by Jim Tignanelli

It has been awhile since we last spoke and it has been an eventful year here at the POAM. Our gathering at the Tune Inn in Washington, D.C. during Police Week in May was an exceptional evening. It is gratifying to see so many law enforcement officers and their friends/ family on that afternoon and evening. Of course, it has grown beyond only POAM membership. We welcome all of our brothers and sisters, be they from Michigan or elsewhere! Our good friends from Metro Detroit Police and Fire Pipes and Drums put on a fabulous display and we are so proud of their efforts.

The POAM convention at the Amway Grand in Grand Rapids was the best ever. Our seminars were well-attended and our evening events were spectacular. Our Police Officer of the Year presentations were, as usual, touching reminders of the heroes among us and the outstanding efforts that take place seemingly every day. We are proud of the fact that such notables as Terri Lynn Land, Mike Cox, Bill Schuette and Mike Bouchard take the time to come forward to assist us in recognizing such efforts. Our “Thursday Event” was packed to the walls. The much anticipated presentation of the James B. Golden Award kept everyone on the edge of their seat. Don’t you think the first two-time winner deserves special recognition? Is it time to re-name the award? Go to the POAM blog and let us know what you think!

In a state where there are some 2,000 fewer law enforcement officers than there were in 2001, POAM continues to grow. It’s all about service. When things get tough (and this is as tough as it has been in a long time), it is time to call in the experts. Much of this is due to our office staff and business agents but a great deal of that growth is due to the local officers who speak so highly of POAM. We appreciate your confidence and willingness to share that with other groups. Bay City Command Officers are among our newest members and recruiting in Bay County and Lapeer County are producing positive results. Thank you!

The addition of Wayne County’s law enforcement to POAM has been a huge plus. I am so pleased with the transition. I cannot help but recognize the local leadership and their part in this change. Dave LaMontaine and Ken Grabowski have served as “points of contact” and they, along with Ed Jacques, have made this addition to POAM a smooth one.

As I write this, the state is operating on a 30-day extension of the budget. Not exactly a vote of confidence for our state’s future. It’s important that you, as local leaders, be more prepared than the employer as negotiations become more difficult. Depend on your business agent and our office staff for the tools and resources that you need to have a positive impact. Being prepared to discuss such issues as pension and health care are more important than ever. The expertise you seek is only a call or visit away. Feel free to stop by the office when you have a moment. We’d love to show you around. In the meantime, please defend each other out there. At times, we are all we’ve got. Thanks!