It has become evident that the police and correction officers in Michigan now need to not only be on guard against gang members, violent prisoners, drunks, felons, and radical militia members but also for attacks by our own state legislature.
My first All Points Bulletin: Any senator or house rep, who wants us to take a 5% pay reduction, and pay 20% of our health care premiums, yet refuses to relinquish their lifetime health care. I believe the currently proposed legislation is an insult to all of us who wear body armor and a gun belt to work every day. The idea of a Michigan legislator publicly asking the men and women in the law enforcement community to “step up to the plate to be a part of the solution” is just plain offensive. The police officers in this state step up to the plate every day when we leave our homes and families to go to work. True, some of us may enter into more violent and dysfunctional towns than others, but that does not mean at any moment those officers are any less likely to become targets than others.
I am tired of witnessing politicians tout how they support law enforcement when it conveniently benefits them politically, and then show absolutely zero evidence of it when it comes time to balance budgets and reduce workforces. Anyone, who votes to eliminate a state law that requires binding arbitration for the resolution of contract disputes between employers and police, can no longer claim to be pro-law enforcement.
When and if they have their wish, it will leave the cops in Michigan virtually crippled at the bargaining table. The interference in the collective bargaining process has made local unions hesitant to make cost-saving adjustments beneficial to employers because we now have to wonder what the state may implement in the future.
The truth is, that is already being done through negotiations between the parties. For anyone to sabotage the process is a threat to all of our livelihoods, because if they succeed, cops may never appreciate an enhancement in our wages or benefits again. Unless anyone actually believes that annual police wages will increase enough to cover the state-imposed 20% non-negotiable health care premium share.
No other career choice can lead to the unannounced abrupt end of life, reduced life expectancy, rampant suicide rate, and troubling divorce rate than the law enforcement profession. That is why I won’t ever apologize for attempting to make officers’ working conditions better, and I do not apologize for putting out APB’s when I identify threats to the law enforcement community. Cops need to support, endorse, and elect representatives that respect what we do, and show evidence of it when needed. And, if they don’t, hold them accountable.
Stay safe. RIP SPD Badge #204