On June 8, AHPA VP Bob Gilbert and I attended a meeting with Director Milstead, Deputy Director Silbert and Major Webb. Also attending were the President and VP of FOP. Below is information from the meeting.
• Purchasing of duty firearms upon retirement
Director started the meeting by talking about the recent legislation that allows other law enforcement agencies to sell assigned weapons to retiring officers. House Bill 2272 created ARS 38-1115, which states in part:
“A. On retirement, an officer who is a member of an eligible retirement system, subject to the officer’s employer’s approval, may purchase the firearms issues by the employer to the officer at a price determined by the administrator of the agency employing the law enforcement officer.”
Director Milstead indicated there have been requests made by some to purchase their assigned AR-15 for $1. As many of you know, those about to retire have been able to purchase their duty weapon for $1 for several years. AHPA was responsible for successful passage of that bill in 2000, affectionately known as the “Dave Schroder bill.” That statute in Title 41 was not affected by HB2272. ARS 41-1713(B) states:
“B. The director may:
10. Sell for one dollar, without public bidding, the department issued handgun or shotgun to a department officer on duty related retirement…”
In short, Director Milstead will continue to allow those retiring the ability to purchase their issued handgun for $1.
• Uniform Wear Testing
Regarding the uniform wear testing initiated near the end of last year, Director Milstead stated he saw no need to continue the process since there was no money to purchase uniforms. It was his decision to stop the wear test.
As for the uniform color, there has never been any discussion of changing the uniform color.
• Patrol Vehicles
Patrol vehicle colors and striping design will be changing, but a specific design has not been chosen. Director Milstead will be putting out a video message announcing a design contest for the striping/decals. AHPA and FOP agreed to fund $100 each for a gift card for the winner, which will be chosen by DPS Executive Staff. As for the color of the vehicles, Director Milstead is considering black or “midnight blue.”
The need for reestablishing the vehicle build-up committee was discussed. Director Milstead stated if there is a need, then it can be reinstated; however, he would rather address any issues with the Ford patrol vehicles as they arise. To this point, he was not aware of any issues with those vehicles or the build-up process.
Director Milstead agreed all new vehicles purchased will include the “Blue-Tooth” option whether or not there is a slight cost added to the purchase price of the vehicles.
• Trooper title
Director Milstead stated, “We are state troopers.” That name is already being used in media releases and other related stories. He indicated that Governor Ducey approved the idea of using “Trooper.” As for the badge, he is still considering options. He asked us to provide ideas of what the badge should look like with the “Trooper” name. One idea mentioned was to possibly have “Arizona State Trooper” on the top of the badge and the badge number and “Trooper” or the individual’s rank on the bottom rocker area of the badge. Ideas from members are certainly welcome and encouraged.
• Upcoming policy changes
The General Order governing employee organizational business will be changed to allow Board members of an association to use their assigned vehicle for association business above what is currently allowed (6 times annually). Director stated if an employee is on Association business, he/she should be able to use their assigned vehicle (except for political activities)
Another policy change coming is the GO prohibiting use of a cell phone while driving a department vehicle.
Director Milstead further stated he is considering a policy requiring employees driving a department vehicle to back into parking spaces to reduce the number of backing collisions.
• Captain Promotional Process
Deputy Director Silbert provided further information on the decision to cancel the Captain promotional process. It was his decision to cancel the process based on best practices in creating a written exam. After learning the exam was constructed using a pool of existing questions, he conferred with Lt. Col. Vasquez and Capt. Figueroa and made the decision to cancel. His statement to them was that the agency has once chance to have a credible promotional process and it was their responsibility to make that happen.
As always, feedback and input is welcome from the membership.
Jimmy Chavez, President