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  • The Pres Says - January 2019
    Updated On: Jan 08, 2019

    I hope everyone had a Happy New Year!

    It's hard to believe that’s it has been a year since the leadership changed here at the PBA. Looking back over the first 12 months of me having the privilege of serving as your President, the year has definitely been a year of transition. One of the reasons, I choose to run as President, was because I saw the PBA was not adapting nor changing, and surely was not moving forward. The PBA compass had become fogged and we had lost our way. A wise man once told me that the reason dinosaurs aren't here is because they did not learn to adapt. As an organization, I saw the PBA was not evolving and moving forward. As we enter our 56th year as an organization which started in 1963, the Dade County Police Benevolent Association has provided a voice to all things in law enforcement in South Florida. I humbly thank each and every one of you that has supported myself and our new Board of Directors. I was proud to be elected as the 7th President of this great organization. 

    As we reflect back, the year started out with many challenges the transition was less than smooth, but we overcame those obstacles. Within days of taking office, we had to deal with a proposed Independent Review Board, which came up five times during the year. We were finally able to get that put to rest for good. Our amazing legal staff settled several complex contracts for Miami Gardens, North Miami and El Portal just to name a few. Our membership has grown and we are now representing the fine officers and correctional officers of Monroe County. We have been able to establish new relationships and repair some existing ones in addition to starting a dialogue with key individuals, which in turn benefits all of our members. 

    Right here in Miami-Dade County we successfully negotiated a contract, which was overwhelmingly passed by our members. At last month’s board meeting, for the first time in PBA history, our Board of Directors implemented term limits for the office of President. I ran on a platform of change, and change we now have. Internally, the PBA is updating and standardizing our computer system and moving us forward into the 21st century. We have enhanced our social media presence and have seen a 25% increase in engagement. We have expanded our HEAT coverage to be more inclusive and representative of all of our membership. I would like to thank all of the employees at the PBA who have continued to support the new leadership and provide the outstanding service to our members. 

    We have achieved great accomplishments but we still have many more challenges facing us in the future. The future looks promising and we look forward to providing the best service that our members deserve. We look forward to working with our newly elected Governor and the Florida legislation on restoring some lost FRS benefits. 

    I know that sometimes social media can become very toxic and polarizing, but every once in a while something good comes out of it. Hats off to our Communications Bureau who took on a special project. This project was a request which was made by a young man by the name of Jeremiah Derks who was battling cancer. On Facebook he put out the request for police patches, so the great folks at Communications, with Police Dispatcher Annabel Lee leading the charge, hundreds of police patches from across the County were collected. When the PBA was contacted and asked if we could assist on getting the patches delivered to Jeremiah, we were honored and more than willing to do so. Police officers from across the County began delivering the patches to Communications which then turned into Challenge coins, shirts, hats, and a hand-made thin blue line quilt. In the end, the box weighed over 46 pounds. And, for those of you that followed it on Facebook, you got to witness Jeremiah opening the box. 

    The local police department in Kokomo, Indiana, also made Jeremiah an honorary Deputy. Jeremiah's Mom and Dad contacted us and wanted to thank everyone for the love and support and for the gifts that were given to their son. For me, it was refreshing to see the good that can come from social media. Again, hats off to everyone that helped make Jeremiah's holiday be a little brighter. 

    Lastly, congratulations to the Key West Police Department's new top cop, Chief Sean Brandenburg. Chief Brandenburg was raised in Key West and worked his way through the ranks to become their new Chief. We here at the PBA look forward to working with him.

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