In the recent November election, more than 83% of the voters of the State of Florida approved new waivers of property taxes for First Responders who are totally and permanently disabled in the line of duty. This is not just for 9/11-related disabilities, but for others as well. For those retirees who believe this may be applicable to you, check with your local government tax office and inquire as to how to file for this tax exemption. It took effect in Florida on January 1, 2017.
L.E.O.S.A. H.R. 218 Weekly Qualifications on Staten Island
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Please note -- The DEA cautions at this time there are still many unanswered questions about this legislation. Please read advice from our legal counsel, Karasyk & Moschella, published in the fall 2004 issue of The Gold Shield before deciding whether or not to carry firearms out of state.
On July 22, 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law, H.R. 218: “The Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act,” better known as “The Right to Carry” bill.
While this bill gives “qualified” active and retired Police Officers the right to carry firearms off-duty outside of New York State, the DEA cautions that at this time there are still many unanswered questions about this legislation, even though it is supposed to be in effect.
The Legal Department of the NYPD has issued new Departmental Guidelines.
However, our own attorney, whose recommendations are reprinted here, examined the legislation to determine how we can approach the many issues not yet clarified within the law, such as: necessary qualifications; liability; indemnification; justification in using a firearm in other jurisdictions; private property laws in other jurisdictions; and representation in the event of an incident. There are also issues surrounding the possibility of whether states, cities, or other jurisdictions will challenge or supersede this law.
Although in theory this legislation can be a benefit to our members, there are many potential problems inherent with it as it now stands.
Consequently, it is the DEA’s expressed recommendation that our members refrain from carrying their firearms outside of New York State at this time, until the many questions and issues raised by this legislation are resolved.
Please read the following important memo from our General Cousel, Philip Karasyk:
I have completed an initial read-through of the new “Right to Carry Bill” recently enacted by the federal government and signed by President George W. Bush on July 22, 2004. While it is still too early to determine what position the various states may take on this legislation, it is apparent from the text of the law that many loopholes exist which can be exploited by states with strong anti-handgun constituencies. Until all of the ambiguities contained in this statute can be resolved, I would be extremely reluctant to advise any of our members to carry a concealed weapon outside of New York State.
A cursory examination of Section 2, Subsection (b) of the law indicates that a member of the service, active or retired, carrying a weapon outside of New York State would have to acquaint him or herself with a bewildering array of local and state ordinances restricting the presence of firearms on a particular piece of property.
You will also note that the law gives private persons or entities the right to prohibit or restrict the possession of a concealed weapon on their property. Such entities could include clubs, restaurants, bars, amusement parks, ball parks, etc.
In addition, Subsection (b)(2) gives the states the right to prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on state or local governmental property, specifically mentioning buildings, bases and parks. I assume this would include state campgrounds, as well as state and local parks, and may include, but not be limited to, places where members of the service might engage in athletic events. It is apparent that any member of the service carrying a concealed weapon outside New York State would have to acquaint him or herself with a range of local and state laws and ordinances governing the ability to carry a firearm at each and every location which he or she might want to visit. Other questions which arise are –
ü What would the penalty be for a violation of a state or local law governing the possession of firearms at those locations exempt from the federal law?
ü Would the member of the service be subject to the full weight of the state laws governing the possession of a concealed weapon?
ü Would our member be subject to criminal sanctions if he or she violated a local or state law in good faith?
ü Would those criminal sanctions then be the basis for the NYPD to issue charges against the member?
ü Would a conviction of a different state’s criminal law then serve as the basis for terminating that member under the New York State Civil Service law, which makes a felony conviction grounds for automatic termination from the NYPD?
Section 2, subparagraph (c) also presents a range of problems arising from the wording of the various subsections. The definition of “qualified law enforcement officer” is defined under paragraph (c) by six subheadings: the violation of any one of these subheadings could cause the officer to lose his or her “qualified” law enforcement status, and therefore be in violation of the law of the state in which he or she has carried the concealed weapon.
For instance, under Section 2, Subparagraph (c)(2), an officer on modified, restricted, or limited duty may not be authorized under the rules of the NYPD to carry a firearm while he or she is on less than full-duty status. Similarly, Subparagraph (c)(3), states that a qualified officer is one who is not the subject of any disciplinary action by their Agency.
This poses the question, what does the term “subject” of any disciplinary action encompass? Does this apply to a member of the service who is G.O. 15’d as a “subject,” but who does not receive charges?; Or is it someone who has been served with charges and specifications and is now awaiting a final determination of his or her case?
During an NYPD G.O.15, the term “subject” is specifically used at the beginning of the interview, and considering the fact that these investigations can take months to conclude, what then is the status of an officer who is G.O.15’d as a subject, but who has yet to receive a final determination?
Similarly, paragraph (4) speaks about the employee being regularly qualified in the use of firearms. What is the status of an officer who has, for one reason or another, failed to appear at the range within the designated time for a re-qualification?
Paragraph (5) is the most troublesome paragraph for many reasons, stated and unstated. It concerns a person not being qualified if they are “under the influence of alcohol.” For example, an officer is enjoying a cocktail in a bar in Alabama and carrying his or her concealed weapon. The officer gets into a dispute, either in the bar or outside of the bar (but does not in any manner display the weapon). The officer is found to have had “one too many” and is therefore considered “under the influence.” Does the officer now lose his or her exemption under this law and, as a result, be considered in violation of the handgun laws of the State of Alabama?
The concerns regarding qualified retired law enforcement officers are basically the same. In addition to those previously mentioned, we would also have to deal with the issue of what retired “in good standing” means, as well as what constitutes the qualification for firearms training in a twelve month period.
Section 3 regarding retired members, paragraph (c)(5) and (d)(1), seem to require that a retired member of the service have training, and/or be qualified, every twelve months during the period of his or her retirement. One can only speculate about the consequences that may befall an officer who is found to be in possession of a concealed weapon in another state and has not had any training within the last twelve months.
In summary, the major problem with this legislation is that we are unable to predict with any degree of accuracy what consequences would befall a member of the service who is found to be in possession of a concealed firearm in a state other than New York and has violated one of the provisions of this law.
To repeat, would a technical violation of this statute expose the officer to the full criminal liability existing in a given state regarding the carrying of a concealed weapon? Would a conviction of those local state statutes form the basis for further disciplinary action within the NYPD, including automatic termination if the member is convicted of a felony?
In light of the foregoing, it is advisable that members do not carry firearms outside of New York State until we are able to gauge how the individual states have attempted to narrow the scope and restrict the provisions of this “Right to Carry” statute.
Get the training you need through the NYPD SHIELD program. SHIELD is a partner with private sector security managers and provides best practices, lessons learned, counterterrorism training opportunities, and information sharing through member seminars and the SHIELD website. Members of the Service, particularly retired members who are security directors at key resources and critical infrastructures, can take advantage of the SHIELD program and all it offers. Visit the website at --
When you or one of your dependents becomes eligible for Medicare at age 65 (and thereafter) or through special provisions of the Social Security Act for the Disabled, your first level of health benefits is provided by Medicare. The NYC Health Benefits Program provides a second level of benefits intended to fill certain gaps in Medicare coverage. In order to maintain maximum health benefits, it is essential that you join Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) at your local Social Security office AS SOON AS YOU BECOME ELIGIBLE.
If you do not join Medicare, you will lose whatever benefits the City would have provided. The City of New York Health Benefits Program supplements Medicare, but does not duplicate benefits available under Medicare. Additionally, should you not elect Medicare Parts A and B, you will be charged a significant penalty at a later date should you wish to obtain Medicare benefits. This penalty will apply each and every year in the form of a significantly higher Medicare Part B premium rate until you reach age 65. Also, Medicare ‘eligibles’ must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B in order to be covered by a Medicare HMO plan. The City of New York continues to reimburse 100% of your Medicare Part B premium on an annual basis. There is no charge for Medicare Part A. You must provide a copy of your Medicare card and completed Medicare Reimbursement Application to the City of New York in order to receive your annual Medicare Part B reimbursement.
New York Pension Taxation by State
In response to many inquiries about taxes in other states, the Retired Public Employees Association has come up with a tax table of information. This can be used as a guideline, but the RPEA highly recommends that you contact an individual State’s revenue agency because tax laws are subject to change constantly. The tax table can be found at www.rpea.org under the section “Tax Info.”
Prescription Drugs for Veterans
Prescription drugs can be obtained through the VA hospital in your area at the cost of a few dollars per prescription, regardless of disability. Contact your local VA hospital for more details, or contact the VA Health Benefits Service Center at (877) 222-VETS.
The NYPD has a portion of its website devoted to retirees. If you have not registered for the Retiree Mobilization Plan (RMP) and wish to do so, you can register at www.nyc.gov/nypd by clicking on the “Actively Retired” link.
The objective of this Plan is to prepare and include the NYPD’s retired community as responders in the event of an emergency. However, registered retirees can find fellow retirees and subscribe to Spring 3100 magazine at the site as well.
The Retired Detectives of the Police Department, City of New York (RDNY) is seeking new members. The RDNY is open to any retired Detective who served the City of New York. There is a one-time initiation fee of $10 and annual dues are $30. To join, contact RDNY, P.O. Box 3310, Farmingdale, New York, NY 11735.
Founded in 1955, the RDNY has a membership of approximately 1,400 retired NYPD Detectives living throughout the United States. In addition to fraternal functions, the group works towards the betterment of retiree benefits and has monthly meetings to keep retirees abreast of political and social issues. Members receive the monthly email newsletter The Squad.
The RDNY meets the second Wednesday of each month, except July and August. In May, the organization holds its annual gala World Yacht Dinner/Dance. The group also holds an annual golf outing. The RDNY honors law enforcement personnel, Commissioners, sports, news, or entertainment figures, or anyone who the group feels deserves recognition for police related issues.
Retiree Employment Restrictions
There are certain statutory restrictions on retiree employment. These restrictions are a matter of law and although all retirees are notified at the time of their retirement, a number of retirees are consistently discovered through government audits to be violating these restrictions. These retirees are then forced to reimburse the Article II Pension Fund for all pension benefits received while in violation of the law.
In 1998, a City Comptroller’s audit caught 81 retired City employees illegally collecting pension benefits while receiving paychecks from either City or State agencies for whom they had gone back to work. These “double-dipping” retirees had collected nearly $600,000 in illicit benefits, and now, several of them, including NYPD retirees, are reimbursing the Fund over $200,000 each! Don't let this happen to you!
The New York City Comptroller’s office has turned over the results of their audit to the New York City Department of Investigation for possible criminal prosecution, in addition to recovery of all pension monies received.
Retirees — make sure that you are in compliance with the following guidelines on employment. You should review the statutes cited to avoid jeopardizing your pension benefits. Questions regarding these statutory restrictions should be submitted to the Pension Section in writing. A copy of your correspondence will be made a part of your pension records. Remember that you are responsible for ensuring that you are not violating these important restrictions. Violations will result in substantial financial reparations as well as possible criminal repercussions.
Employment Limitations for All Article II Retired Persons
Your retirement benefit consists chiefly of a pension portion, and to a lesser degree, an annuity portion. The following is concerned with the pension portion only. (The annuity portion of your retirement benefit was purchased by your contributions and is not affected. Also, continuation of your annuity portion maintains your eligibility for medical benefits.)
An active member of the pension system is one who is in the active service of a governmental agency. He or she may or may not be making contributions to the pension system, but is earning future pension benefit credits. A passive member is one who is receiving benefits.
Service and Vested Interest Retirees
According to Section 1117 of the New York City Charter, the pension portion of the retirement benefit is to be suspended or forfeited for all retired persons who are employed by New York State or any of its political subdivisions, unless the sum of the pension portion and the compensation or salary is less than $1,800 per year.
Section 211 of the New York State Retirement and Social Security Law allows a person retired for other than a physical disability to be employed by New York State or one of its political subdivisions if the agency wishing to employ the person obtains approval from the New York State Civil Service Commission or others in power to grant such approval.
Disability Retiree Prior to 20th Anniversary
Disability retirees may be employed, with an earnings limitation, by New York City, State or any political subdivision prior to the 20th anniversary of their appointment to the Police Department. The earnings are limited to the difference between the pension portion and the current salary, plus overtime, night shift differential, and vacation work for the next higher rank than that of the retired person at the time of retirement. Uniform allowance shall be included at the rate for the rank of the retired person at the time of retirement. Earnings in excess of this difference are to be subtracted from subsequent pension portion payments.
Disability Retirees after the 20th Anniversary
After the 20th anniversary of their appointment to the Police Department, all accident or ordinary disabilities are subject to Section 1117 of the New York City Charter, which states that you may not be employed by New York City, State or any political subdivision without first suspending the pension portion of your retirement allowance. As disability retirees, you are excluded from the exemption provisions of Section 211 or 212 of the New York State Retirement and Social Security Law, because you would have had to retire for other than a physical disability in order to be eligible. This means that after the 20th anniversary, disability retirees cannot work for any municipal employer in New York State (other than a public benefit corporation) without suspending their pension benefit with the Pension Section.
Section 40-C-9 RSSL
Any retired person (disability, service or vested interest) may not join another New York State Retirement System as an active member while receiving a pension benefit from the Article II Pension System. If a retired person elects to do so, the pension portion must be suspended. When the active membership ceases, pension portion payments will be reinstated.
Section 212 of the New York State Retirement and Social Security Law permits employment by New York State or one of its political subdivisions without approval for non-disability retired persons if the salary or compensation is less than an amount set by the Legislature each year (check the amount with the NYPD Pension Section). Under Section 212, you must notify the Article II Pension System if you elect to exercise this right.
Please note that it is the responsibility of the service or vested interest retiree to verify that the prospective employer has obtained a waiver under Section 211 and that waiver is continued in force throughout the duration of employment.
Public Benefit Corporation
The Office of the Corporation Counsel has interpreted Section 1117 of the New York City Charter as not applying to the “Public Benefit Corporations,” so that retired City employees can work for such corporations without suspension of benefits. The Corporation Counsel has determined the following Authorities to be Public Benefit Corporations:
New York City Housing Authority
New York City Transit Authority
New York City Dormitory Authority
Off-Track Betting Corporation
New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Urban Development Corporation
New York City School Construction Authority
New York City Convention Operating Corporation