Being introduced as a PLEA representative to new people, especially those involved in the political world, always provokes an explanation of what PLEA is and where our ideology guides us politically. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to explain the functions and purposes of police labor associations to people. Most of them are very surprised when they learn we don’t fall in line with how the large civilian unions operate, especially when it comes time to vote.
I think that labor has always found its relationship with the Democratic Party to be respectable. Times have allowed for the nation’s largest labor unions to provide a platform for Democrats, leading to the thinking that all labor unions will vote for any Democratic candidate. This line of thinking is what I normally encounter when meeting new people, and it takes the most time to explain.
PLEA is nonpartisan and seeks to support candidates who are supportive of our profession.
PLEA is nonpartisan and seeks to support candidates who are supportive of our profession. Our association is composed of men and women who, regardless of their political party (if any), have unique needs as law enforcement professionals. Quite simply, our members’ needs are different than the needs of members of civilian unions, primarily because we are not civilians; our profession subjects us to rules and laws that do not apply in the private sector. We are also vilified by politicians, local leaders and, at times, our own leadership, and we cannot forget that.
Perfect political candidates do not exist. But there are some whose policies, ideals and past actions have shown that they are supportive of those who wear the badge. These are the candidates who we hope can build a course of action to benefit our profession for years to come because they believe in law and order and know that not just anyone can fill the shoes of a law enforcement professional. These are the candidates we support.
Professionally, we are in a time that has seen biased media and weak leadership allow us to be the subject of some politicians’ speeches at the podium. These politicians call for reform and the abolishment of policing while riding the wave of untruth and emotion, never settling to prove premise with fact. Educating those who participate in anti-police rhetoric of police policy is almost impossible, but it is extremely depressing when a politician cannot or will not listen. I can only think that these politicians value votes, not people.
In the last edition of the Law Enforcer, I mentioned our Political Action Committee (PAC), and I will again tell you that PAC donations are an investment in the future of your profession. Giving any amount to PAC will help elect those who believe #6690 in us and our endeavors to make our community safe.
If you follow our social media accounts or have looked at the PLEA website lately, you may have noticed that we have supportive statements from some of our state lawmakers along with letters of support from some Phoenix City Council members. These are the leaders who believe in you and what you do. Maybe sometime in the future we will have support from all political leaders who believe Americans deserve safe communities free of crime.
Election 2020 cannot come soon enough, and we hope everyone is able to participate. No matter the outcome, we will still be here taking care of each other and providing the best possible police service to our community.