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          COMMISSIONER DERENDA ANNOUNCED THE CREATION OF THE ERT SQUAD.  THE PBA FEELS STRONGLY THAT THIS COMMISSIONER SHOULD HAVE BEEN TRAINING AND EQUIPING EVERY MEMBER OF THIS DEPARTMENT TO BE PREPARED FOR RIOTS AND PROTESTS.  THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT HAD COME OUT OF THE BLUE.  THE FIRST RIOTS IN FERGUSON HAPPENED 10 MONTHS AGO AND DAN DERENDA HAS BEEN COMMISSIONER FOR OVER 5 YEARS.  WE HAVE TWO DOUBLE-UP DAYS A MONTH THAT WERE PUT INTO THE CONTRACT FOR TRAINING.  SINCE THE FIRST RIOTS IN FERGUSON THERE HAVE BEEN AT LEAST 20 OPPORTUNITIES TO PREPARE ALL THE PATROL OFFICERS OF THE DEPARTMENT IN PROPTEST PROTOCOL AND RIOT PREPAREDNESS.  THERE HAS BEEN AT LEAST 20 OPPORTUNITIES FOR THIS COMMISSIONER TO ENSURE THAT ALL OF OUR OFFICERS WOULD BE ABLE TO SAFELY CONDUCT THEIR MISSION IN THE FACE OF A POTENTIAL VIOLENT SITUATION.  FURTHER, THERE HAS BEEN NO EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS TO FULLY OUTFIT THE ENTIRE PATROL DIVISION WITH THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT TO ENSURE THE OFFICERS' SAFETY.

          THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND BOARD OF DELEGATES HAS TAKEN A VOTE MANDATING THAT NO OFFICER VOLUNTEER FOR THIS SPECIALIZED SQUAD UNTIL THIS UNION IS SATISFIED THAT ALL MEASURES ARE TAKEN TO PROVIDE FOR ALL OFFICERS, NOT JUST A FEW HAND SELECTED ONES.  AFTER ALL, IT WILL BE THE OFFICERS ON PARTOL THAT WILL BE THRUST INTO THESE SITUATIONS FIRST AND NOT READY OR ABLE TO HANDLE THEM.  BEYOND THE SAFETY CONCERNS OF ALL OFFICERS IS THE FACT THAT WE HAVE BEEN WITHOUT A CONTRACT FOR 6 YEARS NOW.

          WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY TO STAND TOGETHER AND SHOW THIS COMMISSIONER AND MAYOR THAT THEY NEED TO DEAL WITH OUR SAFETY CONCERNS AND OUR LACK OF A CONTRACT.  THIS WILL BE THE MEASURE OF OUR SOLIDARITY.  IF WE STAND TOGETHER AND DO NOT VOLUNTEER FOR THIS ERT SQUAD IT PUTS PRESSURE ON THE MAYOR TO DEAL WITH OUR LACK OF A CONTRACT AND TO ADDRESS OUR CONCERNS WITH THE LACK OF TRAINING AND EQUIPMENT.  KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS CITY HAS OVER $165 MILLION IN FUND RESERVES.  MUCH OF THAT CAN BE USED TO PROVIDE US WITH RAISES AND PURCHASE THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT TO ENSURE THAT EVERY COMMAND HAS WHAT IT NEEDS TO KEEP ALL OF OUR OFFICERS SAFE.

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