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HUDSON, OH (January 26, 2022) – On October 27, 2021, the City of Hudson notified its Police Department personnel that the City was in the process of replacing, updating, and reconfiguring some of its security cameras in and around the Hudson Police Station. The City informed its Police personnel that the cameras are not for purposes of routinely monitoring staff. Rather, the City explained to its Police personnel that the cameras help provide a safe and secure work environment and for training purposes. Cameras have continuously been an important part of the Hudson Police Station’s security since the Station opened 18 years ago.
Today, three months later, the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (“OPBA”) issued a “press release” announcing that it is filing an unfair labor practice charge against the City in response to the City placing a security camera in the Hudson Dispatch Center. It should be noted that the Dispatch Center is open 24-hours per day and is enclosed by large glass windows adjacent to the Police Station lobby, which is also open 24-hours per day. The OPBA argued that the City should not be allowed to place a camera in this public Dispatch Center unless the City also installs “a spy camera” in other areas of the OPBA’s choosing. There is no legal or logical justification for the OPBA’s demand.
The OPBA ignores the fact that cameras in police dispatch centers are commonplace and have become a best practice in law enforcement facilities. It also ignores the clear language in the collective bargaining agreement between the City and the OPBA which permits the City to utilize technology and determine the “methods, process, means or personnel by which governmental operations are to be conducted.” Finally, the OPBA, in waiting three months to issue its press release and make a frivolous unfair labor practice charge, fails to mention that today’s stale allegations against the City are in retaliation for recent disciplinary actions against OPBA members.