February 17, 2021 Governor’s Executive Order #203: Police Reform Policies and Procedures
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
Many of you are in the process of completing your Plans that are due by April 1, 2021. We have become aware of the popularity of contracting out to a third party the preparation of new or revised policies and procedures as part of this process. We are writing to caution you about some of the potential legal issues that we have already seen arise as a result of doing so.
One of the nice things about contracting out the creation of required policies and procedures is that you do not have to do it yourselves. Another is that you are relying upon the expertise and experience of someone else to provide you with “best practices” for implementation, consistent with applicable law, contract provisions and relevant personnel practices.
The downside to doing this, though, is that a one-size fits all approach to implementing these policies and procedures runs the very substantial risk of, if you are not careful, violating applicable State law, including the Taylor Law, your Union contracts, past practices and your own existing rules and regulations. In addition, we have seen several examples of “best practices” being recommended for adoption that are completely unnecessary as a matter of law and which gratuitously cede management rights for no apparent reason. These are important considerations because, once you have implemented these changes, you will need to negotiate with your Unions to undo the changes in those areas in which you have unnecessarily tied your hands.
For these reasons, we urge you to consider sharing with us your proposed plans prior to legislative consideration and adoption so that we can provide you with the personalized review necessary to ensure that what you adopt is what you need to adopt, want to adopt, and should adopt.
Please contact Richard K. Zuckerman or any of our other labor and employment law attorneys at (631) 694-2300 if you need assistance or have any questions regarding the information contained in this memorandum.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
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© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2021