It is an understandable fact that some members' loyalty to their organization only extends as far as their wallet. It is a fact that the FOP's solid loyalty to its members extends to the high level of quality services provided. It is also a fact that the main reason some officers belong to the FOP is solely for its excellent legal defense coverage. Finally it is a fact that the majority of us belong because of a sense of brotherhood, quality representation in workplace issues, and political representation from the national to the local level of the FOP.
When compared side by side with other plans the FOP legal defense plan is by far superior. It has no caps or limitations on duty related offenses that will financially burden a member. But an even bigger draw is the quality of attorney offered when it comes down to the defense of a law enforcement officer. That defense is viewed not only at an administrative level but more importantly at the civil and criminal level.
Let’s face it with most administrative issues the officer has, in all probability, done something in violation of department policy or procedure. We all occasionally make honest mistakes in our complex day to day work. Having legal defense coverage, regardless of what plan, is not a “get out jail free” monopoly card. Unless falsely accused the best an attorney and his client can hope for during the administrative process is to mitigate the outcome, insure due process, and protect the deputy’s rights.
Our profession is unique and the legal problems deputies find themselves in are even more unique. It takes an attorney with experience and expertise in this area of law to consistently provide adequate defense of a law enforcement officer. The fact of the matter is FOP has those attorneys. This is where attorneys, whose practice specializes in the defense of law enforcement officers, factors in.
Attorneys from the firms of Bruno, Colin, Jewell & Lowe, and Elkus & Sisson fully understand the uniqueness of our profession and they are recognized and respected when dealing with internal affairs units and hearing officials. They have the expertise and “opposition familiarity” to best mitigate a final administrative outcome.
However, where the cream separates from the milk is in defense of law enforcement officers who are facing civil and criminal actions; or both. Here, more than anywhere else, the FOP legal defense plan and its line up of attorneys shines. The FOP has under contract Colorado’s top law firms in that specialized area of law. These firms have a long and successful proven track record and are certainly in the forefront of any officer’s mind when it comes to these matters. There is no law firm or attorney in Colorado that can match their expertise or experience in this specialized area of law.