The PPOA Board recognizes that the Police profession is at a crossroads, specifically here in the city of Peoria. To that end I was hired as the Executive Director and Government Relations Consultant for PPOA. For the past year the board has taken significant steps to ensure that PPOA is an association that cannot be overlooked by either the City or Police administrations.
In November of 2015 meetings with key legislators served as the catalyst for Legislation (HB2677) that would highlight issues of recruitment , retention and attrition in Peoria with President Lon Bartel holding an appointed seat on this critical committee . Recommendations from this committee have been sent to the Governor for review and await action. The unprecedented loss of high quality employees at all levels of Police Department in the last 5 years had to be addressed, even if the City and Police Administrator refused to.
In 2016 the Board committed to supporting the Council campaigns of Ben Toma & Pat Mawdsley. Although both candidates lost their bids, PPOA made it clear that elections would be contested, thus necessitating significant financial investments by our opponents.
The PPOA membership also empowered the Board with the ability to develop a professional web-site that will carry the UNFILTERED message of PPOA to the community. Of note, the new site will enable the PPOA to accept Associate Members. AM will enroll at various contributor levels, in part, designed to financially position PPOA as a major player in the shaping of the relationship between Law Enforcement and the Community it serves. Although enhanced finances with Associate Members are important, AM participation in future strategic plans for PPOA are just as critical. PPOA and the AM will continue to strive to educate the community in the realities of police work. This network of communication will intensify our political voice and rally community support.
Last, it is significant to note that the PPOA was enlisted by Legislators and business entities alike in the recent defeat of prop 400. This proposal was deceptively advanced by the Mayor and council to increase the sales tax for “pet projects” without proper consideration for increased police staffing. The opposition by PPOA via PSAs, and continued editorials by this writer, was a clear “line in the sand” announcing that PPOA is not going away. With your continued support, we will continue the fight to make a difference for you and your families.
Lon D. Bartel