By John Burpo, Executive Director
There is an attack underway in Texas on law enforcement retirements- that would be your retirement. If CLEAT, our leaders at the state and local level, and our members stick our collective heads in the sand, then law enforcement retirements – once again, that would be your retirement, will be gone, baby, gone. CLEAT wants every member to understand the absolute seriousness of this issue.
A little background is in order. From the 1960’s to just a few years ago, law enforcement pensions were improved significantly and then maintained. Law enforcement officers and their unions advanced and state legislators pushed the proposition that policing is a tough, dangerous job that deserves decent retirement benefits greater than other public employees.
Unfortunately, private sector unions have declined significantly over the last 20 years, and with that decline there has been an attendant decline in private sector defined pension benefits. The majority of private sector employees no longer have retirement plans – they are now fortunate to even have a 401(k) and a meager contribution by the employer. Sadly, most folks in the law enforcement world did not pay attention to this development because it was their problem, not ours.
In the past 2 years public sector pension plans have come under attack, including law enforcement retirements. These attacks have taken place in other states so once again, it was their problem and Texas law enforcement officers didn’t worry.
But it is definitely now our problem as antiretirement forces are on the march right here in Texas. A cabal of anti-union, anti-public employee businessmen out of Houston are leading the charge to take away your long held and much deserved retirement rights. This cabal doesn’t care that each one of you lays your life on the line every day; or that the Memorial Wall on the State Capitol grounds is filled with the names of heroic law enforcement officers who have sacrificed their lives protecting Texas citizens.
CLEAT will lead the fight to take on these Forces of Darkness. We have a battle plan that is eloquently outlined in Todd Harrison’s article on page 2 of this edition of The Police Star. Please take the time to read this important article so that you understand what we will be doing over the course of the next 2 years. Finally, I call on every association leader and every member to join this fight: understand the CLEAT
message in this ongoing campaign, deliver this message to your legislators, and contribute to CLEAT PAC.
To contribute to CLEAT PAC, click here.