I hope that 2023 has been a great year so far for all our members and their families.
This is the first President’s Message I am writing under a new Sheriff with new ideas for our agency. As is customary in my position, working with the administration is a daily occurrence. As it was with Sheriff Lombardo and his team, your Executive Board has been in constant contact with the upper administration quite frequently. I am very happy to report that, as we expected, most of the interactions have been positive and have had great outcomes for our membership.
Under Sheriff McMahill, I have had a steady dialogue and have found him to have a very open mind to a lot of different issues that the PPA has brought forward. Several issues that, in the past, probably would have needed to be resolved in the courtroom were worked out among us in conversation. That’s not to say he has been a pushover. He still has a job to do and still needs to run the agency in a certain way that is responsive to the public, but most of the time, we have a similar view on how our folks should be treated. Like me, the Sheriff doesn’t know everything occurring below him on the agency. There have been times when supervisors have acted in a certain way that did not share the same vision as Sheriff McMahill, but when we contacted the Sheriff, it has usually been handled swiftly. This makes for some very positive changes in the way our troops are treated, as well as moving us away from the old way of ruling with an iron fist. I believe the new administration understands that some of the best ideas for our agency come from the boots-on-the-ground troops who are out there doing the job every day.
There used to be a term I learned from my friend Kirk called “the ignorance of rank.” Some people felt that just because they took a test and promoted, all of a sudden they were endowed with every answer to every problem that has ever been. Those supervisors felt that no one below them had anything to offer in any scenario because those people never passed a test. I see a shift in the attitudes of our supervisors today. While not all, most are recognizing that they are not always the smartest person in the room or on a call and defer to their troops when it is called for. This makes for a better team environment, where we all have a voice and feel valued when we speak.
I know it has only been six months with our new leadership, but I have a very hopeful feeling that the direction is more about taking care of the troops and less about appeasing a small public that screams loudly into a microphone or has anti-police representatives in the State Legislature. Those folks are still there, but I do not think our administration is giving them much of an audience. Time will tell, though. I hope the President’s Message next year is as positive as this one. If things change, just know that your Executive Board at the PPA is still ready to bring forward any fight against anyone who tries to hurt our officers. We still own our billboards around town and will never be afraid to put out a message supporting our cops and attacking those who try to vilify them.
Thank you all and have a wonderful rest of the year.