A striker amendment to HB 2571 was introduced in efforts to reform due process within the various personnel systems within the state, including the Law Enforcement Merit System Council (LEMCS). The proposed language would remove DPS civilian employees from LEMCS and put them into the newly modified state personnel system. AHPA and its members are opposed to these proposals. We are encouraging our members to become active in our campaign – “We are DPS”.
AHPA’s Position Statement on Personnel Reform
It is the position of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association that law enforcement should not be generalized with all professions. We have expressed our opposition to the Governor’s office and members of the legislature. It is our hope that civilians and sworn personnel can stay under the current system, specific to DPS police services.
BACKGROUND: Governor Brewer’s Agenda – Personnel Reform
During the 2012 State of the Union address, Governor Brewer touched on her reform agenda entitled “The Four Cornerstones of Reform: Centennial Edition”. Essentially, the Governor would like all state employees to be treated the same, including one or fewer merit system councils.
“We are DPS” Education Campaign
AHPA is engaging in a campaign in efforts to educate the legislature and the public about DPS services. Few members of the legislature have taken advantage of agency tours. So, AHPA is taking DPS to our delegates. “We are DPS” will highlight units from our department while profiling some impactful civilian employees and their duties. AHPA will be presenting videos and testimonials to the legislature.
But, WE NEED YOUR HELP! Engage in this campaign with us by:
1. Contact your elected official. (Please be sure to contact legislators off duty and not by your work email.)
2. Sending an email to the House (Please be sure to contact legislators off duty and not by your work email.)
Copy and paste these emails:
Paula Aboud – firstname.lastname@example.org, Sylvia Allen – email@example.com, Frank Antenori – firstname.lastname@example.org, Nancy Barto – email@example.com, Andy Biggs – firstname.lastname@example.org, Judy Burges – email@example.com, Olivia Cajero Bedford – firstname.lastname@example.org, Rich Crandall – email@example.com, Adam Driggs – firstname.lastname@example.org, Steve Gallardo – email@example.com, Ron Gould – firstname.lastname@example.org, Linda Gray – email@example.com, Gail Griffin – firstname.lastname@example.org, Jack Jackson, Jr. – email@example.com, Lori Klein – firstname.lastname@example.org, Leah Landrum Taylor – email@example.com, Jerry Lewis – firstname.lastname@example.org, Linda Lopez- email@example.com, David Lujan – firstname.lastname@example.org, John McComish – email@example.com, Al Melvin – firstname.lastname@example.org, Robert Meza – email@example.com, Rick Murphy – firstname.lastname@example.org, John Nelson – email@example.com, Steve Pierce – firstname.lastname@example.org, Michele Reagan – email@example.com, David Schapira – firstname.lastname@example.org, Don Shooter – email@example.com, Steve Smith – SteveSmith@azleg.gov, Steve Yarbrough – firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Share the campaign with friends and family. Encourage them to write in to their elected officials opposing the Merit System Council change. Send links of our media coverage.
4. Use the campaign in your social media applications and talk about it! Help educate the public on DPS’ services! TWITTER: #WEAREDPS. Download the box and horizontal “We are DPS” signs below:
AHPA urges you to consider these talking points when contacting legislators:
- Law enforcement is a diverse, specialized field and should not be generalized with other state departments.
- Civilians are a cost-saving resource for law enforcement and are asked to perform some of the same duties as our sworn officers.
- DPS civilians have promised their integrity to Arizona citizens. They pass the same criminal background checks, polygraphs and drug testing as officers before being hired. Few qualify.
- Civilian are subject to the same legal liabilities as those in the sworn ranks. They have been individually named in lawsuits and ordered to testify on behalf of the state for actions taken while on duty.
- Governor Brewer is seeking legal opinions regarding the liabilities state employees face when dealing with medicinal marijuana. Law enforcement will play an important role with its enforcement. DPS support staff could interact with suspects or possibly collect, analyze and report evidence related to medicinal marijuana. The actions of a DPS civilian or a sworn officer are accountable to the same laws, and could face the same legal ramifications (subject in investigations or lawsuits). How would two merit system councils evaluate civilian employees and sworn officers the same, or save the state money? [References can be found in media interviews related to the lawsuit filed by Arizona related to the new medical marijuana bills]
- State government should protect the integrity of police services. ONE merit system council provides ONE standard of service in a specialized industry. The public should always trust police work.
- Be sure to use the logo and tagline: Together- We are DPS