INDIO, Calif. - Back in June, a Riverside County Superior Court judge granted an injunction, to prevent the city of Indio from re-organizing its police department. The union that represents police management filed suit against the city, charging unfair labor practices. Now four members of the union are formally requesting to be removed from the court injunction. They feel pulling away from the union will actually create a more united front. Sgt. Jason Hapner says, "We don't support it and we want to be removed from it."
Sgt. London Pickering says, "I think it's a shame, it's gotten to this point, hence the reason we're here, is we don't agree with it."
It all started with the proposed reorganization of the department, to trim down upper police management.
The city proposed eliminating the rank of captain and lieutenant and replacing them with a division commander and administrative services manager. The shift in rank, meant a cut in salary. Sgt. Pickering says, "Initially I was one of those positions, but due to retirement as it stands now, I will stay in my position."
But he was prepared to take the demotion and carry on. Pickering says, "Bottom-line is at the end of the day we still have our duty of being good stewards and servicing the public day in and day out."
They think in the long run, the injunction is counter-productive and harmful to the city and that the union should be in line with the police officers association, when it comes to concessions and saving jobs in the city. Sgt. Hapner says, "Why we're coming out and speaking is because we don't feel we have a voice with the union and we want more transparency and there are others than myself who share this viewpoint."
The four union members are also asking for a recall of the president and the vice president of the union. A hearing on the permanent injunction is set for September 10th. Sgt. Hapner says, "It's going to be a compromise, no question and there's going to be a give and take on both ends. To see how that's going to unfold is going to be very interesting."