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Rye Cops Protesting Saturday

Usually they are keeping the peace at someone else's protest.

But this Saturday, the cops are protesting:

"On Saturday March 9th we are organizing an “informational protest” in the City of Rye. We are inviting you, your family and friends to please come support us. Our message that day is to communicate to the Rye public of our difficulties in reaching an amicable contract resolution for over 4 years. We will be meeting at 17 Elm place in the center of Rye’s business district at 10am, the event is scheduled to run until 2pm. With your help and support we can successfully deliver our message to the Rye taxpayers and ultimately to city hall, the mayor and the city council. For more information please go to our website RYEPBA.ORG or call the number below.

Thank you,
Franco Compagnone
President: Rye PBA
914-557-2922"

  1. Officer Compagnone,

    Can you please tell us in what manner the “Informational Protest” will be conducted… indoors and or outdoors, flyer handouts and or detailed info packets, and why 17 Elm is listed as the address for this, and will there be a “Q n A” opportunity for the public?

    Thank You

  2. Jim, the article says you can call Franco.

    For more information please go to our website RYEPBA.ORG or call the number below.

    Thank you,
    Franco Compagnone
    President: Rye PBA
    914-557-2922

  3. Avg,

    You are very correct, an oversight on my part,sorry.
    I don’t think I will be calling Franco anytime soon,lol!

    I will go to the web address or just be patient til Saturday.
    I was only asking to see if this is something I need or want to attend for the entire 4 hours.

    I work on Saturdays and would need to rely on my men 100% in my absence. No big deal but thank you for responding.

  4. Avg,

    I just visited the website, glad I did, saw some interesting info.

    Nothing on this Saturdays event or how it will be conducted, maybe I’m looking in the wrong place?

  5. Officer Compagnone,
    It’s hard for me to feel sorry for the Rye PBA when I saw the terms of your benefits in your current contract. Specifically I refer to:
    1) 25 paid vacation days after 10 years of service
    2) 13 paid Holidays, including Columbus Day, Election Day, & Veteran’s Day
    3)100% employer contribution to your defined benefit pension plan, with a pension of 50% of the final year salary (including overtime) after 20 years of service
    4) Individual dental insurance 100% employer paid
    etc., etc.

    Has the Rye PBA offered any significant give backs of these exorbitant benefits?

  6. Rye PBA Contract Information Event March 9th, 2013

    * 5 years without a contract (last contract expired 2008)

    * Rye Police Officers are one of the lowest paid police department in Westchester County:

    • Harrison PD 15% ($12,000 more a year)
    • Larchmont 18% ($14,500 more a year)
    • Mamk Vill 20% ($16,250 more a year)
    • Port Chester 16% ($13,250 more a year)
    • Rye Brook 20% ($16,250 more a year)

    * Rye Police Officers contribute 25% (4% cap contribution factor on base salary) since 1990 into medical benefits.

    * Rye Police Officers have been paying the highest contribution rate for the longest period of time)

    * City of Rye has paid over $300,000 in Labor Attorney cost to the Vince Toomey Law Firm to handle labor negotiations.

    ($300,000 is a low inaccurate number, the City of Rye will not release billing statements on FOIL request)

    * No Money designated for Training. This cost cutting leaves the City of Rye’s Police Department without the necessary refresher training and certification to protect its residents. (Expiring EMT and First Responder Medical Certifications on proven life saving skills)

    * Reduction in manpower (2008, 40 sworn police officers – 2012, 35 sworn police officers)

    • Loss of DARE and Youth Detective
    • Loss of General Investigator Detective
    • Loss of 2 Sergeant positions (resulting in 3 tours
    of overtime per week)
    • Loss of 2 patrolman positions

  7. this is what your boss sent me, care to anonymously throw him under the boss, lol!

    I already knew the truth b4 he decided to send this:

    From: “Connors William R.”
    Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2013 01:10:42
    To:
    Subject: FW: Police protection for Nicole Levitsky?

    Mr. Amico:

    The assertion that Ms. Levitsky is being provided police protection is untrue.

    William R. Connors
    Police Commissioner

  8. Jim, I am actually surprised that he responded with that. If I was in his position, I would have responded that any information related to possible on-going operations is privileged and confidential, and as such cannot be disclosed.

    What prompted your e-mail?

  9. AVG,

    STUPID IS STUPID DOES,LOL!

    And you are 100% correct, that is exactly what he should have said and that is exactly why he should not be the Commissioner!!!

    What prompted my email is all the lame excuses I keep receiving on the issue of Crossing Guards & Police presence for the schools that I and the BOE have been seeking for years!

    I have no issues w/OT, I have no issues w/the dollar amounts, I know that it is nearly impossible to run a PD w/out OT.

    I do however have a problem with not spending it where it counts …..the children & the schools!!!

    Yes, $500,000 is a very large number, they can’t tell me that some of that can’t be put to better use???

    That lying arrogant snob gets O/T police protection for some non-existing BS and yet our children are told to risk their lives crossing the streets after school & they can’t put police at our schools for not even an hour a day when our children are entering and leaving school???

    Putting aside my troubles w/select Officers, I fully support this PD, yes in the past I have said some ugly things that I am not proud of but I have also apologized for that. I was a very angry & hurty man back then!
    I am behind you guys all the way, putting the details aside, you deserve a contract!

  10. I encourage all Rye taxpayers to visit 17 Elm Place (former offices of The Rye Record) today before this event winds down and enjoy the company of some very proud Rye City employees. I just did and can attest the mood is upbeat, cheerful and open. I got a great T-shirt, some donuts and learned some things. You will too.

  11. Officer Compagnone,

    I’m glad the protest is behind us. Everybody wants a contract but it must recognize the new economic reality. I’m glad that a link to the current contract has been posted so everyone can see your current benefits. How many of us have winced upon reading stories in the Journal News about police officers retiring with 6 figure lifetime pensions because of excessive overtime during the officers last year on the force? What is the rationale for including overtime pay when calculating pensions? A simple tweek to your contract could change it to a base salary index.

    I say again:

    Has the Rye PBA offered any significant give backs of their exorbitant benefits?

    Finbarr

  12. Are the police “willing” to give the school what I and the school have been asking for for years…..Help with Crossing kids after school? Police presence when kids are entering and leaving school? Police presence during lockdowns when shootings take place in other districts, we shouldn’t have to call for the police to come, this is an automatic reaction everywhere but Rye?

    What is the “real” problem at the PD?
    Why do the problems at the PD have to involve our children?

    Are the Patrol Officers being told by Commissioner Connors that they are “not permitted” to assist the children?

    OUR CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER!!!

  13. Finbarr,
    The OT included in the final years avg of salaries before retirement is not negotiated based on an individual departments contract but in fact from the state pension laws. The state pension laws have in fact been changed in the past few years and i believe its now 22 years of service and the OT is no longer included, but someone correct me if I am wrong. It will take a few decades for anyone to see benefits from that. And for the record I am against the pension reform. Cops and FF’s deserve good contracts and benefits. I am sorry you or others think they don’t but they are in harms way. Rye may seem like the quiet town to most of the avg citizens in Rye but there are many things no one knows about. And no I am not a Rye police officer. Police and fire deal with blood born pathogens. They deal with having to hope they are not struck by another vehicle when working in the roadways at accidents or a car stop if you’re a cop. PD has no idea what they enter into on a domestic dispute even here in Rye. Or a car stop when you don’t know the person behind the wheel and if they have a gun or just committed a crime. With 2 major interstates on the outskirts of Rye that has heavy drug traffic everyday, and sometimes they get off the exit or run from state troopers, like last year 2x i believe. Rye taxes are not as high as other places its the school tax that does everyone in here. Yeah we want great schools but do we also need 100 sports teams and all the latest bells and whistles? I am sure some cuts can be made without the school suffering. DO you feel safe in Rye walking down the street or going to the park in the summer time when a lot of out of town people come in. Some of these people have criminal backgrounds enjoying a day at the beach or playland but may quickly decide to do a crime. Many gangs visit playland. So Rye puts extra police patrols right? Wrong! Rye has sometimes 1-3 cars covering the whole city. No school resource cops. This city has plenty of people with money willing to pay for the extra security and protection in their taxes. Most of the people just know they call 911 and the police show up. They don’t know that sometimes 2 cars with 1 cop in each is all that is protecting the town. You don’t think criminals know that? Give them the contract and get rid of pickup and Connors, cut the salary to each position because clearly they are the criminals hurting Rye the most.

  14. “Need Change” correct me but the Rye Police pension reform issue is irrelevant at this stage because pension reform remains a state issue. And New York, along with California and Illinois, have so dreadfully kited their pension schemes to such unsustainable levels (benefits, investment assumptions, etc) that no amount of money can possibly solve them. And if somehow the money was “found,” Albany would just raise the bar yet again and they would be as unsound as they are today.

    Where New York State will however soon be is in the municipal bankruptcy business. Syracuse is very close. Other cities are close also. California beat New York to the punch and has several high profile municipal cases. And in all cases the intent of the pension “system” is not to reform and downsize its unsustainable self, but to continue to profess that yes, trees do grow to the sky. And to try undercutting traditional constitutional law and claim “arm of the state” sovereign rights to first position. See here- “Calpers’s Bankruptcy Ploy – The fund wants to stop broke cities from reworking pensions.” http://on.wsj.com/VGckjF

    All of this is a long way from now 5 years in arbitration and closer to $600,000 (not $300,000) in Vincent Toomey billing charade winnings from Rye taxpayers vs. a much smaller ask from our decent hardworking Rye City employees. Again, who’s fooling who at Rye City Hall?

  15. Jim, first off let me state unequivocally that I believe that you cannot put a price on ensuring the safety of our children.

    As was stated on a post below, Rye typically deploys only two or three patrol cars (“prowlers” for the oldtimers, “RMP’s” for the newer guys) on any given shift (Franco – can you confirm?). To place an officer at each school would require a minimum of four officers. While they would only be required to be on post for less than an hour, this will approach almost $1,000 a day in OT. You wouldn’t want to have the regularly-scheduled officers performing these duties, because if a radio run comes in, they would need to leave their post. At 180 school days, you are looking at a substantial increase in OT costs (please see my first sentence again!).

    The residents of Rye need to decide how to approach this. With the state-mandated tax caps, you will most likely need to reduce services or eliminate positions. Rye has already trimmed its budget, so it may be difficult to make substantial cuts elsewhere. I believe that Rye can exceed the cap if the residents approve it via a referendum (tedc – is that true?). Either way, a solution needs to be found. And soon!

  16. @Average Citizen – I believe that the school schedules are staggered such that you’d need at any point in time 3 patrol cars in front of schools and that would be for the elementary schools. The HS/MS start before and end before the elementary schools.

  17. Avg & Bob,

    Bob, your point is accurate and it has already been incorporated into the discussions.

    Avg,
    Thank you for the respectful input.
    Taking Bob’s point into the equation and this: This are many many times the patrols are not on a call and can be performing school details. Something is better than nothing at all.

    I believe this can be done if the will to do it existed!

    It wouldn’t take one extra red cent, it would take effort and some intelligent management to use the Officers already on shift.

    With complete respect, when not on a call or on a “scheduled” break, please explain to me why they can not be present in the School Zones?

  18. Final part of comment –

    Numerous still unanswered FOIL’s in Rye deal with what we call The Rye Legal Fee Rake-Off. The legal fee rake-off in Rye was instituted by the same Kevin Plunkett who oversaw the formation of the city relationship with the vaporous RM Staffing at Rye Golf, created multiple lawsuits from whole cloth (like we see in depositions under oath in the Schubert’s Pond matter) and continues to shield the polluters and West Nile Virus cistern breeders out on Hen Island. All Rye legal services today are directed to Plunkett corny law firms without true competitive bidding or council oversight. See Judge Carey’s numerous articles over the past few years about this subject in the Rye Sound Shore Review. He doesn’t name Plunkett – I’ve seen the Schubert depositions so I do.

    And crony Vincent Toomey’s fee’s his multi-year jackpotting of the Rye PBA are not, as Mr. Compagnone modestly puts them, at the $300,000 level. They are closer to $600,000 if not over it. Why can I say this? Because our working group has deeper Rye legal invoice files than the PBA.

    In summary and all told AC the city as managed today is not capable of making decisions about cuts (or service modifications or additions) in a rational fully informed manner. Legal fee wastage is but one part of it but a sizable one. The foxes run the hen house and provide egg counts as they deem necessary and at levels they decide. That’s unsustainable. A tax cap or tax crap discussion is wholly superfluous right now. First we find the truth.

  19. First part of comment –

    “Rye has already trimmed its budget, so it may be difficult to make substantial cuts elsewhere. I believe that Rye can exceed the cap if the residents approve it via a referendum (tedc – is that true?). Either way, a solution needs to be found. And soon!”

    Well said AC – yes that is indeed the party-line conventional wisdom about our municipal financial position. And like the necessity of a food minimum at Rye Golf, it is wholly inaccurate.

    AC there’s a reason certain FOIL requests do not get answered in Rye. And it has nothing to do with parochial power tantrums, purposefully mocking NYS laws or even the perverse satisfaction our city lawyer derives by flipping Mr. Freedman the bird. Withholding public records, like we are still seeing with the Rye Golf Club, is a power play AND a concealment play.

    Rye Golf members wanted to know why the food minimum was established and needed. They were simply lied to. The overcharges were part of a rake-off that was concealed by the city hall until citizens demanded not to be lied to anymore (and tasked Leon to shake up Scotty Y so much that he forked over what Mr. Pickup and Ms. Wilson would not – some actual billing records).

    Continued…

  20. Jim, if there are only two or three RMP’s on patrol at any given time, you would not be able to cover three school crossings. There is always going to be a radio run for the 30-45 minutes the officer is assigned to the school. I’m not sure that I would be comfortable with sometimes the officer is there and sometimes he/she is not. That is not the way to resolve this issue. Also, to ask RPD to always have the ‘normal’ on-duty officers at the school during the start/end of the school day (unless there is an incident somewhere else) is not feasible. You need to patrol the entire city to ensure the safety of all residents. In my mind, you either employ full-time crossing guards or have officers in addition to those on patrol.

    And just to add a little salt to the wound, I realized after my initial post this morning that my OT figure is just for one shift. It would cost the city approximately $3,000/day to have three officers for both the start and end of the school day. My original estimate was for four officers but only one shift.

    We really could use Franco or someone else from RPD to let us know how many officers would be required to staff the three schools, and if they would be pulled from an assignment or called in on OT.

  21. Avg,

    I am not suggesting or asking the cops to be full time crossing guards and I never have.

    Your words:
    “Also, to ask RPD to always have the ‘normal’ on-duty officers at the school during the start/end of the school day (unless there is an incident somewhere else) is not feasible. You need to patrol the entire city to ensure the safety of all residents.”

    I agree that the entire City needs to be patrolled, no argument there but a hard one for you to defend when I continuassly spot the patrol cars parked in parking lots like the Rec or the Marriott for example, or the train station and lots of times side by side shooting the breeze, or sitting in the middle of Midland by Avon or on the BPR by RCD. How about all those day time crimes the Rye Record and other Rye local media outlets have been printing, I’m guessing the cars were “patroling” elsewhere?

    Crossing Guards and Police Presence at the Schools for 2-4 hors a day at different times of the day are 2 totally different subjects and it is not asking a lot if you consider sitting still “patroling”!!!

    Again, your words:
    “Jim, first off let me state unequivocally that I believe that you cannot put a price on ensuring the safety of our children.”

    Again, no argument here but also a hard one for you to defend, considering the facts I just outlined this statement is a bit contradicting, don’t you think?

  22. Avg,

    Let me ask you for your honest opinion….as a cop, your on the day shift during school hours, you want to park the patrol car and just hang out, what do you choose – Hotel Parking Lot, Recreation Center Parking Lot, Train Station Parking Lots, Rye Beach, side streets, Dock Deli, way way back in Greenwood Cemetary (yes I have always known of this one), or since you say this “”Jim, first off let me state unequivocally that I believe that you cannot put a price on ensuring the safety of our children.”” do you choose a school and park where you can be seen???????????????

  23. Jim,
    I understand what you are saying and have been a supporter of yours. I am not going to say I disagree with you here because I get what you are saying but…
    If Rye has 2 maybe 3 or 4 RMPs out there you can’t take those resources and put them strictly on school patrol. Other calls come in, other details. When they sit at the train station actually doing something similar to the school patrols. Even in Rye a RMP at a train station could deter terrorism, slow cars down driving through- general safety. I can’t comment on every single “spot” and find a reason. Courtyard I know they do numerous car stops, cars coming off the highway. You can’t have the cops everyday expected to do school safety. Its not possible. And God forbid something like an accident happened in a school zone and lets say that RMP was at another call, Jim you would be the first to say where was the cop or why don’t we hire a crossing guard. Cops shouldn’t be doing crossing guard details unless emergency or emergency coverage like one calls out sick. It’s tough position and I understand your argument and saw what you wrote below. Comes down to the city has to hire more crossing guards and its not a very expensive position to fill, I believe they have a problem trying to get people to do it. And the city hiring these safety officers /crossing guards. well its good to have crossing guards but anyone who thinks this is to deter a crime or fights or shooting is fooling themselves they are not armed. At the Rye Harrison game when the fights were breaking out with students from both schools, the cops were out numbered and the security guards- yes all those extra security guards from the company the RCSD hired did pretty much nothing.

  24. Need Change,

    Ok, can we please get past the Cops as Crossing Guards.
    This isn’t just about Crossing Guards.
    Along with the help from School Officials I am the one that pushed the City to budget the Crossing Guards, I NEVER suggested it be our Cops, can we please put that to rest!!!

    Now, as for Cops at the Schools, Please tell me at what level this is performed at at this present time???
    FTR – Hanging out side by side in the “far rear” Train Station parking lot tucked all the way back closest to Avon is not about Terrorism…SERIOUSLY??? LOL!

    Ok, so since you say you can define the reasons for “every spot”, tell me….who is benefiting from protecting the dead at Greenwood???

    I can’t wait to “Foil” for those activity sheets that will tell me exactly what our Cops are doing that is more important than protecting the children.
    With total respect, I am trying really hard to support this PD, but conversations like turn things sour!
    This shouldn’t even be a conversation, should it?

  25. Maybe I am not understanding and I apologize. I am not trying to start an argument just trying to understand. So you would like to have the 2 maybe 3 cars posted outside schools? sit in the car within the school limits? when not on a call between the hours of lets say 8-9? Is that correct? Those hours are not possible as the tour turns out at 8am if I am correct. Anyone? and the time they get everything together, vehicle inspection and hit the road its 820 -830. Now you They would have to start earlier and that is a contract issue. They could possibly hit the 3 elementary schools. Now if you have 2 cars out and 3 elementary schools what should they do? I am not arguing I am simply bringing up valid points that anyone pro or against would have to look at. I am all for school safety, but I am being realistic.

  26. I wonder if the Rye police realize you can see their cop cars in Greenwood Cemetery from I95 as you drive by . Always makes me chuckle . Apparently everybody in town knows about it but our police chief ?

  27. Need Change,

    No arguing on this end either, no worries. I am happy to have this open dialog.

    Okay, the morning might be difficult to get around, but if there was a “real” will I’m sure it can be worked out. As for the afternoon, what’s the problem, there is no schedule conflict to speak of?

    Oh, and as for the “contract” being an issue, what contract would that be, isn’t that what the article we are posting under is all about?

    Ok, humor me here, the contract is an issue, the last 5 years there is NO CONTRACT, can you speak on why absolutely nothing on this subject has been remotely addressed in those past “contract less” 5 years?

    @ Divman,

    Chief? God help us if that were the case! As for his knowledge of knowing that they sit in Greenwood, what difference would that make? Two of his Officers targeted me in writing and he isn’t doing squat about it, you think he cares where they park….CONNORS IS A HUGE PART OF THE PROBLEM AT THE RPD!!!

  28. Avg & Need Change,

    This was sent to me from a Rye resident:

    “Couldn’t three cops do it as an hour OT at the end of their 12-8 tour? That way there would be no need to answer a call. the 8-4 tour would respond. The schools could be a steady OT detail. Like Parade duty in NY – you’re not otherwise “on the clock” – you don’t get called away to catch cases.

    Where does he get the thousands of dollars a day in OT? Wouldn’t it be like 100-120 per cop?

    As for a contract issue – that’s a red herring. We don’t have a contract right now. Nows the time to negotiate the tours to better meet our needs as a community.”

  29. Jim,
    I agree with some of your last post. You’re seeing the light lol. I can’t answer questions like why they are in Greenwood or other places and I am not getting into that here. I am not a Rye cop and not their boss. But as for contract they have been working without one for 5 years but still go off the guidelines of the last one. For the hours of their tour to change it would have to be in the contract. Every department has different tours. some 8 hours NYC is 8.5 and I think NYSP is 12 hours. White Plains for a short time did 12 hours. 12 hour tours eliminates 1 tour and you have 2 tours instead of 3. Sometimes it can add manpower but that all depends. And the start times of those tours again is dependent on the department and said agred contract. Now as for that additional OT on the midnight tour well usually cops are up for OT. Is the city going to force that or is voluntary? Depends i guess on some technical things I don’t know about. Will the city want to spend that additional OT when they are always looking to cut cost?
    Another reason why you couldn’t have regular patrols cover, even in the afternoon is because the call volume in the afternoon goes up. Majority of calls are from afternoon into evening. In addition if you have 2 or 3 cars out when a call comes 2 cars have to go. You can’t send 1 car with 1 cop. This isn’t NYC. I am being realistic as to what you are going to hear from a council or Commissioner and even the union. I am not a Connors fan, barely know anything about him but it sounds like he is all wrong for Rye based on what i read and follow. But it would he hard to disagree with what I am saying if he brought it up.

  30. Jim & Need Change,

    If you look at the RPD contract, if an officer is required to work OT, they get a MINIMUM four hours — regardless of how many hours they work. The actual time working is at “time and a half” and the time not working is ‘straight time.” So assuming $50/hour, the first hour is $75 and the other three are $150, so each officer will cost Rye $225 to do crossing guard duty for one hour. Three officers in the AM and three in the afternoon and you are looking at $1,350 per day BEFORE benefits, payroll tax, etc. [My original estimate called for four officers, so that is where I got $1,000 for the AM.] So you are looking at a quarter million dollars in OT. Again, this doesn’t include benefits, payroll taxes, etc.

    As I stated in my first post, I believe that you cannot put a price tag on the safety of our children, but this is a big nut. Crossing guards would be a more cost-efficient solution. But again – there is a lot of money in Rye, maybe the residents wouldn’t mind paying for this to not only have the traffic-safety component, but also a police presence at each elementary school.

  31. Avg,
    I know the 4 hours is mandatory not just with PD with DPW as well and I am not sure on FD. Many places have that. Is that a NYS agreement with union labor laws or individual towns set that in place. Happy this has been a constructive conversation with you guys and not out of hand like some of the others I read on here. Jim and anyone else good luck with your fight with the city.

  32. Need Change,

    “You’re seeing the light lol.”
    FUNNY!!!
    The light would be much brighter and easier to follow if the City held the Police Workshop they spoke of. I am being educated on many facts here that most residents are clueless too, including me!

    “But as for contract they have been working without one for 5 years but still go off the guidelines of the last one.”

    Is this mandatory? Would there be an issue if they swayed on some items according to the old contract? If so, please explain if you can!

  33. Avg,

    “If you look at the RPD contract, if an officer is required to work OT, they get a MINIMUM four hours — regardless of how many hours they work. The actual time working is at “time and a half” and the time not working is ‘straight time.” So assuming $50/hour, the first hour is $75 and the other three are $150, so each officer will cost Rye $225 to do crossing guard duty for one hour.”

    Can we PLEASE PLEASE get off the whole “cops as crossing guards” thing!!! I have repeated several times that this is not what is being suggested or requested and to my knowledge it is not a dialog amongst City Officials, so can we please put this to rest?

  34. Jim, you posted this:

    “This was sent to me from a Rye resident: Couldn’t three cops do it as an hour OT at the end of their 12-8 tour? That way there would be no need to answer a call. the 8-4 tour would respond. The schools could be a steady OT detail. Like Parade duty in NY – you’re not otherwise “on the clock” – you don’t get called away to catch cases.

    Where does he get the thousands of dollars a day in OT? Wouldn’t it be like 100-120 per cop?”

    I was just answering your post, right?

  35. Avg,

    LOL, You would be correct but it is not referring to “crossing detail”, even tho it does not stipulate which subject it does pertain to “patrol car presence”.

    Sorry, didn’t notice the communication gap.

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