We are halfway through 2019, and the year has been very busy so far for the LVPPA. During the first six months of this year, we had LVMPD contract negotiations, City of Las Vegas contract negotiations, NAPO Top Cops Awards, several officer-involved shootings, the legislative session and multiple events for our members. I have put a lot on the plate of the Executive Board, and they have not disappointed. Whether it be before shift, after hours, RDOs or holidays, your Executive Board is always prepared to do what they need to do to make this organization one of the best in the country.
We have also handled a couple arbitrations when our officers were terminated, and in one of them we succeeded in bringing the officer back to work. At the time of this article, a decision was still pending in the other case. There have been several issues that we have involved ourselves in and handled before they even reached a level where our members heard about it. There is a ton of work that we get accomplished through our relationships with staff. I think, by now, LVMPD knows we want to resolve issues at the lowest levels, but we are definitely not afraid to fire a shot across the table when we need to.
At the end of the day, our membership comes first. In addition to our focus on the new collective bargaining agreement, we have been working diligently at the legislative session fighting for your rights and protection of your benefits. In the past, we almost never attempted to open up NRS 289, the Police Officers Bill of Rights. The reason was because, upon opening the issue, we risked people jumping on board and weakening the rights offered to officers. In this session, we successfully opened 289 and came away with some of the greatest enhancements to your rights that have ever happened. The biggest piece was that if LVMPD was found to have violated your rights in the past, only your statement or whatever was derived from the violation was thrown out. Under the new law, LVMPD risks having the case overturned, including any discipline given to our officer. We have also included the ability to have an officer receive back pay if they are placed on leave-without-pay status for a felony criminal investigation. Also, your Weingarten rights are now included in 289. This simply means if you, not the supervisor, believe discipline could arise from the conversation, you have the right to representation.
These issues have been on our radar for a long time, and now was the time to go after the enhancement of your rights. Big thanks to Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro for her support of the rights of our officers.
All labor groups also benefited from another bill that abolished SB 241, from the 2015 session, which was known as the union-busting bill. This new bill gives the PPA back everything we had to concede under SB 241 and saves our membership a substantial amount of money. There were other bills we worked on diligently during this session, including a PTSD and cancer bill. If you see Mike Ramirez out and about, please extend a “job well done” for getting us through the session. Mike worked tirelessly to support our membership as well as helping all officers across the state.
As we move through the rest of 2019, we will continue to stand up for our folks in an effort to make this the best police agency to work for in the country. The success of our agency depends on the officers who keep the streets safe. From patrol to the detectives to the corrections officers at CCDC and our partners at the City of Las Vegas, we are among the best in the country.
We know staff looks at a term like “morale” and thinks that since you are paid well, morale doesn’t matter. We know it absolutely matters and can impact our ability to fight crime in the community. We will continue to roll out fun events for you all to enjoy and interact with your partners, and hopefully let you know we care about morale.
As always, stay safe, and if you need us, just call.