POAM 2021 Events Update from President Tignanelli

Time for a groundhog day update:

Police Officer of the Year Nominations

It’s time for you to begin sending us your Police Officers of the Year candidates for 2021. These are significant or heroic events from the calendar year 2020 involving POAM members who generally participate in life-saving or life-taking events, although there are some exceptions. These are not to be confused with our monthly Good Cop section of POAM.net.

Send a summary of the event to poam@poam.net, or fill out the form here, as soon as you can. We will be sorting through these and making recommendations following our board meeting on March 12, 2021.

Annual Convention

As many of you know, our annual convention, which is our opportunity to recognize those who participated in the significant events, took place in late May for some 40+ years. COVID-19 forced us to postpone last May’s meeting; consequently, we did a “roadshow” of sorts. While the “roadshows” were very well received by the departments and the members directly involved, the pomp and ceremony, which is typically shared with 350-400 people, was missing.

Our members, yes those “essential employees,” have had an unforgettable year. While most public employees learned to work from home, the bulk of our members were working the streets and the jails. Line of duty (L.O.D.) deaths were the highest in decades. While domestic violence runs are still the most dangerous calls, more than half of the 328 L.O.D deaths in 2020 were from COVID (www.odmp.org). I, and the consensus of our executive board, believe our members need the convention. The camaraderie, the ceremony, and the events themselves allow us to meet old and make new friends. No one understands what we do better than us. Our members need to share those times at a place that only our convention can provide.

Now to the plan. There is no way we can have the convention we are used to in May. Executive orders, etc., are currently forcing places, such as the Amway, to limit patrons to about 25% of normal capacity. Thinking back to March 16, 2020, how many actually thought that a 14-day shut down would still be going in February 2021? Does anyone actually believe they can predict what the limits will be in late May? I’m not willing to take that risk. It’s too hard to put on an event like this in 3 months and then have to postpone it. Too many people are affected.

Tentative Date

We are currently in negotiations with Amway for September 1-2, 2021. It seems to work so far. It is just in front of the long Labor Day weekend and before the kids return to school (if ever). Keep in mind, this is tentative.

We will continue to monitor events until the first week of June, then only proceed if we can be certain that the facility will be able to provide 100% capacity for our members. How could we have a convention and tell half of those who generally attend there is no room for them?

Stay Tuned

Send us your nominees for the Police Officer of the Year awards. One way or another, it’s all about them. We will make it special, certainly. Also stay alert to our website, mobile app, and social media platforms for a follow-up to this 2021 events update.

Best to each of you,

JT