Since 1985, POAM has offered an extended legal plan to all POAM/COAM/TPOAM members. Unlike perhaps any service you can name, the price has NEVER changed! For $60 per year, an attorney will represent you on any criminal charges from arraignment through appeal!

Extended Legal Plan Services In 2023

It’s important to note that you always have the services of our staff of attorneys for critical on-duty incidents; report reviewing, etc. Also worth noting is that our team of attorneys are POAM employees. Unlike some organizations that will only cover you for crimes you may be charged with on duty, POAM extended legal reaches beyond “scope of duty” incidents. They may offer you a few hours with someone that they recommend, etc., but they will not cover the costs of the actual representation as POAM does. It is FULL COVERAGE for $60 per year.

Many of our groups choose to add the $5 per month to the member’s dues so that it can be collected through payroll deductions. It does not require that all of the bargaining units participate, however. One person in the group can join. 

Enrolling Advice From POAM

I asked Doug Gutscher, who handles more than 90% of the cases where our members are charged criminally, to give me a view of the past few years. 

Over the past 34 months (since January 2021), POAM members have been charged in about 36 cases, including about 55 separate charges. That number increases dramatically when you add the number of criminal investigations that POAM has been intimately involved in.

The POAM offers an extended legal plan for members that provides coverage for on or off-duty criminal investigations and charges that may occur anywhere in the state of Michigan. We have all witnessed the increased media coverage and social media attacks that often provide the basis for what appears to be politically driven scrutiny of law enforcement actions. 

Some prosecutors in the state have even tried to use alleged violations of employment policies as the basis for criminal charges. This has been the case for multiple recent criminal charges, where they are attempting to use department policies to establish a ‘legal duty’ as required in the willful neglect of duty statute. We also have had members charged with failing to intervene or stop other officers’ actions. 

Our legal staff are currently addressing these issues in court cases. It is more important than ever to ensure that, if the need arises, you have the proper knowledgeable resources to help you navigate these potential issues. Working in law enforcement, obviously, you do not intend to be the focus of criminal investigation or charges, yet accusations are made more frequently, and we plan to help you navigate through the investigations and process if the need arises. – Assistant General Counsel, Douglas Gutscher.

If you are not already enrolled in the POAM Extended Legal plan, take time to ask your servicing representative about it. There is a link to it on and the POAM app, including FAQs and an application to enroll.

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