A thank-you note and fond farewell to two of the PBA’s finest

First things first. I want to extend my best wishes to two longtime NJSPBA State Delegates and who are retiring: John Granahan of Manville Local 236 and Meg Hammond of Raritan Township Local 337. The May state meeting was the last meeting as active members of the New Jersey State PBA executive board.

John Granahan started as the Local 236 State Delegate in 2001. John has done just about everything during his tenure as a State Delegate. Not only is he the former Middlesex- Somerset County Chairman, he most recently served as chair of the Valor Awards Committee for the past several years.

And if you have a PBA shield in your window, guess what? John was the guy your State Delegate needed to see when members wanted to order shields for their vehicles. John was very active during his time as delegate and was always around when someone needed help.

He is one of the kindest and nicest guys you’ve ever met. His easy-going attitude made it easy to approach him to talk about anything from how your family is doing to important union-related issues. John has been a truly dedicated member of our association and has served as a role model for many newer delegates getting involved to model themselves after. We will definitely miss him, but I know he is not going far, and he will be just a phone call away to lend a helping hand. Thank you, John, for all you have done!

Margaret “Meg” Hammond also attended her last meeting as delegate and recording secretary on for the executive board on May 16. Meg has been the Local 337 State Delegate for well over 10 years and has been very active within her county conference and the NJ State PBA. Meg may be most recognizable for how active she was in helping run events and raise funds for the Special Olympics New Jersey.

Whether it was The Torch Run or the annual Polar Bear Plunge, you could always count on Meg to be there. She always had time for the Special Olympics athletes and was at nearly every medal ceremony for the SONJ athletes these events supported.

Most recently, Meg was also the chair of the NJSPBA Legal Protection Plan Committee. Meg always made sure that our members were protected and covered in accordance with the LPP framework and was a great asset to that team. She is easily approachable, and with her experience over the years was able to offer so many members great insight regarding the LPP.

I can’t thank Meg enough for her help over the years as the NJSPBA’s recording secretary who meticulously kept the minutes of our monthly meetings. Meg was another dedicated member who was always there for anyone that needed a helping hand and trust me when I tell you, she will be missed. Best wishes as you head into retirement Meg!

As I write this, if it reads like a final farewell, clearly it is not. I certainly hope John and Meg don’t see it that way. I just wanted to express my admiration for them and highlight some of their accomplishments during their time as the State Delegates for their respective Locals. I know we will miss them for their roles played at the state level, and I am sure their Local members will miss them too. Best of luck to both of them on their next chapter. I hope they have a long and healthy retirement because they deserve it!

As most of you who regularly read my article know, I have been encouraging all of our members to seek out information to stay informed and become more involved with their Locals. Today it is more important than ever to educate yourself with the facts. There are ever-evolving issues all of us in law enforcement face, and you need to be in the know, rather than just listen to water-cooler talk.

At our May monthly meeting, NJSPBA Director of Governmental Affairs Rob Nixon gave an extremely detailed presentation about law enforcement licensing. Rob helped dispel the rumors, inuendo and flat-out misinformation that has been circulating about licensing. If you are interested in learning more about licensing, see your State Delegate. Everyone in that meeting was given a comprehensive review of the licensing that, frankly, no other union will provide. Again, this is the time to get involved with your Local and get the information to help you stay informed with all the issues that are facing the law enforcement community.

At this time of year, I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on National Police Week and the Police Unity Tour, which took place the second week of May. Being in Washington D.C. during Police Week, specifically attending the Candlelight Vigil when the names of all fallen officers from the previous year are read during the Roll Call of Heroes, is by far one of the most moving experiences for any law enforcement officer. I believe every week should be police week when we celebrate law enforcement and the officers that go above and beyond the call of duty and who paid the ultimate sacrifice. If you are thinking about participating in the Police Unity Tour or attending National Police Week, do it. You won’t regret it.