Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: July 24, 2015
— By Jennifer Foley, POJ Editor
Bloomfield Hills Dispatch recently joined their comrades in the Police Officers Labor Council (POLC).
The seven-member unit, formerly represented by POAM, voted unanimously in May to join the POLC. The group had been with the POAM at least 15 years, said Communications Specialist Gary Houghton, the local union president.
“Our Command has always been with POLC since I’ve been here and recently our PSO’s (Public Safety Officers) went back to POLC and the consensus of the group was we all wanted to be in the same house,” Houghton said. “We just thought we’d try this as far as all being on the same page. Mr. (Richard) Weiler gets a great deal of respect when he comes in. Their style looks pretty good to me.”
POLC Labor Rep. Frank Klik represents Bloomfield Hills Dispatch. As the former representative for Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Officers for 10 years when they were originally with POLC, Klik will bring his community experience to the table when the group negotiates their next contract in less than a year. “He’s easy to talk to, very knowledgeable, and I think it’s going to be a good relationship,” Houghton said of Klik.
In the meantime, Klik has handled a potential disciplinary matter. “I had to sit in for a Garrity statement. He was ordered to answer the questions but none of the answers could be held against him criminally,” Klik said of the officer who was given his Garrity rights. “I see nothing coming out of it. I guess you can call it a disciplinary hearing that to me was unfounded.”
However, Klik said it’s important for the union to be present when statements are requested to ensure everything is done properly. If they are ordered to give a statement, he said, Garrity is implied. “All Garrity does is to prevent anything they say from being used against them criminally,” Klik said, adding their comments are supposed to be used for internal purposes. “We definitely want Garrity implied, and if Garrity is not given, we tell them not to say anything. If they are given Miranda rights, we tell them not to say anything.”