Labor & Employment

Law Firm's 'Playbook' Shows How Police Play Hardball at Bargaining Table, Paper Says


In what one California newspaper characterizes as a rare look behind the curtain of police pay negotiations, a law firm has posted a “playbook” of sorts.

Upland law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill—which maintains the Web domain policeattorney.com and touts that its attorneys are “Former Cops Defending Current Ones”—has on its website a primer on “Negotiations After Impasse.”

The firm’s “primer for police negotiations is part swagger, part braggadocio and all insult in its portrayal of the public and the budget-conscious officials elected to represent them,” reports the Orange County Register, which has been reporting on police compensation issues.

Among the tips and strategies:

• Because “the public could care less about your pay, medical coverage and pension plan” the primer notes that messages “should always be public safety first. You do not want wage increases for yourselves, but simply to attract better qualified candidates and to keep more experienced officers from leaving.”

• “Storm City Council - While an association is at impasse, no city council or governing board meeting should take place where members of your association and the public aren’t present publicly chastising them for their lack of concern for public safety.”

• “Work Slowdown - This involves informing your members to comply closely with Department policy and obey all speed limits. It also involves having members do thorough investigations, such as canvassing the entire neighborhood when taking a 459 report and asking for a back-up unit on most calls. Of course, exercising officer discretion in not issuing citations and making arrests is also encouraged.”

• “Blue Flu - This one is very rarely used and only in dire circumstances. As with all of these, please consult your association’s attorney before even discussing this issue with your members.”

The OC Register notes that one city official, whose municipality is at a pay negotiation impasse with police, reacted angrily upon learning of the site.

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