Recently, the FOP was presented with draft regulations which were geared toward overhauling the disciplinary system. The regulations sought to change the penalty matrix, as well as some of the procedures. It would constitute a major overhaul of the current system.
Given the opportunity to present written comments on the regulation, I really dug into it and submitted a rather lengthy assessment of the new rules. We met with the administration following those written comments and the police administration explained that they agreed with many of my comments and they were going to take them the the DOJ for approval. We were also given the opportunity to supplement out written comments. Jake Lundy composed and submitted the supplemental comments on behalf of the FOP.
I am happy to report that the major comments made by myself and Jake Lundy have led to changes in the regulation. While it is not perfect, it is MUCH better than it was.
For example, the new system reduced the number of offenses that could be resolved by a letter of reprimand from 45 to 11. That has been expanded significantly and the penalty matrix now includes oral reprimand as an option for minor offenses.
Another example is that what would qualify as a second offense was tightened up significantly. It is too complex to explain here, but it was originally “crazy” in my estimation. The changes have led to a system that is very similar to what we have now except for the more serious offenses.
Finally, there were some changes to the policies relative inadvertent BWC violations.
These new regulations should be effective around May 15, 2016. It will still be more important than ever to make use of the FOP Legal Defense Plan – even for minor offenses or BS allegations. So, call when you find yourself the accused officer, you all have my number.