Does Filing Grievances Ruin a Career?

What is the function of the Union President/Steward of a Police Department? This person is responsible for acting as the liason between the Police Officers and Management as well as to ensure that labor contract violations are attended to.
My experience at Northlake PD is one that may or may not be common in the Policing world, I leave that up to you.

In my 18 months as Union President of Northlake PD I filed 18 grievances. Several of the grievances were my own but the overwhelming majority of them were filed on behalf of other officers with their permission and at their request. I felt that the labor contract was being disregarded and that management, Chief Dennis A Koletsos in particular, did not believe that the contract was something to be adhere to. I was told that other officers were told by him that the contract meant nothing and that he would do what he wants. I believe that he was severely anti-union and that the contract was, indeed, nothing to him and that he did what he wants.

During the 3 years before I was the union President, there were many instances where I felt that officers were being either treated unfairly or treated with too much preference. The first thing that Chief Koletsos did that was controversial(I leave it to you to decide) was during his first months as Chief. He promoted an officer that was still on probation, on the job less than a year mind you, to detective. Now, the typical way to become a detective is to have time on the job as well as interview for the position and, in some instances, test for it. It turned out that the officer that was promoted knew one of the chiefs relatives.

There are other things that happened which will be listed later but the point I want to make here is that I was told that filing grievances was ruining my career.
After I was President and had filed approximately a dozen grievances, I had a meeting with the chief. At that time I was told by him that by filing grievances I was ruining my career. I emphasized that it was my duty as union rep to do so and that I wasn’t really worried about my career as I only planned to stay 8 more years until I reached 20 years. I was then told that it could be a long 8 years. Unbelievable piece of work…

It didn’t take long for me to find out what he meant when he told me it would be a long 8 years. More on that later.

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    • salliezig
    • March 28, 2008

    As the wife of a former NPD officer/detective/corporal, I concur wholeheartedly with the observations on this website. Mr. Koletsos’ (I can’t even give him the title of respect, “Chief” as that connotates honor and respect in my world) blatant disregard for HIS OFFICERS and the PEOPLE OF NORTHLAKE has been flagrant during his tenure.

    The only thing I am sincerely shocked about is the fact that the people of Northlake have not moved to send Mr. Koletsos packing to another town. The fine people that were Northlake Police Officers now have no desire to be involved in policework due to his tyrannic behaviors.

    If I, as a school administrator, made half of the highly questionable moves he has made, I would have been sent packing a long time ago. Unions, union members, and the press are in the public for a reason…to keep people in “power” honest. It’s high time that Northlake does the same.

    • loony113
    • April 7, 2008

    I live in Northlake too and also agree with salliezig.
    Noone respects the chief or the mayor but are afraid to speak up about things.
    Even the aldermen are afraid,and they all know how the chief is.They have made comments to people I know.Everyone there are yes men and women.
    The city of Northlake is Not a good place for honest policemen and women.They don’t stand a chance.

    • Anonymous
    • July 22, 2008

    With all the dangers of this job, the coppers have to worry about this brick of a chief. To all the new coppers, do not worry about shit except you.

    Fuck you Mayor

    • Anonymous
    • July 23, 2008

    The next Police patch should include an eagle holding a p-ticket book,coming down on a park check. This would be a nice symbol. Thanks for letting me use your computer about this matter and other shit I wrote. I tried to sound like you I’m sure i did a good job.
    5th amendment

    • Anonymous
    • July 23, 2008

    Do not try and sound like me.
    1st amendment
    We will only confuse Northlake…….

    • Anonymous
    • July 25, 2008

    We need a Bobby Knight, Mike Ditka or R.I.P Billy Martin type running the union.
    What the fuck is happening to this country?
    The SGT test is a great example.

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