Brothers and Sisters of the Tulsa FOP,
I want to start with a sincere and humble thank you for entrusting me with the office of president of the Tulsa FOP. I am passionate about this Lodge and the Tulsa Police Department. I love both and intend to do my very best to make both better however I can. Of course I cannot do that alone. I need each and every member of our fraternal order to work with me and help us move the Lodge and the Tulsa Police Department forward. I also intend to continue to work closely with Chief Jordan, the deputy chiefs, and our department management to resolve issues and continue to support good training and safe working conditions through labor relations meetings and open communication.
I also want to thank Immediate Past President Phillip Evans for his service over the last four years. He led our Lodge through some of the most difficult times we have ever seen. During his tenure as FOP President, we saw attacks on our pension and collective bargaining, layoffs, an economic crisis, police corruption scandals, and manpower shortages. Through it all, Brother Evans kept his head and did his best to strive for the most favorable outcomes. The job of FOP President can certainly be thankless at times and it is truly a calling that few are willing to answer. He always had a good attitude and a positive outlook. Thanks Brother Phil and Godspeed on your next adventure in retirement.
Here are a few goals I have as your president:
- Uphold the highest standard of integrity and honesty while representing you.
- Fight everyday to ensure our negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement is adhered to by all.
- Ensure officers are treated fairly in all aspects of their job as a Tulsa Police Officer.
- Improve open and constant-flowing information between the membership and leadership of the Tulsa FOP
- Increase the numbers of members in our organization through recruiting and education about the benefits of FOP membership.
- Build a relationship with those who have the power to affect our profession (politicians and management) so that they will understand our needs and what is best for our Department.
- Improve the image of the FOP through public relations efforts utilizing the dedicated PR fund.
- Form committees and groups of members to come up with innovative ways to improve our Lodge.
- Ensure your Lodge dues are spent prudently and in a manner that is for the “Good of the Order”.
10. Make Tulsa a safer place to raise a family and live through improving our police department in every way possible.
The Preamble to the Tulsa FOP Constitution outlines what our purpose should be and I intend to implement that in every way I can. Here is an outline of those purposes:
-To Support and Defend the Constitution of the United States
-To inculcate loyalty and allegiance to the United States of America
-To promote and foster the enforcement of law and order
-To improve the individual and collective proficiency of our members in the performance of their duties
-To encourage fraternal, educational, charitable, and social activities among law enforcement officers
-To advocate and strive for uniform application of the civil service merit system for appointment and promotion
-To support the improvement of the standard of living and working conditions of the law enforcement profession through every legal and ethical means available
-To create and maintain tradition of espirit de corps insuring fidelity to duty under all conditions and circumstances
-To cultivate a spirit of fraternalism and mutual helpfulness among our members and the people we serve
-To increase the efficiency of the law enforcement profession and thus more firmly to establish the confidence of the public in the service dedicated to the protection of life and property.
These are ideals we should all strive to live by as Tulsa Police Officers.
Brother Mark Secrist is our new Board of Directors Chairman. He started the full-time position this past Monday. Brother Secrist brings experience and knowledge to our FOP leadership. He served as Chairman of the Board once before when it was a part-time position and has been involved with the Lodge for many years. As you know, the Board of Directors is also the grievance committee so he will be handling all grievance requests and ongoing grievances. I look forward to working closely with Brother Secrist daily to implement the FOP’s goals.
Our offices are in the same place they have been on the 3rd floor of the main station through the door behind the timekeeper’s desk. We are in the same area as the sex crimes detectives. My cell number is 918-403-9564 and Brother Secrist’s is 918-527-2702.
Brother James Stump and Sister Marcie Brannon are our two vice-presidents. I appreciate their willingness to step up and help lead our Lodge. They both have very important roles and will need need support to be successful. I also appointed Brother Jack Pike to fulfill the remainder of Brother Stump’s term on the board of directors. Welcome to the team Brother Pike!
Brother Jeff Downs is the new chairman of the negotiations/contract team. Brother Downs has served our Lodge for many years on the board of directors and the negotiations team. His experience and knowledge will be invaluable in the coming year. He needs to hear from you though. There is a tab on the website where you can send suggestions to the team for the upcoming contract year. Please take advantage of that opportunity and let the team know what you would like them to pursue as far as negotiations goes.
Brother Keith Fallis will continue to serve as our Lodge chaplain. He has done an incredible job of serving the membership fraternally and keeping the rest of us informed about the needs of our members.
Brother Craig Murray will continue to serve as our building manager. Contact him with issues such as reserving the lodge for your personal use as well as access cards to the lodge building.
It’s time to turn in the FOP scholarship applications for those with eligible dependents. Sister Marcie is handling the scholarships and there is a tab on the website with the application and information.
We are in the process of reviewing our Lodge committees and making additions where necessary. 1st Vice-President Stump and I will need members to fill these important positions with members who want to help lead the FOP to be the best it can be. Some of the committees are: membership, fraternal, public relations, labor management, building committee, constitution and bylaws, legislative, entertainment, fundraising, and website to name a few. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please contact Brother Stump or me.
I hope to have a group of members who can meet and brainstorm for new and innovative ideas and ways to improve our Lodge. We must serve our membership to the best of our ability and learn what they want and expect from their Lodge leadership. We also must do a better job of keeping the membership informed about the accomplishments we achieve everyday and the work we do on their behalf.
I am looking forward to a great year for our Lodge in 2013. I will not and cannot please everyone. I promise I will however, do my best for the “Good of the Order”. Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime with suggestions, questions, complaints or ideas. I work for you and am here for you.
Clay A. Ballenger