President’s Message-December

Ryan Russell

Ryan Russell, President of MPA

Dear Members,

November was another busy month for the leadership of the Mesa Police Association.  We have been met with small to large projects that we are ambitious to accomplish.  MPA’s primary goal is to provide all frontline officers a step program and reinstate the 2% pay cut.   As the city manager’s office is discussing next year’s budget, we are meeting with each individual council member to express our wishes.  MPA leadership is also attending all the city council meetings, study sessions and Public Safety Committee meetings.  If you or your family wishes to be involved, please contact me to find out how you can help.

Another major goal of the MPA’s is to provide domestic partnership rights to all our members.  The Mesa Human Relations Advisory Board heard from our leadership and members, requesting they consider this to be an item they look into for all Mesa employees.  The response has been positive, and we should learn shortly if it will be a part of their strategic plans this next year.  MPA encourages family members, spouses and partners to consider testifying or writing letters of support for this Mesa benefit.  It is our hopes that Mesa provides similar benefits to employees like other major cities in Arizona and across the nation.

Last month we saw a significant recall vote take place in Mesa’s Legislative District 18, between Russell Pearce and Jerry Lewis.  MPA met with both candidates and will continue dialogue with both leaders.  As most of you know, Mr. Lewis won the recall election, and we look forward to working with him at the legislature to help protect your rights and benefits.  We have wished Mr. Pearce the best of luck with his future endeavors and thanked him for his service to our state.

I have met with internal affairs over the development of the new discipline policy.  MPA has provided verbiage and consultations over the years with IA.  We are happy to work on a policy together that everyone will be happy with.

The MPA has already developed a negotiating team for the 2012-2013 MOU and have already started meeting.  The negotiating team consists of Sgt. Brailsford, MPA Treasurer Cutler, Detective Gafvert, MPA Vice President Perine and me.  The negotiating team gladly accepts any suggestions or feedback, so please feel free to provide your input.  Negotiation meetings with the City team will most likely start after the holidays.  We look forward to receiving more benefits and rights for all Mesa officers.  The Fraternal Order of Police in Mesa also provided input on the proposed MOU.  We were glad to include them in the process and look forward to continuing to work with the leadership of the FOP.

Other meetings this month have included:

  1. MPA leadership was introduced to the President and Vice President of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce.  We look forward to our ongoing relationship with the business community.  Our business community has been essential to our Officer Assistance Fund (OAF) fundraisers.
  2. The Arizona Police Association (APA) held their monthly meeting.  Our main discussion points were our legislative agenda for next session and any upcoming pension issues.  MPA leaders met Speaker Pro-Tem Steve Montenegro, who expressed his support for law enforcement.
  3. MPA held their monthly membership meeting. Previous agendas are posted on the MPA website (www.mesampa.com).  We urge members to attend the next monthly meeting December 7th at 5pmat the MPA office at 123 N. Centennial Way #207.
  4. Some MPA leaders attended the National Organization of Police Associations (NAPO) conference in Orlando.  We put together a strategic plan to nationally combat the union, public safety and pension attacks.  If you would like to find out more, please contact myself or a board member.
  5. MPA did a presentation to the new class of lateral and recruit officers.
  6. MPA Representatives attended two Council pancake breakfasts which were held in two Mesa city districts.  MPA leadership with on hand to talk with residents and council members.
  7. MPA leadership met with members of the Communication Users Group (CUG).  We look forward to working with them more in the future.
  8. MPA representatives and I responded to assist in a recent officer involved shooting, as well as other disciplinary matters.  We were happy to see all of the members extremely satisfied with the representation they received. MPA continues to provide the best legal coverage available.
  9. Congratulations to Sgt. Beckett and Sgt. Scanio on their recent promotions.  The departmental promotional ceremony was well attended by MPA leadership and our members.
  10. The Fiesta District kick-off presentation was met with a warm reception from the community.  MPA was in attendance with the chief, mayor and council members.
  11. The community advisory boards kicked off this last month.  I happily sit on the advisory board for disabled citizens and look forward to working with more of our community members.  It is essential our department maintains and builds positive relationships with our residents, and the MPA is proud to be a part of the advisory boards.

Our organization continues to grow and improve.  We invite all members to come by the office and see the improvements that have been made.  MPA also welcomes 26 new members from around the department.  Thank you to our freshman and more tenured members.  Our membership (YOU) is the MPA.  With YOU, we are further providing one voice to our police department.  MPA remains committed to representing YOU with pride, professionalism and integrity.

Sincerely,

Ryan Russell

President, Mesa Police Association (MPA)

president@mesampa.com