Why Police Need Unions Police unions are growing in today’s law enforcement environment, since they first began in the early twentieth century. Police unions are organizations that work together with employees to avoid suffering unfairness from their superiors (Gang, 1993). Not only to avoid unfairness in benefits, pay and security, but also when it comes to representing an officer who lost his job unfairly. Unions fight for the rights of the employees not that of the employer.The unions provides, “legal service to members accused of misconduct or other infringements” in order to fight for the employee to keep his/her job Fleming & Marks, 2014).
Police unions are needed for every police officer in order to protect their rights. Police unions protect the employee interests and legal representation and not that of the employer. As many employees know, employers are always seeking the best for the little possible pay and/or benefits which is why unions fight against them to give the best to employees.Police officers work in an environment where their lives are always at risk. One just does not know how the day Will end, for that reason unions believe that officers should be represented and protected properly and effectively. Officers have sworn to protect society from wrongdoers and as much as they work for this they are human and mistakes do happen.
We all make mistakes at work either voluntarily or involuntarily but there’s always a reason as too why something did not came out the way it was suppose to.Police organizations ensures that when an officer is fired or suspended from his work the police department takes all the steps to ensure that the officer is paid for that time lost before it can be proven that the officer was at fault. Been part of such a stressful job makes it hard for police officers to do great n the field and also worry about their rights at the department.
When the department wants to cut on benefits and/or pay the unions are the ones that fight to keep the employees benefits and pay. The unions also ensure that proper steps are taken to fight for better working benefits, work conditions, and pay.The purpose of this paper is to inform the reader about why police need unions? And what do the unions do for the police? The essay will be base of the Hill Street Blues series. The Hill Street Blues, was filmed in 1981 and the DVD was released in 2014.
The director of the film was Gregory Hobbit along with other actors Daniel J Travail and Thoreau Balance. The Hill Street Blues main description is that it was a show filled about the “lives and work of the staff of an inner city police precinct” (Midi, 2015).This TV series is a great example of what goes on in a police department. Even though, the shows was filled many years ago some of the issues presented in the police precinct still exist in today’s police departments. The precinct in this TV series was very small and under staff, to the point that the cops switched rolls every day. There were no specialized units dedicated to a certain issues. There were many cops that risked their lives every day and who had to make fast appropriate decisions in every case presented, in order to make a good arrest.
The season that will be explained in this series is season six, disc 3: episode 12 ” Say It as It Plays”. Episode 12, ” Say It as It plays” it’s the perfect example of why police officers needs unions and what unions do for police. In this episode we see that the newly officer Rodney is following a suspect and when the individual turns around, takes out a gun, Rodney fires and kills him. Rodney is scared and looking for the suspects’ gun when officer Stager shows up and sends Rodney to the unit to call it a shoot out.Rodney left and when he came back Garfield informed him that Stager had found two guns near the suspect. When Rodney was interrogated he was scared because he said that the ADD department will not believe a black officer compared to a 27 year member of the police fraternity officer Stager. But Rodney went on to explain what happened he said he only say one gun, there was no way there was two guns.
Rodney said he believed Stager had planted the gun on the dead suspect to alp him out. The ADD did not believe Rodney and began the interrogation of Officer Stager.Stager explained that when he arrived to the scene Rodney was panic and he could not find the gun but he helped him and found the guns once Rodney had gone to the unit. Stager claimed he did not plant the gun. The interrogation continued and Stager is maintaining his innocence. Even the ADD who was doing the interrogations agreed that Officer Rodney planted the gun.
One of the interrogators said, ” I don’t want anyone to get offended, but we are talking about a color guy here” referring to Redness’s color.There we can see that the officer would be in better hands if he had a union to represent him, in order to avoid discrimination due to his color. The lieutenant hurries to say it is too soon to say that and he believe that Rodney did not plant the gun. However, it was hard to believe that a 27 year member of the fraternity will take such a risk of planting a gun for an officer he had just met that same morning. Even if it was not Rodney who planted the gun, there was prejudice against him because he was a new officer and he was also a colored individual.Unlike, Stager he was white and he had more than 7 years in the police fraternity. The odds seem to say that the guilt person was Rodney and not Stager.
It was not until a truck driver came to the precinct to say that he had seen what happened. He said that he saw a guy running and a police officer running after him when the individual pull a gun and then the officer shoot him. The truck driver left and informed a police female officer who was near the scene arresting some prostitutes. Her name was officer Williams who run to the scene and told her fellow officers to call her partner.Officer Williams did not wait for her partner and that she omitted that from her police report f this case. She was informed that the procedure was not allowed and could have consequences against her.
Mr.. Williams would also have benefited from belong to a union because the union would have represented her in this case. Mr..
Williams informed the ADD that when she reached the scene she saw that Officer Stager was removing a gun from the suspects hand and then her partner arrived. When Officer Williams looked again she said that Officer Stager had a piece of the gun in his hand and soon said that he had found two guns.Stager told Officer Williams and her partner what had happened ND how he found the gun but at the moment officer Williams did not realized that Stager was lying. The lieutenant soundly asked that if she was sure she saw Stager removing the gun from the dead suspect, she said yes. Therefore, it was evident that the person who had planted the gun was Stager and not Rodney because she was probably trying to help the kid. Mr.. Stager could have also used a union representation after he was officially arrested for planting false evidence on a crime.
Mr..Stager had also mentioned that the department had used all kinds Of excuses to not give him a pay increase. Now that Officer Stager was rested he could used a union to help him not lose his pension which he would have been entitled to in a few time if this had not occurred.
Here it is also suggested, that Stager could had planted the gun on the dead body because he disliked Rodney and wanted him out of the precinct. There were many likely reasons and for all of them a union would have allowed both Rodney and Stager to be represented against the department that wanted to accuse them without sufficient evidence.For example, Rodney could have sued the ADD interrogators for assuming that because of his color he was the one that planted the gun. False accusations need to be reprimanded even if the superiors are the ones that commit them, because the law should be the same for everyone and not just for those accused of crimes.
This could have been a perfect example for the unions to push for the interrogators to be educated and not to make assumptions based on the races of the officers. The interrogators should have been required to go through interrogations methods to avoid them from using race as a based to make their decision.If the lieutenant had not stand out for Rodney then the officer would have probably pay the uniqueness for the implanted gun which he had not put there. And officer Stager would have gone free and without reprimanding for his wrongdoings. Another, evident issue that could be resolve if the officers were part of a police union was the fact that the precinct was too under staffed and that the working conditions for many of this officer was pity. For instance, when officer Bilker wants to get married to his fiancee Robin and it’s unable to get to his destination because he was on duty and his case went out of hand.This is a sign of bad benefits, Bilker should have had the benefit to request at east a week off to get married and enjoy his honeymoon with his wife. We also see that when Bilker finally takes two days off to get married on episode 13, Ads Blues, there is no one specialized to do his job, so they just send another officer to do a similar job until Bilker comeback.
Bilker felt nervous to leave his job and go to his marriage which says a lot about him, however, it also suggest that he works too many hours which is not healthy for him.Police unions would have fought for better working conditions, pay increases, legal representation, and better benefits for this officer who put heir lives in the lines everyday in order to ensure public safety. In the case of officers: Rodney, Stager, and Williams the union would have done a great work to ensure their job was safe at all times. A police superior cannot just fired or arrest an employee without first going to court with the union that represent the individual.
The Hill Street Blues, gave many police officers examples on why police need unions? ND what the unions can do for them. Every police officer needs to be trial or treated fairly keeping in mind that they work under a lot of stress and that every decision they take could mean the ND of their lives or their careers. Because of that police officers need unions to take care of their personal interests.
The seasons mentioned above helped the reader analyze how police departments were run before and how they are run today, especially to notice the importance that unions play on today’s police officers lives.Police officers now a days choose to be part of the police unions for legal issues which is imperative to have because currently people want to sue police officers for everything. Due to the phenomena that police use excessive force when arresting an individual, they are in the legal lines always. If an officer arrest or shoots at someone they are accused of using excessive force which can lead to them losing their jobs and benefits that’s when a police union comes in handy.
In this series we also appreciated that if a police officer arrested an individual with not enough evidence or under excessive force, once the charges are dropped the individual had the right to sue the department. For this it is imperative to be part of a union that can avoid the department to use that event against the officer and fire him/her or suspend them without pay. When a police officer does not belong to a union, “worked at the mercy of period authorities and are more prone to strike” this keeps them more worry about their benefits than their actual job (Klein, 2014).A police that is under stress for personal benefits or unfair treatment at work is more prone to commit mistakes at his job duties. All those mistakes can lead to losing their jobs, benefits, and legal representation from appropriate entities that would protect their rights and not that of the employer.
Police unions have fought for many police officers especially those who were working 79 to 80 hours a week in order to maintain their families and have money for what hey needed (Saddled, 2001). This is an example of unfair treatment and not valuing what the employees does for the department.If an employee is working so many hours for a little pay they need to fight to get better pay increases but on their own is hard to do but with the help of the unions it is possible to receive everything the employee wants. Employees are able to fight for what they want to better either work conditions, pay, and/or benefits. When an employee is part of a police union their voices, their concerns are heard in the department management which allow for actions to be taken In favor of them (Fleming & Marks, 2014).
Employers are at a higher power than the employee so it’s obvious that they would just take care of their interest and becoming wealthy or highly recognized. However, when an employee belongs to a union the employer needs to ensure that the employee rights are always taking care of in concerns to pay, legal advice, benefits, etc. If an officer needs to request time off he/she can do so as long as he gives previous notice to his employer and the employer cannot denied the time off unless valid reason are giving.In addition, when an officer is part of the union ND is involved in a misconduct behavior the employee will need to be treated with respect and with all the same benefits everyone else receives.
The employer will need to hire attorneys to represent themselves in court in order to come to an agreement on what should be done with the employees misbehaver. For that same reason is that employers keep records of the employee’s daily performance so that in the case that there is a case against them they can base their decision on the employee performance.In conclusion, after watching the Hill Street Blues, one can see how the officers were treated poorly and how a union could have helped them overcome all those issues presented at work. Being a police officer is not easy and putting ones lives on the line for the community either knowing that in the case there is a case against them they will not be reminded as the person who took the courage to defend the country and community against wrongdoers. For that reason is that all police officers need to enroll themselves in police unions that would represent them against their employers.