A little late, but... Happy Birthday to the USA. We’ve made it a whopping 245 years as a country. Let’s hope we make it another 245 years. To our military past and present who have fought for the freedoms of this country all these years, we thank you. We would be remiss if we didn’t also send out a thank you to all fire and police, past, and those during the present who fight a hard fight every day to protect us, despite the current pressure. We do remember the struggle of the job, and it’s gotten even harder for this generation.
· In other news, we received word about an interesting organization, and it intrigued us, so we contacted “The Wounded Blue”, a non-profit peer supported group of police officers. They are not affiliated with any police organization. For more information about who they are and what they do for all active and retired police officers, please see the article further in this newsletter. To reach them, contact Retired Police Officer Dr. Troy M. Stinson, Peer Support Advocate, 1-708-417-7832, at no cost.
· I received a request to aid retirees trying to obtain a new police ID. Currently, you have to appear in person in order to obtain an ID. It’s darn near impossible for out of state retirees and any members with mobility issues to get downtown; and two of the biggest concerns we retirees’ face when we venture downtown are parking and crime. This system needs to be streamlined, and it would be beneficial for all if we could do this online or by mail. Our ID, as you know, is not only needed for gun permits, but also if you get stopped and you have to tell the policeman you are carrying.
We contacted Chief of Staff to the Police Commission-er, Eric Melancon, and the Office Manager for BPD, James Gillis, on June 24th about this issue. Mr. Melancon responded immediately, stating that he would “look into the matter”. We did not hear from Mr. Gillis. As of this moment, we have not received any further correspondence. Imagine that. We will not let this matter go unsettled. Thank you, Jeff Rosen, for bringing this to my attention.
· I have received a lot of calls and emails about Aetna insurance and I’m taking this opportunity to set the record straight. Active and Retired Police and Firefighters are not responsible for the switch from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to Aetna Insurance. We privately spoke with Aetna about obtaining a Medicare Advanced Plan for retirees because Blue Cross/Blue Shield did not have a Medicare Advanced Plan at that time. The city got wind of our discussions, somehow, and interfered, saving themselves ten million dollars by switching without us knowing they had even talked with Aetna.
With that in mind, we are concerned about our future healthcare. Our pension and healthcare need to be preserved. On 7/6/2021, all City Unions met in person or via phone at the Firefighter’s O’Donnell and Linwood station. We voted unanimously to have Frank Boston be our lobbyist and to speak to Mayor Scott one on one and advise the Mayor that we are going ahead with legislation to guarantee our healthcare. Frank Boston has been the BRPBA and FOP lobbyist for years and has done an excellent job. He will represent us well with our healthcare concerns. We will all split his costs for representing us.
· In June 2021, the BRPBA’s new and revised By-Laws were mailed to each and every voting member. If you did not receive your copy, please email us at BRPBAoffice@gmail.com or call me, Daryl Buhrman, at 410-803-2293 and we will get one sent out immediately.
· We still have the $50.00 finders fee in place for any member who signs up a new member. This seems to be working well, so why don’t you try it out?
We hope you have had a safe summer so far and we hope to see many of you at the General Meeting in September. Remember they are going back to Wednesday nights, so see you on 9/15/2021!!
Mr. Donald Kent has been the Treasurer for the BRPBA from 2005 to date. This man, with his wisdom and financial leadership, helped increase our bottom line. He volunteered his time for sixteen years, which is longer than many on the Board, and we will not only miss him, but we will always remain grateful for the time he spent with us.
I would sincerely appreciate it if our members, when they see Don, thank him for the great job he has done or if you would like, you could email him at BRPBAoffice@gmail.com and we will see to it that your kind words are forwarded to him.
On August 11, 2021, the BRPBA unanimously voted in Daniel Miller as the new Treasurer. We hope you will greet him when you see him and thank him for volunteering his time to our great organization.
THANK YOU DON!