Hopefully some of you will remember former POAM President Gordon Evans. He worked tirelessly during the 1980s as our organization began laying its foundation for full service. Afterward, as Jim Tignanelli was managing POAM’s growth spurt, a young patrol officer was filling Gordon’s shoes at the Grosse Pointe Farms Police Department. Jim McMahon started in “The Farms” in 1986 after a one-year apprenticeship in the City of Detroit as a police officer.
McMahon instantly became involved in the local union serving as its treasurer for the first two years and its vice president for a subsequent two year term. McMahon has served as the local union’s president the last 16 years and been on its negotiating committee since 1992. “I realized in 1988, when our department converted to public safety, how important a local union’s role could be,” said McMahon. “POAM and our local association were involved in every facet of the conversion and it was an interesting learning experience for me.”
Jim has immense respect for William Birdseye, POAM’s Business Manager, who has served as Grosse Pointe Farms’ business agent through their entire history at POAM. McMahon credits Bill’s knowledge and expertise in sparking his interest in the organization and eventually wanting to be on its Executive Board. McMahon admits to engaging Birdseye in some spirited debates but cannot remember prevailing on any significant issue. “Those interactions taught me well about the business” claims McMahon. “But witnessing firsthand Bill Birdseye negotiating a contract and/or presenting a case in front of an arbitrator was my best schooling.”
Jim’s immediate goal as a POAM Executive Board member is to keep an open mind and learn the protocol for his new position. “There’s more responsibility than I thought,” states McMahon. “Especially if I’m the board member on call when a critical incident takes place.”
Jim was nominated for his new position by Birdseye to fill a recent opening. “McMahon has been an excellent advocate for his public safety officers and a big asset to the POAM support staff,” touted Birdseye. “He will fit in just fine.”
McMahon is appreciative of his appointment and looks at his job on the POAM Executive Board as being the epitome of a Michigan police union member. “My wife and three children have been very supportive through my entire law enforcement career and they are very proud of my new role representing Michigan’s police officers.”