Sunday, October 04, 2020

Politically - The FOP Is A Pimple On A Gnat's Ass Compared With The Teacher's Unions...,

influencewatch |  The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is a membership association and labor union comprised of more than 330,000 law enforcement officers. Officers are members of local chapters known as “lodges,” which act as labor unions or fraternal organizations, and number over 2,200 nationwide. The FOP claims to improve working conditions for police officers as well as maintain safety for the public through education, community involvement, and legislation, among other things.[1] Lodges engage in collective bargaining on behalf of police officers in states that permit such bargaining.[2]

The FOP has a full-time lobbying component, the Steve Young Law Enforcement Legislative Advocacy Center, which advocates for or against legislation to protect government worker labor unions, law enforcement, and the FOP’s interests.[3] The FOP has spent nearly $6 million lobbying since 1998.[4] In the 116th Congress, FOP supported legislation like the Social Security Fairness Act, legislation that would eliminate the exemption for state and local government workers from Social Security;[5] the Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act covering police retirement administration;[6] and the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, legislation that would require states and municipalities to engage in collective bargaining with police unions like the FOP local lodges.[7][8]

The FOP opposes any potential legislation that may negatively affect law enforcement, including legislation that would weaken protections for police officers regarding healthcare and overtime, create or support civilian review boards, or normalize relations with countries like Cuba and Mexico, which the FOP deems safe havens for “cop-killers.” [9] The FOP also opposes any amendment or legislation that would weaken the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) of 2000.[10] CAFRA was seen as favoring law enforcement over citizens by only increasing law enforcement’s burden of proof to a preponderance of evidence, as opposed to clear and convincing evidence, when seizing property alleged to have been used for criminal purposes. CAFRA also allowed formerly secret information to be shared between prosecutors and authorities seeking civil asset forfeiture.[11]

Though the FOP has supported some Republicans (most prominently endorsing Republican candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election[12]), its federal political action committee has in most election cycles contributed the larger share of its donations to Democrats; in 2014, it made no contributions to any federal Republicans, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.[13]

The FOP was established in 1915 by two police officers in Pittsburgh. It became a national organization in 1917.[14]