President’s message – April 2016

John Fleming

April 2016

A Message from the President

There is an old myth that unionism and professionalism are separate ideals. While this myth may be old, it is blatantly untrue. The DIA has been tasked with many complex issues throughout the years. But none was more frustrating than our campaign to get a new contract. With no one outside the union in our corner, we still achieved our objective by negotiating a strong contract that provides a foundation for the future. Detective Investigators in the five counties are now treated no differently at the bargaining table than our counterparts in the NYPD or other DA offices. We now have the same contractual raise as well as the same pension plan as members of the NYPD. Those are major achievements, giving us all reason to be proud.

The reasons behind why we needed to fight so hard, for so long, should be lost on no one. Going forward, the membership must remain vigilant in our purpose and do everything possible to ensure the union remains a strong force. It is an unfortunate fact that not only do unions have a bad name, but so do police officers in general.

Much has been made about the anti-cop sentiment in this country. Even as we see officers sacrifice their lives on an almost daily basis, we still hear the profession being torn down by civilians, politicians, and the media. This is a very difficult time to be in a union and a police officer. It seems as though we have two strikes against us from the outset. Remember that even the DAs themselves weren’t on our side during negotiations, so it leaves us wondering which side they would be on if one of our members got into trouble, either on or off the job. Remember who your friends are and that even the people we work for had total disdain for us during the contract negotiation process. If they weren’t on our side, how could we expect the general public to be?

As you read this, the number of DIs is increasing. An influx of younger Detectives is a welcome change and we are counting on our more tenured members to mentor our new Detectives. We were all rookies once and thanks to some intervention and luck, we made it. Show them why this is the best profession in the world.

The DIA is poised to examine areas that we had to neglect outside the bargaining table because of the burdens associated with our negotiations. For example, our Legislative Director Jack Freck and Supervisor Trustee Rocco Galasso are working with our friends in Albany to secure legislation for all Detective Investigators to ride the railroad without charge, as do other police officers.

Finally, the union will, once again, hold our Annual Award Ceremony in Battery Park Gardens. The event was suspended last year due to financial constraints associated with our contract negotiations. As part of the event, we will award partial college scholarships to select children of our Detectives. This is our chance to honor and recognize members who have gone above and beyond in the duties of their everyday jobs. Without much recognition from the DAs themselves, it is incumbent upon us to show our members that their work is valued and appreciated.

We ask that all members continue to support the union and keep us informed of any events you think we should be aware of. Your Trustee serves as the voice for your squad at all board meetings. They need to be informed in order to keep us informed. You are our eyes and ears on the job and out in the field. We need you to work with us so we are all better informed. The Board wishes all our Detectives and their families a safe and happy spring.

John Fleming, President