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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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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    THis union is stupid a cop does his job and you file a complaint becuase he is not in the union.... WTF.. Chief good job doing what you took an oath to do. And for the union you need to look at what you are doing and ask yourself is it the right thing. I bet if the chief was to show up on a call and save your ass you would not complain about that would you.

  • Chris_and_i_in_uniform_max50

    JP503

    over 3 years ago

    7616 Comments

    You have a chief out doing the job and a union complaining about it. The union and its leadership need to go take a flying leap. What a bunch of idiots, I know of departments where the chief won't do a damn thing to help his officers out. They should be thankful that they have a chief that wants to make a difference.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    granny1

    over 3 years ago

    1448 Comments

    this is absolute bull shit.parden my french.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    EnrouteWith1

    over 3 years ago

    78 Comments

    Man...I really hope there is more to this. If not, THIS is exactly why people hate the unions. This is absolutely ridiculous.

  • Keith_head_5_max50

    Hamburger

    over 3 years ago

    60 Comments

    This is one of the stupidest things I have read lately. Many departments claim their chiefs don't do enough, and now you are going after the guy for taking action when he is off duty? There must be something else going on for them to even attempt to pursue action like this. The suit doesn't even make sense. So, only the members of the barganing unit can enforce the laws? I'm sure there is something in that cities laws that state the chief is the head law enforcment officer of the town.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bluebrother

    over 3 years ago

    774 Comments

    Sound s to me like you are lucky to have the type of Chief that others would prefer to have, but instead have a bunch of pansies afraid to get their hands duty on duty, much less off duty, I say great job Chief Duffy. Keep up the good work, maybe you will catch some politically correct low life with some dope.

  • 020_max50

    mericlejr

    over 3 years ago

    228 Comments

    I think we are missing the true picture.It looks like the Chief colared an informant for some unioned detectives and they want some payback.. IT STINKS of something else beside a Bargaining act union bs..

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Jamie42

    over 3 years ago

    280 Comments

    Having sat on both sides of the bargaining table, I would like to start off by asking "who is a member of this union"? "Are they only officers, or officers and Sgts, or officers, Sgts, Lts., and maybe Capts? For the most part, unions/Guilds, generally DO NOT have Managers as members. So it pretty much falls that Officers and Sgts and Lts are members; while Captains and above are not. That said, I find it strikely weird that ANYONE who is a member of that Police Department, would file such a nonsense grievance against the Chief and/or City, simply because the Chief did his SWORN duty, while off duty, and that is to uphold the law. In my 42+ years (now retired); I was taught and continued that "teaching" to my own personnel that I and them were "on duty 24/7", so ACT THE PART. That did NOT mean that you had to respond to each and every call, nor did it mean that you instigated an arrest when asked to by a citizen, when you personally did not see the crime being committed. You DID contact the department and get an on duty officer to respond, as they could depending on the severity of the offense. With all the blather and active ideology AGAINST unions right now Re: Wisconsin, Ohio, to name two states; this action by this union is playing right into the hands of those who desire to eliminate unions, guilds or what have you from all portions of the work place; because they claim that unions have too much power and cause problems not needed. I would say to the union officers who filed this action, "Be careful what you ask for, it could come back to truly "bite you in the butt". I am also totally bewildered that any member of the Scranton PD would have issues with the Chief of that department doing what he was sworn to do and that is to uphold and enforce the law, when a violation/crime has been committed in his presence. I know of too many departments where, if you ever see the Chief, Sheriff, Director, or whatever title they carry, our of their office and "getting their hands dirty" with the troops, it would be a time of great celebration, rather than filing grievances.

  • Img-20110512-00019_max50

    Lawdawg304

    over 3 years ago

    184 Comments

    REALLY, The POLICE UNION PRESIDENT? Is complaining on a CHIEF who is DOING his job, Even if its off duty because its against a collective Bargaining agreement. Seriously, SO, as an off duty officer in your area i cant arrest a person who just murdered your family?? Just because I am off duty? I think SGT Martin needs a reality check....At least the Chief had the cuts to get involved, unlike some chiefs I used to work for.....LAME. Really lame. Guess you dont have a THIN BLUE line...Yours dont exist. Sorry, But I dont care if your an officer all the way up to a chief. A cop is a Cop Is a Cop on duty of off. Unless he did something ILLEGAL then he did a good job....

  • Crumb_passin_thru_02_1__max50

    mz66

    over 3 years ago

    3888 Comments

    There does appear to be more to this story--and I can sort of see the Det. Sgt. Martin's perspective, but he might be kind of screwed no matter what he does:

    http://tinyurl.com/3cvkn8h

    Even though it is contrary to the agreement, he doesn't have to file the complaint. Since the agreement is there he ought to be able to bring it up in future contract negotiations if the administration tries to say that they can lay off X officers because the chief can take up the slack. I don't know enough about labor law to know what options he really had though--it's just a thought.

  • Idf_soldier_and_kittyimage2_max50

    amramhakohen

    over 3 years ago

    206 Comments

    The Judge will throw it out!

  • Ericm60_max50

    cakdep1

    over 3 years ago

    3170 Comments

    Kudos to the Chief for not forgetting how to do the Job!
    Sounds like there is some issues between the chief and a couple of the union member troops!
    Probably not a good battle to pick!
    Unions are important for protecting the officers from some vindictive supervision and un warrented complaints!

  • Prince_hall_max50

    onetime

    over 3 years ago

    1294 Comments

    I really don’t know what to say about that one. Good job chief lead by example!

  • Img_1347a_max50

    Halefo5

    over 3 years ago

    166 Comments

    By the way great job Chief you are a cop's cop and not afraid to get your hands dirty from those dirt bags. I would also work for and with you anytime. You have proven that you have a mucho Cohunes. God bless you.

  • Img_1347a_max50

    Halefo5

    over 3 years ago

    166 Comments

    I don't understand what the union has to do with the arrest one makes' after observing a crime done in there presents and took police action, be it a foot cop to the chief of police. We are really never off duty they call it an RDO and that doesn't mean when you observe a crime you do nothing about it, it’s a day of rest. I was always told being the arresting officer you chased and put your hands on the defendant he's yours unless there is a complainant to the crime. The union should know better than that and stop wasting the officer’s money with frivolous lawsuits. In the other hand the union play’s a great roll in the officer’s lives with different perks brought upon their biweekly contributions to the union. The officer’s on their own could not get the prices that the union gets’ collectively hence providing affordable dental, eye-wear, basic life insurance, legal representation if you ever needed a lawyer etc. etc. Happy to say at least the NYPD PBA does support their membership if your union does not.

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