FOP pres. says enough of 'disgusting work conditions'

PHILADELPHIA - September 20, 2011

The head of the police union is basically saying, if the mayor doesn't have to work in deplorable conditions at City Hall, why should the men and women in blue have to deal with squalor at the district police stations?

"If this was City Hall, overnight you'd have a crew out there fixing it," FOP President John McNesby said.

McNesby has filed a grievance against the city.

Pictures taken by the City Controller's office of structural and health problems at some of the district stations show leaky ceilings and plumbing, mold growing on walls, and multiple examples of exposed and unsecured electrical wiring.

But, worst of all, are the bugs.

McNesby says the FOP has had to send exterminators to officers' homes who brought fleas and bed bugs home with them from the office.

"If you call 911 and you're letting that officer into your house, you better hope he don't have fleas," McNesby said.

The city says it will fight the grievance in court.

It says it has spent $11-million over the past three years fixing safety and sanitary issues at the police stations.

It rejects the claim that it's just sitting on money allocated for repairs.

"We're not sitting on anything. We are actually moving this process forward as quickly as we can," Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison said.

Gillison says he understands how officers can get impatient with some of these problems, but there's no magic wand.

"If you are living with something you'd like to see it done yesterday, but there's a reality that means these things have to be done both on time and on budget," Gillison said.

The FOP says it's not looking for miracles, just simple respect.

"We just want what everyone else wants and that's a little dignity," McNesby said.

In addition to filing the grievance, the FOP is also demanding facilities inspections by and independent agency.

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