The FOP is by far the largest police organization in both Colorado and the United States. You have to be in Law Enforcement to be a member. The FOP is managed by current and retired law enforcement officers. The key to the FOP's success is its flexibility and its structure as a democratically governed labor organization. Every member has an equal voice and the opportunity to determine the course and direction of the Fraternal Order of Police as a whole.
Our membership numbers are growing in Colorado and across the country. Nevertheless, over the last year or so, we have often heard the question, "Why should I join the Fraternal Order of Police?" The first place to start to answer that question would be to discuss the environment in which law enforcement members find themselves. Our overall goal is to promote and improve our profession through education, legislation, and community involvement.
Law Enforcement Officers across Colorado need representation and legal defense. The intense scrutiny under which you must perform an extremely difficult job has made you the targets of the media, politicians, and special interest groups. This makes you a target of opportunity and exploitation. Without the benefit of a professional representative organization you are out there on your own. We have your back. Every day you are exposed to risk of civil suit or administrative action that could cost you your job and ruin you financially. If for no other reason, the legal protection you receive as a benefit of FOP membership should convince every sworn Law Enforcement Officer to join.
Today there are hundreds of law enforcement officers working in Colorado with no legal defense protection at all. The very nature of law enforcement work brings with it continuous exposure to administrative action, civil law suits, and criminal prosecution. Work where one error in judgment, or one false accusation, could cost the officer not only his job and his financial well being, but also his freedom. It has and does happen. When this happens the officer must find and pay for an attorney to defend him. That is an expensive proposition, and there are very few attorneys in Colorado whose expert practice is defending law enforcement officers. When you need an attorney in a time like this, you want your future in the hands of the best in the business. The FOP has the best in the business of law enforcement defense. We have the best legal defense plan available for law enforcement officers bar none. And the most experienced attorneys with law firms who specialize in the complexities of defending law enforcement.
We have a robust political action program. Like all citizens our members come from a variety of political beliefs and hold strong opinions about who they, as individuals, feel should serve us in office. Like all citizens we try to sort through the political claims of the parties and the distorted advertising and false picture each side tries to present about the other. The majority of us full well know both sides are exagerating their positions with outright lies and distortions of fact that they hope we are dumb enough to believe in order to gain our support and vote.
The FOP is tasked by the membership at the local, state and national level with fulfilling its primary goal of improving the rights, benefits, and working conditions of law enforcement officers. In order to accomplish that, we must be fully involved with those who control and influence those issues. It would be a diservice to our members if we did not closely examine those seeking office and establish what that candidate's track record and platform is when it comes to improving or degrading our rights as public employees. That can only be accomplished by FOP political action and organizational endorsement at every level of our organization.
Politicians of both parties at the national, state county, and municipal levels of government covet the support and endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police. It is a benefit for them to be able to claim the support of law enforcement. They understand the public values candidates who have earned the respect and support of their police officers. That fact alone does and has made the difference in close races. An FOP endorsement has been the difference between victory and defeat in many of those elections. This year will be no different. Those politicians who seek our support understand that.
The endorsement of a candidate by the nation's largest law enforcement group is not given easily. It must be earned. Organizationally when supporting or endorsing any politician we give little consideration to a politician’s party. We have no interest in their platform on issues other than those that our members pay their dues for us to protect or improve. To do otherwise would be a disservice to the membership, and would greatly hamper our efforts to accomplish our primary responsibilities to our members. At times that goes against the individual personal politics of some members.
We would prefer not to be involved in politics. That would be in a perfect world. Well it is not a perfect world and certain political groups have worked hard to make it less perfect for cops. And those of that political ilk will not be satisfied until the scapegoat they have made of us has successfully stripped us of what we have fought so hard to gain or hold on to. It is what it is and we will not participate in helping them do it.
The FOP does not have a “D” or an “R” next to its name. We do not support or endorse tea parties, coffee parties, beer parties, or any party whose political flavor is to roll back public employee rights or benefits. And while some of our members will go to the ballot box and vote for people who would take their benefits and rights away this organization will not endorse or support those politicians. We will only support those who support us in this fight that has been launched against the public employee. Remember that this November. We will remind you along the way.
First and Foremost the Colorado FOP is a labor organization. We offer a full range of labor services and the expertise and resources of our Labor Council to assist lodges in all labor matters that come from working in law enforcement. Everything from addressing your management or local government on issues in your workplace, or in those places where we are asked assisting in gaining your members the right to collectively bargain a labor contract and assisting in those complex negotiations.
We are an independent labor organization representing law enforcement. Our profession is unique and we firmly believe that only law enforcement officers should represent law enforcement officers and their interests. We know our stuff and we know cops better than any other organization. We are not polluted with non-law enforcement personnel running the show like most other labor organizations who would seek to represent law enforcement. Those organizations have proven time and time again they are incapable of adequately representing the law enforcement profession or its members. Law enforcement has little or no voice in their organizations. They have bigger masters to serve and simply collect your dues.
Ask yourself, who knows better the issues and challenges we face better than the officers who have patrolled the beat and served our communities? Only those who have done the job! If we don’t take care of our own, no one else will. Take a look at what the FOP has done around this country and in each state in which they represent a majority of its officers. Take a look at what has been accomplished for the betterment of law enforcement and the communities they serve. You will have to agree, the Fraternal Order of Police is the best of the best.
The brotherhood we share being FOP members, bar none, is the greatest reason why we should all join together and become members of the greatest Law Enforcement Organization in the world. Deputies & Police Officers across Colorado need representation and legal defense. If any group of officers is interested in having a meeting we will travel to your location and answer your questions about the FOP and why you should belong. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your fellow officers.
You have to be in Law Enforcement to be a member of and to run this organization. The key to the FOP's success is its flexibility and its structure as a democratically governed labor organization. Every member has an equal voice and the opportunity to determine the course and direction of the Fraternal Order of Police as a whole. We believe that after examining who we are and what we have to offer your group will be convinced the best organization to improve your benefits and working conditions and represent your interests is the Fraternal Order of Police.
If any group of officers is interested in having a meeting we will travel to your location and answer your questions about the FOP and why you should belong. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your fellow officers. We believe that after examining who we are and what we have to offer your group will be convinced the best organization to improve your benefits and working conditions and represent your interests is the Fraternal Order of Police.
If you want more information on joining or forming a lodge in your area call 303-426-1733.