Happy New Year! I hope your holiday season was filled with joy and shared with family and friends. In this, my first year as your president we dealt with many complex topics. I didn’t realize how much I had to learn going into it. That said, what I can promise you is that I will continue to grow as a leader and tirelessly work on your behalf. Thank you for your unwavering support and for doing the job that you do each and every day. It is an honor to serve you.
Recently, I was invited by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to attend the Officer Safety and Wellness group in Washington D.C. While in D.C. I was able to partake in robust discussions in less lethal force options and wellness issues with 30+ subject matter experts from around the country. The panel consisted of most ranks of law enforcement from around the country, including police chiefs, psychologists, police association leaders, and physicians. The DOJ’s goal was to identify best practice and financial needs to assist law enforcement. Great emphasis was placed on the narrative nationwide to remove force options and our strategies to defend those force options. I was humbled to be a part of that important event.
In the first week of December, I was informed of the city’s intention to modify compensatory time (comp time) procedures to conform to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules. The major issue was that they were suspending comp time pending the meet-and-confer process. We believe this was backwards and that we should meet-and-confer on any substantial decision prior to the implementation of any changes. Vice President Bostedt and I spent hours on the phone with labor and city leaders as well as our legal representation in an attempt to voice our opposition. Ultimately, we were successful in our argument and the City reversed its decision. It will remain business as usual for comp time as we are going through the meet-and-confer process. The IRS requires that all comp time earned in a calendar year, needs to be used that same calendar year. During our meet-and-confer process, the POA’s goal will be to make the process as member friendly as possible.
Congratulations to our newly elected directors, Kayla Evans and Keelan McCullough, who successfully ran for the contested positions on the Board of Directors. I would like to thank all of the candidates who took part in this process to be considered for the challenging job of being a POA director. I would also like to thank all members who took the time to cast a vote. Being involved in this process is an important step in ensuring that we have conscientious leaders to represent the membership in these trying times. Thank you to our outgoing directors, including Mike Fender and Mike Pidgeon. Your long-time dedication to this association has helped transform our brand in a positive way.
Effective the first full pay period in January 2019, we will be receiving a 5% salary increase as part of our recent contract. You will see the increase for the first time on the February 8th paycheck. We look forward to going back into negotiations with the City this fall. The POA is interested in your input as to what would help us stay competitive in the local market. Please contact us with your ideas.
The 4th annual Steve Hobbs Poker Tournament will be held at the POA on February 15, 2019. This year, all proceeds will be benefitting retired Officer Alan Alvarez. Alan’s current health condition is requiring extremely expensive care. Whether you play poker or not, please plan on attending. For players, your donation gets you poker chips, food, drinks, and raffle tickets. If you don’t want to play poker, the required donation is less, but you still get food, drinks, and raffle tickets. This is always a great event where we can hang out and spend quality time with our co-workers for a noble cause. Alan also has a webpage with Officer Down which explains his further needs. You can donate directly to Alan at https://officerdown.us/projects/alan-alvarez-support.
As 2019 begins, I would like to wish you all a safe and prosperous year. I look forward to working with the new Board to vigorously represent all of the membership.