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  1. #1
    vvincelli
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    Well, now my City has condemned my house...

    Some of you are aware of the problems I've been dealing with after being injured on the job, and having my salary and benefits cut-off for over a year now.

    There is something morally wrong with an injured Police Officer having to survive on food-stamps, even if I do say so myself.

    The latest blow from my City (employer) occurred yesterday when I discovered that my City cut-off the water to my house for non-payment, and also posted a nice notice on the doors that it is condemned and that anyone entering the premises is subject to arrest.

    Gee, I'd bet the City water bill would be paid-in-full if the City had provided me with the means to do so (namely, my disability benefits).

    I've been trying to sell the house to get out from under the mortgage before the foreclosure is finalized, and now the realtor can't even show it.

    After 20+ years on the job I wouldn't exactly say that I'm naive, yet I do admit that it never occurred to me how far my own City would go to screw me simply because I was injured in-the-line.

    So many times have I been disgusted with the tactics they've used and I've said to myself "they've gone as low as they can go...".

    I no longer use that term, as everytime I do, it seems they find a new way to sink lower...

    The thing I find ironic is that I am still unable to find an attorney willing to go after them civilly. So many attorneys out there have been chomping at the bit to go after me (and my employer) if their client even hints at wrong-doing, yet I can't find a single one willing to sue the City on behalf of a injured cop who's been thrown away like a disposable human being.

    Amazing world we live in...

    - V

    Edit: Any of you young guys trying to get a foot-in-the-door in Law Enforcement, you'd be well advised to stay far away from the City of Binghamton, NY.
    Last edited by vvincelli; 08-01-2009 at 08:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Retired Sergeant - CHP
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    Binghamton appears to be a fast developing community with up-to-date assistance. Perhaps you can get tied to one of their programs.........

    http://www.cityofbinghamton.com/viewarticle.asp?a=2817
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


  3. #3
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    VV, Im surprised your department hasnt held a benifit for you.
    What is the PBA doing about all of this? Cant you use one of their lawyers?

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    That is no good at all, Your department should AT LEAST be stepping up to give you a Benefeit of some sort to help you out, and besides that, That is pretty sorry they are treating a Police Officer of your status the way they are..Absolutely Pitful...If I could help you out, then I would without second thought man!


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ten08 View Post
    I've been in your shoes brother, for 2 1/2 years, if it hadn't been for Carter and hyper inflation running the value of my house up I'd have been out in the street. It's degrading to have to show up at the welfare office to apply for food stamps and heart wrenching to think your co-workers helped bring you to that.

    What has your Union been doing for you?? Mine (the FOP) stuck with me for two years and when they finally abandoned me it was all over for me. If your water is off, go to the press.
    Agreed. I have never been one for using the press tactic, but in this case the bridge is burned. Go after them with whatever means you have too.

    Good Luck !

  6. #6
    Annoyed, amazed & amused!
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    As ten08 suggested...do you know any media people?
    "Many times, I have thoughts and feelings which can only be expressed through dance!" - Bender, Futurama

    "Ranking right up there with 'No good deed goes unpunished' are:

    'Sooner or later, we just might outlive our usefulness to others' and...

    'Sometimes it's very possible to push the most loving and loyal person, beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t'"
    - Yours truly

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieth M. View Post
    As ten08 suggested...do you know any media people?
    If not, make some new friends

  8. #8
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    Is the house condemned because there is no running water?

    Reguardless, nothing suprises me. I see all the time where people are paying $25 a month to live in a nicer place then "I" live in . Yet they have very nice higher end luxery cars in their driveway. I would have had no idea these people were on any type of welfare had they not just told me for whatever reason during a call and then I will ask further in conversation. Usually the problem houses are the ones recieving goverment funded living. . I lived in an apartment complex and my next door neighbor liked to brag that the goverment has paid her rent for the past 15 years while she has a nice job on the military base probabily making more then me. Of course she has a nice newer full size silver lexus. ive seen people who dont deserve assistance get everything in life handed to them and ive seen people who actually need help given the run around and told to screw off. The system def. isnt fool proof.

  9. #9
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    What about the reporters that did the story on the rescue? (Print, tv, etc.)

    At least ONE of them is likely to have an interest in the story, I would think.

    Most newspapers have a reporter who covers "public safety" as a beat.
    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

  10. #10
    DAL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munlaw View Post
    New York needs to make worker's comp insurance mandatory of all law enforcement like it is here in Ontario...
    I don't think the system for police officers is part of Workers' Compensation in California. They get full pay and benefits.

    Reserves who are injured on duty get workers' comp.
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

  11. #11
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    Hang in there vvincelli.

    This is part of them trying to starve you out. Try asking your Union for help with utilities etc. Our DSA union is really helpful during times of need. More importantly keep your head on your shoulders.

    You need to start your paperwork for a service retirement ON TOP of a disability retirement...as both take time. Your dept as with ANY dept will sink to their lowest lows trying to fight you. YOUR job is to fight back. I know it sucks just dealing with your injury but you need to.

    Workman's comp is NOT your friend...we know this first hand.

    I don't believe your house can be condemned due to lack of utilities. Call the utility company and explain your situation. Remember the old guy that died of exposure during the winter..they shut him off..but he never read the instructions on how to get around it.

    Use your resources...keep us informed as we can try to assist you with suggestions. Lastly, take it to the media..what do you have to lose?

    Stay strong my brother. Depx2
    This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

  12. #12
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    This organization looks like it could be helpful to you:

    New York Workers Compensation Alliance

    From the "About" section:

    The New York State Workers' Compensation Alliance is a coalition of injured workers and other stakeholders committed to protecting the rights of injured workers under the New York State Workers' Compensation Law.

    Injured workers in New York are constantly under attack by large corporate and insurance company lobbyists. The so-called workers' compensation "reforms" hastily pushed through by former Governor Eliot Spitzer in 2007 were anti-worker and a boon to strong business interests in Albany. The Workers' Compensation Alliiance, through traditional and internet grass-roots efforts, seeks to level the playing field for the sole benefit of injured workers in New York state.

    Prior to 1914, a worker injured on the job could sue his employer for lost wages. This often led to long litigation which benefited neither the injured worker nor the employer. After the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, in which over 100 workers perished, the New York State Legislature forged a historic compromise between injured workers and employers. In return for workers giving up their right to sue their employers for on-the-job injuries, employers were required to furnish quick compensation and medical care to the worker. In many instances, this was done by the employer purchasing a workers' compensation insurance policy. This system has worked well for almost 100 years, despite increasing dangers in the workplace.

    However, the workers' compesation system continues to be under assault in New York by both business interests and New York State government. The New York Workers' Compensation Alliance will defend injured workers against all those, be they business or political figures, who would have the audacity to harm some of the most vulnerable among us - injured workers.


    And then there's this:

    Injured Workers Bar Association

    National Organization of Injured Workers

    A guide to workers' compensation in New YOrk

    Injured Workers of New YOrk

    Hope this helps...
    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

  13. #13
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    I think I've asked this before but....Do you have long term disability?
    This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

  14. #14
    vvincelli
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    To answer some of the questions:

    I qualify for Workers Comp. Also have a private attorney fighting the WC battle. We won a decision in November, but then the City appealed (stall tactics). The WC Board kicked it back down to the Judge for further development. Last week, the Judge reaffirmed his decision, but we know the City will appeal it to the Board once again (stalling everything for another 6 to 12 months).

    Already applied for disability retirement as I am Totally and Permanently Disabled. It will take some time as it's disability retirement. I don't qualify for service retirement because my 20+ years were not all from NY. Only have around ten years in the NY system.

    Our Union (PBA) is atrocious. They care only about the contract and could care less about personal issues which only affect a single member (such as this). It got to the point that I actually had to fire the union attorney for failure to represent because he was actually allowing the City to continue to stall as he really didn't want to have to deal with this case. The private attorney is now handling the 207c benefits (NYS Police Disability Benefits). City is still stalling that process as well, however, at least the private attorney is fighting their stall tactics.

    Cutting off my water and condemning my house is only the most recent in a long line of tactics. I have no doubt whatsoever that they've been attempting to starve and discourage me in an effort to make me go away. I try hard to keep my head focused on the fight, but dealing with the additional stress on top of PTSD is extremely difficult.

    The story was already run by one of the small TV News outlets. The newspaper (Press & Sun Bulletin) won't touch the story because the senior editor is in love with City Administration (first time in City history that the Mayor and entire City Council are all Democrats). At this point I have no problem going to the media, but the only option at this point is national and I don't have any contacts in the national stream. Tried to develop some, but couldn't get through the layers.

    - V

  15. #15
    public safety activist
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    Hi V--

    I will be sending you through PM a contact I have with Fox national cable news who did a story on me a few years ago. Email addy and all. Gotta check back through old email to find it.


    Quote Originally Posted by vvincelli View Post
    To answer some of the questions:

    I qualify for Workers Comp. Also have a private attorney fighting the WC battle. We won a decision in November, but then the City appealed (stall tactics). The WC Board kicked it back down to the Judge for further development. Last week, the Judge reaffirmed his decision, but we know the City will appeal it to the Board once again (stalling everything for another 6 to 12 months).

    Already applied for disability retirement as I am Totally and Permanently Disabled. It will take some time as it's disability retirement. I don't qualify for service retirement because my 20+ years were not all from NY. Only have around ten years in the NY system.

    Our Union (PBA) is atrocious. They care only about the contract and could care less about personal issues which only affect a single member (such as this). It got to the point that I actually had to fire the union attorney for failure to represent because he was actually allowing the City to continue to stall as he really didn't want to have to deal with this case. The private attorney is now handling the 207c benefits (NYS Police Disability Benefits). City is still stalling that process as well, however, at least the private attorney is fighting their stall tactics.

    Cutting off my water and condemning my house is only the most recent in a long line of tactics. I have no doubt whatsoever that they've been attempting to starve and discourage me in an effort to make me go away. I try hard to keep my head focused on the fight, but dealing with the additional stress on top of PTSD is extremely difficult.

    The story was already run by one of the small TV News outlets. The newspaper (Press & Sun Bulletin) won't touch the story because the senior editor is in love with City Administration (first time in City history that the Mayor and entire City Council are all Democrats). At this point I have no problem going to the media, but the only option at this point is national and I don't have any contacts in the national stream. Tried to develop some, but couldn't get through the layers.

    - V
    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

  16. #16
    Annoyed, amazed & amused!
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    Don't forget radio talk-show guys like Mike Gallagher, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage. They say they love the cops and hate it when the government screws over the little guy.
    "Many times, I have thoughts and feelings which can only be expressed through dance!" - Bender, Futurama

    "Ranking right up there with 'No good deed goes unpunished' are:

    'Sooner or later, we just might outlive our usefulness to others' and...

    'Sometimes it's very possible to push the most loving and loyal person, beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t'"
    - Yours truly

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ten08 View Post
    I'm in Arizona, what good would that do?
    The last line of your post (#7) sounds like you're encouraging him to get his story out in the media...I'm supporting your suggestion.
    "Many times, I have thoughts and feelings which can only be expressed through dance!" - Bender, Futurama

    "Ranking right up there with 'No good deed goes unpunished' are:

    'Sooner or later, we just might outlive our usefulness to others' and...

    'Sometimes it's very possible to push the most loving and loyal person, beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t'"
    - Yours truly

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ten08 View Post
    I'm in Arizona, what good would that do?
    write to KFI640.com(john and ken) and (bill handel) the base in CA but the they're good about kicking up enough noise. the station helped to get rid of our former gov and has brought gov arnold to his knees.
    usually pro LE, unless its hopeless.

    Email or sent Tweet
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    Last edited by Nobody; 08-07-2009 at 04:27 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    what are your (former) fellow officers doing for you?
    Stole my question....yeah, what about them?

    If they're no help. any chance you would allow us to assist you in getting over this hump? You need running water.
    "Many times, I have thoughts and feelings which can only be expressed through dance!" - Bender, Futurama

    "Ranking right up there with 'No good deed goes unpunished' are:

    'Sooner or later, we just might outlive our usefulness to others' and...

    'Sometimes it's very possible to push the most loving and loyal person, beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t'"
    - Yours truly

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ten08 View Post
    I'm in Arizona, what good would that do?
    In terms of getting NATIONAL media attention, getting everybody here to write to a selection of news organizations could help a lot.

    If I were in charge of this (I know I'm not -- this is just how I would approach it myself, based on my many years of experience with media relations), this is what I would do:

    1) Someone other than Officer Vincelli should create a Facebook fan page giving the background of the story. Could also use MySpace and other social networking sites.

    Those sites should include a link to a petition. There is free or low-cost online petition software out there -- I know I've seen it, just didn't keep a record of it.

    2) Everyone here who is on one or more of those sites should post a link to the page and comment on how outrageous it is that the City is not taking care of this officer, who served the public very well indeed.

    3) Ask all of your "friends" to become fans of the page(s) and to sign the petition. And ask them to ask all of THEIR friends to join/sign...and so on.

    4) Once you've reached a critical mass of supporters (minimum 1,000, but better if more) ask everyone to bombard all of the major news organizations with emails on this, including links to the fan page & petition, etc.

    And if that doesn't work right away, keep building the supporter list until it is too big for the media to ignore.

    I would expect that the "brotherhood" could pull that thousand or more together quite rapidly.



    Just my (educated) 2 cents.
    Last edited by rubyrose; 08-03-2009 at 11:12 AM.
    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ten08 View Post
    Someone should, isn't that where everything stops.
    I'd be happy to create the FB fan page -- but really it should be done by someone in LE.

    I do, however, offer my marketing communications expertise for the editing of the content.
    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

  23. #23
    public safety activist
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    Oh yeah...and don't forget the "blogosphere."

    Certain bloggers have bigger audiences than many news organizations these days, and often they "scoop" the "big shot" professionals.
    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

  24. #24
    vvincelli
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    what are your (former) fellow officers doing for you?
    Shortly after this began, shift Captains of my PD put out orders at roll-call that no one was to have any contact with me. It's an unlawful order, but not many are willing to risk the wrath of Admin (only three of my closest friends have).

    I've been surviving on what little benefits I receive from social services and what family can help out with. It's enough for me to survive at the moment even if it's very tight. I'm currently staying in an apartment which belongs to my parents so I do have utilities.

    Was trying to dump my actual house before it is seized by the bank, which I can no longer do because the realtor can't show it now that it's been condemned.

    At this point, my only hope is to get national media attention on the subject to pressure the City to do what it's supposed to do (stop stalling and provide me disability benefits or a hearing).

    - V

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by brn2reign View Post
    If not, make some new friends
    Take a reporter to lunch!

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