Flier urging police slowdown angers mayor union denies responsibility

July 18, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

An anonymous flier urging Baltimore police officers to start a work slowdown and avoid making the mayor "look good" has been circulating throughout city station houses, angering top city officials.

The president of the police union said last night that his organization -- locked in stalled contract talks with the city -- is not responsible for the leaflet, which offers a list of do's and don'ts for officers.

For example, it tells officers not to write traffic or parking tickets and asks them to avoid what it calls unnecessary patrols.

"We did not put it out," said Officer Gary McLhinney, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3. "I do feel it indicates the level of frustration that the police officers feel in not being able to get a fair contract."

Clinton R. Coleman, a spokesman for Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, said the mayor was angry when he saw a copy of the flier.

"The mayor simply believes that our police are more professional than to stoop to such a level," Coleman said. "It is his hope that our police officers do their jobs, and that is protecting the citizens of the city."

Coleman said the leaflet suggests that officers upgrade crime -- such as listing a larceny as a burglary -- to make crime in Baltimore seem worse. McLhinney said the flier warns officers not to downgrade crime categories to make the mayor look good.

The contract for police expired July 1, but negotiations were extended for 30 days. Talks are expected to resume next week. Issues include pay, sick days and floating holidays. The department proposal does not include a pay raise, consistent with what other city employees are facing.

Pub Date: 7/18/96

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