I had the opportunity to sit and talk to a few of LVPPA’s lifetime members, and it is very refreshing to take a glimpse into what the future truly holds. The smiles and joy of being able to converse with each other were so genuine that it made you appreciate the job, and it helped you put into perspective what was to come.
The retirement years range from one to 30 years, but the remarkable thing was that everyone seemed happy. Listening to guys speak about their time on the job and their exploits were a real treat. I truly enjoy listening to people talk about their past experiences on the job, but I also enjoy hearing about what they are doing now. Some people find a job to help keep them busy, some travel and some even teach themselves things like flying, getting a CDL or volunteering their time at libraries or local charitable organizations.
Unfortunately, we have that small group that is angry about something. I remember reading a statement made by a former director with the LVPPA a few years ago where he stated that COs should not make the same amount of money as POs. It is unfortunate that statements like this are made and pushed out there. These statements are generally made by people who are not happy with their current life choices, and they feel the need to bash or lash out at what others are doing to make things better. The leadership in LVPPA is as strong as it has ever been — that does not diminish the good work that those before us did. After all, if it wasn’t for the people laying the foundation, we would not be here to enjoy the fruits of their labor. It is so easy to criticize and complain, but those antics do not solve anything and merely serve as a conduit to divide.
The strength of LVPPA lies with the people who are members, and the philosophy we live by is that we are all in this together. Collective bargaining is important to me, and it should be important to us all. If we lose the ability to bargain, then we get to accept whatever the people in charge think is a fair wage. We as a group cannot rest on our laurels because it now seems that the pendulum is swinging back in favor of law enforcement. We have to strengthen our resolve and ensure that the message is loud and clear that our number one goal is to ensure that our members are receiving a fair wage for their hard work. We have an open-door policy for all our members, and I only ask that you give us a chance to answer your questions and ease your minds about any situation that arises. I look forward to seeing our members at our events, and I hope we all are on the same page. This organization will always stand by its members, and we will not attempt to justify our actions to those few who would tear down all the good work we do. To quote someone very close to me, “We will either find a way or make one.”