Boston cops win millions in unlawful termination settlement over controversial drug testing program

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BOSTON, MA – According to reports, the two highest paid Boston police officers in 2021 have received legal settlements totaling more than $1 million each, years after being unlawfully terminated following a controversial drug testing program.

Former officers Richard Beckers and Jacqueline M. McGowan were paid $1.26 million and $1.25 million, respectively.

A long-running lawsuit over the termination of 10 Boston police officers between 2001 and 2007 has ended with settlements for Beckers and McGowan. The 10 police officers were fired after hair testing came back positive for cocaine use and the termination of four out of the 10 was later upheld.

According to court documents, the other six fought for back pay and some sought reinstatement after a commission concluded that the hair testing failed to meet the requirement for just cause termination.

Of those six officers, four received back pay compensation payouts in 2017 and 2018.

A spokesman stated that the Boston Police Department (BPD) now uses urine analysis for drug testing instead of hair testing, which was disputed in the lawsuit.

The Center Square analyzed pay for city employees in Boston in 2021 and found that 400 of the 402 top paid employees in Boston work for the police and fire departments.

The analysis of total gross pay in 2021 revealed overtime as a significant contributor to many of those paychecks, with 39 of the 400 earning more than $300,000.

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The employee with the most overtime earnings in 2021 was a police lieutenant. He reportedly picked up $167,509 in overtime and had a total gross pay of $387,690, which was the seventh highest in the city.

In New York City, the City has ordered the New York Police Department (NYPD) to stop testing officers for marijuana use.

On Wednesday, July 13th, the city initially ordered the NYPD to stop testing police for marijuana use, but the NYPD later backpedaled on the idea.

After initially releasing a statement saying that would halt the tests, the NYPD said it was mulling over the order. The New York Post obtained a memo from the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of legal matters dated July 11th that states:

“Starting immediately, the department should only drug tests a member of service for marijuana if there is reasonable suspicion that the member is impaired by marijuana on the job.”

The NYPD reportedly later issued a letter to all commands that said cops are “not permitted to use cannabis on or off duty.”

Prior to this announcement, a police officer would be automatically fired if they tested positive for marijuana. Not all members of the department think the possible change is for the better. One officer with decades on the force said:

“I don’t agree with it at all, but I’m an old-time cop. I think it sets a bad example. What’s next, shooting heroin?”

A Manhattan cop with more than two decades on the force agreed and added that he believed the NYPD was making the more to lower standards so more candidates could be hired to make up for a jump in retirements. That officer said:

“This is unreal. This is all for people who can’t get into the academy because they test positive for marijuana. I guess you’re going to rehire all the people who doled out?

This department is going downhill. What happens if the person shoots and kills somebody and they find out they were hire on marijuana?”

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“Screw this city and it’s leaders”: Thousands of NYPD officers leaving before getting full pensions

August 7th, 2022

NEW YORK, NY – The New York Police Department is losing officers by the thousands, not because of retirement, injury, or people moving away, but rather because they have had “enough” according to the PBA.

The PBA claims the agency should admit there is a problem and fix it as opposed to denying the issue exists.

At the New York Police Department, officers must work a minimum of twenty years to receive their full pension benefits which the majority have until recently.

New reports provided by the NYPD pension fund, obtained by the New York Post, is showing that there is a large number of the 2,456 officers that have filed paperwork to leave the agency this year are doing so before they reach that milestone.

The reason why is up for debate. According to the NYPD, is it because there is a large number of rookie officers graduating from the police academy as the NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey claims?

Or is it because of the seemingly constant negative attention the officers are getting from the media, social activists, and liberal lawmakers claiming the agency is crooked and they should be defunded?

The NYPD Police Benevolent Association President, Patrick Lynch, believes the number of officers who are leaving the agency is doing so because of how they are treated. Every day there seems to be a new media release where an officer has been attacked simply for doing their job, and in some cases by those alleged criminals who should have been in custody.

In an interview with the Post, Lynch commented on the number of officers leaving by saying:

“We have had retirement waves caused by large academy classes before – they were nothing like this. This exodus is the result of cops in the prime of their careers deciding they have had enough. The NYPD should stop trying to explain this staffing crisis away, admit there’s a problem and help us fix it.”

Lynch explained his reasoning for the officers to be leaving before obtaining their full pension by saying:

“They are leaving for other opportunities where they’re paid better, treated better and have a better quality of life.”

Part of the problem may also be that the criminals seemingly have no fear of consequences for their actions. After all, when everyone in the country knows that you can attack a cop and be home by dinner, especially when you are a juvenile, what is to fear?

For those that may not believe that last sentence is true, ask the two NYPD Transit officers who were attacked by a pair of teenagers when they were told to leave a subway station after jumping the turnstile to avoid paying the fare.

The two teenagers were arrested after officers were able to gain control thanks to an MTA worker, however, were released with a court date after going to family court.

One of those teenagers arrested has previously been in trouble for robbery and possession of a loaded gun.

But instead of focusing on the alleged criminals and holding them accountable, Lynch and others believe the hostile work environment allegedly carried on by the department is forcing officers to leave.

In June, an officer known only as Dave spoke to the Post about his decision to leave the NYPD after only being employed for seven years. He said that the work environment is “oppressive” and added:

“As soon as I left, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders. And the sad part is that the job doesn’t need to be this way. I hear it all the time from friends who went to other police departments. They say, ‘They treat me like an adult here.’”

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“I am finally free of this…job”: Twenty year NYPD veteran officer retires with his middle finger in the air for viral photo

NEW YORK, NY – Thomas Gambardella recently submitted his paperwork to officially retire from the New York Police Department, where he had worked for the last 20 years.

The 41-year-old Staten Island resident was a decorated officer, according to the New York Post.

When his retirement became official, he posted a comment on Facebook.

“I never posted ‘work pictures’ or ‘work’ posts…a chunk of you all probably didn’t even know I worked in the NYPD…but I’m officially retired today. From this sorry excuse for a s— job…Thank God, I’m free at last! Not my problem anymore…I loved everyone I worked with, and ‘some’ of the people I worked for…but this job is no-ones [sic] friend…Time to live free! I’ll see you all out there!”

The post was accompanied by multiple photos, one of which included the divorced father of three, wearing a Let’s Go Brandon shirt, giving the middle finger to a memorial at the NYPD headquarters.

 

The 2006 NYPD Officer of the Year spoke with the Post, telling them he loved the job when he started, but the “gig turned to shit” due to the city’s soft-on-crime policies.

The now retired detective, whose Facebook profile states that he is a “Patriot, Conservative, Christian” and that he retired from the WORST “JOB” in the World, did not hold back in sharing his thoughts.

“I was a true believer,” Gambardella said.

“I wasn’t a bag of shit. I worked some intricate details. I gave a lot of my blood, sweat and tears. But no more. It’s the worst f—ing job in the world. They own you. They’re not your friends. All that talk about the ‘big blue family.’ They don’t care. If I die tomorrow, they wouldn’t give a shit. If I needed something, it ain’t gonna happen. I’m better off just saying a prayer.”

He pointed to increased hostility towards police, calls to defund, limitations on what cops could and couldn’t do, accompanied with the liberal policy making as the reasons for his attitude change.

“Crime is soaring and cops are leaving in droves,” he told the Post. “Anybody can see that. All this liberalism is obviously a failure. But this is what they wanted. It’s a stupid experiment and it’s the people who will pay in the end.”

(Continue reading for more on the fact that officers are leaving the NYPD in record numbers)

While some have applauded his statements, others have taken issue with them as well as the photo he posted.

“‘The majority of officers who retire are proud of their careers and their service with the NYPD,’ a high-ranking police source told The Post when asked about Gambardella.”

The statue he is flipping off depicts a police officer watching over the child of a fallen officer.

Some officers purchase miniature versions of the monument and engrave the fallen officer’s shield number on it and provide it to their family.

While some have taken exception to the way he left the job, Gambardella said he hasn’t received much backlash.

“I have a disease,” Gambardella said. “It’s called diarrhea of the mouth. People who know me know I’m like this. I don’t cower down.”

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