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Arizona Supreme Court Allows Phoenix Police Officers Paid City Time For Union Work

The Arizona Supreme Court Tuesday ruled Phoenix police officers can continue to do union work while on the clock.

The practice called “release time” was the subject of a lawsuit filed by the Goldwater Institute, which argued it violated the gift clause of the state constitution.

There are other cities and police departments in the state with agreements similar to Phoenix and its police. And, the practice of release time is not unique to Arizona.

"Anywhere that there is a union, people that represent that union are doing union work on city time," said John DeCarlo, a professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven.

He said the arrangement is usually part of a contract or collective bargaining agreement.

DeCarlo and Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services explain the case and ruling on KJZZ's The Show.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.