September is here, and this is the month we celebrate Labor Day. Labor Day falls on the first Monday in September each year and was the creation of the labor moment. It is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American worker bees. While some of us will be enjoying a three day weekend, let’s take a moment to remember the importance of a strong union, which, at the end of the day, looks out for us worker bees. The unions are the one group that has consistently fought for working conditions that some take for granted, such as the eight-hour work day and minimum wage, to name a couple.
We here at the PBA have a long and rich history of negotiating and fighting for benefits. In 1962, the PBA was started by a group of police officers, lead by Charlie Maddox, who realized that working conditions and benefits would only come by an organized movement, thus the PBA was formed. Throughout the years, the PBA has fought for many issues such as overtime, retirement, take home cars and death benefits. The past has been challenging and the PBA has made great progress. We do not know what the future may hold, but we will persevere through present circumstances, and what lies ahead holds great promise. So, as you enjoy your holiday, please take a moment to reflect on the many sacrifices that have been made by others.
Speaking of our former presidents, last month I was sad to learn of the passing of former PBA President, Nelson Perry, who served as President from 1979 -1983, and again from 1986 until he retired in 1989. We here at the PBA thank Sergeant Perry for his service to the community and this organization.
Speaking of another great organization last month we attended a conference with police labor leaders from across the country. Many issues were discussed concerning the recent multitude of attacks against the law enforcement community. I would also like to congratulate my good friend, Mick McHale, on his re-election as President of NAPO, and their continued support of law enforcement across the U.S.
Last month, while attending a traditional “Fun Run” with the most recent graduating class of officers BLE 116, I reflected on how these individuals were just starting their careers. You could see the excitement and pride in their faces. Just a few hours later, I had the honor of attending a retirement celebration for Hal Ruffner who had just completed 45 years of dedicated service to our community. I found it kind of ironic that, all in one day, I watched the new officers embarking on new chapters of their lives, while another was closing that chapter of his life and starting his new journey. Congratulations to all the new officers starting their careers, and to those that are retiring.
Last month I also had the honor of attending several fundraising benefits for Major Ricky Carter who, as most of you know, was in a tragic motorcycle accident in May, where he lost both of his legs. The events were held to raise money to assist with the mounting expenses related to his recovery. The strides Ricky has made since the
accident in May are nothing short of amazing, and he continues to move forward overcoming the many obstacles of learning to find his new normal. We here at the PBA would like to say thank you and “We See You” to all of those that supported, donated and worked their butts off at these events.
So, to all the worker bees out there, stay safe and we will see you next month!