FOP Police Union says transfer keeps him from officers By: Gerard A Frank, Staff Writer East Orange Record 2/17/05
The East Orange
Record received an anonymous tip from a union member that their
president had been transferred in retaliation for doing his
"The president of
the city's Fraternal Order of Police was transferred from the
juvenile aid bureau to the new Campus High School in retaliation
for his union efforts on our behalf," said the caller. The East
Orange Record contacted William Shirden, president of the FOP
Lodge 111, who confirmed the allegations. He stated that since
his transfer to Campus High School required that he spend his
tour at that site as opposed to be in the police building, his
ability to perform his duties as union president were hindered.
Shirden said for the past two weeks he had been attending line
up for the day shift, questioning officers about the recent
complaints he received about raising their ticket activities.
"Back in December I received information that the officers were
told to start issuing more tickets," said Shirden. The
Professional Standards Unit contacted Shirden after he appeared
on UPN 9 news about the allegations. "I was asked to give them
the names of those complaining. For one thing it came to me
anonymously. For another reason, I'm the union president and I
can't give out names of union members," said Shirden.
Shirden said he was the union president the past two years
except for the nine months he served at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
There he trained recently graduated Army recruits for nine
months who were assigned to military occupation skills in
microwave radio operations. In his stead, Reggie Hudson acted as
president of the union. "He did a great job while I was gone,"
said Shirden. Shirden said he has been back for almost a year
and was working in the juvenile aid bureau handling juvenile
cases. Police officers were coming to him complaining not only
about raising their ticket count but also about doing arbitrary
filed interview reports of FIR. A FIR is when a police officer
stops an individual in an area and runs a background check on
him or her, said Shirden. "Basically they were profiling. They
wanted us to stop anyone with a backpack in an area where
burglaries had occurred," said Shirden.
That's when he began to attend the day shift line up so he could
talk to other officers about any complaints they may have. "I
asked if I could attend the COMSTAT meetings so I could get
information directly from those responsible for what was going
on. I could then disseminate that information to union members
so we could know what is going on. We need to know what is going
on," said Shirden. Shirden said he isn't complaining about the
job he is doing but that he wouldn't be as accessible to union
members as he was when he was in the police building. "I would
do my cases and then if an officer had a grievance I would try
to mediate it before filing an official grievance. I can't do
that now," said Shirden. Shirden said he was told the
reassignment would mean he would work days and be the liaison
for the juvenile bureau. "I did my job the best of my ability,
both working in the juvenile aid bureau and as union president,"
said Shirden. A voice mail message seeking comment from acting
Chief Michael Cleary went unanswered by press time
Page on Pending Laws
New Jersey FOP website has a page that lists all pending
legislation that affects NJ law enforcement. They call it
"Legislative Watch." It breaks each of the
proposals down into a paragraph and provides the bill number for
those who may want to visit the state website for additional
information. They even list their opinion of the
legislation. Each paragraph ends with "FOP
supports" or "FOP opposes." It is a great
here to visit the page.
EAST ORANGE POLICE
DEPT. VOTED TO KEEP THE FOP AS THEIR
On February 21, 2002 the East
Orange Police Department FOP Lodge #111 voted overwhelmingly in favor
of retaining the FOP as their bargaining agent, rather than the PBA
#16. The PBA was defeated with a vote of 104 - 21 in favor of the FOP.
F.O.P. President William
Shirden received the below letter from Mrs. Alicia Cotton mother of East
Orange Police Officer William Cotton. Mrs. Cotton is pleading for help
from anyone who can locate a kidney donor for her son, who is
diagnosed with Degenerative Kidney Disorder. If anyone has any information that can
help in this concern please contact the family by following the
directions at the conclusion of the letter.
December 16, 2003
President Bush Meets with National F.O.P. President
Canterbury Thanks President for Signing "Hometown Heroes" Bill into
Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police,
met with President George W. Bush today at the White House to thank
him and his Administration for their support of S. 459, the "Hometown
Heroes Survivors Benefits Act," legislation which expands eligibility
for the Public Safety Officers' Benefit (PSOB) program to include
those public safety officers who suffer a fatal heart attack or stroke
in the line of duty. President Bush signed the measure into law last
"I am here today to thank the President for his support, which was
critical to getting this bill through Congress," said Canterbury.
The "Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefits Act" would entitle the
survivors of a public safety officer who suffers a fatal heart attack
or stroke while, or within twenty-four (24) hours after, engaging in a
line of duty action or participating in a training exercise, to PSOB
benefits. The presumption created by this legislation can only be
overcome by competent medical evidence indicating that the heart
attack or stroke was in fact the result of something other than a line
of duty action.
President Bush invited Canterbury and Harold Schaitberger, the General
President of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), to
the White House to recognize them for the important role they played
in the passage of this legislation and continue to play in
representing the interests of our nation's first responders--law
enforcement officers and firefighters.
"The Fraternal Order of Police was the only law enforcement
organization actively involved in pushing this bill through in the
last hours of the first session of this Congress," Canterbury said.
"We worked very closely with all the bill's sponsors, Senator Patrick
J. Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Bob Etheridge (D-NC), as well as
House Subcommittee Chairman Representative Howard Coble (R-NC) and
House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI), the IAFF,
and the Administration to get this bill to the President. When he
signed it last week, it was a great victory for law enforcement and
other public safety officers, and even more so for the families of our
fallen brothers and sisters."
"This President has proved time and time again that he is a friend of
our nation's law enforcement officers," Canterbury said. "I am pleased
to have an opportunity to thank him for all he has done for us and, of
course, to congratulate him on his recent collar of a high-profile
fugitive from justice."
The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement labor
organization in the United States, with more than 310,000 members.
Day on the Hill
February 14-16, 2005
The F.O.P. Day on the Hill 2005 will begin
on Monday, 14 February 2005. The National Legislative Office and
the National Legislative Committee will host a short briefing on
our legislative agenda at the District of Columbia Lodge #1 at
711 4th Street, NW. The briefing will take place on Monday
afternoon and last approximately one hour. Tuesday and
Wednesday, 15-16 February, will be devoted to your meetings with
Members from your home States and districts.
Accommodations for "Day on the
The National Legislative Office has arranged a block of hotel
rooms at a discounted rate at the
Washington Terrace Hotel.
Room rate: $110 per night. For reservations, call 202.232.7000
and mention the Fraternal Order of Police. The deadline for
reservations is January 24, 2005. If you have any questions
about the event, please contact the National Legislative Office
The Fraternal Order of Police, New
Jersey Labor Council has been created by the New Jersey State Lodge,
Fraternal Order of Police, to serve its law enforcement members as a
labor organization under the New Jersey Public Employment Relations
The F.O.P.- NJ Labor
Council, Inc. is dedicated to improving the lives of law enforcement
personnel through representation of its members in collective
bargaining and other labor related matters. The organization, by its
Code of Regulations:
Promotes the formation of
collective bargaining units for law enforcement personnel. Acts as
collective bargaining agent for members and member units recognized
by the New Jersey State Public Employment Relations Commission.
Engages in collective bargaining,
mediation, and arbitration for the purpose of improving wages,
hours, and other working conditions.
Advances the rights and promotes
the interest of all law enforcement personnel.
Unites, represents, defends and
promotes the interest of all members in duty related matters where
Works in a cooperative manner
with other organizations interested in promoting the efficiency,
professionalism, and well being of law enforcement members.
The F.O.P. - N.J.L.C. exists
to protect and serve those who protect and serve society. Our
purpose is to proudly serve the law enforcement community as members
of the Fraternal Order of Police, with a goal of becoming the
premier law enforcement labor organization in New Jersey.
HISTORY OF THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE
In 1915, the life of a
policeman was bleak. In many communities they were forced to work
12 hour days, 365 days a year. Police officers didn't like it, but
there was little they could do to change their working conditions.
There were no organizations to make their voices heard; no other
means to make their grievances known.
This soon changed, thanks to the courage and wisdom of two
Pittsburgh patrol officers. Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle knew
they must first organize police officers, like other labor
interests, if they were to be successful in making life better for
themselves and their fellow police officers. They and 21 others
"who were willing to take a chance" met on May 14, 1915, and held
the first meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police. They formed
Fort Pitt Lodge #1. They decided on this name due to the
anti-union sentiment of the time. However, there was no mistaking
their intentions. As they told their city mayor, Joe Armstrong,
the FOP would be the means "to bring our grievances before the
Mayor or Council and have many things adjusted that we are unable
to present in any other way...we could get many things through our
legislature that our Council will not, or cannot give us."
And so it began, a tradition of police officers representing
police officers. The Fraternal Order of Police was given life by
two dedicated police officers determined to better their
profession and those who choose to protect and serve our
communities, our states, and our country. It was not long
afterward that Mayor Armstrong was congratulating the Fraternal
Order of Police for their "strong influence in the legislatures in
various states,...their considerate and charitable efforts" on
behalf of the officers in need and for the FOP's "efforts at
increasing the public confidence toward the police to the benefit
of the peace, as well as the public."
From that small beginning the Fraternal Order of Police began
growing steadily. In 1955, the idea of a National Organization of
Police Officers came about. Today, the tradition that was first
envisioned over 85 years ago lives on with more than 2,000 local
lodges and 299,000 members in the United States. The Fraternal
Order of Police has become the largest professional police
organization in the country. The FOP continues to grow because we
have been true to the tradition and continued to build on it. The
Fraternal Order of Police are proud professionals working on
behalf of law enforcement officers from all ranks and levels of
East Orange Lodge #111
Sweet victory for East Orange FOP!
It's official! East Orange, the fifth largest police
department in the state of New Jersey, has become an FOP
bargaining unit. By a margin of 11 votes, FOP Lodge #111 scored a
victory that is resounding throughout the state, in the FOP and
Two years ago, the lodge lost to PBA Local #16 by a ratio of 2 to
1. Then, as now, the issues are the same: lacking effective
representation by the PBA. FOP President Barry Jackson said the
PBA victory two years ago was partially based on claims that by
holding an election, the FOP would hold up everyone's retroactive
"That was the excuse they used to stay the bargaining unit, and it
worked." But in the next two years, officers saw that retro checks
were not the issue. "They still got no representation," and, "we
were the ones bailing people out of jail," said Jackson. "The PBA
couldn't even be reached for comment."
Not surprisingly, retro checks were a no issue in this year's
election. A total of 290 officers were eligible to vote in the
July 20 PERC election, run by the Public Employment Relations
Commission (PERC). In all, 130 officers voted, with a final tally
of 68 for the FOP to 57 for the PBA. "We knew it would be close
and a low turn-out," said Jackson. "It was the younger guys who
swung the vote. They saw us as more aggressive, that we will go
out for them."
The victory is even sweeter given the FOP's underdog position.
Before winning, the lodge had 135 members, and no prior
State Lodge President Rick Whelan made announcement of the victory
his number one priority during the July 23 State Lodge meeting,
and again, he praised East Orange members during the state
convention. Both times, Lodge #111 received enthusiastic ovations.
Aside from the PBA's "nonchalant attitude toward assisting
members" in labor matters, Jackson said another issue was a
mediocre employment contract covering the last three years. "Three
percent across the board was not good," he said.
The lodge executive board is now working on a new contract, which
they hope to have in place by year's end. Along with higher
salaries, they are seeking better medical benefits, an improved
vacation policy, and upgrades in medical benefits.
"We're the lowest-paid department in Essex County," said Jackson,
"and we have been slipping for the last two contracts. Even
Irvington, a distressed city, is higher paid."
Other officers on the lodge executive board include First Vice
President Zachary Muse, Second Vice President Lafayette Hamlett,
Corresponding Secretary Keith Hinton, Recording Secretary Will
Shirdan, Treasurer Daniel Martin, Sgt-at-Arms Wilson Carter, and
State Trustee John Thornton.
"We plan to represent our members the way a union is supposed to,"
said Jackson. "We're not going to let people be beat on by the
administration. Officer rights is our first concern and if it
takes getting up at 3 a.m. in the morning, that's what we'll do."
June 23, 2004
H.R. 218 Passes House!!!
F.O.P.'s Grassroots Effort Instrumental to Today's Success
Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Grand Lodge, Fraternal
Order of Police, hailed the adoption of H.R. 218, the "Law
Enforcement Officers' Safety Act," by voice vote. The legislation,
sponsored by Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) was
considered on the House floor today under a suspension of the
"The Fraternal Order of Police has been working on
this legislation for a long time," Canterbury said. "We knew that
we would win today's vote--every time this legislation has been
considered by the House or the Senate it has passed."
The bill, which exempts qualified active and
retired law enforcement officers from State and local prohibitions
with respect to the carrying of concealed firearms, is the
F.O.P.'s top legislative priority. The legislation has wide,
bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, with two hundred
and ninety-three (293) and seventy (70) cosponsors, respectively.
Last week, President George W. Bush wrote a letter
to Canterbury recognizing the F.O.P.'s hard work on the bill,
which he described as one which would "better protect our Nation
from danger." The full text of the letter can be found on the
F.O.P.?s web site: http://www.grandlodgefop.org/letters/ltr_040618_bush.pdf.
"With the strong support of President Bush, House
Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), and other members of the House
leadership, we got the opportunity to put this bill on the floor,"
Canterbury said. "But it was F.O.P. members that made the
difference today--their calls to Representatives resulted in a
lopsided victory for rank-and-file law enforcement officers."
The legislation now goes to the Senate for further
action. In March, the Senate approved an amendment virtually
identical to H.R. 218 on a 91-8 vote, but the underlying bill was
"I have a great deal of confidence that President
Bush will be able to sign the 'Law Enforcement Officers' Safety
Act' before the end of this Congress," Canterbury said.
The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law
enforcement labor organization in the United States, with more
than 318,000 members.
The Fraternal Order of Police is comprised of active and retired
law enforcement officers of all ranks from all branches of
government Federal, State, County, and Local. Members work side by
side to improve the profession and serve the public.[J-BOT Status
At all levels, Local, State, and National, the FOP provides
members with professional legal defense, a powerful collective
bargaining voice, and advocacy for law enforcement legislation,
and seminars for professional development.
FOP members strongly believe in Community involvement, and support
such organizations as Easter Seals, Special Olympics, and in New
Jersey, the Deborah Heart & Lung Center.
The FOP also provides members with opportunities to meet fellow
officers away from the job, to encourage friendships and
networking. Through its many services and activities the FOP is a
family that helps members' in good times and in bad.
270,000 & Growing! The National FOP was founded in 1915 and
has since become the Nation's largest law enforcement organization
with more than 270,000 members.
New Jersey's first local lodge, Camden FOP Lodge #1, was formed in
1947. The New Jersey State Lodge was formed in 1948, and currently
ranks as the 7th largest State Lodge with more than 14,000
Assembly and Senate Approve A3258
An overwhelming vote of 68-6 with 2 abstentions, members of the NJ
Assembly today passed Assemblyman John Kellyís bill. A3258 provides
health benefits to currently retired, and future retirees who are
members of PFRS and PERS and who donít currently enjoy these benefits
via their collective bargaining agreements.
At almost 5 PM, the Senate was ready to act on the bill and voted to
substitute A3258 for an identical Senate Bill, S2334 sponsored by
Senators Joseph Kyrillos, and Bernard Kenny. The Senate then approved
the bill by a vote of 33-0, with 6 Senators not voting.
This followed a reported last minute effort by Senator John Adler to
amend the bill to include all retirees, not just those who are not
currently covered by their contracts. That would have significantly
reduced the benefits of many current and future retirees and obviously
killed the bill. However, when the vote was up, there were no
amendments or discussion.
The bill grants a very valuable benefit that law enforcement officers
and firefighters have sought for years. It will reportedly effect
about 30 percent of our ranks not currently covered through their
contracts and cost about $10 million to the State the first year. The
bill will provide the State Health Benefits Program managed care plan
with the State will paying 80% of the premium and the retiree 20%. The
plan covers the retiree, spouse and eligible dependants. Itís not the
best plan available, but participants may upgrade to one of the
Stateís more expensive plans and bear any additional costs. Itís a big
win for those who cannot now afford their own coverage and those who
have delayed their retirement to avoid losing their medical coverage.
The only opposition came from the League of Municipalities, even
though not a penny of the expense related to the bill will be born by
the municipalities, even though their major objections were allayed.
The bill had widespread support by legislators as well as the Governor
and her administration. Voting against the bill were Assembly members
Carroll, Connor, Garrett, Gregg, Kramer, and Myers. Abstentions came
from Assemblywomen Murphy and Wright.
Retirees Have One Year To Enter
Those eligible members who wish to participate in the program will
have one year from the date of enactment to enroll. For a copy of the
bill, call the FOP State Office at 609-599-1222, or download it
directly from the NJ State Legislature Internet Site at their address,
Legislative Committee members Ed Giordano and Sam Wike, Legislative
Agent Pete Guzzo and President Whelan represented the FOP at the
hearings. Representing the FOP for the votes were Wayne Winkler,
Orlando Rodriguez, Ed Giordano, Pete Guzzo.
Legality of Baseline Drug Testing to be Explored
The New Jersey FOP is taking a stand against mandatory baseline drug
testing, which has been proposed as a preliminary policy in Camden
County, before random testing is put into effect.
"What's the sense of baseline testing if you have a law for random
testing," asks State Lodge Attorney Tony Fusco. "Baseline means you
test everybody. That's not random."
Calling the policy "a violation of the law" and "an invasion of
privacy" that could cause confidentiality problems for employees who
take heart pills or other essential medications, the FOP formed a
special committee to deal with the Camden County policy.
Britt Henderson, president of Cherry Hill Lodge #28, is chairing the
committee that consists of one representative from each Camden lodge.
Working with attorney Darryl Saunders from Fusco's office, the
committee will meet with Camden County Prosecutor Solomon, and explore
the constitutionality of his announced policy.