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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.


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    BlueKnight4023

    over 3 years ago

    820 Comments

    This is a great article to show how messed up things are with off duty arrests (politically speaking)! Normally, it's the other way around. Agencies / brass not supporting police officers for being involved with off duty arrests (not as suspects).

    And everyone wonders why the Govenor of Wisconsin is getting rid of all unions within their state.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Are you kidding me. Even tho most adminstration are brain dead, this chief is actually working. Not to mention I am sure he is licensed as a police officer.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50

    aussie4

    over 3 years ago

    5328 Comments

    Something big is wrong up there and I am glad I dont live in that area.

  • Constable_star_max50

    buddy37

    over 3 years ago

    100 Comments

    farewell2kings: You could not have said it better.

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    farewell2kings

    over 3 years ago

    8 Comments

    How incredibly idiotic.

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    jeady

    over 3 years ago

    150 Comments

    Here again as a retired LEO I am blown away by this story every one of the officers that support this suit should be fired and ran out of town.
    first of all when I took the oath of office as a police officer I was told that twenty four and seven I was a police officer, and as chief you are never off you just don't get paid for certain days. This man is chief and has the right and an obligation to uphold the law , and if he turns his back on crime he is just as guilty as the criminals and is guilty of mal feson of office.
    I personally have never had any use for unions, they are just a bunch of lazy sob's that want more and more for less and less, and I hope they loose their stinking ass.
    Great work CHIEF.

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    BCSO490

    over 3 years ago

    30 Comments

    The cops in the union who support this complaint need to take a good look at themselves and figure out how they got their priorities so screwed up. Then, they need to follow the lead set by their chief and do the job! Right now, they are just a shining example of what is wrong with our country and our economy.

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    recon2819

    over 3 years ago

    256 Comments

    so if he saw in a crime in progress, what was he supposed to do? drive on? wow.. amazing. I am so glad I dont work for that department.

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    sgtlaflower

    over 3 years ago

    48 Comments

    One other item I just noticed, as someone who has been on both sides of the fence myself, the article states that the Chief has made several off duty arrests in the past as well and it appears no complaints were filed by the union. If that's the case the union will probably lose anyway due to past practice where a precedent was set when they did not file greivances in the past on the same alleged violation.

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    sgtlaflower

    over 3 years ago

    48 Comments

    This is absolutely ridiculous and one of the reasons why Unions have the bad image that they do. So what if the chief made an off duty arrest, kudos to him, he is after all a sworn law enforcement officer who is on duty 24/7. How absurd even if they aren't under staffed. Do collective bargaining units have the right to decide what functions the Chief can and cannot perform in the line of duty, as long as he was not trying to subvert overtime, what's the difference if he arrests the guy or an officer does. The officer is still being paid for being on duty whether he arrests that guy or not. Union have their place in the work force, but unfortunately many of them spend too much time whining !

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    mz66

    over 3 years ago

    3896 Comments

    @copper380: The part about understaffing--that's what I was trying to express earlier. Right--if the Chief has to take up the slack, then the Union should be smart enough to use that to their ADVANTAGE in negotiations.

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    copper380

    over 3 years ago

    2026 Comments

    We have the same problem here. A Elected Sheriff (prior officer in the county where he was elected) actually gets out and does police work. Can you imagine, being on a call and the Sheriff walks up and assists (not as the Sheriff but as back up!) And he ensures his Lt's and Capt's do road work too!! Oh my, a cop doing cop work? what is the world coming to? If you can't tell due to text, I was laying it on a little thick. I know I love to see the higher ups out and about. The sheriff here is tough on crime and stays involved. I think the Chief is right for doing what he does. It keeps him in touch with what the road guys deal with. This is a lot better than a command staff person that has not seen the road or arrested anyone in 20 years calling the shots, refusing to get with the times (we all know a few). I applaud the chief, who is still a COP!!. I understand the thought process of the union but instaed of looking at it from their current point of view try looking at it by thinking, Hey, the chief knows how overworked and undermanned we are which may cuse him to go to bat against those that want to lay off more officers. Think about it, You are sio understaffed that the chief is making arrests, crime must be out of control and you need more officers!

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    fplunkett

    over 3 years ago

    10 Comments

    Whether he is a manager , administrator, supervisor, or an officer, he is still a sworn police officer in the state of Pennsylvania. Does Pennsylvania have a law that prohibits sworn police officers from doing police work if they happen to become managers? If there is I bet there are a lot of chiefs violating it. Somebody better tell Commissioner Ramsey in Philly. He is another cops cop. The kind of Chief most departments would relish. I have had Chiefs who spent all of their time on the butts in the office. They had very little respect for the troops and the troops felt likewise. Thank God the last office Chief retired.......

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    fplunkett

    over 3 years ago

    10 Comments

    Is the Chief not a cop too?

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    scfredjr

    over 3 years ago

    348 Comments

    Ok this is just stupid. I believe unions serve a purpose and can help workers get fair treatment from thier employers. But stupid stuff like this makes me wonder if maybe we would be better off without them.

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