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Union Files Complaint Against Chief Who Made Off-Duty Arrest

Union Files Complaint Against Chief Who Made Off-Duty Arrest

The Times-Tribune

April 19, 2011

Scranton, Penn. — The Scranton police union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the city for an off-duty drug arrest made by Police Chief Dan Duffy in March.

The complaint, which was filed with the state Labor Relations Board on April 14, takes issue with the chief arresting a man who was allegedly in possession of marijuana because the chief is not a member of the collective bargaining unit and was “off duty” when the March 20 arrest was made.

“I think it’s absurd. I’m not going to turn my head on crime that takes place,” Chief Duffy said. "I took the same oath (as a police officer) that everyone else took.

“On my day off and I’m driving around as the police chief, and that’s wrong?” he asked.

The complaint states that “the work of apprehending and arresting individuals has been the sole and exclusive province of members of the bargaining unit,” and that the city did not inform or negotiate with the union that the chief would be “performing bargaining unit work.”

Because of this, the union says the city violated the state Labor Relations Act and the Policemen and Firemen Collective Bargaining Act.

“We’re not out to bust his chops,” Sgt. Bob Martin, police union president, said. “It’s not against the chief. The action is against the city.”

Mayor Chris Doherty declined to comment on the matter Monday.

While the chief has been known for several off-duty arrests in the city, the complaint only makes mention of the March 20 incident.

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max50_max50


    about 4 years ago


    There is no excuse for such a moronic action by a union. Good job Chief.

  • Globe_eagle_anchor_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Your sh!ting is wrong with this union??????????? And people wonder why the general public has a lowered opinion about unions.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. The "Union" shot itself in the foot this time and shows that organizations can become so myopic on their "goals" and own self importance that they lose sight of why they are there. The last I heard, a sworn Police Officer as recognized by the State in which he is employed is empowered to and mandated to uphold the laws of the State. The statutes, whether State, County or Municipal do state that only Union employees can enforce the laws.

    In many jurisdictions there is a separate Management bargaining units for Lieutenants and above. Does this mean they can't make arrests off duty because they are not in the same bargaining unit as the "Journeyman"(using Union terminology) patrol grunts and Sergeants?

    Reading the comments here it appears that general opinion is running against the Union. I would like to see all theses comments forwarded to the "Union" , Chief and Mayor. It will be interesting what the future holds for this organization.

  • June2010_013_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Odviously, the chief is on Mayor Doherty shit list. Good luck with that chief.

  • Derrick_max50


    about 4 years ago


    What the Union wanted the Chief to do call 911, leave fighting crime up to police who are Union members what a joke. The nerve off them saying the Chief shouldn't be making an arrest when he see some one in a criminal act. Disband that Union that's all I can say. Keep up the great work Chief.

  • 020_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Last comment on this topic, it just keeps pissing me off.. To all unions and members if you can not support the people who do the work with out paying the dues that no longer covers what it was intended for.. Spouse support aquired on the job injuries.ext. Now we pay for dumb asses to represent union grievences..The union is no longer like it was, members of the union were not paid they did the work on thier time to assist fellow employees with dificulties. To read about new fileings of complaints.Is wasting money and time on sh'' they feel is important like some one doing thier job without being on the clock..I dont know if this chief had to clock,sign,or log in but was is considered off duty?What does the union have to do with a non member chief anyways..I have had my arguements with the unions,and know it is all about MONEY.. That sickens me..
    THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO CHIEF you are aprecieated... We need more LEO's like you and less unions like the one represnting Pn.

  • Jenn___me_in_cincy_max50


    about 4 years ago


    It's actually nice to see high brass doing some ground work. Most times they don't have the time or just aren't concerned with it any more. The Chief is right.... he took the same oath as the road officer. Kudos to you sir.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    I never knew my duty ended. If someone has an warrant or if a crime is being committed, since I'm not on the clock. What you are saying is, loops turn your head you didn't see it. I am more than pleased to see him out there doing a cops job on or off the clock. Sure we can say whatever the union contact or contacts say. I would be proud to cover his back. Way to go chief. True blue my brother. Maybe we forgot that because he is management. He is helping get the job done.
    I know an officer that was home on the week end. A car of creeps went through his neighborhood firing off firearms. There kids and ladies and private citizens there. Was he to ignore it or go in the police officer in action. He decided to be a cop right then and there. He pulled his firearm and after getting shot himself, he ended the problem. Every day he sits in a wheelchair, but how many lifes did he save? The answer is, we will never know because of his action. He was off duty.
    I think we are missing the morals of an officer, we provide a service. We project and we serve. How much drugs were kept off the streets. He was at the right place at the right time. Give him a break. I have said enough.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    this union should be ashamed ......cop is a cop is a cop....on duty off duty...all ranks.....ask the union members this question.......if they were on a road stop with some animal kicking the snot out of them , should the off duty chief just drive by and not stop.....i don't think so......good job goes out to the chief. thats the kind of guy i would go into battle with....the guy who leeds by example

  • Da_color_seal_max50


    about 4 years ago


    When unions start interfering with Law Enforcement, common sense goes out the window !

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    good job to the chief, what better way to show he knows what goes on in his community than to be out there himself. the idea of him of just hanging out in his office until the duty day is done or kissing up to the town council is absurd if anything. keep leading from the front chief.

  • Academyrun_014_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Here in Nevada our collective bargaining rights are under attack as well as wages and bennefits. This type of action by the union is just ammo to use against the rest of us. Hopefully most will see that we are not as petty and moronic and that we appreciate the hellp of both the brass and the public to keep our community safe.

  • Motor_cop_comic_max160_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Seriously??? They are complaining about a Chief who actually gets out of the office, and takes action...???? seriously!!!! Geez guys, I am embarrassed for you! We all complain that the admin forgets whence they came, and these guys file a lawsuit! Holy crap!

  • Swat_logo_max50


    about 4 years ago


    This is why unions and the idea of collective bargaining is on a downward slide in this country. This is so absurd, I cant believe anybody in a leadership capacity in that union thought that this was a good thing to do. They should be embarrassed and ashamed. I have nothing against unions or civil service or any of that. I will say this, in my 14 years on this job, all I have ever seen unions and service boards do is get people their jobs back that should not have. When they file ignorant crap like this, it just erodes what little credibility they have left in the world...just my opinion...I could be wrong.

  • Me_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Ok, I've read three pages of comments to this article, including my own, and I think everyone is missing the point here. Notwithstanding that the Chief did a COMMENDABLE job in being a cop 24/7, this isn't about him making an arrest based on seeing a crime occur. He saw the perp on the street and KNEW there was a warrant out for his arrest. He initiated the WARRANT arrest and THEN found the drugs on the perp. If my fading memory serves me right after 15 years off the street, that is what a cop is supposed to do, on or off duty. So what is the problem here Sgt. Martin? Are you a cop with a solution to crime fighting or just another jerk with an agenda who wants to sit behind his union position and complain? I surely hope the judge dismisses this case as frivilous and takes the union to task over the first line of an arrest warrant which USUALLY states "to any and all law enforcement officers in this court's jurisdiction, you are hereby ORDERED to locate and bring before this court the body of.................." So, if you're an LEO and you see the perp, isn't being ORDERED by the court enough justification to make the arrest?

    Chief, I'd work for you in a heartbeat. Good job and keep it up. Phuck the union and Sgt Martin!! Stay safe ya'll and watch your six.

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