Every May, the Police Officers Association of Michigan and its members gather in Grand Rapids for the POAM Annual Convention. This year’s event was not only a resounding success, but featured a wide array of speakers and events.
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The POAM 2012 Annual Convention began with POAM President Jim Tignanelli and Grand Rapids businessman Dick DeVos speaking about the importance of creating a community and a culture in the city. The two men also spoke about the selflessness of Michigan law enforcement agents and how they don’t always get the recognition for the work they perform, which isn’t always seen.
Listen to Jim Tignanelli and Dick DeVos speak here:
And as always, there were many police officers, legislators and others honored with awards. Of all the awards, Officer of the Year is a given to select law enforcement professionals annually for their service. This year Shawn James, Richard Sykes, Meri-Beth Brouwer, Travis Babcock and Tyler Kempema of the Ottawa County DSA; Shane Brown of the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department; Michigan State Police Troopers Joe Young, Chris Bush and Dave Cardinas; Joseph Ballard of Washtenaw County DSA; Kameron Fleep and Robert Fruit of Westland POA; Westland Lieutenants and Sergeants Association’s Norman Brooks; and Garden City POA’s Bruce Shippe, Charles Brooks and Ronald Kozloff were all named Officers of the Year. Both Livonia POA’s Larry Nehasil and Trevor Slot of Walker POA were given the honor posthumously.
There were several other awards given out as well, including 2012 POAM Legislator of the Year, which was awarded to both State Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-18th District) and State Representative Tim Bledsoe (D-1st District). Thomas Moore, Monroe Police Department Director of Public Safety and Clare County Sheriff John Wilson were both given the honor of 2012 POAM Administrator of the Year, while the Honorable Steven R. Servaas, 63rd District Court Judge, was given the 2012 POAM Jurist of the Year award.
The Annual Convention wasn’t all awards, though. There were also three sessions, “Nationwide Financial: Medicare,” “Retirement Plan Advisors: Turning on Your Income Flow When You Retire” and “Work or Retire?”. We know that retirement can be daunting, but the information gleaned from these sessions make it a little easier. Retirement is like anything–the better prepared you are, the easier it is.
Of the speakers at this year’s convention, the most notable was Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. The governor spoke about improving the safety of four Michigan cities: Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw (all of which were on the 10 most dangerous cities in America list). He also said that fixing those cities’ public safety problems isn’t a stopping point, but rather a starting point, which is something we all agree on.
If you weren’t able to attend the POAM 2012 Annual Convention, please make sure to listen to all the audio recordings and articles we will be posting. And thank you to all those to came to the convention to show their support for POAM and the work we do.