Political Candidate Questionnaire Step 1 of 7 - Candidate Information 14% Name(Required) First Last Phone(Required)Email(Required) Political Office(Required)Please enter the name of the office that you are running for. The Ability to Engage in Meet and Confer Negotiations(Required)Background: Many cities and towns have long recognized the benefits of a cooperative working relationship between labor and management. Over the years, they have extended meet and confer negotiation rights to public employees including police. While many public safety agencies have benefited from a productive partnership between employers and employees, other agencies have not. Currently, many cities, counties, and the state does not allow public safety employees the fundamental right to negotiate with their employers. History shows that denying workers the right to negotiate causes poor morale, the waste of resources, unfair and inadequate working conditions, and low productivity. Ultimately, it is the public’s safety and security that is jeopardized by such poor working conditions for police. PLEA Position: There are many law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day to preserve the security and peace that our communities enjoy. However, these same officers are denied the basic ability under a meet and confer agreement of negotiating for wages, hours, and safe working conditions. PLEA will continue working to actively support the adoption of meet and confer ordinances and MOU agreements for the State of Arizona and all political subdivisions of the state. Questions: What are your thoughts of police officers having the ability to negotiate wages, hours, and working conditions under a meet and confer ordinance and an MOU agreement? Would you support those efforts? Qualified Immunity for Police Officers(Required)Background: Recently there has been discussion of eliminating “Qualified Immunity” for police officers. Police officers, like many governmental officials, have out of necessity been covered by some form of immunity to be able to perform the duties and responsibilities of government without undue and significate risk of personal liability. Police officers do not have total immunity like other governmental officials such as judges and prosecutors. Qualified immunity essentially means that if the officer is acting in good faith, then they are generally immune from personal liability. However, if they violate the law, they are not protected from prosecution or civil liability. PLEA Position: Police Officers have an extremely difficult and dangerous job. Police officers, under the most intensely stressful situations and at great risk of their lives are required to make split second decisions. To protect the public and themselves, officers, without hesitation, must be able respond immediately in these situations. PLEA will oppose any attempts to limit or abolish qualified immunity for police officers. Questions: What are your thoughts on qualified immunity for police officers? Will you protect qualified immunity for police officers? Defunding the Police(Required)Background: There have been calls for “Defunding the Police”. These calls have been from the extreme point of total elimination of the police to reducing police department budgets and manpower. Part of the discussion has led to shifting police budget resources to other social programs to handle “non-violent” situations such as homelessness and mental health calls. PLEA Position: Since 2008, due to the great recession, nearly every police department in the state suffered significant losses in budgetary, and particularly personnel resources. Every agency was asked to “do more with less”, which they did. As a result, police resources have been significantly reduced, populations have increased, and now crime, specifically violent crime, has spiked. While PLEA is generally supportive of looking at alternative approaches to deal with things like homelessness and mental health call responses, we look at them as enhancements to public safety, not replacement of police response/services. Question: What are your thoughts on “Defunding the Police”, and will you oppose defunding the police and support sufficient resources for police budgets? Police Officer Due Process Rights(Required)Background: Throughout the state, many agencies lack coherent guidelines and procedures to protect an officer’s right to due process. Sworn law enforcement officers are held to an extremely high standard of personal and professional conduct due to the enormous responsibilities they exercise. For example, a police officer who is forced to use deadly force in the protection of the community is immediately the subject of criminal and administrative investigations. However, many officers are denied basic due process rights that other officers enjoy. Sometimes, officers are subjected to false accusations by criminals who attempt to deflect accountability for their own actions. In addition, some individuals are reluctant to file a complaint against an officer, perceiving correctly or incorrectly that agencies will not take the complaint seriously and conduct an inquiry. Often departments lack any guidelines and procedures for handling and investigating complaints, thus raising doubts about officer accountability. Arizona Revised Statute 38-1100 thru 38-1141 provides due process rights for police, correction, and probation officers in the State of Arizona as well as outline protocols for investigations of officers. PLEA Position: PLEA recognizes a serious need for the implementation of standards and procedures to guide state, county, and local law enforcement agencies and law enforcement officers during internal investigations, administrative hearings, and evaluation of citizen complaints. Too often law enforcement officers are subjected to the whim of their departments or local politics during internal investigations and administrative hearings. PLEA also supports the implementation of standards to guide law enforcement agencies in developing and operating a fair and effective investigative process. Individuals should have the right to file a complaint, to have the complaint investigated, and to be informed of its final disposition, including learning the outcome of the investigation and any resulting disciplinary action. Consequently, PLEA has actively fought for the enactment of ARS 38-1100 legislation. In consultation with attorneys representing law enforcement officers, PLEA will continue to exert every effort with the State Legislature, county, and local governments to support and protect officer due process and improve transparency and accountability in law enforcement agencies. Questions: What are your thoughts on an officer’s right to due process? Will you support a police officer’s right to due process and fair investigative protocols? Police Pension Rights and Benefits(Required)Background: Public Safety occupations are dangerous and unique. In recognition of that fact, public safety pensions are unique as well. They recognize the inherent dangers above and beyond the risk of physical injury. Events related to enormous and prolonged stress result in numerous health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, suicide, and cancers which lead to adverse quality of life issues or even early deaths. For decades public safety pension benefits have been protected from diminishment by the Arizona State Constitution. Additionally, pensions were a driving factor in recruitment of potential candidates for police service. They also served as an incentive to retain police officers as they progressed through very challenging careers. Recently, public safety pension benefits were significantly reduced for newly hired officers. Considering the current public war on police in many areas of the country it has become increasingly difficult to recruit members of the community for police service. PLEA Position: To improve incentives to enter a career in public safety service, particularly policing, PLEA believes it is critical to improve the pensions of public safety. Not a total return to the prior public safety benefits, but a well thought out and sustainable improvement that will assist in recruitment and retention of police officers. Restoration of DROP (Deferred Retirement) that requires continued employee/employer PSPRS contributions and has a reasonable investment return. Additionally, reducing the required age which one can draw their earned pension. Question: What are your thoughts on addressing the recruitment and retention challenges police agencies are facing through improved pension benefits and would you be supportive of the two ideas presented above? Additional InformationPlease use the field below to include any additional information you would like to include in your submission.