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Wednesday, July 28, 2010 12:48 PM

Billboard Battle in Michigan - Police Scare Tactics

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The police union in Bay Michigan has resorted to scare tactics threatening more violence and masked terrorists if the city suspends a handful of police officers.

Please consider Billboard Protest of Police Layoffs in Michigan Fuels Public Safety Debate

Police officers in Bay City, Mich., are being called domestic terrorists after renting billboard space to trumpet that the layoffs of five police officers in the town could lead to more shootings, stabbings, robberies and beatings.

The police say they paid for the two billboards that went up last week to bring attention to the impasse in negotiations between its union and city officials, who are seeking a 10.8 percent reduction in labor costs from eight unions to tackle a $1.66 million budget deficit for the fiscal year that began July 1. The billboards also spotlight the city's decision to replace the roof on city hall for $1.6 million.

"City Hall's Roof Will Not Stop You From Getting: Beaten, Shot, Stabbed, Robbed. 5 Laid Off Bay City Cops Could Have!" one billboard reads.

The other one shows a masked gunman and reads, "POSSIBLE. The result of Bay City Commissioners laying off five police officers."

"I think it's distasteful and harmful to the community," Commission President Christopher Shannon told FoxNews.com. "I don't know what they wish to gain as far as good faith negotiating. I think it really drives a wedge somewhat between those of us who are trying to come up with reasonable compromises and those that are on the other side of it."

The city reached a deal with the firefighters' union before the deadline of June 30 and says it is on the verge of inking contracts with three other unions that would reduce labor costs. But the police asked for a raise during its round of negotiations, Shannon said.

"As it turned out, as deadlines approached no one had really made any meaningful progress so we had to issue layoffs," Shannon said, noting that the city is bound by state law to present a balanced budget by June 30. "It wasn't the best option, but the only option we had given the fiscal pressures we were facing."

Shannon said if the billboards are to be taken seriously and the police force believes it has lost its ability to protect and service, "it really forces me as commission president in Bay City, Mich., to put together a committee to explore contracting services out to the sheriff's department" and other local law enforcement agencies.

"If they cannot do their job…we have to consider alternatives to provide public safety," he said.
Police are upset that the city spent $1.6 million fixing the roof on city hall. That sounds like a hell of an expensive roof for a city of approximately 34,000.

However, a roof is a onetime fix, and raises granted to unions last forever. Without being there it is difficult to accurately access the roof. However, it is easy to weigh in on police scare tactics and absurd pension benefits.

Once again, if the union had any concern for residents it was supposed to protect, it would not be running these ads and it would accept pay cuts to protect jobs.

The action by Bay City police is very similar to the MTA union running ads showing Iranian Terrorists. If you missed it, please see Transit Union Plays Nuclear Terrorist Card.

I commend the statement by commissioner Shannon threatening to outsource the police department to the local sheriff's association.

Indeed, government should opt to provide the most services at the least cost, not the fewest benefits at the most cost. Public unions invariably do the latter. Outsourcing to the sheriff's association would save a huge amount of money, enough to allow Bay City to have more officers for less money, so that is exactly what it should do.

If you live in Bay City, it is important to stand up to the police thugs attempting to extort more of your dollars via tax increases. Please call the mayor and the city council and ask them to outsource the police department.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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