It’s a young person’s profession.
As we see more young officers come into the profession, it gives me pause to reach out to you with a very important question:
Now that you’re on the job, now what? Now that you’ve made it through the rigorous process of getting hired as a law enforcement officer and becoming a PBA member, now what?
We hope that whether you are one, five or 10 years on the job, you will realize that now is the time to get involved with your PBA Local.
We hope you will now get involved with your PBA Local. Don’t be the member who others in the Local describe as the one who would rather be at home playing video games or bingeing Netflix, yet ask for more PBA Cards.
One of the keys to our success at the New Jersey State PBA is having engaged members. So there is your answer to the question of “Now what?”
Start by attending your Local meeting.
See what the PBA offers. See why in our 125th year, we are more committed to one of our mission statements than we have ever been: We are there to help those who help others, and those that help others often need help themselves.
When the hot-button topics regarding healthcare, pensions or any work-related conditions arise, we want you to be well informed about the position of the New Jersey State PBA. You should know that one of our positions is that we want to advocate for our members to maintain what they’ve come to expect with their working conditions, their pensions, their paychecks, their health benefits.
One of the main ways we help our members is through our Peer Assistance Team. We have a group of State Delegates who have the training to go out there to assist with the everyday critical incidents that occur. Whether it’s an unfortunate scene where kids are involved that our officers have to witness, a shooting or just any incident, that team is available to talk you through your trauma.
These are the some of the things where we pride ourselves in helping our members help themselves and giving them the tools to do that. We just want to make sure that they’re of sound mind and body so that they can go out and do the things they need to be successful.
I am trying to think back to what made me get more involved in the PBA. I was one of the first of a group to get hired after a whole bunch of the senior officers retired in my department. And there was nobody else. The union work, the Local work seemed important, so I was like, “Sure, I’ll do it.”
I quickly learned that there are so many resources to reach out to for a specific need or problem. And there still are. And sometimes by just asking questions and trying to assert yourself, that can lead to the type of involvement that has made the PBA thrive for 125 years.
I remember when I first started coming to the State PBA office in Woodbridge, it was just to lend a helping hand. It grew from there. That’s really what we need. We need people to lend helping hands. You don’t have to take on a huge challenge. Just come on in and help out.
It’s truly a team effort here at the PBA. That’s why our board of delegates is such a truly unique entity. We have delegates who do the same job you do but in different places with various levels of experience. It’s no different than a police department. We’re all doing the same job. We’re all on the same team, and we all obviously have to help each other do what we have to do to succeed.
We all have to row in the same direction, because once we start rowing in opposite directions, we go nowhere. Once we all have a clear direction about where to go, let’s start rowing in that direction. Then we get there faster, we get there as a group and it benefits everybody.
We want to ensure that the PBA will be here for another 125 years. And then after that. And it comes down to our members who want to get involved and who want to create a better work environment. Or create a better pay structure in their collective bargaining agreements for their locals.
You really want to know, “Now what?” Every PBA administration has left the association in a better spot than when they came on. That’s all we can do. That’s getting everybody on board to go and grow in that same direction and do the right things by the association, which translates to good things happening for the members.
So now that you’ve made it through the rigorous process, help us advocate for our members. If we don’t, who’s going to? I think that’s our vital function – to advocate for our members on the state, county and local levels so that their working conditions and their personal lives are better.
Now is the time to start getting involved by attending a Local meeting. You know what can happen if you don’t. Let’s not fall victim to finding out what’s going on in our profession by what is posted on Facebook, Instagram or other social media channels. Talk to your State Delegate and Local board members. Talk to members from other Locals. Let’s get involved by socializing in person rather than through social media on your phone.
That way, we will all be ready for what’s next