Washington, DC - Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, described his frustration and concern about the future of policing in the District of Columbia and nationwide following the decision in Fraternal Order of Police v. District of Columbia.
“This is terrible news for the brave men and women serving with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and for the safety and security of the residents and visitors to the District,” Yoes said. “Every public employee in D.C. has the right to bargain over their disciplinary measures in their contract with the city and now that right has been arbitrarily stripped away by the D.C. Council.”
The District of Columbia Council passed an emergency measure in the summer of 2020 changing the relationship between the FOP’s bargaining unit and the city. The initiative states “matters pertaining to the discipline of sworn law enforcement personnel shall be retained by management and not be negotiable.” The FOP union representing the rank-and-file officers of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department sued to enjoin the enforcement of this provision, citing equal protection principles, the Bill of Attainder Clause, the Contract Clause, and the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the FOP.
“This is going to have a chilling effect, not just in the District, but nationwide,” Yoes explained. “Here we are in the midst of a national spike in violent crime, coupled with a crisis in law enforcement staffing when it comes to recruiting and retaining good police officers. This is only going to add to the ongoing wave of early retirements and individuals leaving the profession because of the way they are being treated. This city council is arbitrarily abrogating decades-long bargaining rights in a desperate bid for relevancy and there are going to be real-life consequences on public safety in our national capital and elsewhere.”
The National Fraternal Order of Police is working closely with Gregg Pemberton, Chairman of the MPD/FOP Labor Committee, to seek a path forward on this issue, including pursuing Federal action in the matter.
“We need to get this right not only for the brave men and women of the D.C. Metropolitan Police, but also for the citizens of the District whose safety is being jeopardized by a capricious council,” Yoes said. “All of these people deserve better than this.”