BCPBA News

A View from the Bench – Chief Judge Peter Weinstein

In the March 2015 issue of The Broward Centurion, our editor interviewed 17th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge, Peter Weinstein

1PMW Photo

Why did you pursue law as a career?

I worked in my father’s law office beginning at age 13. I loved working with him and accompanied him to court. We lived in Queens, New York. He was in general practice and was also in the NY State legislature. He later became a trial judge and appellate court judge. He even has a Wikipedia entry, Moses Weinstein. Years later, when I was in college, I spent three summers as a replacement bailiff in the New York State Court of claims. That is a special court set up just to hear claims against the State of New York. Even at an early age, I worked with judges and the courts.

What motivated you to enter public service?

My first job was in public service. I had just begun my career as an Assistant District Attorney in Queens, NY. I was only on the job for three weeks before I received another job offer that I couldn’t refuse. The job paid for food, clothing, housing as well as my salary. It was an invitation from the President and a call to active duty in the Army. I quickly became legal officer to a 10,000 person brigade. I loved that job too—just not wearing green every day. I’ve been working in the public sector for most of my life.

What is the role of the Chief Judge?

The Chief Judge is chosen by an election of every judge on the circuit every two years and acts as the chief administrator of the 17th Judicial Circuit. The Chief Judge makes all judicial assignments, deals with the appellate court, the Florida Supreme Court, meets with the Chief Justice, and interfaces with the public. It is the role of the Chief Judge to make sure each division is appropriately staffed. I also make it a point to handle cases if I don’t have meetings to attend. I take cases in the foreclosure, general civil, probate and criminal divisions as well as the specialty courts.
One of the specialty courts I am particularly proud of is the Veteran’s Court, which was established a few years ago. Eligible veterans can go through the Veteran’s Court program and receive critical services that they need including drug treatment, psychological treatment for PTSD and rehabilitation services that may result in a dismissal of their charges when they’ve completed the program.

Do you have any advice for officers who will appear before the court?

Every one of the judges serves in the first appearance court. Anyone who is arrested, and who does not bond out, is entitled to appear before the court within 24 hours. I wish that officers would take special care with these cases. They should have a complete probable cause affidavit that is legible so the judge can read it. Take your time and be scrupulously honest. The judge has to be able to read it and know what happened.

What is your biggest challenge?

There are a large number of domestic violence cases, both criminal and civil injunctions. The size of the dockets and the complexity of the cases is overwhelming.

What is your favorite part of the job?

Primarily, working with my colleagues on the bench. I have also enjoyed working with the County Commission regarding the construction of the new Courthouse. I love representing the 17th Circuit, interfacing with various stakeholders and constituents such as the legislature, bar associations and public.

About Chief Judge Peter Weinstein

Judge Peter M. Weinstein was appointed to the 17th Judicial Circuit bench in 1998. He was elected, unopposed, to his second two-year term as Chief Judge in July, 2013. The 17th Judicial Circuit serves the citizens of Broward County, Florida, and is the second largest jurisdiction in the State with a population of over 1.6 million residents. The Circuit utilizes the services of 90 full time judges.
Judge Weinstein received his Bachelor’s Degree from New York University and his Juris Doctorate Degree from Brooklyn Law School. He served as a legal officer in the United States Army, as a prosecutor for Broward County, and was in private practice for many years during which time he also served in the Florida State Legislature.
Judge Weinstein was elected to the Florida Senate in 1982 and served there for 14 years. He was one of the major authors of the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights. He also co-sponsored the Alu-O’Hara Public Safety Act, named after officers Joseph Alu and his fellow injured officer James O’Hara. The Alu-O’Hara Public Safety Act guarantees that officers, firefighters and corrections officers and their families continue to receive health benefits after a catastrophic, on-the-job injury as long as that injury occurred as a result of the officer’s response to an emergency.

Survey Says! BSO Deputies & Sergeants Survey Results for the 2015 to 2018 Contract

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Survey Says! BSO Deputies & Sergeants Survey Results for the 2015 to 2018 Contract

Click HERE to view the survey results and feedback from the survey.

The following are the results calculated from the 413 surveys submitted:

By Senior Vice President

Debbie Reggio

 

1st Priority: Wages

2nd Priority: Insurance Benefits

3rd Priority: Post-Retirement Health Account

4th Priority: Holiday Pay for Hours Worked

5th Priority: Increase Comp Time Cap and

6th Priority: Promotional Opportunities

 

The remaining numbered items are a list of additional comments from the surveys. I wanted to make sure your voices were heard and posted.

Please be advised that some of these issues are not contract related and need to be handled in another form. I thank everyone for their input.

  1. Raise Dive Team Supplement equal to Dade Co. or Swat. ***Bought up by 2 people
  2. Increase life insurance (Term Policy).
  3. Availability to cash in hours 80 sick leave in December.
  4. Personal Day and Bonus Day for hours worked (12).     ***Brought up by 17 people
  5. Excess of sick leave to be donated to the sick leave pool for employees with severe illness or cash out excess sick leave.                               ***Brought up by 2 people
  6. Eliminating the zone fee for having a take home vehicle out of the county, gas has gone down.                                                                       ***Brought up by 34 people
  7. When donating time to others who are sick, sick time should be used not annual or holiday leave.
  8. Increase annual leave benefit by 40 hours after 20 years of service.
  9. New training facility.
  10. Would like to have choices of insurance companies and be able to opt out and receive supplement. *** Brought up by 5 people
  11. If you do not call out sick for 1 year have the option to move 40 hours of sick leave to vacation.                                                                                    ***Brought up by 2 people
  12. Increase vacation cap. ***Brought up by 5 people
  13. Increase sick leave cap.                                                        ***Brought up by 5 people
  14. Increase K-9 supplement.
  15. Don’t lose overtime hours, due to on duty injuries resulting in workman’s comp hours or no work or light duty status.
  16. Get rid of Coventry.                                                             ***Brought up by 4 people
  17. Doctors are dropping Coventry.
  18. Add workout time into work schedule.
  19. Don’t agree to agility test.
  20. Do away with the 12 hour shifts.          ***Brought up by  4 people
  21. Saturday as the alternate day so everyone has part of two weekends a month.
  22. Training is for one week straight not broken up.
  23. Overtime for training Alpha Shift.
  24. Sell time before losing it over the cap.
  25. Increase sick leave, post retirement buy out.
  26. Separation of Dep. and Sgt.’s unit into two bargaining units. ***Brought up by 2 people
  27. Increase Detectives supplement pay and make equal to Swat and FTD pay. ***Brought up by 3 people
  28. Equal gas fees for all employees.
  29. Sheriff needs to provide more than one option for health insurance. ***Brought up by 2 people
  30. No increased payment for employees to keep health benefits. This will offset any raise.
  31. Restore Corporal position/career development for rank and file.
  32. Make details pension free of deductions.                        ***Brought up by 3 people
  33. Ability to choose your district annually.
  34. Buy back time, sick and annual.
  35. Increase pay for motors.
  36. More comfortable uniforms.
  37. A COLA is not a raise.
  38. Seniority movement of positions.
  39. Stipend given for not using BSO insurance.
  40. A vest that would allow us to carry some of the tools in our gun belt. This is convenient for health reasons and even safety; we could carry first aid emergency tools there: Tourniquet, etc.
  41. Salary contingency if Gov. Scott takes more than 3%. The additional cut should come back to us since that money is already allotted.
  42. Increase detail pay.
  43. Make the 12 hour shift a contractual agreement.
  44. Have a 12 hour Charlie Shift.                                    ***Brought up by 2 people
  45. Look at Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office take home vehicle policy.
  46. The Membership should vote on the Executive Board Officer.
  47. Marked Emergency vehicles should be permitted in HOV lanes where they are both a deterrent and can safely assist stranded motorists.
  48. If the union and agency would take a common sense stand to support amending current legislation something may get accomplished.
  49. Assignment pay for administrative Sergeant’s.                            ***Brought up by 2 people
  50. Please support change in Sgt.’s test requirement from 5 years of BSO experience to 5 years total enforcement experience.
  51. Additional language that would prohibit ties. That is additional points for years of experience, education, etc.
  52. Make specialized units a permanent position. Not one that can be taken at the whim of the command.
  53. Use of cars in Palm Beach County.
  54. Sworn positions for deputies injured in the line of duty and are unable to obtain a disability pension, and are unable to go back to the road. Don’t force deputies to leave or take a demotion.
  55. PBA should have representation for deputies injured in the line of duty just like you do for deputies involved in shootings and I. A.
  56. Add language to the contract to either have BSO fund additional/current 3% FRS contribution and or exempt BSO from any future FRS % increases.              ***Brought up by 2 people
  57. Why don’t we ever focus more on Post-Retirement Health Account, it’s our biggest monthly bill at retirement!
  58. No transfers from anywhere without aggressive discipline. ***Brought up by 2 people
  59. Increase the funding for the college tuition and book fund.
  60. Compensation for specialized unit supervisor, (e.g. CI Sgt.’s) answering calls and dispatching detectives off duty.
  61. Fund Allocation to reduce dues responsible by covered employees if possible.
  62. Additional pay to the new unit, the Quick Response Field Force which is in the developing stage and will be a test for this unit.

We will now move forward in setting up contract negotiations with the Sheriff’s personnel and keep you updated.  As always it is an open forum and you are able to attended and watch the process.

BCPBA Begins BSO Negotiations

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BCPBA Begins BSO Negotiations

BCPBA has begun negotiations with the Broward Sheriff’s Office on behalf of Lieutenants and Deputies and Sergeants.

Relevant documents are listed below.

PERC Notice of Negotiations Lieutenants (BSO)

PERC Notice of Negotiations Deputies and Sergeants (BSO)

BCPBA Representative Elections BSO, Hallandale, Lighthouse Point and Pembroke Pines

vote_box

Elections for BCPBA representatives are currently being held for four units:

  • Broward Sheriff’s Office
  • Hallandale Beach
  • Lighthouse Point
  • Pembroke Pines

Members from any of the above units should call the BCPBA office with the name of the person they wish to nominate and a contact phone number for that person. The BCPBA will verify that the individual being nominated accepts the nomination before being entered into the nomination pool.

Sheriff Scott Israel Re-election Kickoff PBA Social Hall

Scott-Israel-Kickoff

You are invited to the first fundraising reception in support of the re-election of Sheriff Scott Israel.

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

6:00-8:00 PM

 

PBA Social Hall

2901 SW 26th Terrace

(on the south side of State Road 84, west of I095)

Dania Beach, Florida 33312

 

See flyer for suggested contribution and compliance language.

 

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Broward County Police
Benevolent Association
2650 West State Road 84
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

Telephone: (954) 584-7600
Fax: (954) 583-0405

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