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News

Message from Director of Governmental Affairs for NAPO Andrea Edmiston

In a victory for NAPO, the House passed H.R. 6509, the Public Safety Officers Pandemic Response Act, and S. 2746, the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act, on May 27, 2020.

The Public Safety Officer Pandemic Response Act, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), would establish that COVID-19 shall be presumed to have been contracted as a result of the officer’s service for the purposes of PSOB death and disability benefits. It would create a specific standard for COVID-19-related disability this is based on whether a PSOB claimant is permanently prevented from performing any gainful work as a public safety officer due to their COVID-19 diagnosis. Finally, it would recognize the physical toll 9/11 related illnesses have had on first responders by covering under the PSOB Program those public safety officers whose 9/11 related illness are compounded by a COVID-19 diagnosis and lead to their death or disability.

As the House and Senate passed different versions of a COVID-19 PSOB presumption (the Senate passed S. 3607, the Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act on May 14), NAPO is working with both Chairman Nadler’s staff and Senator Grassley’s staff to push for a quick compromise on a PSOB presumption bill that both chambers can agree on. Both bills establish the same presumption for death benefits and create a presumption for disability benefits, but H.R. 6509 also extends benefits to public safety officers who suffer from a 9/11 related illness and contract COVID-19 and has a more generous disability benefit threshold. We will keep you updated on these efforts.

S. 2746, the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act would require the Department of Justice to establish a program to collect data on law enforcement and former law enforcement suicides at the local, State, and Federal level. This bill passed the Senate on May 14 and is on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

Lastly, a reminder to please let me know if the agencies or departments you represent are experiencing actual or threatened furloughs of employees due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We are tracking this information as it is  important for our continued fight for increased, flexible funding for state and local governments to help offset budget and revenue holes to stave off or end the furloughing of officers.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need more information.


Thank you and stay safe,
Andy


Andrea Edmiston
Director of Governmental Affairs
National Association of Police Organizations
317 S. Patrick Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Two More Members of the NJSPBA Family Have Been Lost to COVID-19

Yesterday was a particularly sad day for the members of the PBA and the residents of New Jersey. We lost two more heroes to this terrible pandemic.

Yesterday we had the unenviable task of announcing the passing of two more of our heroic front line warriors. Hudson County Correctional Police Officer Zeb Craig, 56 years old and a 7 year veteran of the department and member of PBA Local 109 and Glen Ridge Police Officer and PBA Local 58 member Charles “Rob” Roberts, better known as "Mr. Glen Ridge," both lost their battles with COVID-19.

Yesterday we asked that you keep them, their families and fellow officers in your thoughts and prayers. Today we ask for your continued support and prayers for them and all who are battling this terrible disease.

Tags: COVID-19
TESTING UPDATE

Due to the overwhelming response to our antibody testing program, we have enlisted the services of Labcorp to assist in addressing the voluminous test requests that our program is generating. Our members now have the choice of using Accurate Diagnostic or Labcorp for sample collection points.

The process remains the same, call one of the providers, schedule an appointment and once the provider has issued a prescription for the test, use one of our testing partners for your blood draw you must have Insurance and ID in order to have the test and screening with no cost share.

Members can find locations and hours of operation at www.labcorp.com, Click on Labs & Appointments.  In this section, they can type in their location to find the nearest lab.

Labcorp also has a program that allows patients to check in and wait in their car (see the attached link under The “Wait Where You’re Comfortable” Program) - https://www.labcorp.com/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/patient-information/patient-service-center-initiatives.

If the Doctors are writing for a RNA or test that requires a swab, Labcorp cannot accommodate them, they can either go to one of the testing sites throughout the state or go to one of the three Accurate sites in Edison, Linden or Cranford.

Both labs would also like me remind you that they only would like asymptomatic patients to go to their service centers.

NJSPBA COVID ANTIBODY TESTING

The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association in conjunction with Accurate Diagnostic Labs and The New Jersey Doctor Patient Alliance has designed a program that will afford our members the ability to obtain a test to determine if they carry the antibodies for COVID-19. Both the Doctor Patient Alliance and Accurate Diagnostic are assisting us with access to testing to our members, we ask that you be patient with them and work out any issues with them directly. If you have any issues that cannot be resolved by the provider or the lab you may contact Kevin Lyons at the State Office for assistance.

The procedure will be as follows:

  1. The members will contact a Medical Provider on the list provided to your State Delegate to schedule and participate in a telemedicine visit. During the scheduling, you will advise the scheduler that you are registering for the PBA COVID-19 antibody test and provide your insurance ID and Personal information, NO EXCEPTIONS. You should speak to a Doctor within 24 Hours. The visit will be via telehealth so the geographical location and type of practice of the office you choose to use does not matter all the Doctors are trained to address testing.
     
  2. The Provider will provide the member with a prescription with the following information:

    FAX, PHONE, NPI, and ADDRESS of Practice
     
  3. Member (patient) should record the name of the Doctor that they spoke to as this will be the provider that advises you of your test results.
     
  4. The provider will provide a copy of the prescription to the testing center of the member (patient’s) choice. (Please your State Delegate for a Provider and draw site list spreadsheet)
     
  5.  Members will go to the testing facility of their choice as listed on the spreadsheet and will provide insurance info and ID, NO EXCEPTIONS, and be tested. Wait times should be minimal at the collection sites.

There will be no cost share for the member for COVID related telemedicine or testing, regardless of your plan.

After testing, members will receive their results from the provider that they used, members should not contact Accurate Diagnostics or the collection sites.

The Thin Blue Podcast

Premiering Friday, April 24
The Thin Blue Podcast
With Bill Spadea
Brought to you by the New Jersey State PBA and NJ Cops Magazine
10:15 a.m.
Facebook.com/NJ101.5

The PBA’s new podcast comes to Facebook Live and iTunes, Google Play and wherever you download your podcasts.

NJ State PBA President Pat Colligan joins NJ101.5 morning show host Bill Spadea for this historic broadcast. Spadea brings his longtime advocacy for law enforcement and his consummate knowledge of the news together with Colligan as they discuss how New Jersey cops have been on the front lines of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tune in as Colligan and Spadea illuminate how law enforcement officers have navigated the dangers of these unprecedented times and are leading New Jersey residents to keep the faith of better times ahead.

1 2 3 4 5  ... 

NJ Cops Magazine

May 2020 Back Issues
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President's Message

Patrick Colligan, NJSPBA President Patrick Colligan, President
April 22, 2020

In light of the recent events in our country, around the world and now in our own back yard with COVID-19, the NJ State PBA would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to you and your families. We realize that we are in uncharted waters and stressful times. The enemy we are fighting cannot be seen and we are taking extraordinary measures to protect our citizens, members and our families. During such times, there is a significant amount of fear and worry surrounding the Corona virus or COVID-19. High levels of anxiety are not uncommon during periods of uncertainty. It is essential that you control what you can and stay grounded in reality based on facts and real evidence, not fear. Reassurance is an important antidote to fear and uncertainty. Knowing that we will get through these challenging times stronger than we were before facing this invisible adversary is what Resilience is all about.

Because there are so many unknowns surrounding the Corona virus it becomes difficult to feel emotionally and physically safe. In essence we are all struggling with not being in control. Remember, control gives us a sense of safety and reassurance. So what can you do to help reassure yourself that you are going to be okay? It is important to plan and prepare and not catastrophize the situation. There are some news stations that promote fear and worry. I would recommend that you limit your exposure to those news channels. We want to stay informed, we want to plan and not react.

As a service to our members I would like to remind all of you of the current mental health services that the NJSPBA provides to all of its members. Our clinical coordinator Dr. Eugene Stefanelli as well as Dr. Michael Bizzarro are available to conduct scheduled telephonic sessions during these difficult times. We recommend texting or calling to schedule telephonic sessions. (Emergencies bypass all protocols). This is an added service to provide ongoing support while many of you continue to serve and protect the public at risk to yourselves and your families.

We will continue to support our membership by encouraging members to reach out to our clinicians as well as members of our Peer Response Assistance Team.

Peer Assistance Response Team

Dr. Eugene Stefanelli Clinical Services Director
Cell 732-609-3554/973-768-5300

Mauro Farallo Peer Liaison Committee Chairman
Cell 973-902-7821

Cherie Castellano Executive Director Cop-2-Cop
Hotline 866-267-2267

Dr. Michael Bizzarro (Back up on call doctor)
Cell 732-771-7165

Kenneth Burkert Volunteer Peer Liaison
Cell 908-346-1691

Father John McCrone Clergy for NJSPBA
Cell 201-707-2678

Father John McCrone Clergy for NJSPBA
Cell 201-707-2678

Be Smart-Be Prepared- Take Precautions
Pat

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