A is for Association…

As we come off our annual convention, and as I come up on the end of my first year serving as your executive vice president, it’s a good time to reflect on the “A” in our Association. As I have said before and will say again, I am proud to be a part of this Association, proud of this association and all that we stand for. The “A” in PBA is such an important piece. It’s the “Association.” You, the members, are the Association. Or, perhaps more precisely, WE, collectively are the Association, and the relationships I have built with you all during the last year are some of the things I value the most.

During the past year, so many of you have come up to me and introduced yourselves, or asked for help on an issue. And like every patrol officer wants to do, I hope I have been able to help you in some way, shape or form.

My goal is not just to help you with a singular issue or event, but to create a relationship with you that helps you understand the breadth and importance of our Association and educate you about all we have in our Association.

My hope is that our relationships will help reinforce how the Association we have here is something every member should look to
be a part of and proud to be a part of because of the support and programs that we provide.

There are so many things the Association does and provides our members that not everybody necessarily sees on a day-to day-basis. It’s more on an “as-needed” basis that people find out about some of the things we do to help.

For example, not everyone gets to see Pension Benefits/Peer Support Coordinator Luke Sciallo handling what seems like five phone
calls at a time helping members who are battling mental health issues get the treatment they need and deserve. Not everyone sees
Michael Freeman handling questions left and right about collective bargaining issues or impending grievances or see him doing his extensive research through the volumes of contracts we have here in the office to help Locals get what the contracts they deserve.

Luke and Michael’s jobs are just two of the many at the PBA office that play a part in the day-to-day operations. Trust me, there isn’t enough room on this page to detail what each person at the office does on a daily basis.

Members might only see PBA President Pat Colligan and myself “hanging out” at events. You might see us talking to people and socializing or networking, and think, “Those guys don’t do very much. They just hang out all day.” Oh, how I wish that was true.

I’ve often said I’m working harder now here at the state office than I ever did on the road in my town in a patrol car. Don’t get me wrong, being on the road is more physical and comes with its own nuances and stresses. But this job is a different kind of “hard.”

Through the hard work we are putting in, I know we are driving deeper relationships with you, the members of our Association. My
hope is that when we are meeting you and reinforcing the value and benefits of the PBA, you can also see our goal is always making it a better Association for you. What you may not see on a day-to-day basis is the hard work we put in, like when meeting with legislators behind the scenes in Trenton to help protect our members and get things done on a statewide scale. And trust me, there’s a lot of that behind-the-scenes work.

The New Jersey State PBA remains a powerful and influential voice in state politics and law enforcement. Our association has
been successful in advocating for policies and initiatives that benefit both you, our members and the communities you serve.

Thankfully, we have a great team here at the PBA offices, because no one person can do it all. That’s why we need Pat, Mike, Luke,
John Hulse, Kevin Lyons, Rob Nixon and many others at the office to basically navigate the path for the nearly 40,000 active and retired members. I think you can look up and down the line to see we have a great team in place of people who show up all the time for
our Association.

As our communities face increasing challenges related to public safety, the role of the New Jersey State PBA is more important than
ever. As the largest police union in the state, the Association has the resources and influence necessary to advocate for policies and initiatives that will improve public safety and support our brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect their communities every day.