My name is Justin Hernandez, and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the newly appointed treasurer of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association. I have served as a police officer for nearly nine years, with experience in Alaska and Arizona. I began my career with the Phoenix Police Department as a swing shift patrol officer in the Maryvale Estrella Mountain Precinct, with my most recent assignment being a field training officer on the 83F squad. Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of working among many great officers on a variety of assignments, but the one that I have found to be the most rewarding is my involvement in police labor unions.
I was raised with the understanding and mindset that labor organizations are a vital part of the work environment to ensure all employees are represented and treated fairly at every step of their career. As a result, I pursued a career path that allowed me to become involved in the police union. This path led to me becoming a representative for the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association in 2014. During that time, I represented all categories of employees within the department, including officers, sergeants and non-sworn civilian employees.
Thank you for letting me be a voice that can advocate for you as members of PLEA.
After I lateraled to Phoenix, I approached PLEA and expressed my interest in continuing my commitment to being a representative for my colleagues. As a result, I was granted the position of precinct representative and eventually appointed to the Board of Trustees.
In my time as a representative in both agencies, I have been involved in various processes involving all ranks within the Department, including use-of-force incidents, policy discussions, development groups, etc. While I collaborated on these assignments, the most important underlying message I felt was necessary to emanate was that all members deserve the best representation they could be afforded.
I have been fortunate enough to receive training in concepts including rights of police employees, Force Science Institute, collective bargaining and a vast amount of duty-specific training. Acquiring this broad knowledge base has allowed me to become a well-rounded union representative within PLEA.
Recently, I was approached by the leadership within PLEA with a query about my interest in potentially taking over the treasurer position, if and when it became available. I saw this as a fantastic opportunity to expand my reach and help the overall membership. After a majority vote from the Board of Trustees, I have begun my journey as treasurer, and to say I am excited and honored is an understatement.
There is a massive amount of information to learn in this position. I will be the first to tell you that I do not know everything, but I am willing to do what it takes to find the answers. I encourage you to reach out to me with any questions, no matter how small or big an inquiry. Thank you for letting me be a voice that can advocate for you as members of PLEA. I am available for contact at the PLEA office or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.