Fraternal Order of Police
San Francisco Bay Area Lodge 17
Post Office Box 5621 – Santa Rosa, California 95402-5621
President’s Report Oct 12, 2017
Oct 12, 2017
Brothers and Sisters of CAFOP Lodge 17,
I hope you all had a great summer with family and friends. There has been a lot of activity to report since my last President’s Report. I would like to say that I appreciate the hard work that Secretary Wozniak has been putting in for our lodge. Since the change in Officers at our lodge Woz has handled the transition like a true professional. Now I turn to the report from the 63rd Biennial National Conference held August 28th to August 31st in Nashville Tenn.
The Host Lodge, Andrew Jackson Lodge #5 Nashville, did an outstanding Job setting up and hosting the conference. They made a herculean effort look effortless. From assisting with security, to setting up tours of Nashville, they and the Tennessee State Lodge did an outstanding job. Nashville is a truly beautiful place to visit and the people are gracious and inviting.
I had the opportunity to see first hand how our Order conducts its parliamentary procedures with efficiency and order. Business was conducted and constitutional amendments were voted on. One such amendment I would like to discuss with you. This amendment was introduced and was ultimately adopted. It increased the per capita fee on lodges by $1.00 and goes directly to the National Police Memorial fund, which operates Police week and the memorial ceremony in Washington DC. This increase was sorely needed as the number of fallen Officers added to the monument has increased over the years. Sadly more Officers are falling in the line of duty every year, as well as those who served during 9/11. Those Officers are now starting to succumb to cancers and other ailments as a direct result of chemical exposure during the attack and subsequent rescue efforts. I want you to know that this WILL NOT increase your lodge dues of $40 a year. Your forward thinking lodge Officers years ago saw the need for increases down the road and created a “Cushion” so you dues do not see an increase for the near future.
While at the conference I availed myself of some training seminars. I attended the Robert’s Rules of Order training where I got up to speed on how to properly run a meeting. Knowing how to preside over meeting makes them more efficient and orderly. I have had a good example to get me started, as I have seen Past President Wozniak run the meetings superbly. I also attended the Windfall Elimination Provision training. This seminar was enlightening on many levels. The formulation for figuring how Social Security payments are calculated based on years of employment and average compensation was hard to get my head around. The mathematics behind how those of us in Government service who do not currently contribute to Social Security, but did in other jobs, have our social security benefits determined was equally technical and hard to follow. Bottom line is that, for now the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) law isn’t going away soon. The FOP is working with Representative Brady (R-TX) on the “Equal treatment of Public Servants” act. This would eliminate the WEP and replace it with a more equitable and individualized calculation of Social Security benefits. If anyone would like more specific information on this seminar please reach out to me on my email and I will contact you.
The conference hosted an excellent EXPO with vendors from private industry, government agencies and educational organizations. I was especially interested in the education portion of the EXPO and conference. I wanted to let my fellow Lodge members know of two particular benefits. The first is offered by American Military University. If you have an AA or AS degree, you can take advantage of your existing college units and transfer them to their online Competency Based Education Program. In one and a half years or sooner you can earn you BA or BS degree and at a deeply discounted rate. Please take a look at this program WWW.amuonline.com/momentum-cbe. The second education benefit offered by the FOP is free college. That’s not a typo, FREE College. Every SINGLE member of the FOP and their families are eligible for free tuition at Eastern Gateway Community College. All you have to do is navigate to WWW.fop.net and click on the education tab and then click on free college benefit. You or your family can get a free AA/AS degree, then transfer to AMU and finish your BA/BS degree.
We had the opportunity to listen to incredible speakers. Easter Seals is the FOP charity and they gave a great presentation on all the good our charity does for people in the community including an inspirational talk given by one such recipient. Our Order does incredible good in the community and people who spoke before us showed that citizens all over this country respect us and appreciate what we do as Peace Officers as well as the charity that we give every day. Another outstanding speaker was Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He gave an outstanding speech at the convention. He let us all know in no uncertain terms that the current USDOJ is 100% behind Law Enforcement. He announced that President Trump is bringing back the surplus military equipment policy that was suspended by the last administration. He stated that this change is needed to enhance the safety of Officers in harm’s way working every day. It was refreshing to hear from top government leadership, that we in Law Enforcement are fully supported both materially and in the public realm.
During the week of the convention, your Secretary, Woz, was hard at work selling challenge coins and pins. Through his efforts we were able to take in vitally needed funds to support our Lodge. Woz and I were hard at work making contacts with our fellow FOP members and leaders from around the country. Lodge 17 was seen and represented well. With this report, Secretary Wozniak is sending out membership renewal forms. Please fill out the forms and return them to Woz as soon as you can. You don’t want to lose access to the educational benefits as well as insurance and legal defense that are second to none.
I encourage you to attend our next meeting October 12th 2017 at Mary’s Pizza Shack, 121 San Marin Drive, Novato, California.
“Oro en Paz, Fierro en Guerra” – Gold in Peace, Iron in War.
Clayton A. Harmston – President CAFOP Lodge #17