Thursday, December 01, 2005

You're Fired. Don't Worry, We'll Keep Paying You

Seems that only here in Milwaukee, police officers keep getting paid after they get fired. (Article here).

Milwaukee still pays them their salary and benefits as long as they appeal the firing. Since 1990, 81 officers have been fired, and 79 of them have appealed the firing. First off, on a possibly good note, only having to fire 81 people in 15 years would seem to be a pretty good ratio for what would amount to a large corporation. But I digress, because it's Milwaukee, and I can only imagine what those 81 people had to do to get fired in this town. Yikes.

Milwaukee is the only force in the state that pays officers upon termination. Every police force has an appeal policy just like Milwaukee's, but other forces do NOT pay officers while they appeal.

State law dictates that a hearing needs to be held in the case within 15 days. Dismissed officers can ask for one 'free' extra 15 day period to prepare for the case. The commission has decided by itself, that they must grant at least 100 days before the case starts, to give both sides time to prepare. Appeals on average since 1990 have taken 9 months.

I understand that in other jobs ( especially gov't jobs ), if you're accused of doing something wrong, you will often be 'reassigned', while they complete the investigation. But even in most gov't jobs, you don't keep getting paid after you've actually been fired. And most gov't jobs don't have such a broad rule allowing you to appeal your termination. So why the special treatment here?

Silly me, but I think alot of gov't services should run themselves like a business. They are there providing a service, and should do so in a cost effective manner. The city has paid out over $2.5 million dollars to officers who have appealed since 1990. This year alone, the city has paid over $500,000 to officers under appeal right now. Most of the officers ( 5 of them ) were terminated for their roles in the beating of Frank Jude Jr. The city has said that they could have hired another 60 officers with that money this year. This is especially pressing, seeing as how there is 200 vacancies within the department this year due to budget constraints.

It must be nice to have perks afforded to you that the general population doesn't get. If I were to get fired from the AC - there's NO appeal. None. And they sure as hell won't pay me anymore money if I were to get canned.

Must be nice to have this rule apply to you. And if they ever take it away from the MPD, they'll bitch about how they're getting screwed. Welcome to the real world boys and girls. If the gov't is nice, they'll even take your pants off while they screw you. Except, oh wait. You're not getting screwed. You got FIRED. Don't f*ck up in your next job, and you'll keep getting a paycheck.


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