On Wednesday, a District of Columbia jury rejected a union official’s claim that the Department retaliated against him by seeking to have him perform mandatory annual in-service training. The verdict came after a week-long trial in a three-year old lawsuit that was filed after the Department sought to have union officials meet the same training requirements as all other members.
Since becoming Chief of Police, Cathy L. Lanier has worked to ensure that all members of the Department comply with annual in-service training requirements.
Those police officers who are also union officials and work full-time on union matters have refused to comply with the training requirement. They claimed that the training interferes with their union work and alleged that investigations into their failure to perform the training were retaliatory. The jury’s decision yesterday rejected the union’s claim of retaliation.
Responding to the victory, Chief Lanier said “I am grateful that the jury recognized that there was no merit to the FOP’s claims of retaliation. Indeed, my position all along has been that as law enforcement members, we never know when we may be called upon to act in the interests of public safety. To that end, we must all, regardless of rank or position, partake of regular in-service training, with a specific emphasis on uses-of-force, utilizing Automated External Defibrillators (AED) devices, and performing CPR. Regular refreshers on these critical skills ensure that we are capable of rendering potentially life-saving aid when it is most desperately needed. Given the verdict in the Department’s favor in this case, I think it is clear that the jury, and by extension the residents of our city, share the same belief.”