The five-year vesting bill has been signed into law by Governor Pataki and it took effect on February 4. This bill affects active members in good standing with five or more years of service.
"This represents the culmination of a strong legislative effort on the part of our COPE Committee, an effort that we can all be proud of," said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch in announcing the bill's passage.
The bill's provisions are:
Reminder: Members who vest will not be eligible to receive the variable supplement or terminal leave.
Final average salary means your average wages earned, including
overtime, during any three consecutive calendar-year period or the
final 36 months immediately preceding the time you leave police
service, whichever is greater.
John Jay Offers BA Degree Program to PBA
Members Through Weekend Study
Under an initiative from President Patrick J. Lynch, John Jay College of Criminal Justice has established a special weekend program option under which PBA members could obtain a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, often within a two-year-period.
After discussions with John Jay President Gerald W. Lynch, the Dean of the college's Weekend Programs designed a program under which police officers could earn a degree by taking six to nine credits a semester.
Here's how - with hard work - you will be able to earn that degree in two years:
In order to facilitate the goals of the weekend program, John Jay will provide the following services:
Since its founding in 1964, John Jay College has been offering programs to meet the needs and interests of in-service and adult students. This special weekend degree option will further enhance opportunities for the in-service students who are an important component of the college's specialized mission.
Dean Frank McHugh
Weekend Program Director
899 Tenth Avenue, Room 435T
New York, NY 10019
Hillary Clinton Says She "Misspoke"
When She Called Diallo Shooting "Murder"
On Feb. 8, PBA President Patrick J. Lynch exchanged the following letters with Hillary Rodham Clinton:
Dear Mrs. Clinton:
Your recent characterization of the Diallo tragedy as "murder" is most disturbing, not only to me but to all members of the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association - indeed, to all law enforcement officers across the state. As you know, it has been the subject of valid criticism in the press and in legal circles as well.
These four New York City police officers went to work that day determined to provide the same level of service and commitment every New York City police officer provides every day, 24 hours a day. What happened that night a year ago demonstrates the level of stress and the split-second nature of the decision-making process that, unfortunately, confronts our officers constantly. These officers acted with the purest of intentions; what happened was a tragedy no one could have predicted.
Make no mistake about it, as a lifelong resident of this city - and as a parent -- I have nothing but sincere sympathy for the family of Mr. Diallo, whose life was brought to a tragic conclusion by an unfortunate sequence of events. I know, from many hours of conversations with the officers involved, that they share my level of sorrow for Mr. Diallo's family. Some of them are parents themselves.
We at the PBA are also concerned about comments indicating you may support bringing federal charges against these officers should they be acquitted in the Albany County Courthouse. As the "murder" comment violates the legal standard that the officers are innocent until proven guilty, we believe federal charges after acquittal would violate the principle against double jeopardy.
That both characterizations were expressed in the context of a campaign appearance with Al Sharpton on the Reverend's turf only adds to our concerns.
Therefore, we respectfully urge you to issue a statement clarifying your remarks.
Patrick J. Lynch
In response to your letter, I want to clarify my reference to the Amadou Diallo trial. I clearly misspoke, as I and my campaign have said when asked. As a lawyer, I know that the four officers charged in the shooting death of Mr. Diallo have a right to due process and I want to make sure that they are given that fundamental right. Only a jury can decide their guilt or innocence and I did not mean to suggest otherwise. I sincerely hope that this trial will proceed quickly and fairly.
I strongly support our brave men and women in law enforcement who proudly serve their communities. I know that the remarkable drop in crime we have experienced in New York and around the nation is a tribute to the hard work of our officers who face tremendous risks every day to keep our communities safe. That is why I have fought to put 100,000 more police on the streets, and would fight for funding for up to another 50,000 officers. I have also supported efforts to provide scholarships for college for current officers. In addition, I have strongly supported efforts to ban "cop-killer" bullets that can penetrate through bulletproof vests, endangering the lives of law enforcement, as well as increased investment in bulletproof vests for law enforcement at the state and local level. I have also supported expansion of federal penalties for those convicted of assaulting law enforcement officers, and have supported the death penalty for those convicted of killing law enforcement officers. If I am elected Senator I will continue to fight for law enforcement because the work you do is so vitally important to our communities.
I appreciate this opportunity to explain my remarks. I value your service to our communities and hope that we will work together in the future.
PBA Hires Joe Maccone
Was C.O. of NYPD Pension Section
PBA President Pat Lynch has announced the appointment of former NYPD Inspector Joseph Maccone as Director of the PBA's Pension Counseling Office.
Maccone has been the Commanding Officer of the NYPD's Pension Section for eight years. In that capacity he chaired the Pension Board of Trustee Meetings. He has also been the guest speaker at many of the PBA's seminars over the last few years.
In addition to heading up the Pension Counseling Office, he eventually will be representing the PBA at the Pension Board.
"Joseph is one of the foremost pension experts in the New York Metropolitan Area," said Lynch. "It was quite a coup to win him away from the private consulting arena. This is an exciting opportunity because pension and retirement counseling is becoming more complicated with every new program and tax law. Joe is a real pro and will be a great asset to the PBA as we strive to give our membership the best information available in the market place.
"In addition to Joe's function here in the office he will be touring
the precincts with me, in an effort to bring pension topics into
everyday conversation. Again, the financial world is becoming ever
more intertwined with every passing day. Joe is a true professional
and we look forward to his being able to provide the membership
a valuable service."
Supreme Court Judge Issues Permanent Injunction
Blocking "Detective Promotions" for City Cops
In a victory for PBA President Patrick J. Lynch, a supreme court justice on Feb. 9 issued a permanent injunction blocking the Police Department from implementing its plan to promote selected police officers to the rank of "detective specialist."
Justice Stanley Parness' four-page written decision agreed with the PBA's position that the plan to promote 2,000 cops to the entry-level detective rank by year's end was "merely a guise to unilaterally award merit increases without negotiating with the PBA."
The decision was the latest episode in a dispute between Police Commissioner Howard Safir and the 27,000-member police union over the department's attempts to reward a limited number of patrol officers with "special assignment" merit increases or detective specialist designations.
The PBA won the first round on Feb. 4, 1999, when the city Board of Collective Bargaining, in response to an improper labor practice petition filed by the PBA, ruled that the department could not award merit increases to officers without negotiating with the union.
After negotiations between the union and the department broke down late last year because the department refused to commit the agreement to writing or institute a grievance procedure, Safir announced the promotion plan and Lynch sued to block the designations, contending that they are illegal unless done through collective bargaining. Parness issued a temporary restraining order Jan. 3.
"In trying to force through these promotions, the department has been engaging in union-busting, plain and simple," Lynch said at the time. "The NYPD's plan is a clear violation of the Office of Collective Bargaining's order and decision last year."
In today's decision, Parness cited the PBA's observation "that the amount of money allocated by the city to fund the 'detective specialist' promotions is $12 million and the amount allocated for the 'special assignment' program was projected at $11.5 million and both programs were designed to provide additional merit compensation to uniformed patrol officers."
The judge added: "There can be little doubt that [the NYPD's] plan to 'promote' officers to the title of detective specialist is an attempt to award a merit increase and circumvent the order of the BCB, an almost inescapable conclusion upon consideration of the nearly identical amounts to fund the program in the budget, the same number of officers involved, the fact that these promoted detectives will continue as patrolmen with no additional duties and the sudden and unexplained need for an additional 2,000 detectives except as a vehicle to award pay increases."
Lynch said: "The city should take that $12 million and figure out a way to reward all our cops with it."
The decision could affect Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's proposal, announced in his annual budget address Jan. 27, to base all city worker wage increases on a merit-pay system.