It provides that the fee required for an applicant for a retired law enforcement officer concealed carry certification shall be no more than 20% of the fee required under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act for application or renewal for a concealed carry license.
Here's an article we are running in the August issue of American Police Beat about the most recent murder of one of our law enforcement officers.
This morning NPR on their Morning Edition radio show aired a story on the dramatic increase of unprovoked attacks on law enforcement. There was no text available so all I have to send you is the link to the segment on the radio show. I hope you can tune in. It's well done. Click here
VIDEO: Help Us Fight This Gross Injustice
To my fellow officers!
Here in New York City, Sgt. Hugh Barry of the 43 Precinct was indicted for Murder 2 by a Bronx grand jury for the shooting death of an emotionally disturbed woman who attacked him with a baseball bat. This is a message from Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), who needs all of our help to get justice for Sgt. Barry
and watch the video the SBA produced to educate the public about the realities of police work and the NYPD's use of force training. Scroll down to see how you can help Hugh Barry. The SBA is a founding member of PubSecAlliance, an online community of police union and association leaders and their members.
The Supreme Court's coming decision could put unions past the point of no return
Read article on The Hill website.
I know you've all been preparing for the fact that our Supreme Court could rule that unions enjoying automatic dues collection by the employer and sent to the union is a violation of the employees' rights to free speech. I am sending you an article written by a guy who supports "limited government" - i.e. he wants to privatize everything including public safety. Good to know what your enemy is thinking. If your union is doing anything to prepare for this or influence the Supreme Court (not sure how you do that) please let me know and I will get the word out.
By Michael Reitz
Organized labor faces a transformation this year. In February, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Janus v. AFSCME to decide whether government employees can be fired for refusing to pay union dues. A decision for petitioner Mark Janus could extend right-to-work protections to millions of public employees, and the implications for public policy and national politics are profound.
The case is an inflection point for organized labor, coming after decades of grim news. Union membership as a percentage of U.S. employment has been shrinking for 60 years; only 10.4 percent of workers are members of a union, down from a peak of 35 percent in the 1950s.
Several trends have caused difficulties for labor unions, including automation, globalization and the expansion of right-to-work states, to say nothing of exorbitant union contracts. As a result, unions represent only 6.4 percent of all private sector workers.
In the 1960s, labor leaders sought to retrofit collective bargaining to a sector where competitive market forces are less threatening — the government. Though Franklin D. Roosevelt warned against collective bargaining in the public sector, union’s success in organizing government workers helped slow their decline. Government has been a strong growth sector for unions and today 49 percent of all union members are employed by the government.
Government unions won a major assist from the Supreme Court in the landmark case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977). The court ruled that a public employee could be forced to pay for union representation, even if the money supported causes the employee opposed.
Yet even this model of forced unionism shows strain, brought on by union overreach.
Over time, organized labor has shifted its core function away from serving its members and to consolidating its political power, acting as a financial pipeline for a single political party. As AFSCME 36 of Los Angeles says: “Politics is the union’s business.” Or the Michigan Education Association: “Every education decision is a political decision.”
Political intersectionality led unions, particularly the National Education Association, to embrace causes that have little to do with the workplace.
Labor’s shift to politics is the logical result of relying on government employees to sustain membership rolls. Unions are self-motivated to grow government: More government programs lead to more employees who pay more in union dues. But fiscal pressures in states and municipalities have been mounting, particularly related to retiree benefits, and the Great Recession forced many states to make tough choices.
In 2011, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker famously championed collective bargaining reform. A wave of states enacted right-to-work laws, foretelling the collapse of Hillary Clinton’s Blue Wall.
(Clinton’s data analysts could have observed that in every Midwest and Rust Belt state that enacted labor reform, Republicans retained control of the state legislature and every Republican governor won re-election.)
Hoping to grow the pool of public employees, unions stretched Abood beyond recognition by unionizing in-home caregivers who are hired by Medicaid recipients. The effort started on the West Coast in the late-1990s and early 2000s by redefining public employment. “Caregivers are paid through a government program,” went the union logic, “let’s organize them as public employees.”
Unions siphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars intended for disabled adults before the Supreme Court held that states cannot force caregivers to pay dues.
The case, Harris v. Quinn (2014), warned of things to come. The court resolved the case on technical grounds without addressing the forced dues question, but an illuminating conversation took place. Both Justice Samuel Alito, writing the majority opinion, and Justice Elena Kagan, writing the dissent, devoted pages of their opinions to Abood. Alito called Abood “questionable” and “troubling,” while Kagan criticized Alito’s critique as “off-base.”
With Janus, the Supreme Court will address Abood directly.
A ruling for Janus will trigger an exodus of union members who held their nose over union politics. We saw this in Michigan; after the state enacted a right-to-work law in 2012, the Michigan Education Association lost 25 percent of its membership.
AFSCME, the union currently collecting dues from Janus, is preparing for the worst. The union told Bloomberg it had conducted 600,000 one-on-one interviews with members. If Janus wins, the union believes 35 percent will stay in “no matter what,” 15 percent will stop paying dues, with the remaining 50 percent “on the fence.”
Nearly five million workers will be affected by the Janus ruling, a fact not lost on the Democratic Party, heavily dependent as it is on union cash and activists. Legislatures in blue states can be expected to test the limits of Janus; some will try to directly subsidize unions with taxpayer funds.
So how will unions respond to the Janus ruling?
Faced with a loss of revenue, unions may chose to focus on the needs and interests of members, eschewing partisan politics and far-left causes.
Alternatively, as their conservative-leaning members leave, unions may seek more radical aims, pushing for strikes and work stoppages. Such moves could backfire with lawmakers and the taxpayers, leading to changes in labor law.
A reimagining of the labor movement is called for. The leaders of tomorrow’s labor movement would do well to discard a collectivist, coercive model and instead promote services potential members want while honoring the rights of individuals to make their own choices.
Only a few labor leaders see the future with clarity.
Speaking at an Aspen Institute event in 2015, SEIU 775 President David Rolf said, “The legacy model of the American labor movement has now passed its own strategic inflection point where rescue is no longer an option, and we have to begin to plan for what is next.”
Michael Reitz is the executive vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan, a nonprofit group that advocates for limited government.
Should cops be collecting taxes on top of everything
else they do?
Peace officers should not be tax collectors
By Molly Davis,
For the Deseret News
Many police executives have claimed that they do not impose quotas on their officers-but if that were true, then why do they oppose legislation banning them?
It has long been rumored that many police agencies operate under a quota system - one in which officers are required by their superiors to issue a specific number of citations. Whether this is true or not has been difficult to prove because, aside from personal testimony and leaked documents, there is little evidence confirming quotas are used by police departments.
It may be that departments don't have an official written policy on quotas, either implementing or banning them. Instead, some quotas could exist in untraceable means such as word of mouth.
Many Utahns' skepticism of police quotas recently received a boost when a former police officer, Eric Moutsos, publicly alleged in a viral Facebook post that his past employer, the Salt Lake City Police Department, regularly relied on quotas as a means of garnering increased funds for their city.
In later conversations, Moutsos disclosed that quotas were repeatedly used as an objective tool for officer evaluation. Officers would be rewarded or punished based on these expected performance metrics. He also indicated that it was virtually impossible to advance in one's career without increasing your numbers, whether it was citations issued or arrests made. According to Moutsos, officers seeking transfer or promotion to better units within the field of police work are often evaluated based heavily on how many citations and arrests they have on their track record. Police departments often contend that this is a matter of measuring productivity and tracking work.
But Moutsos' testimony is not the only evidence of quotas being used in Utah. Leaked emails from the Cottonwood Heights Police Department in 2013 showed that prizes were given out as incentives to officers who reached certain quotas.
Additionally, an audit of the Provo Police Department revealed that "officers felt that they were required to meet a quota of different kinds of traffic violations including, but not limited to, parking, equipment and moving violations." Some officers felt they had been "passed over for promotion and transfer based on the arbitrary requirement of a certain amount of activity in selected patrol categories, most notably traffic enforcement."
Former state Rep. Carl Wimmer, previously a police officer for both West Valley and South Jordan, admitted he "had to write three tickets every day. That was a quota, and they exist."
It's been a decade since the Legislature explored the issue. Neil Hansen, a former Utah House member, sought to ban police quotas in 2008 and again in 2009. Both bills failed, in part due to opposition from police executives across the state. However, the Utah State Fraternal Order of Police has consistently supported banning quotas.
Many police executives have claimed that they do not impose quotas on their officers - but if that were true, then why would some oppose legislation banning them? Others claim quotas should not be banned because they are a good tool for evaluating an officer's performance. But if quotas are as helpful and good as they claim, then why do police departments often try to hide any evidence that they are using quotas?
The arguments against banning quotas simply don't add up. And although some law enforcement executives may be vocal in the fight against banning quotas, many police officers are silent in their support of prohibiting this practice, fearing professional retribution for speaking up.
Most peace officers enter into a career in law enforcement because of a desire to keep their community safe. They signed up to be a peace officer in the truest sense of the word - not a revenue generating robot whose purpose is to boost the city budget.
The Legislature should prohibit quotas in Utah, just as multiple other states have done such as Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Florida. Tickets will still continue to be given and fines will still be paid. And rather than being stuck chasing drivers down for actions that have not endangered anyone, officers will be freed up to focus on actual threats to public safety.
In a world without quotas, officers would be given the opportunity to fully perform their jobs through proactive policing where they can use their discretion to prioritize public safety without the threat of being punished for not writing a high number of tickets each day. Utahns would better be able to trust that the police officers are patrolling the streets for the purpose of safety, not monetary gain.
Molly Davis is a policy analyst at Libertas Institute.
Click here for full story
KEY TASK: PROTECT YOUR SYSTEM'S COMPUTER SYSTEM
By Ernie Smith
Meltdown and Spectre, a series of hardware-level exploits disclosed last week, led to a collective freak-out in the tech world. The issues, mostly with Intel processors but affecting almost every major type of CPU, definitely are serious, but what do they mean for your association?
In 1994, a math professor unwittingly came across what would prove to be a costly headache for the chip giant Intel-a bug in the way that the floating point unit in Intel's Pentium chip divides numbers.
The problem was seen in retrospect as perhaps a bit overblown-it was not a situation that most computer users would run into on a regular basis-but it still ended up costing Intel hundreds of millions of dollars.
The flaws recently revealed in popular lines of processors promise to affect users a lot more than that old floating-point bug, especially if they don't upgrade their devices.
Last week saw the revelation of two separate bugs, one specifically targeting Intel devices, nicknamed Meltdown, and another affecting chips by both AMD and the widely used ARM platform, along with Intel, called Spectre. Both affect processors made over a 20-year period, involving the processors' handling of something called speculative execution, a technique that allows for faster processing but also created massive security holes that promise to be with us years from now.
The bugs are significant enough that they've earned their own names and logos, and each is believed to enable attackers to access sensitive data at the hardware level. A piece of malware could, theoretically, grab passwords or other sensitive data at a very low level within the system. The bugs, in this way, have parallels to the Heartbleed bug, except at the hardware level.
Much has been written about these flaws, and early on, the news about Meltdown in particular-reportedly first discovered months ago by Google researchers-had a lot of people freaking out and struggling to explain what it does.
Fortunately, we've had a few days to digest this news, and while Intel will surely be dealing with the fallout for some time, it's looking like Meltdown and Spectre, at least in the short term, will be more of an ongoing security annoyance than a code-red crisis-as long as you're on top of tech security issues in your organization.
So, what does this mean for your association's IT department? A few quick takeaways:
Now might be a good time to hold off on buying new machines. Since this is a hardware problem, it's going to take Intel and other manufacturers some time to solve it-so if you're in the market for a new computer, it may be wise to wait. In particular, it may be prudent to hold off on a noncritical purchase of a machine with an Intel processor, as Intel plans to implement fixes to Meltdown in its hardware. While Intel has software patches going to the machines already on the market, those are said to slow down certain operations, and it's possible that Intel will be able to solve the Meltdown-related security issues in later iterations of its chips. At the same time, the issues may simply be unavoidable, particularly as Spectre affects a much broader array of products-including some versions of the iPhone and iPad, along with connected devices that use the ARM architecture. Which of course means ...
Expect to do a lot of patching in the coming weeks. While it's clear that software can only do so much about a fundamental hardware-based issue, the Meltdown and Spectre scare highlights why it's so important that your organization have a well-considered approach to security and updates. In the longer term, more patches could be necessary, and because Intel and other processor makers are at the mercy of third-party software vendors, it might take a while for your connected devices to get patched. Hey, it could be worse: As Wired notes, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team initially believed the only effective way to solve the Meltdown problem was to replace the hardware entirely. In that light, patching is definitely a nice alternative.
Cloud computing resources are likely to see some hiccups.Want an idea of how bad Meltdown could be for cloud computing? Look to the world of gaming. Big-name publisher Epic Games, for example, has run into a lot of problems over the past few days due to the way patches have affected servers for its popular title Fortnite. It's a high-profile example of what may become the most visible problem caused by Meltdown in particular: Cloud computing exists to make processing power available to the public, and now the exploit-and its necessary patch-promise to make that processing power, well, less powerful. While big players and small have been working on solutions for the flaws, the speed issues related to patches will be particularly felt on the cloud, as database software and web servers are likely to face the strongest effects from such patches. This could mean that your cloud computing dollar might not go as far.
This is not an ideal situation by any means, but if your IT department is staying on top of security issues, you might be able to keep your head above water. But expect a few headaches. (And I would expect the tech industry to learn a lot from this crisis, as it did with Heartbleed.)
Just because it's called Meltdown doesn't mean you actually need to have one.
See the full article HERE