Brothers and Sisters,
It is the day before Thanksgiving and the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio has a lot to be thankful for.
Our dream of having ZERO officers killed in the line of duty for 2013 did not come true but the number of deaths in the line of duty has fallen from 6 in 2011 to 1 this year. Nationwide, the number of line of duty deaths fell from 174 in 2011 to 109 so far in 2012. Please hear me when I say that 1 line of duty death is 1 too many but we are thankful that the trend of rising deaths seems to have reversed itself this year.
We are thankful that our delegates showed that they have faith and confidence in the leadership of the Ohio FOP by approving an increase in our dues to fight the battles we all know are coming.
We are thankful for our staff that goes over and above what is expected of them to provide the services that the membership deserves. We are truly thankful that they have such loyalty and dedication to the FOP of Ohio.
We are thankful that we have leaders in 180 lodges that are willing to give of themselves to make the lives of their Brothers and Sisters better. This organization would have nothing if we did not have strong leaders in local lodges to work on behalf of the members.
We are thankful for that we have 25,000 members who risk their lives to protect people they do not even know. We are thankful that there are men and women who are willing to strap on a gun and a badge everyday and go to work to protect our families, even in the era of legislators who claim to pro-law and order but their actions are clearly anti-cop.
We are thankful that two police officers decided almost 100 years ago to band together to fight for better wages, better working conditions and a better life for those who are willing to risk everything for their communities. We are thankful that strong and smart men and women have built upon the foundation built in Pittsburgh in 1915 and have grown the Fraternal Order of Police into what it is today. We are thankful for the leaders that are yet to be known who will grow this fraternity into what it will become tomorrow.
I am thankful you have chosen me to be your President.
Have a Happy and SAFE Thanksgiving!