with strengthening a community. “When people feel better about the community, things begin to happen for the better,” he said. “The mall is part of our community; it’s like a community within itself.”
‘You don’t see as much riffraff’
Renee Bell, property manager, said people who work in the mall “were all a little skeptical at first” about bringing police into the mall. But now some of the biggest naysayers are supporters. Shopkeepers have learned better tactics for dealing with shoplifters and also have been advised about ways to better crime-proof their stores.
A shopper, Jeff Herzog, said he has noticed, “You don’t see as much riffraff hanging around,” since police began manning the mall. “Not to bad-mouth the security they used to have, but these guys mean business.”
Colerain officers are assigned to mall patrol on a rotating basis; shopkeepers have been provided a special direct-dial phone number to reach the assigned officer, “so they don’t even have to call dispatch, they just call me,” or whomever’s on duty, said Officer Chris Phillips.
Phillips was on duty one day when a crime occurred that almost certainly would have remained unsolved if not for the new mall beat, pointed out Lt. Angela Meyer.
Before the mall opened, employees of one mall store spotted a pair of men trying to open the gate to a neighboring store while holding a large bag. Phillips found the men, based on the employees’ descriptions, and kept an eye on them from a distance. Phillips said that when the men spotted him, “they just took off.” They got into a getaway vehicle and sped away.
Phillips headed for his cruiser. Officers ended up arresting two suspects after a chase. They recovered $10,000 worth of jewelry they say was stolen from a mall store.
If security guards had been on site, they would have been unable to chase the suspect – and the elapsed time would have allowed the suspects to get away, police said.
“This is just something a little different – and it works,” Meloy said. “It’s also just the right thing to do.”
Officers had been called to the Burlington Coat Factory at the Alexandria Mall around 10:23 a.m. because of a suspected shoplifted. When they arrived, they found two mall security officers trying to detain the suspect, who was trying to get into a vehicle.
The suspect, identified as 22-year-old Eric Howard, had pepper sprayed the two guards. The police officers were able to arrest Howard, who was taken to the Rapides Parish Jail. Once there, it was discovered that Howard had two warrants on him from the Alexandria City Court.
Howard was charged with two counts of aggravated battery and one count of theft by shoplifting, in addition to the two warrants for contempt of court.
Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon and David Neal Shepard were arrested by police in Amarillo shortly after midnight, authorities announced. They are suspected of being involved in the death of Lubbock doctor Dr. Joseph Sonnier III.
An arrest warrant affidavit suggests a love triangle between Dixon, Sonnier and a woman who was not identified by police. The affidavit alleges Dixon offered Shepard the three bars, each with an estimated value of $3,000, to kill Sonnier, who was chief pathologist for Covenant Health System in Lubbock.
Sonnier, 57, was found shot and stabbed Wednesday inside his home in Lubbock, about 120 miles south of the Texas Panhandle city of Amarillo. A window was broken.
Sonnier’s girlfriend told a police detective that Dixon, 48, was her ex-boyfriend and that he “insisted on seeing her, even though she was dating Dr. Sonnier,” according to the affidavit.
Also, a co-worker of Sonnier told the detective that Sonnier had said that his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend “would not leave her alone,” the affidavit says.
Meanwhile, police discovered through an online database that Shepard had sold a 100-ounce bar of silver at an Amarillo pawn shop for $2,750, the affidavit says. His roommate told authorities that Shepard had been watching Sonnier for weeks and texting Dixon.
Shepard told his roommate that he broke into Sonnier’s home through a window and shot him several times with a gun Dixon had given him, the affidavit said. He knew several details that investigators had kept private, it said.
Shepard, 51, tried to commit suicide in the days after the murder by cutting his wrists, the roommate allegedly told authorities. The roommate said Dixon closed the wounds, told him to calm down and “suggested that David Shepard leave for a couple of weeks,” the affidavit said.
Lubbock Police Capt. Jon Caspell said Monday that he didn’t know when Dixon and the woman broke up. Dixon and Sonnier appeared to have known each other aside from the woman, Caspell said.
Dixon is a well-known plastic surgeon in Amarillo. No one answered the phone Monday at his practice, High Plains Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He was transferred from Randall County to the Lubbock County jail on Monday afternoon. Online court records did not yet list an attorney for him.
No phone number was listed for Shepard.
A police report released Monday says the 28-year-old Dumervil and another man, Andy Aguste, were stuck in traffic Saturday evening. It said they got into an argument with another driver, Kristine Ramirez, and the two men displayed weapons.
When police arrived Dumervil told them he didn’t have a gun. Officers say they found a gun in the car’s glove compartment.
Dumervil was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He bonded out of jail. Attorney Harvey Steinberg says he expects authorities to clear his client after they conclude their investigation.
Aguste was also charged with aggravated assault.
Someone had called 911 to report that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ranger was being assaulted, the sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said.
After responding to the scene, investigators later learned that alleged assault happened while the ranger was patrolling the park and spotted a group of people with alcohol beverages in a prohibited area, Sgt. Wilbanks said.
While issuing a citation for the offense, the ranger was physically attacked by one of the subjects,” he said. “After being struck multiple times, the ranger deployed pepper spray against the subject to end the assault.”
Deputies arrested Mr. Charlie Brown Jordan, of Suwanee, and transported him to the Hall County Jail.
So far, Mr. Jordan has been charged with obstruction of an officer, but a federal hold has been placed on the 24-year-old until the Corps of Engineers Rangers can file their own charges, Sgt. Wilbanks said.
Deputies have not released the ranger’s name, any details of his injuries or his condition.
Mr. Tim Rainey, the Corps’ operations manager at Lake Lanier, said the attack happened after the agency had to reassign shoreline rangers to working the parks because of increased rowdiness and crowds, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Bozeman MT July 17 2012 A woman accused of leading police on a chase through Bozeman that ended with her crashing into two patrol cars at a busy downtown intersection appeared in court this morning.
Patricia Cordes, 60, of Bozeman, was at the Museum of the Rockies at 10:19 p.m. Saturday when she reportedly got into a verbal argument with MOR security and appeared very intoxicated and insistent to leave in her vehicle, according to court papers. A Montana State University police officer arrived and tried to get her to get out of the vehicle, but she began driving away, over a curb and around two patrol cars, court papers state.
Three patrol cars pursued Cordes’ vehicle down Willson Avenue, ordering her to pull over and engaging sirens and emergency lights, court papers state. She was reportedly swerving all over the road, nearly striking two parked vehicles and continued north on Willson, stopping where the road intersects with Main Street.
While she was stopped, officers pulled two patrol cars in front of Cordes’ vehicle, but as they were trying to open her door, she pressed on the accelerator, causing her car to lunge forward and strike the patrol cars, court papers state. Officers broke her driver’s side window to try to unlock her door, but she accelerated again, ramming the patrol cars again, pushing them forward and almost crushing one of the officers between her car and the patrol car, court papers state.
Cordes reportedly continued to hold down the gas, creating a large cloud of smoke until officers eventually forcefully opened her door and removed her from the car and placed her in custody.
Cordes was arrested on two counts of criminal endangerment, fleeing from or eluding peace officers and driving under the influence.
Judge Bryan Adams set Cordes’ bail at $25,000, saying he is “concerned for the public and safety of the public.”
At this event there were approximately 20 to 30 Florida Police Chiefs from all over the state.
At this event several Fallen Hero awards were presented to area law enforcement officers and the association also honored security officer Mathew Little.
Little’s family was presented with the “Fallen Hero Award”. Mat is the first private sector officer to ever receive this award as this award has only been given to law enforcement officers that have been killed in the line of duty
Mat was killed in the line of duty on May 16th, 2011 while he was on patrol.
His parents continue to be proud of what he did at CIS and the impact he had on the lives of families in the communities we protect. It was an emotional event, but one that Mat would be really proud of. His parents were extremely grateful and honored that Mat was the first private sector officer to receive this award. Let us always remember our fallen brother and the “Hero” he will always be.
“Forever in our Hearts”, we love you Mat!
Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey says Sgt. Corey Weatherly underwent surgery Sunday at a Boise hospital. Ramsey says Weatherly was listed in “guarded” condition.
Ramsey says Weatherly was working private security for a street party that was part of a weekend music festival when 20-year-old Austin B. Cruz of Hailey fell from a roof and landed on him at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday.
Ramsey says the man who fell suffered a possible concussion and broken facial bones.
Both were taken to the hospital in Ketchum. Weatherly was later flown to the Boise hospital.
Detroit MI July 17 2012 - Dozens of union workers and city residents packed a Detroit City Council hearing today to oppose a plan that restructures union contracts.
The council met for nearly three hours today to discuss the plan, which totals $102 million worth of savings. The new employment terms, approved by Detroit’s Financial Advisory Board last week, include a 10 percent wage cut across the board and significant changes to health care and work rules.
But leaders called the plan a union busting tactic. One resident even called the Bing administration “low down and dirty” for negotiating previous concessions that never came into fruition.
“We work hard every day,” said Durrell Washington, 24, a city bus driver for nearly 3 ½ years. “We only bring home so much money and it’s hard for us to live after we took so many cuts to help revive the city. Enough is enough.
“The financial board is bullying and trying to revive the city off the backs of employees. Council should vote against what’s going on.”
City officials said the cuts are necessary to keep the city financially viable. If the City Council does not sign off on the plan, it can be imposed by the Financial Advisory Board under Public Act 4, the state’s emergency manager law. The consent agreement was crafted under the terms of P.A. 4.
What you see is what we on the city side decided was in the best interest of the city,” said director of labor relations Lamont Satchel. “This was a collaborative process that was supervised and administered by labor relations.”
Added Chief Operating Officer Chris Brown: “Things are not the same. … It may not be fair, but it’s necessary.”
Mayor Dave Bing, in a statement, urged council members to approve the contract terms immediately to help resolve the city’s financial crisis. The council did not make a decision to vote on the initiative. Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown sought to get his colleagues to put it up for a vote Tuesday, but it was tabled.
“Any delay in acting on the city employment terms places the city into a deeper cash crisis, resulting in an inadequate cash flow to make payroll, to pay vendors, and will represent a default in the Financial Stability Agreement — ultimately, triggering the appointment of an emergency manager by the state,” Bing said in the statement.
“In order to maintain governance of the city and meet the city’s budget obligations, it is incumbent upon City Council to act now.”
Financial Advisory Board members, who are overseeing Detroit’s financial restructuring as part of the consent agreement, said last week the plan is similar to what was already in a tentative agreement, but never implemented.
Council members questioned city staff about how the terms were crafted and what might happen if the panel declined to approve them. Councilwoman JoAnn Watson questioned why the savings aren’t as high as what was forecast in tentative agreements with the unions last year.
“Union leaders said that amounted to $105 million. I just want to be clear this piece says $102 million, that was less than what was negotiated last December,” Watson said.
City officials countered that it doesn’t include two police and fire unions that would add about $18 million to the savings.
Al Garrett, president of AFSCME Council 25, pleaded to the council not to vote on the agreement and instead allow it to be imposed as part of Detroit’s consent agreement with the state. That would buy more time to negotiate, Garrett said.
“We have not agreed to any of this,” Garrett said. “They can’t put it in place and thus you have some say in this. I ask all of you … at the very least I’m asking for 30 days. Let them impose it. Stand up and be accountable.”
Joe Duncan, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, said Detroit “should be investing, and not dismantling, its core and most essential service — its police department.”
Crime in the city has “spiraled out of control … it’s the one thing that is actually flourishing in Detroit,” he said. “Crime is thriving and growing and overwhelming not only the police department but also its citizens.”
Union concessions are a big portion of the budget proposed by Bing and approved by the City Council. The budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 calls for $250 million in savings and cuts about a third of the city’s 11,000 member workforce.
About 2,600 jobs are expected to be lost. It also called for 10 percent pay cuts for all employees, including police and firefighters, through renegotiation of contracts.
Most city contracts expired June 30. Under the consent agreement, the city was to impose new union contracts by today. In addition to the pay cut, the new contract calls for about $52 million in savings by changing the city’s health care plan. The plan will eliminate dental and vision coverage for retirees, and increases co-pays on insurance. The contribution from employees on prescription drugs also increases.
Even with the changes, benefits are still better than the auto companies as well as Wayne County, said Chief Financial Officer Jack Martin.
“It’s better than GM, Ford and Chrysler,” Martin said.
The proposal also includes changes to pension and work rules. Police Chief Ralph Godbee said having the flexibility to change shifts are essential.
“Having the flexibility to look at those work rule changes are significant to be able to deliver police services moving forward,” Godbee said
Representatives from the Detroit Police Officers Association plan to file an emergency appeal with the hopes of countering a judge’s ruling last week that the city isn’t required to bargain with the officers over pay and benefits.
The contract for the union’s 2,130 members expired on June 30. The ruling by Ingham County Circuit Judge Paula Manderfield means officers don’t know the depth of cuts or even how much they’ll be paid because the city hasn’t released terms.
Earlier, Duncan requested an audience with the Detroit City Council “to provide facts in support of its side of the story regarding police officer cuts.”
In a six-page letter sent to Councilwoman Brenda Jones, Duncan pointed out the association has agreed to negotiate with the administration. He noted there was a contract agreement reached back in February that involved a wage freeze that generated between $20 million to $26 million in savings for the city.
The union contends the city is required to enter arbitration under Public Act 312. It’s illegal for public safety officers in the state to strike. The law is designed to force negotiations. Manderfield said she didn’t believe it would be in the public’s interest if representatives from the cash-strapped city were forced into binding arbitration.
Duncan said further pay cuts would be a “recipe for disaster.”
Delfino Mora, a father of 12, was attacked in an alley on the city’s North Side early Tuesday, and was found hours later by a passer-by, police said. Taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston in critical condition, he died Wednesday afternoon from blunt head trauma, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He had been collecting aluminum cans to earn money for his family.
Police said 16-year-old Malik Jones confronted Mora in the alley and asked him what he had in his pocket before punching him in the jaw. Mora, who did not have full use of his right arm after a construction accident several years ago, fell to the ground, hitting his head on the concrete.
Jones was charged early Sunday, while Ayala and Malcolm were charged that evening.
“I don’t know how anyone can be that cold-hearted,” said Mora’s 20-year-old son, Emmanuel, who said he has had difficulty sleeping and has had nightmares since he watched the video.
“It feels to us like they’re making fun of my dad because he couldn’t defend himself,” Mora’s 17-year-old daughter, Angelique, said. “They think posting a violent video makes them look tough. It’s like they want to get famous.”
Jones’ mother, Monique Hendrix, cried when she heard that her son had been arrested and offered her condolences to Mora’s family. Hendrix described her son as a “known runaway” who has been in trouble with the law in the past.