PBA blames staffing shortages for mental health crisis
Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics a law enforcement labor union blames staffing shortages for the mental health crisis its members are dealing with, the PBA of New York State said January 5. The union's president urged Gov. Kathy Hochul and state lawmakers to address the problem in the middle of ongoing concerns about overcompensation. The union represents the New York State Park Police, New York State University Police and Encon Officers and Forest Rangers from the State Department of Environmental Conservation. “We’re losing officers every day across the state to local police departments that provide better retirement benefits and compensation and that’s creating serious staffing and experience shortages that will prevent us from being able to respond to people experiencing mental health crises,” said PBA of New York State President Manny Vilar. At issue are staffing levels brought on in part by contracts and pay disparity between officers in the PBA's agencies and local law enforcement, as well as poor recruitment, a failure to run academy classes and an antiquated retirement system, according to the union. The labor union's push comes as the state budget season is set to start in Albany, with Hochul scheduled to release her first spending proposal in the coming weeks. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.