Public insubordination by Dayton Police Union Leader

Is it a legal order or not?

City police officers are now prohibited from asking the immigration status of a witness or victim of a crime in hopes it eases fears some ethnic groups have of law enforcement.

Police Chief Richard Biehl issued the executive order to his nearly 390 officers on Dec. 30 telling them, “Citizens must feel free to call for police services without fear of undue repercussions.”

If you have the head of the union questioning the Chief of police in public- without taking it up in the courts, we have a real problem. One way or another- we can’t have two Chiefs and it’s time to stop playing games:

Dayton police union president Randy Beane disagrees with Biehl’s order, saying it circumvents federal law officers are asked to follow regarding illegal immigrants. Beane said some officers disagree with Biehl’s order so strongly they said they are willing to disobey it.

“We believe that anyone in this country should be legal or in the process of becoming legal,” Beane said. “In this age of terrorism it is our duty to make sure someone is legally living in this country.”

via Officers ordered not to ask for immigration status | Dayton area crime.

Personally, I agree with the Chief, it does no good to have crimes unreported for fear of deportation. It’s no different than people fearing calling the police on drug dealers for fear of retribution. If we follow Beane’s logic- all the dopers have to do is start hiring illegal aliens to deal their drugs and no one will ever call. Crime will become the major economic engine in the city of Dayton.

If Beane has a problem he should be filing a grievance and having the courts decide. In the mean time his instructions to officers should be to follow the chief’s decision. Last I checked, Randy Beane isn’t a Supreme Court Justice- and if this is his way of leading officers- he should be be fired with cause.

There is no room for second guessing by the rank and file of a legal binding order. If we need a ruling, it should come from the Courts- not Lord Beane.

It’s time Chief Biehl showed who wears the stars and who wears the bars.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog and independent journalism in Dayton, consider donating. All of the effort that goes into writing posts and creating videos comes directly out of my pocket, so any amount helps!

Leave a Reply

37 Comments on "Public insubordination by Dayton Police Union Leader"

Notify of

Hello David
Here is a different twist on this issue.

Take care!

Bubba Jones
Bubba Jones

But if it does, in fact, circumvent federal law can Biehl lawfully issue this order/directive?  And if his order does violate federal law, shouldn’t the officers willfully disobey him?
When you joined the Army, didn’t you swear an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States”?  If you were issued an order that directly violated the Constitution, would you have carried out that order?
By the way, it’s not a “police lieutenant” that’s trying to decide this, it’s a union president.  Yes, it’s the same person but a different roles.

Drexel Dave Sparks
Drexel Dave Sparks

The union IS 50 percent of management.
Police, soldiers, etc…have zero responsibility to follow unlawful orders.

Robert Vigh
Robert Vigh
Lets analyze this article. Here is the definition of insubordination: So arguments that show the President of the union is not insubordinate: #1) Did the president issue an order directly countering what the chief did, or simply draw public attention and scrutiny to an order he is following? I do not see where Randy acted in this capacity to not follow orders. #2) Even if he did issue a counter order, was the original order illegal or unethical? Without more information, I would say that Randy is clearly NOT insubordinate. Making a statement to the news may have been his way to fast track a court decision by bringing it into the light. Regarding my personal opinion on this topic, I have some examples: #1) If a drunk driver is hit by another drunk driver, should the victim’s drunk driving be ignored? #2) If a drug dealer wants to limit competition in the area and calls the police to give them evidence of another drug dealer, but drops his bag of dope, should that be ignored? #3) If a man beats his wife because she caught and killed her husbands lover, should the police ignore the dead body in the other room and only take the husband? My point being is that breaking the law is breaking the law and creating a policy which only allows officers to investigate portions of the law is not really Justice. This is why our fair lady wears the blindfold. Furthermore, the chief had this to say in the same article linked: He added those who feel undocumented immigrants are not privy to services provided by taxpayers are “wrong-headed.” So, I feel they are entitled to have their aggressors punished. I also feel they are entitled to have swift kick in the ass right back across the border. I DO NOT feel they are entitled to my earnings because they managed to traverse to my neighborhood. My personal philosophy differs somewhat on the structure of immigration as a whole, but working withing the current system, I cannot say that I disagree with Randy’s… Read more »
Shortwest Rick

In 1996, the DOJ’s Office of Legal Council issued a opinion which spelled out this distinction:

State and local police may constitutionally detain or arrest aliens for violating the criminal provisions of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. State and local police lack recognized legal authority to stop and detain an alien solely on suspicion of civil deportability, as opposed to a criminal violation of the immigration laws (“Assistance by State and Local Police in Apprehending Illegal Aliens,” Department of Justice, Feb. 1996.

Civil law applies to a person who’s only offence is being in the country undocumented, this falls under Department of Homeland Security authority. A person who has violated criminal immigration law may be detained by state and local police for a reasonable amount of time until immigration officers can arrive and take custody. Criminal immigration law violations include but are not limited to: presenting false or forged documents to an immigration officer, fleeing an immigration officer, returning to the country after being deported, commiting other criminal offences while in the country undocumented, harboring an illegal alien, smuggling or transporting an illegal alien and employing an illegal alien.

David, respectfully, you’re full of shit. You’re taking Randy Beane’s comments totally out of context.  Beane didn’t say HE was encouraging the officers to violate policy.  He said “some officers disagree with Biehl’s order so strongly they said they are willing to disobey it.”  That’s just called “acting as the spokesman”, which is part of his job.  He’s the only person who can do so without fear of ramifications from the department.  Under the FOP contract, he’s not held to holding his tongue when a wrong or oversight is committed and can flag a bad call when he sees it.  This is no different that when the former union president strongly criticized that dumbass McManus when he issued the order that DPD officers couldn’t shoot at moving vehicles “unless they had tire tracks across their foreheads”.  Nevermind that a moving 3,000+ lb. vehicle IS a deadly weapon, McAnus was saying that you had to be struck first, shoot after.  Dayton Police Department’s own Canon & Ethics state that “officers must follow all orders, save those that are unlawful.”  I believe this issue falls to the latter side…we shall see. And where did you get that Beane ran to the DDN?  Do you not get information anonymously?  Or from sources other than the document’s original writer(s)?  Even more surprising to me, of all people YOU don’t understand why disagreements and full disclosure of how the City runs it’s departments should be made public and open to scrutiny?!  Even more amazing, YOU think it’s wrong to publicly criticize?  WOW…this is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.  Good thing that Turner & Dixon didn’t have that little trick law in their bag or you would’ve been arrested for that one, too!  Multiple times!  (Who WAS that masked man?) And while I’m semi on the topic, I also strongly agree w/ the reasoning that local/state law should NEVER supercede Federal law, thus I must opine:  Why should all the rest of the tax paying citizens of this country (namely you & me) have to fork over the necessary $$ needed for prosecution in a case involving a non-legal resident who wants to be… Read more »
Will Brooks
Will Brooks

As far as Local/States “having” to follow federal law, I have one word. Nullification. Look it up in regards to the US Constitution, check it out historically, and even take a look at how it has been successful of late to stymie the REAL ID act.

Shortwest Rick

Very well Will, but the Real ID act only sets standards in order for the state issued ID to be recognized as a national ID, it does not and can not require states to comply.

What the DOJ said is there are civil provisions and criminal provisions of the immigration law, state and local police do not have the legal authority to detain for infraction of civil law, which is the law of the land anyway. This of course causes a revisit of the question from an earlier discussion; Why is the Sherrif automatically involved in forclosures when this is a civil proceeding?


Then let’s lobby to make all cops Federal agents!!  We could use the old workhouse for a detention center until the Feds can get up/over here to get ’em.  The City could charge the government a fair per diem per capita and the City wins all the way around!


This has nothing to do with fear of calling the police. This has been an unwritten policy since last year when police quit arresting illegals and instead giving them a citation and summons. This “policy” is nothing more than a tool to balance the budget. Look at Dayton’s deportation numbers declining steadily since this policy began early last year.
If you don’t ask, don’t arrest, then you can’t deport the illegal’s who are breaking laws. If you don’t deport, you don’t have to pay to drive them to Kentucky and buy them a plane ticket back home.


Wait, that last post I made hints that I dislike Hispanics, which is not the case.  I dislike illegal residents, regardless of their race. 

Why do you think California is in such dire financial trouble?  If you don’t beleive it’s partially (a BIG partially) due to their resources being drained by the 3+ million illegal residents who are sucking the life out of their public health benefits, public schools, etc., then you need a serious reality check from someone who lives there!  Granted, the illegals are contributing to the economy by purchase power, but they pay no income taxes and little property taxes. 

Meanwhile, back at the governor’s ranch, they’re trying to be politically correct in not directly pointing the finger at who’s to blame for the poor economy overall.  Where does the free handout end?

Illegal Immigration Costs California $10.5 Billion Annually

Will Brooks
Will Brooks

@Shortwest Rick: My point is the tenth amendment. It’s mostly neglected but still in effect. I don’t want to get too far off track, but States can pass resolutions to nullify Federal laws that are not constitutional. I’m not sure which side of constitutional the Police Chief’s orders fall on. However, I do support it if it can help deter crime. There is a growing trend among the states in resistance of unconstitutional federal laws. Here is a link:
Also, to quote the Tenth Amendment:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



They don’t include running to the DDN and defying…

This is the key, if you are acting in good faith then you raise your legal concerns about the order through your chain of command or through the inspector general (or equivalent); crying to the press is a foul, and indicates bad faith or political motivations.  Maybe there is a labor relations aspect that I’m missing, but most people that have to worry about the legality of an order don’t have a union.


Will, you must be from the South.  I recall nullification was what South Carolina and John Calhoun was proposing back in 1832.  Andrew Jackson threatened to march the army into Carolina and hang the proponents for treason.  Jackson was a jerk on some issues, but he  had this one right.

Will Brooks
Will Brooks

Ya, Virginia originally. Here’s a link from Ohio where nullification is being utilized.
I brought it up in this context because the fellow from the Police Union says Biehl is circumventing federal law officers by making a move that could help lower crime in our community. What Biehl is doing is a far cry from nullification. I was making the point that States are not bound to follow the Fed’s lead and States can constitutionally nullify the federal government when fed is seeking un-constitutional measures be imposed on the States.



Will, you must be from the South.

Or maybe Utah, serious ‘nullification’ is cause for the cavalry to ride out and stomp you:

The forces selected for the expedition to Utah consisted of the Second Dragoons, then stationed at Fort Leavenworth in view of possible trouble in Kansas; the Fifth Infantry, stationed at that time in Florida; the Tenth Infantry, then in the forts in Minnesota; and Phelps’s Battery of the Fourth Artillery, that had distinguished itself at Buena Vista–a total of about fifteen hundred men.

Just teasing, nullification is a dangerous path though.  All sorts of less than reputable folks have used it as an excuse to be scofflaws.

Will Brooks
Will Brooks

I hope I didn’t hijack things too badly. I only wanted to cite the 10th amendment as an argument for Biehl not needing to be worried about “circumventing federal law officers.” Personally, I think not asking for immigration status is a good in the case of Dayton. Let local law enforcement work with INS some other way besides one that discourages people from reporting crimes.


>David, respectfully, you’re full of shit.

Favorite blog quote ever!   :-D

Drexel Dave Sparks
Drexel Dave Sparks

The union and its elected representation is 50 percent of the management team. That nobody realizes this seems to reveal the bigger problem of why so many have no understanding why so many things go wrong. That includes management structures as well.
When I served as V.P. of the bus driver’s union, it was amazing to me how little the supervisory staff knew of labor law, or even the contract with the union, especially the vaguely written verbiage. A good union president should have a broad knowledge of labor law, contract law, state and local law…and not be afraid to butt heads with management when management is in violation of any of those.
The way it SHOULDN’T work is for a department director to just issue edicts, and then the only course of action for the union to take is the grievance process, which can drag on, and on…That makes for an unproductive unionized workplace.
The two parties should work together on any policies. All work rules by law in a union workplace must be NEGOTIATED rules for them to have any legal teeth. Any other practices not covered by the negotiated contract rules, fall upon what was the past practice used. Until a new practice or rule is contractually negotiated, the past practice of the workplace shall remain in place.
I could go on. I had so much fun as a union rep, I decided to go back and finish school, and go to law school.
Who you gonna call? Call the pit bull!


Drexel Dave:

The union and its elected representation is 50 percent of the management team.

To put it another way, the taxpayer is footing a bill for twice as much overhead as needed.

The two parties should work together on any policies. All work rules by law in a union workplace must be NEGOTIATED rules for them to have any legal teeth. Any other practices not covered by the negotiated contract rules, fall upon what was the past practice used. Until a new practice or rule is contractually negotiated, the past practice of the workplace shall remain in place.

And people wonder why manufacturing is fleeing to right-to-work states (if it stays state-side at all).  Getting two adversarial bureaucracies to agree on business practices, with the default being ‘do it the way we’ve always done it’, is not exactly a recipe for agile innovation in a competitive marketplace.  Driving buses and policing beats may not require any innovation, but Dayton is in a competition and wouldn’t it be nice if innovations in those areas (and others) made Dayton more desirable to businesses and residents?

Drexel Dave Sparks
Drexel Dave Sparks

I’m just telling you how it really does work, and not a whole lot of people in the public infospace seem to have a clue about how union workplaces actually work. Lots of urban myth, but not much reality.
No, they are not two bureaucracies. The police department itself is a bureaucracy (part of the larger city bureaucracy). The Dayton City Police Department is the management team that includes the department leadership, supervisors, etc…and the union membership (via their elected representatives). To characterize one elected representative from the union as a “bureaucracy” is quite a leap in logic and reality. He’s just the guy who speaks for and defends if needed the rights of the membership of his local.
Union workplaces can and have been some of the most productive. The police department or other public services are different beasts than a private employer.
There’s no rule that says either side has to be adversarial. Great bosses are the champion of their labor. You can have rock-solid union-management relations and still have the two butt heads at times. It’s not always a bad thing either. Sometimes it leads to problems being solved, and gasp, innovation. Your characterization of the process is flawed.
And trust me, there is innovation in every job and human task on Earth. Sometimes innovation is stupid. Sometimes it is fantastic. It’s not good in and of itself.
Take care.

Drexel Dave: I’m just telling you how it really does work…your characterization of the process is flawed. Well, when I saw things from the other side dealing with recalcitrant union reps, my impression was not nearly as rosy as yours.  The emphasis was always on uninspired rule following,  lose-lose style compromise (this on both sides), and certainly not bottom-line ass kicking (I’ll admit my experience is limited, maybe I just haven’t been around long enough to see a great union impress me). To characterize one elected representative from the union as a “bureaucracy” is quite a leap in logic and reality. Sorry, all of the unions I’m familiar with have had substantial ‘support structure’; they weren’t just one guy operating out of a coffee shop.  Does he do all the collective bargaining himself?  Sounds like he could give those appraisers we heard about in those other articles a run for their money (I kid, I kid, the Lt mentioned in the article does seem like he’s doing the job his fellows elected him for). There’s no rule that says either side has to be adversarial. Great bosses are the champion of their labor. You can have rock-solid union-management relations and still have the two butt heads at times. Think about what you are saying.  If things are so ‘rock-solid’ and the boss is a champ, why is the union putting on the brakes by butting heads?!  It isn’t contributing value for the customer, so isn’t it just wasted effort?  In the private sector rent seeking by unions chases away capital (for a great example of foolish ‘butting heads’ see the saga of Boeing, their machinists union and the relocation of 787 production lines), in the public sector it erodes tax bases because people and businesses move on to locales with less overhead.  That’s not to say leadership can’t do stupid stuff to squander opportunities too, but the collective bargaining process tends to be adversarial and non-agile by it’s nature.  Maybe this is  a good news story that the media covers poorly and you know of some great counter-examples to the… Read more »
Shortwest Rick

that officers have no right to question immigration status, and should be punished for doing so

I disagree David, police officers need to be able gather all relevant information while investigating a reported crime, all the DOJ said is they can’t detain a person for being undocumented. This is a two way street, otherwise any one of us could be handcuffed in Kroger’s parking lot for simply not being able to produce a driver’s license or birth certificate on the spot.  There have been cases of thieves praying on illegals, if the police are not allowed to ask certain questions it hinders them from establishing motive and patterns. Leaving the police officer to guess at why his victim was robbed would institutionalize profiling. Democracy is a double edged sword.


This is like Obama and his refusal to acknowledge the war on terror, we better not upset any foreigner or else no one will like us.  Let us put America at risk because we don’t wish to appear as being insensitive.  WTF?  If your here illegally then you should get your butt arrested and deported, bottom line.  If you got into this country illegally and didn’t get caught you should work, live and die invisibly.  Dayton Police officers have enough to worry about with our out of control crime rate, now lets handcuff the officers even more, just in case Jose is sensitive about his illegal status.  Clearly David you have axes to grind against the unions but here is a novel idea, if the body feels strongly about something in opposition to management then maybe the body is right.  It isn’t always about crybabies crying fowl.  In the end, who cares if you disagree with Randy or not, he runs a tight ship and I respect him for standing his ground.


>This is like Obama and his refusal to acknowledge the war on terror

@Jeff:  you’re obviously not watching any news other than Fox.  Terrorism has been repeatedly acknowledged by Obama.  It’s an absolute, incontrovertible fact.  The only people who think he’s refusing to acknowledge it are those who watch Fox news and/or listen to Rush.   The people at Fox don’t even believe this, but they’re happy to mislead their flock because it’s good for business. They think they have a winning strategy to convince people “he’s not really an American, he’s not a citizen, he’s an arab, he won’t protect you, he’s a socialist, he hates America, etc.    It’s all crap, but a surprising number of people just lap it up and ask for “more, please”.  I don’t understand how anyone can think the world is that simple (or “fair and balanced”).

David Lauri

This is like Obama and his refusal to acknowledge the war on terror
Jeff, if this were my website, I’d call you a five letter word starting with “i” and ending in “t” but David E doesn’t allow name calling.  Instead I’ll dare you to watch Rachel Maddow’s proof that you are that five letter word.  Watch this clip, in particular starting at 5:06, in which Senator Jim DeMint claims that Obama “doesn’t even use the word [terrorism] any more,” followed by a series of clips of Obama using that word.  You see the idea that Obama refuses to acknowledge the war on terror is, as Maddow says of DeMint and I say of you, “true… only in Jim DeMint’s [and your] mind.”

Bubba Jones
Bubba Jones

Geez, that woman is obnoxious!!  (BTW, DE – are we allowed to do name calling to people that don’t actually participate on this blog?) I’m not sure who’s worse – Rachel Maddow or Nancy Grace.  At least Rachel doesn’t yell constantly though.
I will admit that last night (1/13) was the first time that I’ve ever heard of or seen Rachel Maddow.  I happened to watch a little MS-NBC coverage of Haiti while scrolling through the channels and she was on.  She didn’t impress me last night either.  All I can say is that having people like her on MS-NBC completely nullifies the argument from the left that Fox News is the only biased news channel on cable.  And, no, I don’t watch Fox on any regular basis either.
DL – I would hardly call 4 clips “a series”.  Well, maybe it’s a small series and quite possibly the four times he’s used that word prior to 12/25/09.  Anyway, I’m not going to nitpick about that stuff.  But, the President sometimes uses the word “terror” but not the phrase “war on terror” until after the panty-bomber.  I think part of Jeff’s point, and the point of others on the right, is that this administration is trying to stay politically correct and is attempting to change certain terminology.  I believe it was the very lovely and competent Ms. Nepolotono who know wants to refer to “acts of terrorism” as “man caused disasters.”  Good stuff!
Have you gotten your thank you note from MS-NBC yet?  You know, the note that thanks you for being one of the 47 people that watches their network?  ;)  (OK, I’ve got my flame suit on now!! :))


I don’t think this thread has anything to do with the President, but since you guys brought it up,
David L.:

You see the idea that Obama refuses to acknowledge the war on terror…


…not the phrase “war on terror” until after the panty-bomber.

In fact, at the start of the current administration folks in the Executive branch were encouraged to stop referring to our current overseas operations as GWOT (global war on terror).  I don’t think it really matters, and it is actually more accurate and useful for clear thinking and communication to refer to specific regions and operations rather than a bland and ugly one-size fits all acronym anyway.  Sloppy language leads to sloppy thought.  I think it is kind of silly that this instruction on verbiage has been spun by some folks as ‘the President is ignoring terrorists’.
And I don’t watch any TV news, so there!


>refer to “acts of terrorism” as “man caused disasters.”

@Bubba, you’re absolutely right.  That’s ludicrous.  But I don’t think everyone on the left wants to be that PC, just as I don’t think everyone on the right wants (insert fun issue here).   Broad brushes get us all in trouble.


@DL, thanks for referencing the Rachel Maddow clip.   I’m not sure what is so obnoxious about it/her…  I mean, facts are facts, and she gave multiple examples to support her point.  She’s not being a pundit or giving opinions — she’s pretty much laying the facts out there.  For those with ears, let them hear…   :-)