Meeting your opportunities to get involved

If you read my article in the January issue, you would know that I urged you to get involved by just starting with going to your Local meeting. Did you make it to your Local meeting? If not, there is still plenty of time left this year. I just got back from my own Local meeting and no matter how much I am involved with things at the State PBA level, I am still committed to helping my Local. I urge you to do the same!

At the beginning of February, I attended the Ocean County Police Academy graduation in support of one of my son’s closest friends, who is just 18 years old. Being there and seeing these young recruits who have made that same commitment I did many years ago really made me think about how happy and proud I am that I chose this career and life in law enforcement.

The keynote speaker commended the recruits on taking such a big step in committing to law enforcement as a career. He spoke about the negative narrative that some people in the public eye choose to cast upon us with, and he reminded these new officers how that’s just a small few and how proud they should be of their career choice. He also reminded them they should be proud of the hard work it took to make it through their training.

The speaker went on to note the larger law enforcement family they are now a part of. I think one thing we can all agree on is that this family in blue we are part of is one of the most loyal and devoted families you could ever be a part of. Every single one of those recruits is now part of something bigger. Not just the 30 to 40 people in their academy class, but the entire law enforcement family.

The annual NJSPBA Collective Bargaining Seminar was held the first week of February, and I hope many of you were able to attend. The collective bargaining seminar is such an important week. There is always great information being passed along, and I find I am never too old to learn something new.

This is also a great opportunity to learn about the latest trends and challenges in labor relations and collective bargaining, how to negotiate contracts, how to protect officers’ rights and much more. Attendees have access to the best labor attorneys in the state in a casual, personal setting to help them ask questions they may not have been able to otherwise have answered. If you haven’t been before, you should definitely look into it for 2024. Many thanks to Labor Relations Coordinator Michael Freeman and the NJSPBA Collective Bargaining Committee for putting together another great week.

For those of you who don’t know, PBA President Pat Colligan and I made the tough choice about who would be replacing me as the PBA Pension Coordinator. We had many applicants, each one better than the next, which made it a tough choice to say the least.

Allenhurst-Ocean Township Local 57 State Delegate Luke Sciallo, a longtime executive board member, will be our new pension coordinator. While I love that job and was happy to have helped so many people over the years, I am equally happy to pass that torch to Luke and know he is the right person for the job.

Luke is far from a new face around the PBA. He currently also serves as a peer liaison coordinator and serves our membership on several other committees. He will be a welcome addition to the State office team, and I wish him luck with his new position.