Brothers and Sisters,
On behalf of the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police Executive Board, I would like to thank all of our Local Lodges for helping make our 11th Biennial Conference a success. The conference was held in Bow, Washington at the Skagit Casino & Resort on October 5th and 6th. This conference was the highest attended conference which shows the hard work and dedication our members have for this organization. I would like to thank Lodge 18 President Jared Couch and his lodge for putting on the conference.
After Executive Board elections were finalized, we saw some changes to our board. Long time Westside Vice President Mike Peterson did not seek reelection. Lodge 27 President, and State Legislative Chairman, James Schrimpsher was elected as our new West Side Vice President. Vice President Schrimpsher was also recognized as our Steve Young Award recipient as our member of the year. I would like to personally thank Brother Mike Peterson for his years of service to the FOP and wish him well in his retirement to Arizona.
There was also a change in our Sgt. At Arms position with the addition of Lodge 18 President Jared Couch being elected as our new Sgt. At Arms. Our previous Sgt. At Arms, Trever Severance, served on our board for almost a decade and worked extremely hard for the members. I would like to thank Brother Severance for his work on behalf of the FOP and look forward to partnering with him as we work on growing this organization.
These next 6 months will be extremely difficult for the law enforcement profession with the upcoming vote on Initiative 940 regarding deadly force. The Washington State FOP has responded through the media that we are against Initiative 940 as written and ask the voters to vote no on the measure in November. We believe the work we did collaboratively to improve on the language should be recognized. Those results, unfortunately, were not upheld in court but the policy as it was written was proper. A vote against I-940 will allow the legislature to enact proper policy that balances public safety and providing proper protections to police officers.
The only way to accomplish a positive result would be to educate the public. We are asking all of our members to help us through social media get the message across to their friends and family that I-940, as written, is bad for public safety. We are urging all of you to like and share our Washington State FOP Facebook page to your friends and family and ask them to do the same. There will be several posts these next 2 weeks in an attempt to educate the public on the issue. This needs to be a collective effort from all of our members on an issue that could have the greatest impact on our profession in our lifetime.
On a personal note, I would like to thank all of the delegates and Executive Board for their trust in me and re-electing me to the Office of President for the next two years. It has been an honor to serve all of you and I will continue to work for the best interest of this organization and for the law enforcement profession.
Marco Monteblanco, President
Washington State Fraternal Order of Police