A wise person once said, “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and erase all doubt.” All of us can think of someone we know that this sage piece of advice applies to. Recently the Police Dept. command group was receiving some training on the MOU from city personnel. Commander Parra reportedly asked about allowing officers to go to the PLEA office during the duty day. The labor relations administrator noted that other labor units are not permitted to go on duty. In the discussion that ensued, it was noted that allowing officers to speak with their Association Officials on duty has been a long standing practice. In addition, the MOU specifically addresses and supports the premise of officers being able to seek help from the Association during duty hours.
In many situations, issues of concern can be addressed telephonically. In other cases that may be more involved and complex, a face to face meeting may be in order. Officers that come to PLEA to seek advice or guidance on discipline and grievance issues do so after either informing and receiving the ok from their boss, and or statusing out on the MDT. Being equipped with modern technology such as cell phones and radios means that the officers can break away and return to service at a moment’s notice if needed.
PLEA was told that Chief Yahner cautioned all those in the command group not to take any action on the issue at this point. Chief Yahner recognized that changes should not be made regarding this issue due to past practice that had been established between PLEA and the Department. Commander Parra, in classic Mike Parra form, promptly sent out the following email to his precinct supervisor group.
If you are unreasonably denied access to your Association representatives, contact the PLEA office for assistance.