Voice of Arizona Law Enforcement Officers

 The FOP’s influence “has left other police organizations feeling out in the cold.”

– The Wall Street Journal

VoiceAZ

The rights and benefits of law enforcement officers are constantly under attack. Nowhere is this more evident than in Arizona.

Activist organizations, with little regard for the realities law enforcement officers face daily seem intent upon a political agenda, which would take law enforcement back to the 1950’s in terms of officers rights, pay and benefits.

The Arizona Fraternal Order of Police has a full time staff, utilizing the services of well respected professional government relations team, dedicated to informing legislators about the unique issues facing law enforcement officers in Arizona.

The Arizona FOP has successfully advocated law enforcement officers interests at the state capitol for more than six decades. Our unparalleled success is due to the fact that we approach lawmakers professionally, explain our issues face-to-face and support lawmakers who support law enforcement.

  • Due process rights (commonly called law enforcement bill of rights)
  • Retirement for law enforcement and corrections officers
  • Benefits for spouses and children of fallen officers
  • State employee compensation
  • Redaction of personal information
  • Workman’s’ comp issues
  • Work Fitness
  • Overtime Compensation

1937toPresent

Let’s Take a Look at the Record
A History of Arizona Fraternal Order of Police Legislative Activity

On January 25, 1934, Tucson Police Officer Frank Eyman was one of several officers who captured John Dillinger in downtown Tucson. Eyman, who later became Sheriff of Pima County and Warden of the Arizona State Prison in Florence (1955 to 1972), transported Dillinger to Chicago. While there, he had the opportunity to visit a Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, and returned to Tucson with paperwork to establish the first FOP Lodge; Tucson Lodge 1, whose members are Tucson PD officers. Later the same year, the Arizona State FOP Lodge and Phoenix FOP Lodge 2 were chartered.

1937 – History Note: Maricopa County Deputy Roberts was shot and killed after responding to a report of a murder at a factory. Germany initiates hostilities leading to World War II. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 is passed in America, essentially rendering marijuana and all its by-products illegal.

  • The Arizona Fraternal Order of Police obtained a 20 year law enforcement officer retirement plan for cities with a population of 20,000 or more, Phoenix and Tucson. Officers were entitled to be retired with a monthly pension equal to one-half of their average monthly compensation for the year immediately prior to the date of retirement.

1938  History Note: Pinal County Deputy Hickox was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend one of five convicts who had escaped from the state prison.Federal minimum wage law guarantees private sector workers 25 cents per hour and a maximum 44 hour working week – police officers were not included.

  • The Arizona Fraternal Order of Police met with law Professors at U of A to discuss proposed measures to provide statewide civil service for police officers.

1940 to 1949 History Note: Apache County Sheriff Nunn was killed when a gasoline tanker exploded. Pinal County Watchman Blackwell succumbed to stab wounds received while attempting to arrest a man who had threatened a woman with a knife. Wickenburg Night Watchman Clarence Dotson was killed when he interrupted a burglary in progress. Gila County Deputy Mitchell Smith was killed when his police motorcycle was intentionally rammed by a  vehicle. Williams PD Marshal Joe McDaniel was shot and killed by a man he was attempting to arrest. Yuma County Deputy Sylvester Villa was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a burglary suspect. Yuma County Deputy Walter Akers was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a drunk man at the Parker train depot.  Pima County Deputy John Anderson was killed when he fell several hundred feet down Sabino Canyon after rescuing a lost hiker. Pinal County Deputy Edward Smith was shot and killed by a man who had escaped from the Pinal County Jail the day before. The population of Arizona grew rapidly after 1945, exploding by almost ten times from 700,000 in 1950 to over 5 million in 2000.

  • FOP achieved 5 ½ day 44 hour work week for law enforcement officers.  Previously the law allowed a 6 day 48 hour work week.
  • Increased vacation from 1 week to 12 days per year after 5 years of service, then 15 days up to 15 years, and 21 days annually after that. (Tucson Lodge #1 /  Phoenix Lodge #2)
  • Paid sick leave achieved at 1.125 days per month.

1950  History Note: During the 1950s, the political scene changed. Arizona Republicans captured the governorship, gained votes in the legislature, won congressional seats, and brought a two-party system to the state.

  • The FOP filed a lawsuit naming the City of Phoenix for not putting any money into retirement fund established in 1937.  FOP lost lawsuit with Phoenix in 1951. Business Associations convinced the legislature in 1952 to change the law enforcement officers’ retirement benefit to 25 years and age 55.

1951-1956  History Note:  Maricopa County Deputy Burtice Wickstrum was killed in an automobile accident while responding to a sighting of a wanted murderer. Night Marshal Albert Rinks was shot and killed when he was ambushed by a man he had arrested earlier. Pinal County Deputy Escamilla was shot and killed after he attempted to stop a bartender from beating a man. The Republican platform boasted that “the Federal minimum wage has been raised for more than 2 million workers. Social Security has been extended to an additional 10 million workers and the benefits raised for 6 1/2 million. The protection of unemployment insurance has been brought to 4 million additional workers. There have been increased workmen’s compensation benefits, increased retirement benefits, and wage increases and improved welfare and pension plans for federal employees.”

  • FOP achieved 40 hour work week.
  • FOP achieved cost of living pay overcoming outrage caused by firefighters trying to get the same pay raise.
  • FOP Achieved hospitalization coverage paid for by employer.

1957 – 1962 History Note: Maricopa County Deputy Gerald Barnes was killed when the Sheriff’s Department Plane crashed into the Arizona Canal.  DPS Officer Louis Cochran was killed when his cruiser was rear-ended by a drunk driver.JFK warns Russia US will not allow Soviet missiles to remain in Cuba. John Glenn, Jr., became the first American to orbit the earth.

  • FOP defeated an attempt to wipe out existing 25 year retirement plan.

1963 – 1964 History Note: Mohave County Sheriff Robert Tarr was shot and killed at an agricultural inspection station near Kingman, Arizona, by a car thief. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Johnson broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces. It allowed the president to use unlimited military force to prevent attacks on U.S. forces.

  • Fraternal Order of Police obtained legislative approval to place an FOP memorial in Wesley Bolin Plaza and celebrated first Peace Officers Memorial on May 15, 1964.

1965 – 1969 History Note: Astronaut Neil Armstrong took his legendary “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” He and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin made the first successful landing of a manned vehicle on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility when they touched down in Apollo 11. Armstrong stepped down from the ladder of the landing module Eagle to become the first man ever to walk on the moon.

  • HB108 Merit System passed and signed by Governor Jack Williams.

1971  History Note: In Washington DC a bomb exploded in a Senate rest room. It caused extensive damage but no injuries. It occurred at a time of rising opposition to US policies in Vietnam.

  • FOP and Fire joined together to get the 20 year retirement passed.

1987 History Note: Dow Jones Index drops 508.32 points (22%) (record). 43 die in Pacific Southwest Airline crash in California (former airline employee shot pilots).

  • Dedicated NEW Arizona Police Memorial in Wesley Bolin Plaza.  Significant money raised by the FOP to create the memorial.

1988 – 1990 History Note: A new drug Crack appears. Suspected Libyan terrorist bomb explodes on Pan Am jet over Lockerbie in Scotland killing all 259 on board and 11 on the ground. Massive protests and either side of the Berlin Wall bring about the collapse of the East German Government. The Berlin Wall is breached and eventually dismantled. After 30 years the Cold War between East and West ends. The US enters a major recession. Saddam Hussein orders Iraq invasion of Neighboring Kuwait.

  • State Lodge PAC Committee registered with the Arizona Secretary of State.
  • Excess Earnings bill passed. Allowed retirees a regular COLA.

1991 – 2003  History Note: Operation Desert Storm – after 1 month of bombing, land invasion forces Iraq out of Kuwait. The Dot Com bubble occurred in the mid and late 1990s. PSPRS lost $1 B due to poor investment strategy. On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States.

  • FOP introduced bill which was passed to include one Police Officer and one Deputy Sheriff as an appointed member of the ALEOAC – Arizona Law Enforcement Advisory Council – later renamed to AZPOST Arizona Peace Officer Standards & Training.
  • FOP backed Legislation to revise State Constitution to prohibit use of Public Safety Retirement System funds for the use by the Legislature or any other entity for any use other then what they were intended for.
  • Revised the state death benefit for the survivors of fallen officers.
  • FOP legislation to pay tuition to any Arizona University for family of officers killed in the line of duty.

2004  History Note:  After increases in Fuel Prices the Major Oil Companies make the highest profits in History Exxon Mobile  —   $242,365 Billion,  Royal Dutch Shell $235,598 Billion,  British Petroleum  $232,571 Billion.  Ex-soldier John Muhammad is found guilty of one of a series of sniper shootings that terrorized Washington, D.C.. The strongest earthquake in 40 years originates from the Indian Ocean close to Indonesia, measuring 9.3 on the Richter Scale. Creating tsunami waves that sweep across much of the coastlines of Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. At least 290,000 people are confirmed to have died

  • HB2383 public information; confidentiality Signed into law 05/03/04 prohibits the disclosure of a peace officer’s photograph from his or her personnel file. Legislation enacted in 2004 was significant in setting the basic rules for when a police agency could release a photograph of a law enforcement officer.  The final bill achieved a compromise between the Arizona Newspaper Association and the  Arizona Fraternal Order of Police and achieved a balance in protecting the      officer and protecting the public’s need for information.  Both the FOP and the Arizona Newspaper Association endorsed the final version of the Legislation. 
  • SB1247 police officer discipline; evidence; discovery  Signed into law 4/19/04 .Specifies a time frame for the exchange of documents and witness lists relevant to  any appeals hearing resulting from disciplinary action taken against a law enforcement officer, allows the employer or law enforcement officer to seek a determination regarding any evidence that should not be disclosed because the risk of harm involved in the disclosure outweighs any usefulness of the disclosure and provides that the request by an employer or officer to change hearing officer or administrative law judge shall be granted on the first request for specific cases.
  • HB2080: CORP; prior service redemption Signed into law 4/5/04.  Allows members of the Corrections Officer Retirement Plan (CORP) to purchase out-of-state prior service time for correctional officer or certified peace officer service and outlines the redemption calculation methodology.
  • HB2081 PSPRS; disability offset Signed into law 4/12/04. Allows a Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) member receiving an accidental disability pension to continue receiving full disability pension benefits if that member returns to work.
  • HB2109 contribution rate; CORP Signed into law 5/14/04. Raises the minimum employer contribution rate for CORP from 2% to 4% of salary beginning in iscal year 2005-06.

2005 History Note: Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest and most destructive Atlantic hurricane of the 2005 hurricane season. It was the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States.

  • SB1042 officer organizations; DPS Signed into law 4/12/05. Allows employees of the Department of Public Safety to form and join employee organizations, establishes meet and confer processes between the Department and employees, and prescribes rules for mediation.
  • SB1367: PSPRS; deferred retirement; election signed into law 4/19/05. Includes active military service as eligible service for the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) within the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS), retroactive to July 1, 2002.
  • SB1426: overtime pay; CORP  Signed into law 5/13/05. This bill conforms for the CORP Program what is already done for all other Arizona retirement systems with respect to overtime pay; it would include overtime pay for calculation purposes in establishing a correction officer’s retirement benefit.
  • HB2254: MVD records; peace officer photographs signed into law 4/19/05. Makes a conforming change in the MVD statutes to Legislation passed in the 2004 legislative session.  Last year’s legislation set standards for the release of peace officer photos from police agencies.
  • SB1418 law enforcement officers; due process Signed into law 4/13/05. Holds harmless an officer requesting representation or acting as a representative during an interview that could result in dismissal or suspension and modifies the time period in which information for an appeal hearing shall be exchanged between an employer and officer. Asserts that an employer shall not discipline, retaliate against, or threaten to retaliate against an officer for requesting a representative be present or for acting as a representative during an interview that could result in dismissal, demotion, or suspension of an officer.

2006 History Note: Saddam Hussein is charged on May 15th and following the trial is found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. The Serial Shooter killers ( Dale S. Hausner and Samuel John Dieteman ) are caught and charged for the drive by murders of six people in Phoenix, Arizona.

  • SB 1139 DPS; officer organizations Signed into law 4/17/06.  Revised the “DPS meet and Confer” law passed in 2004. Allows the Department of Public Safety to recognize an employee organization by a majority vote in an election where the majority of eligible employees vote. When the election was held, the number of DPS employees who voted fell short majority required to implement meet and confer in DPS.
  • HB2482; CORP; return to work and CORP; Reverse DROP program Signed   into law 5/2/06. SB1258 Law Enforcement agencies; retirement credentials Signed into law 3/31/2006. Requires law enforcement agencies to issue certificates or  identification to officers who retire honorably.
    • Return to Work: Allows a retired CORP member, who retired before January 1, 2006, to become employed by a CORP employer in a designated position and still receive their pension, if employment occurs at least 90 days after retirement and the employment involves substantial direct inmate contact.
    • Reverse DROP: Establishes a voluntary Reverse DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Plan) as an alternative benefit accrual method in CORP beginning July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2011.
  • Pay Raise for Corrections employees: The FOP Strongly advocated a pay raise for Corrections Officers in the budget. In June 2006, the legislature passed a budget which included the largest pay raise given to state corrections employees.  The Director of Corrections cited the strong and “effective” FOP legislative efforts as one of the reasons the pay raise was approved by the legislature. FOP members sent more than 30,000 individual emails to legislators using our web based email program.
  • HB 2142 CORP; membership; ordinary disability Added to a CORP Omnibus bill and signed into law. Adds the benefit of ordinary disability to CORP members.  The cost of this benefit was of the benefit was be conditional upon the CORP fund being well funded (later enacted in 2009 after an additional employee contribution was imposed).

2007 History Note: The “Great Recession” starts. News helicopters from Phoenix, Arizona television stations KNXV and KTVK collide over Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix while covering a police chase; there were no survivors. The Bridge over the Mississippi river on I35W collapses with cars dropping the 50ft into the river, due to quick responses by emergency services only 13 people lost their lives in the tragedy

  • SB1006; Public records; confidentiality Signed into law on 4/27/07. Over the past decade, the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police has sought and received changes to statutes governing the public’s access to records containing law enforcement personal information. In 2007 the Fraternal Order of Police sought a further change in to expand the list of persons who may request that their personal identifying information, including home address and telephone numbers, be redacted from county recorder, county assessor and county treasurer records. Under SB1006, law enforcement support staff, adult or juvenile corrections officers, corrections support staff, probation officers, parole board members, National Guard members acting in support of a law enforcement agency, and firefighters assigned to the Arizona Counterterrorism Center in the Arizona Dept. of Public Safety, may request that their personal information be redacted.

2008 History Note: Jan 21, Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 9/11, and Asian stocks drop as much as 15%. The US Government takes control of the two largest mortgage financing companies in the US, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Following the bankruptcies of Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 777.68 points, the largest single-day point loss in its history. The $700 billion bailout bill for the US financial system is signed by President Bush.

  • HB2058; PSPRS; local boards; procedures – Signed into law 4/17/08. The Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) administers the statewide retirement program for public safety personnel employed by approximately 210 state, county, municipal, and special districts in Arizona.  Each employer has its own local board.  Requires local boards to commence a hearing within 90 days and places no time limit on when the board must render its decision. Grants automatic adjudication in favor of the officer, if the local board fails to adjudicate within ninety days. Requires the employers to pay the legal fees for any independent counsel retained by the local board.
  • SB 1339 law enforcement; probation; officers; investigations Signed   into law 5/7/2008. A.R.S. § 38-1101 provides procedures for the exchange and dissemination of information in any appeal of a disciplinary action by a law enforcement officer or probation officer and also defines disciplinary action as the dismissal or demotion or the suspension. Limits the ability of an agency to require an officer to take a polygraph test. Allows for the change of a hearing officer or administrative law judge upon a first request and upon all other requests, on a showing that a fair and impartial hearing cannot be obtained due to the prejudice of the assigned hearing officer. Mandates that the employer has the burden of proof in an appeal of a disciplinary action by a law enforcement officer or probation officer. Allows an officer to appeal for a suspension for more than 24 hours (previously 40 hours).

2009 History Note:  Ongoing financial crisis and recession which began in late 2007 continues with many calling it the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s causing house prices to decline, and unemployment to increase. In 2009, governments in the US and around the world pumped trillions of dollars into the financial system and into the economies hoping to avert another Great Depression and by the end of 2009 although unemployment had continued to increase, markets had recovered and most thought the worst was over. US Airways Flight 1549 after being struck by  a flock of Canada geese shortly after takeoff Piloted by Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger makes a successful Crash landing  In the Hudson River

  • SB 1062; law enforcement officers; discipline procedures; established additional rights of law enforcement and probation officers regarding interviews the employer reasonably believes could result in dismissal, demotion or suspension.
    • Specifies that at the conclusion of an interview in which an employer reasonably believes could result in dismissal, demotion or suspension of the law enforcement officer or probation officer, the officer is entitled to the following:
    • A period of time to consult with the officer’s representative,
    • A statement not to exceed five minutes, addressing specific facts or policies that are related to the interview.
    • Allows an employer or person acting on behalf of an employer, except where a statute or ordinance makes the administrative evidentiary hearing the final administrative determination, to amend, modify, reject or reverse a decision made by a hearing officer, administrative law judge or appeals board after a hearing if the following occur:
      • The officer and employer were equally allowed to call and examine witnesses, cross-examine witnesses, provide documentary evidence and otherwise fully participate in the hearing.
      • The decision was arbitrary or without reasonable justification.
      • The employer or person acting on behalf of the employer states the reason for the amendment, modification, rejection or reversal.
    • Prohibits an employer from including any information about an investigation in the portion of the personnel file of an officer that is available for public inspection and copying until one of the following occurs:
      • The investigation is complete.
      • The employer has discontinued the investigation.
      • Specifies that if the officer has timely appealed a disciplinary action, the investigation is not complete until the conclusion of the appeal process.

2010 History Note: Chandler Police Officer Carlos Ledesma was shot and killed while conducting an undercover  ‘reverse’ bust operation in Phoenix.  Phoenix Officer Travis Murphy was shot and killed when he confronted a suspect who had  fled the scene of a shots fired call earlier in the night. Gilbert Lieutenant Eric Shuhandler was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle occupied  by two males.  ASU Police Officer James Lister suffered a fatal heart attack one day following his  response to a fight on the Tempe Campus. BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster in the gulf of Mexico leaves gulf beaches / fishing and the shellfish industry reeling. New Deep Water Drilling Wells are stopped until regulators can catch up with the technology.

  • SB-1325  polygraph examinations; interviews; law enforcement ; As background, ARS 38-1101 is the law that provides due process rights for law enforcement officers during administrative investigations. The FOP has been making improvements to this law for many years.  In 2010, SB1325, sponsored by Senator Linda Gray, made several important changes to our law enforcement due process rights.
  • States that statutory guidelines apply to employer interviews of law enforcement officers or probation officers if the law enforcement officer or probation officer reasonably believes the investigation could result in a dismissal, demotion or suspension.  Previously, only the agency could invoke the provisions of ARS 38-1101.
  • Specifies that if a representative from the same agency of the law enforcement officer is not reasonably available to be present during the interview, with the employer’s permission, the representative may be from the law enforcement officer’s professional membership organization.
  • Specifies that the written notice informing the law enforcement officer or probation officer of the specific nature of the investigation contain the following:
    • Alleged facts that are the basis of the investigation.
    • Copies of all complaints that are reasonably available which contain the alleged facts, except for copies of complaints that involve matters pursuant to federal laws under the jurisdiction of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
    • Specifies that all data and reports from a polygraph examination of a law enforcement officer or probation officer are confidential and may only be used for the purposes of employment, certification or reactivation of certification or the administrative matter for which a polygraph was administered, including other ancillary matters. Requires the data and reports from a polygraph examination of a law enforcement officer or probation officer be destroyed, as soon as practicable, three years after the date of appointment or employment but not more than 90 days after that date, except for a pre-employment polygraph in which an applicant was not hired or in the case of an active investigation or an appeal.
    • Allows an officer to appeal a suspension for more than 16 hours (reduced from 24 hours).
  • SB1124; CORP; reverse DROP; extension. In 2006, the FOP requested that a DROP program be implemented for Corrections and Detention Officers.  The legislature approved a reverse DROP program, however, the law also included a sunset date of June 30, 2011.  This year, we asked the Legislature and the Governor to extend the CORP reverse DROP program to June 30, 2016.  Senator Al Melvin, who is a strong supporter of Corrections employees, sponsored the bill.
  • The Department of Corrections approached us later in the session and requested permission to add an amendment to our bill which would, for one year, allow the CORP local board to designate positions that would be eligible for participation in the Corrections Officer Retirement Program.  As session law, this provision will permit the Department of Corrections and Juvenile Department of Corrections to fill non-designated positions with CORP employees if the employee is currently employed in a specified designated position and has at least five years of credited service under the plan.
  • FOP Amendment to HB2067 PSPRS; omnibus; During the session, we received information from members of Lodge 77 in San Luis and Lodge 28 in Sierra Vista describing an unfair situation created by specific language in the statutes governing buying back prior service for time spent working at another agency in Arizona, if that agency did not participate in PSPRS.  Basically, a few members were unable to redeem the time they spent working for an agency in Arizona while other officers were able to buy back prior service for time spent working for out-of-state agencies. The bill expanded the redemption of prior service to include services to ALL political subdivisions of Arizona.

2011 History Note:  Glendale Police Officer Brad Jones was shot and killed while assisting a probation  officer during a meeting with a parolee at an apartment complex near the  intersection of North 75th and West Glendale Avenues.  Buckeye Police Officer Rolando Tirado was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle in a  parking lot on South 35th Ave.Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot along with twelve others while making a public appearance in Tucson. The accused gunman Jared Loughner killed six of the people who were shot, one of dead was a nine year old girl. Giffords survived the attack but was in critical condition. On March 11th an underwater earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 hits off the coast of Japan, causing a tsunami that hit the Iwate prefecture with waves over 130 feet high. Damage from the tsunami and earthquake triggered a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant due to several meltdowns and the inability to cool the reactors.  Estimated figures related to the earthquake include nearly 16,000 deaths, over 6,000 injuries, and almost 3,000 people missing.

  • 2011 S.B. 1235 law enforcement officers; disciplinary procedures. Signed 4/25/2011. SB 235, which was drafted by the FOP and sponsored by Senator Linda Gray, passed both the Senate and the House unanimously. Our bill makes several important changes and additions to the law, including;
    • Requires the employer, at the request of an officer who is subject to a disciplinary interview to provide a basic summary of any discipline ordered against any other officer of similar rank and knowledge working for the employer within the preceding two years for the same or comparable infraction.
    • Prohibits the employer from taking concluding action or arranging a hearing until the essential outline or file copies are provided to the officer.
    • Adds the requirement for cases before the office of administrative hearing by means of an interagency agreement with another city, town or county, upon the first request of a party.
    • Allows an officer to appeal a suspension for more then eight hours, instead of sixteen hours.
    • Prohibits a critical incident stress management team member who acquires information in confidence from an involved officer from being compelled to disclose the information in a legal proceeding, trial or investigation before any state agency or political subdivision.
  • The FOP Legislative Committee; the Arizona FOP Executive Board; our FOP lobbyists, along with our PR firm, played an important role in mitigating or eliminating the most harmful of the retirement proposals produced by the legislature.
  • Starting well before the Arizona Republic printed a slanted series of stories, the FOP PR firm was fully engaged, ensuring the FOP had the opportunity to respond to media reports attacking law enforcement retirement benefits. Quickly, it became apparent that the FOP and the firefighters were among the few defenders of our retirement benefits.
  • After the legislature drafted extraordinarily punitive legislation, the Governor’s Office contacted the FOP. We were given the opportunity to offer a proposal to modify some of the more harmful SB 1609 provisions. The offer was heavily conditioned, which prevented a total remake of the bill.
  • You should know, we told the governor’s office that the conditions placed on our proposal made the amended bill, in our opinion, just as unconstitutional as the original SB1609.
  • All of the public safety organizations who were invited to work on proposals, FOP, Fire, APA and PLEA (AZCOPS was not invited) jointly agreed upon amendments that were accepted by the governor’s office. The governor’s office asked us to change our position on SB 1609 to “neutral” because our proposal was accepted, however, we politely refused, advising that we felt some of the changes, although better than the original language, remained unconstitutional.
  • We compiled with the governor’s condition that we cease “active” opposition to SB 1609 in order to preserve DROP, allow military service purchases, extend the number of years to phase in the contribution rate increase, eliminate an unnecessary contribution rate increase for CORP participants and retain 2 years worth of retiree benefit increases for PSPRS participants.
  • The heavily amended SB 1609 passed the House and the Senate; however, it did not have the necessary number of votes to enact the “emergency clause.” As a result, many members had more time to plan service purchases.

2012 History Note: Deputy Sheriff William Coleman, age 50, was shot and killed while responding to a burglary call in Anthem at approximately 4:15 am January 8, 2012. Deputy Sheriff David Wargo succumbed to severe head injuries sustained nine years earlier when he was dragged by a vehicle in a supermarket parking lot at  the intersection of 83rd Avenue and Camelback Road. The US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is stormed, looted and burned down, killing five people, including the US ambassador. Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey resulting in 110 deaths and $50 billion in damage and forces the New York stock exchange to close. Barack Obama wins Florida to defeat Mitt Romney for President.

  • SB1186; Law Enforcement Omnibus, which was drafted by the FOP and sponsored by Senator Linda Gray, passed both the Senate and the House unanimously. Our bill makes several important changes and additions to the law, including;
    •  Allows a petition for an order authorizing disease testing of another person to be submitted to a court if the person is arrested, charged, or in custody and the public safety employee or volunteer alleges, by affidavit, that the person interfered with the official duties of the public safety employee or volunteer by biting, scratching, spitting, or transferring blood or other bodily fluids on or through the skin or membranes of the employee or volunteer.
    • Officers, who are also fire origin and cause investigators, are exempt from the prohibition against the licensing of peace officers and reserve peace officers as private investigators.
    • New statute sets the standards for fitness for duty examinations, including that an employer may order a law enforcement officer to submit to a physical examination only if the officer has acted or failed to act in an observable manner that indicates there is a physical condition materially limiting the officer’s ability to perform essential job functions. Sets time limits and officer’s rights for the process.
    • Modifies the definition of peace officers to include special agents from the attorney general’s office or a county attorney’s office who are certified by the AZPOST.
    • Specifies that certain cities, towns, and counties must only enter into an interagency agreement to provide for an alternate hearing officer for disciplinary action appeals if necessary to comply with the requirement to provide an alternate hearing officer on a party’s first request.
    • Clarifies the “just cause” statute that an officer may bring action in a superior court for a hearing de novo (as if it were a new hearing independent of the previous results of the appeal process) regarding their termination.
  • The session was dominated by two issues; anti-union bills, all of which failed to pass, and state government personnel reform, implementing at-will employment for state workers, which passed heavily amended.  Our team of professional lobbyists, Don Isaacson and Norm Moore, along with FOP President, John Ortolano, and ALC Executive Director, Jim Mann, worked long hours every day during the session, representing the interests of our members.  Our team worked closely with legislators, legislative staff, bill sponsors, other stakeholder groups and the Governor’s office to ensure that we had the support necessary to deflect the anti-union bills and achieve major amendments to the state personnel reform bill.

2013 – Legislation

  • H.B. 2389 peace officers; omnibus, which was drafted by the FOP and sponsored by Representative Justin Pierce, passed both the Senate and the House unanimously. If approved our bill will make several important changes and additions to the law, including;
    • Confidential Information
      • Permits the following people to request that certain records containing personal information be restricted from public access:
        • the spouse or minor child of a deceased peace officer; and
        • a former public official who ceased serving in that capacity within the previous four years and was the victim of a violent crime.
          • Adds a spouse or minor child’s home address or telephone number as confidential information in the officer’s personnel file and applies related penalties to a person who knowingly releases such information.
      • Lease Terminations
        • Allows a law enforcement officer to terminate a rental agreement if the officer provides the landlord a written notice that the officer is protected under an injunction against harassment.
        • Requires the officer, before vacating the dwelling, to repay any lease concession or benefit the officer actually received.
      • Health Insurance Benefits for spouse and minor children of fallen officers
        • Corrects a bill previously signed into law which provides that the agency must fund health insurance benefits  for the spouse and minor children of officers killed in the line of duty. Provides a 50 year retroactive provision.  The original bill was prospective only.
      • Miscellaneous
        • Requires the state agency head or designee to accept LEMSC’s recommendation regarding an appeal of disciplinary action unless it is arbitrary or without reasonable justification – corrects a provision in last year’s personnel reform bill – applies to all State law enforcement officers under LEMSC, instead of just DPS.
          • Requires the state agency head or designee, if that person does not accept the recommendation, to state the reasons for rejecting it.

2014 – Legislation

Once again, as a result of the great work by all of our members and lobbyists, the AZ FOP has achieved 100% of our AZ FOP legislative agenda during the 2014 session.  All of our AZ FOP legislative agenda items were member suggested or were continuing priority items.  Our professional lobbyists, Don Isaacson and Norm Moore did outstanding work making this legislative session a great success for the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police.

The session ended after 101 days and we were present at the legislature every day advocating the interests of FOP membership.  We reviewed 1205 bills and closely tracked more than 100 bills during the session.

Our FOP bill, SB1284,  PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS; OMNIBUS unanimously passed all assigned committees, the Senate, the House and was signed by the governor on 4/23/2014.  The bill contains the following provisions:

  • •Extends the repeal date for the supplemental benefits plan for public safety officers who are injured while on duty to October 1, 2017. Allows officers seriously injured in the line of duty to continue to receive the 100% base pay supplemental benefit which was set to expire in October 2014.
    • Allows the Department of Administration (ADOA) to establish an alternative appeal hearing process pursuant to supplemental benefits appeal procedures or alternative procedures established by ADOA.
  • Allows a peace officer to request that public access be restricted to court records maintained by the clerk of the superior court which contain the officer’s personal identifying information.
  • Permits ADC, or a county, city or town to voluntarily participate in the PSPRS supplemental cancer insurance program for employees who are corrections or detention officers.
  • Allows a PSPRS member who has at least five years of service with the system to redeem up to 60 months of out of state prior service as a full-time paid corrections officer engaged in law enforcement duties.
  • Allows a person who has been under ASRS for at least five years and who accepts a position as a detention officer to stay under ASRS at the discretion of the county, city or town.

We moved one of our legislative agenda items to a Banner Hospital bill, SB1276: HIV-RELATED TESTING; CONSENT; CONFIDENTIALITY; EXCEPTIONS, which allows HIV testing of a subject if a first responder reports an occupational significant exposure. The bill has passed the legislature and has been sent to the governor.

As expected, our advocacy for state employee pay budget increases was met with mixed results. We advocated strongly for pay raises for Game Rangers and DPS employees. We also advocated for the Attorney General base budget increase to cover ongoing costs of the raises previously given to the AG investigators.  The only pay raise approved for state employees was a 2% increase specifically for DPS employees. While the DPS employee raise was only 2%, its $3.3 million dollar cost was one of the largest discretionary increases in the state budget.

Representative Justin Pierce’s bill to reorganize all of the 38-1100 series of statutes related to officers rights HB2562: PROBATION; PEACE OFFICERS; RIGHTS; INVESTIGATIONS, contains many very positive enhancements requested by the AZ FOP including making ALL suspensions appealable and formally identifies this section of law as our “Peace Officers Bill of Rights.”  Our law firm, Yen, Pilch and Landeen along with our lobbyists Don Isaacson and Norm Moore participated in numerous stakeholder meetings and individual meetings with Rep Justin Pierce to reorganize the statutes and improve our rights.  Special recognition needs to be given to Rep Pierce for his work on this bill.

One of the most important bills passed this session was HB2050: ASRS MEMBERSHIP; SECTION 218 REQS.  The AZ FOP and the leadership of Scottsdale FOP Lodge 35 and Mesa FOP Lodge 9, worked with the legislature and city administration for almost three years to prevent hundreds of Scottsdale and Mesa civilian police department employees from being declared ineligible for participation in the ASRS retirement system.  In short, hundreds of our civilian law enforcement brothers and sisters were at risk of being kicked out of ASRS, regardless of how long they had been in the system.  The bill has been signed by the governor grandfathering all of those participants into the system and allowing future hires to join the system.  While the ASRS still needs to get an approval letter from the IRS, the immediate crisis has been resolved.

Much of our work during the session was devoted to killing bad bills.

Also, pension reform was a big topic of informal discussions during the session.  The legislature has been prompted by employers and special interest groups to do “something” to reduce the unsustainable employer costs for retirement benefits.  Initially, the legislature proposed an HCR to place a change to the State Constitution on the November ballot which would eliminate the pension protection clause.  As a result, several of the employee organizations, including the FOP, have been discussing alternative proposals and asking for the appropriate actuarial information . In response to our good faith effort, the legislature did not move the HCR bill forward, however, the issue is far from dead.

2014 Special Session

The Special Legislative session called by the governor to reform Child Protective Services also included a $350,000 budget item to provide additional resources to the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children (AZICAC).  We strongly supported the budget item which was proposed by “Protect.org”