North Carolina Division
Join Now

North Carolina PBA continues to seek a permanent seat on the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission

 

Fred Baggett with NC Association of Chiefs of Police Uses 'Taint' and 'Erode' and Questions Credibility of the PBA in letter to Legislators

 

By Brian DiYorio, Division Board Member, Catawba River Valley Chapter President


 

ln 1971, the General Assembly adopted the Criminal Justice Training and Standards Council Act. The Act created the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and led to the adoption of minimum entrance standards, as well as mandatory basic training requirements, for all sworn law enforcement officers, effective in 1973.

 

To ensure a consistent level of competency and professionalism among law enforcement officials, the Criminal Justice Standards Division administers the Commission's mandatory certification and training programs. Those programs cover all sworn police officers, correctional officers, probation/parole officers, juvenile justice officers and juvenile court counselors. The Commission is made up of 34 members and members are appointed to serve a two or three-year term. Numerous law enforcement officer associations are permanently represented on this Commission including the NC Association of Chiefs of Police, the NC Police Executives Association, the NC Law Enforcement Officers Association, NC Law Enforcement Training Officers Association, the North State Law Enforcement Officers Association, and the NC Women's Law Enforcement Officers' Association with some receiving multiple appointments.

 

The North Carolina Police Benevolent Association, however, has more members than the other associations combined, with over 15,500 members. The commission has also been severely underrepresented through the years with frontline officers that would bring balance and perspective to the Commission. The commission has also been severely underrepresented through the years with frontline officers that would bring balance and perspective to the Commission. There are currently eight Chiefs, and one retired Chief, on the Commission. This accounts for almost a quarter of the Commission's membership.

 

The vice-chair of the Commission is Eddie Caldwell who also serves as the Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Lobbyist for the NC Sheriffs Association. The vice-chair is appointed by the North Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association, a practically non-existent group that has lost substantial membership through the years. This leaves the vice-chair of the Commission with influence over every sworn law enforcement, correctional and probation officer in the state of North Carolina because of these two positions.  For several sessions, the PBA has made legislative attempts to secure a permanent seat on the Commission to represent those officers that are serving on the front lines. Legislation has been defeated in both House committees and on the House floor by the NC Association of Police Chiefs and the NC Sheriff's Association and their 'kill the bill' efforts led by Mr. Caldwell.

 

Eddie Caldwell

 

During this session, HB 21 was filed by Rep. Dennis Riddell in the House. Senator Todd Johnson filed the companion bill, SB 10 in the Senate.

 

According to Rep. Riddell, “The NC Police Benevolent Association is the largest law enforcement association in in North Carolina. No other law enforcement association comes close to their membership numbers. To prevent the PBA from having a dedicated member, by statute, on the commission is both unwise and a slap in the face to the members across North Carolina.” He added “These fine men and women deserve their voices to be heard on training and standards matters affecting their profession.”

 

Senator Todd Johnson said, “The time for this legislation is long overdue. Not having balanced representation on any board or commission is unhealthy to the process and can lead to a diminished effort. He added, ‘Concentration of power and exclusion of stakeholders, is not wise, when the public is demanding accountability and transparency in law enforcement.

 

Soon after the filing of House Bill 21 and Senate Bill 10, Fred Baggett, legislative counsel for the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police begin his assault on the legislation. In an incendiary and untruthful writing to legislators, Mr. Baggett stated that the NCPBA would “taint” and “erode” the credibility of the Commission along with other statements attacking our Association. Nothing could be further from the truth and Mr. Baggett knows this.

 

Fred Baggett

 

In fact, he was given the opportunity to correct the record and refused. It should be noted that the NCPBA continues to serve with honor and integrity on the Commission in an appointed position by Speaker Tim Moore. It should also be noted that the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police has three permanent seats on the Commission.  The NCPBA is appreciative of the 46 House members and the 17 Senate members who joined HB 21 and SB 10 as primary and co-sponsors of the bills. They obviously understand the importance of our work and the credibility of our Association.

North Carolina News
Understanding Giglio - The "Death Letter" For A Law Enforcement Officer's Career

September 2, 2021

Way too often, when an officer becomes aware of the ramifications of a Brady or Giglio letter, it is too late for them to take any meaningful steps to defend themselves against the allegation

more
Police Benevolent Foundation Scholarship Recipients

August 15, 2021

The Police Benevolent Foundation was proud to award scholarships to Luci Creech and Shawn Harris.

more
North Carolina Police Benevolent Association Presents Legislative Excellence Award to Legislators

August 9, 2021

On Aug. 4, 2021, PBA leaders were at the General Assembly to present the Legislative Excellence award to those legislators who have demonstrated their unwavering support of law enforcement and the values of PBA

more