New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog

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Public Safety Officers Law Blog

Dedicated to Corrections Officers, Policemen, & Firemen throughout the Garden State

Tag Archives: NJ Public Safety Officers

Senate President Sweeney Wants To Put Public Employee Benefits and Pensions On the Chopping Block Again

Posted in Contract Negotiations
As reported in NorthJersey.com, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney has plans to wring savings out of government which could fall hard on public employee unions.  Supposedly Sweeny wants to enlist Governor Philip Murphy as his “partner”, but Murphy wants no part of it. Sweeney’s post-budget focus on cost cutting poses a dilemma for Murphy. Will… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Clarifies Meaning of “Undesigned and Unexpected” Event To Qualify For Accidental Disability Benefits For A Mental Disability

Posted in Disability Retirement
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently clarified the meaning of the term “undesigned and unexpected” event as it pertains to qualifying for accidental disability retirement benefits for a mental disability in the case of Mount v. Board of Trustees, Police and Firemen’s Retirement System. In the case,… Continue Reading

Assembly Votes On Bill Requiring Public Employees Guilty of Sexual Assault and/or Sexual Harassment To Forfeit Pensions

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits
As reported by NJSpotlight.com, inspired by the nationwide campaign against sexual harassment known as the #MeToo movement, lawmakers in New Jersey are proposing a costly new punishment for elected officials and public workers who use their positions to commit a sexual assault or related offense. A bill that was easily approved by a State Assembly… Continue Reading

Labor Arbitration Awards: Be Mindful of The Standard of Review

Posted in Contract Interpretation, Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the Appellate Division recently issued an opinion in the case Policemen’s Benevolent Association v. Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders, which addressed a challenge to a labor arbitration decision revolving around “bonus vacation days.” In the case, the Union appealed from an Order which dismissed its complaint… Continue Reading

NJ Public Employee Involuntary Disability Applications: Notice Must Be Given On Type of Benefits Being Sought

Posted in Disability Retirement
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the Appellate Division recently issued an opinion in the matter Westphal v. Board of Trustees, Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, which addressed certain issues associated with the filing of involuntary disability retirement applications. In the case, the Petitioner, William Westphal, appealed from the Board of Trustees’ denial… Continue Reading

Court Addresses Failure to Report Off-Duty Misconduct of Fellow Officer

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
Recently, the Appellate Division issued an opinion in the case New Jersey State Police v. Trooper Brandon Bruns that addressed an officer’s failure to report the misconduct of another off-duty officer. In that case, following an internal investigation, the New Jersey State Police served a charge upon the appellant for his failure to report the misconduct of… Continue Reading

Middlesex County Prosecutors Office Ordered to Pay $114,402 in Legal Fees for Failing to Turn Over 911 Recordings in the Use of Deadly Force

Posted in Uncategorized
As reported in the New Jersey Law Journal, the Appellate Division has confirmed a ruling made by a Superior Court Judge that orders the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to pay two news outlets more than $100,000 in counsel fees after they successfully sued the office for access to 911 call recordings involving the fatal shooting of… Continue Reading

Murphy Rolls Back Recent Pension Change Made By Christie

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by NJ.com, Governor Phil Murphy’s administration is rolling back a change to New Jersey’s public worker pension system that Chris Christie slipped in during the waning days of his administration that raised government contributions by more than $800 million. The acting State Treasurer, Elizabeth Muoio, said Christie’s surprise reduction in assumed rate of… Continue Reading

NJ Attorney General Issues Directive That Dashcam and Bodycam Footage of Deadly Force Should be Subject to Public Release

Posted in Uncategorized
As reported in the New Jersey Law Journal, New Jersey Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal made an announcement that police dashcam and body cam videos documenting use of deadly force should be subject to public release once the corresponding initial investigation is complete.  According to the press release, the directive is being issued in the interests of “transparency in police community relations,”… Continue Reading

Data Shows that NJ’s Most Violent Cities Have Lost The Most Police Officers Since 2010

Posted in Uncategorized
As reported by NJ.com, retaining police officers has been a challenge for many New Jersey municipal police departments.  Shortfalls in city and municipal budgets can, and have lead to layoffs and demotions. When Senior police officers retire their positions never get refilled and the data shows that this occurs more often than not in New Jersey… Continue Reading

NJ Senate Bill S-1858 Proposes to Implement a Permanent 2% Salary Cap on Police and Fire Interest Arbitration Awards

Posted in Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law
On Friday, February 9th, 2018, New Jersey State Senator Declan O’Scanlon introduced legislation that would reinstate New Jersey’s interest arbitration salary cap that limits two-percent (2%) annual salary increases that can be awarded when disputed police and fire contracts enter the process of binding arbitration. O’ Scanlon stated on his website that “One of the… Continue Reading

NJ Supreme Court Will Decide Whether OPRA Covers Police Dash Cam Videos

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the New Jersey Supreme Court will hear the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office’s appeal in a case examining whether the public can access videos recorded by police dashboard cameras. In a 2-1 unpublished decision released in August, the Appellate Division said a police dashcam could be considered a… Continue Reading

Preparing for Collective Negotiations in 2018 Now That The 2% Salary Cap Has Expired

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Interest Arbitration, Pay and Overtime, Public Employment Labor Law
Next week I will again be speaking at the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association’s Collective Bargaining Seminar in Atlantic City, New Jersey.   Now that the two percent (2%) Interest Arbitration Salary Cap has expired and not been renewed, this will be the first time in eight (8) years that the seminar is being held where… Continue Reading

During his Last Full Day in Office, Governor Christie Signs a Bill that Allows Politicians to Pad their Pensions

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported in the New Jersey Observer, during his last full day in office, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill on Monday to pad pensions for certain politicians. The fast-tracked bill, which sped through the legislature in less than a month, allows certain elected officials to re-enroll in the public worker pension system, even if… Continue Reading

New Jersey Does Not Need the Republicans Legislating the 2% Salary Cap Out of Fear of November’s Impending Gubernatorial Election Results

Posted in Uncategorized
Over the past several days, the minority leaders of the New Jersey State Legislature have become increasingly vocal in their demands to renew what is commonly called the Interest Arbitration Salary Cap.  The Interest Arbitration Salary Cap limits Interest Arbitrator’s economic awards that govern pay raises for first responders in the State of New Jersey.… Continue Reading

New Jersey State Employees to Receive Back Pay For Time Away From Work Due To Government Shutdown

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by NJ 101.5, Governor Chris Christie has signed the bill granting back pay to state workers to cover the wages lost during the three-day partial government shutdown at the start of July. An estimated 30,000 to 35,000 workers were furloughed. Most of them were off the job for one day, as the first… Continue Reading

3rd Circuit Rules that Citizens Have The Right to Film Law Enforcement Officers

Posted in Uncategorized
As reported in the New Jersey Law Journal, in the case entitled Fields v. City of Philadelphia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently joined five other circuits in ruling that the First Amendment protects individuals’ rights to film police officers performing their official duties. The Third Circuit decision involved two civil rights… Continue Reading

Police Dash Cam Footage and Use-of-Force Reports Must be Turned Over Under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
This past week the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that dashboard recordings and use-of-force reports generated in connection with the fatal police shooting of a man who led officers on a high speed chase through several North Jersey towns are public records and thus subject to disclosure under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act. … Continue Reading

New Jersey State Senate Approves Bill by 31-0 Margin to Pay State Workers Frozen Out of Their Jobs During Governmental Shutdown

Posted in Uncategorized
As reported in the NJ Observer, public employees frozen out of their jobs during the three-day government shutdown would receive back pay under a bill that passed the state Senate in a 31-0 vote Thursday. Gov. Chris Christie has said he would sign the back-pay legislation, should it pass the Assembly. The bill was introduced in… Continue Reading
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