The union voted to extend dues for a “war chest.” It additionally employed a brand new chief negotiator: Ron DeLord.

After the town sued over a contract provision it claimed was unconstitutional, the union’s longtime president, Michael Helle, organized assault adverts focusing on Ms. Sculley. In an interview, Mr. Helle bragged about “how a lot I acquired beneath her pores and skin.” He stated the adverts, which frequently had unflattering close-ups of her face, preyed on her self-importance. They accused her of being an overpaid, wasteful power-monger who thought cops made an excessive amount of cash.

The union additionally scoured by way of her bills and publicized funds that the union felt had been questionable, he stated.

Mr. DeLord’s e-book advises unions to comb by way of public data about any “enemy.” The New York Occasions discovered that unions nationwide deployed the tactic to intimidate metropolis officers or overwhelm them with paperwork. In Denver, for example, the union filed a public-records request in 2016 asking the town’s police monitor for voluminous data from its investigations.

“I’m certain they’re sweating bullets now,” the union president wrote in an electronic mail to the union’s lawyer, obtained by way of a public-records request. “Let’s make them pay on this one.”

In San Antonio, after two years of combating, a choose overseeing the lawsuit ordered the town and the union into mediation. The deal would restrict the authorized fund and make officers contribute to some well being care premiums. Either side claimed victory.

But Ms. Sculley, who later wrote a book concerning the metropolis’s battle, stated in an interview she was dissatisfied that years of negotiations hadn’t achieved extra.

Whereas the up to date contract has lower prices, it continues to offer officers disciplinary protections that some metropolis officers and residents really feel impede good policing. In lots of cases, infractions various years outdated can’t be thought of throughout disciplinary proceedings — in impact, erasing them from assessment. And arbitrators, not metropolis officers, in the end determine whether or not an officer is fired.