Archive for the News Category

Florida PBA Update On Our Hurricane Irma Recovery Efforts

This is not designed to brag about our efforts to assist our membership during the recovery. Although, what we have seen from everyone is overwhelmingly impressive and a testament to the unity of our association.

As you know, the entire southern portion of the state was hammered by Hurricane Irma and the storm caused major flooding all the way up into the Northeast.

By Monday evening, September 11, the storm was in Georgia so much of the state was experiencing evening sunshine, but no power, severe damage and toxic flood waters. John Rivera and his team were already in the field performing clean up for members. Clearing driveways of down trees, cutting trees off of roofs and shuttling food and supplies.

By Tuesday, our entire team in south Florida was performing clean up, providing food and water, along with securing food for the officers working extensive shifts. A team moved in from the Tampa Bay area to assist the Southwest portion of the state.

By Wednesday, a team led by Brittney Welborn carried fuel, food and supplies to our correctional officers in the “iron triangle” who were without power and experiencing a rising flood of water. Jim Baiardi led the efforts in the South to fed every correctional institution.

On Thursday, the cavalry was in full motion. Gary Bradford, Abe Carmack and George Lofton had secured commitments from Publix and Walmart to bring in two truckloads of supplies for South Florida. Tampa PBA had already brought a shipment of food for the Fort Myers area and Matt Sellers was coordinating efforts to feed over 100 troopers in the field who had not been fed in nearly two days. Mick McHale had his contacts in New York hauling in a load from the North all the way down to “the Keys” but they were stuck in Jacksonville so Kim Kilpatrick of Coastal PBA got a team from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office together to secure the supplies and make the remainder of the trip.

Friday saw the first shipment from Tampa come into South Florida and the amount was so massive that the supplies were allowed to travel all the way down to mile marker 48. John and his team were feeding over 1,800 officers during the day. Jimmy and Brittney continued to feed correctional officer while power was being restored and the flood waters were receding.

On Saturday, the New York supplies arrived via Coastal Florida PBA. Followed by another shipment from Tampa Bay via George Lofton and Suncoast PBA on Monday.

In just a few days following a major disaster, the Florida PBA with all its chapters and charters and its partners like Publix, Walmart and our friends from New York answered the call.

I am honestly awed by how generous and compassionate everyone has been.

God Bless you,

Matt Puckett
Executive Director
Florida Police Benevolent Association

BCPBA IS ASKING FOR DONATIONS TO AID HOUSTON AREA LAW ENFORCEMENT

With the effects of Hurricane Harvey ravaging the city of Houston, several law enforcement officers have lost their homes and possessions, yet they are still out on the streets serving the Houston community without going home.

Through the website, AssistTheOfficer.com, donations are currently being accepted to help these men and women who are putting the needs of their community before their own.

The Broward County Police Benevolent Association is making a donation to this cause and is asking its members and supporters to aid these Houston area law enforcement officers who have suffered from the severe flooding as well.

Donations can be made online by clicking here or mailed to:

Assist the Officer
FBO Harvey Relief
1600 State Street
Houston, TX 77007

Broward County PBA Awards Annual Scholarships

The Broward County Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (BCPBA) presented awards to the winners of its annual college scholarship essay contest at the quarterly board of directors meeting held on June 29, 2017.

The organization awarded top scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year to five students of the organization’s law enforcement members. The essay question for the applicants was, “With the growing number of protests and demonstrations occurring lately around the country, how do you think law enforcement can effectively balance freedom of speech with public safety concerns?”

This year’s first place winner is Emily Shimpeno of Pembroke Pines. Emily received a $1,200 scholarship, which will be applied toward her education at Florida Gulf Coast University. The first place scholarship was sponsored by Matthew Oppedisano of the Wellington, Florida-based Law Enforcement Retirement Advisory Service.

The second place winner was Tyler Ray of Pompano Beach. Tyler received a $600 scholarship, which will be applied toward his education at Mary Washington University.

The remaining winners each received scholarships in the amount $500 from the Broward County PBA.

The third place recipient was Caroline Volpe of Boca Raton. Caroline will be continuing her education at Tallahassee Community College and then Florida State University. Ivanna Cerna of Pembroke Pines earned the fourth place award, and will be attending Broward College. The fifth place winner was Nicole Pardon of Coconut Creek. Nicole will be attending Florida State University.

The Broward County PBA Annual Scholarship Award was founded in 2003 as part of The HOPE Fund’s mission to assist the children of law enforcement members in their effort to attend college. To be eligible for the scholarship, participants must be the son or daughter of a Broward County PBA member in good standing and plan to be a part-time or full-time student at an accredited two- or four-year university.

BCPBA Requests Broward Health Install BDAs In All Hospitals

The Broward County Police Benevolent Association today formally requested that Broward Health begin installing bi-directional amplifiers in all of its hospitals to improve radio communications for law enforcement officers. These amplifiers will strengthen the officer’s radio signal and allow communication to penetrate the building’s construction.

The installation of bi-directional amplifiers is not just a safety issue for law enforcement officers, but for firefighters, EMS and medical personnel, patients and visitors as well. If an incident were to take place in one of these facilities, not just with an in-custody individual, but for those who are Baker- and Marchman-acted as well, any call for assistance will not be heard.

This is an extremely important issue to the Broward County PBA because it involves the safety and protection of law enforcement officers, which we represent over 1,700 throughout Broward County and its municipalities.

Below is our letter to the Broward Health Board Of Commissioners formally requesting the installation of bi-directional amplifiers.

The Capitol Report For The Week Of April 3-7

Week five of the session, we are at the halfway point of session.

  • Legislative budget proposals get first hearings of the year and PBA units are receiving raises in both plans.
  • Body camera footage review legislation completes Senate Committee schedule and heads to the Senate floor to join the House of Representatives’ identical version.
  • FRS COLA studies have not been completed.
  • Local pension bills continue to move through the House of Representatives.
  • The elected sheriff’s legislation ran into opposition in both chambers.
  • The Department of Corrections legislation was amended at the PBA’s request to keep LTs, CPTs, CPOs Supervisors and CPO Senior Supervisors in the bargaining unit.

Please review our mid-session summaries below.

Pay Raises Proposals
The Senate and House Appropriations Committees approved the respective chamber’s initial pay raise proposals. The details are:

  • The Senate budget includes a pay raise for all state employees on September 30, 2017 ($1,400 for employees earning under $40,000 per year and $1,000 for employees earning over $40,000). This raise is on top of the specific raises for the units listed below.
  • Both budgets include a 5% across the board pay raise for the FHP, Law Enforcement Officers and FDLE Special Agents bargaining units (Senate Plan includes the Lottery Law Enforcement Unit, but House left the unit out by mistake).
  • Correctional Officers of all classes in the Security Services bargaining unit will receive an additional pay raise (see details below) in the Senate Budget. The House proposal includes a $1,300 across the board pay raise for COs in all bargaining unit classes.
  • Correctional Probation Officers (all bargaining unit classes) and Institutional Security Specialists are only included in the across the board raise for all state employees in the Senate and not included in the House proposal (please see below for details).

Correctional Officers Pay Raise in Senate Budget
On July 1, 2017, each correctional officer in all classes of the bargaining unit will receive a minimum of $2,500, or the amount necessary to move the employee to following new base amount:

  • Correctional Officer – $33,500
  • Correctional Officer SGT – $36,850
  • Correctional Officer LT – $40,535
  • Correctional Officer CPT – $44,589

Correctional Probation Officers and Institutional Security Specialists
Correctional Probation Officers and Institutional Security Specialists are not included in the July 1st pay raises in either budget proposal. The Senate does include both employee groups in the September 30th proposal.

The justification for not including the CPOs and ISS centered on turnover and vacancy rates.

The PBA disagrees with the Legislature’s assessment. We are discussing inclusion with both leadership teams (House and Senate). Once the conference committees (budget negotiations) get to work on the differences of the two proposals, our team will lobby hard for inclusion. With four weeks to go, we still have plenty of time to add CPOs and ISS to the plan.

Like I said last week, it is not the time to get give up, or lash out. We always anticipated varying levels of funding for pay raises and zero has been a possibility from the beginning. We are fully prepared to address this through our lobbying team. Please do not let this setback cause you or your fellow officers to attack legislators. That is counterproductive to our strategy and it will guarantee that you will not be added to the pay raises plan in the end.

PBA is going to put boots on the ground to make sure you are included. We have a large team of lobbyists already, but if you have an interest in joining us in Tallahassee to help, please call me at 1-800-733-3722, or email matt@flpba.org.

State Employee Health Insurance Premiums
No employee premium increases included in either budget and the spousal program stays in effect.

The Career Development Plan
The Career Development plan has become the doubling of the Salary Incentive program for state agencies. This change in strategy was done at PBA’s request. SB 168 by Senator Jack Latvala was amended to allow the doubling of salary incentive dollars for participating officers. The concept was one of the issues that came out of our career development workgroup.

The House bill (SB 247) has been stalled because of fiscal concerns since the start of session. If we can keep the doubling of the salary incentive plan alive in the Senate, perhaps we can get a compromise position on the issue during budget negotiations (conference committee).

There is still a lot pushback towards creating a step plan. We have to keep making it a priority and educating the Legislature, DMS and the Governor on why it is important to the long viability of each agency.

It is our belief that going after the Career Development Plan Workgroup concepts will go a long way to making step plans a reality.

Local Pension Plans
PBA Lobbyists are monitoring both the West Palm Beach ( HB 1135) and Tampa ( HB 533) pension plans. Each bill continues to receive hearings and move through the process.

Body Camera Footage Review
HB 305 by Representative Shawn Harrison passed the full Florida House of Representatives (116-0) last week. It is in the Senate now.

The Senate Rules Committee unanimously passed SB 624 by Senator Greg Steube which wrapped this bill’s committee schedule. The bills are now ready to be united on the Senate floor for final passage.

Sheriffs Must Be Elected
Both bills were temporarily postponed this week. Negotiations are underway to get the bills back on track before time runs out.

Reinstating the FRS COLA
The PBA and Firefighters presented study proposals to the Senate in the early weeks of February, but these impact studies have not been completed. We are in a holding pattern.

Please join me in thanking John Rivera, Jeff Marano, Luis Fuste, Blanca Greenwood, Pablo Lima, Rod Skirvin, Stephanie Womble, Tom Tiberio, and Anastasios Kamoutas for joining us in Tallahassee this week.

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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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