What a month! As the Executive Director of the Ohio Small Police Department Association I have some things I’d like to share with you. The Ohio Small Police Department Association was created to provide a platform for the purposes of advocacy, educating the public about the needs and importance of small departments, networking, creating purchasing power, holding events and trainings relevant to small department’s needs, grant strength, and many other benefits. I know that there are a lot of questions and I’d like to try to answer them for you. I’m working on pushing out information as fast as I can. Please be patient with me. I’m getting fifteen phone calls a day. The Association is off to a great start and I am very excited!
Who are we? Mission Statement: The Association is committed to developing strong collaborative partnerships between small departments, and relationships that enable its members to provide a high level of service and to better protect, serve and support the people of their communities.
Who can join? Any department that has 25 or less full time sworn officers can join the OSPDA. If the department has not joined the Association, Individual officers can join as well for a small fee. We believe that it is important to not only include Chiefs but officers as well. You are the future Chiefs! We want to hear your thoughts, ideas and concerns! Corporate memberships are also available.
How do I join? Print and fill out the 1-page application that is found on the website or Facebook page. I can also email it to you. My email is KBobick@OSPDA.org. Email or fax it back along with your membership fee and you’re in. Membership fees can be paid through PayPal (starting 1.28.2019) or by check. We will provide a receipt to the email on file.
What do I get for my membership fee? Good question. The short answer is: a lot. This is important to me as the Executive Director. Part of my responsibilities include working diligently to bring you relief/education/discounts/support of all kinds. The membership fee covers the expenses of the organization and allows us to operate to bring you opportunities to grow and thrive.
The membership fee for departments includes access to member discounts, training opportunities, networking events, collaborative grants, voting rights, the ability to be an elected member, newsletter access, monetary support through the Emergency Fund and free stuff. I am also working on securing a lawyer on retainer to provide consultations for Association members. Right now, if you run into a situation where you need legal advice you are out of luck if you do not have a law director. This benefit will allow members to contact the staff lawyer and find answers. This benefit will be available soon. I am still interviewing lawyers to find a good fit. I am being very particular in my choice so be patient. I have also created a relationship with Liberty Mutual Insurance to bring discounted insurance products to our members.
Alright already – so how much is it? Departments can join for $150 a year. This was set by the members at the first meeting. This fee covers all members of the department. If your department does not join, you can join as an individual member for $25. Retirees are also eligible to join at the $25 cost. We encourage retirees to join, we know that you have valuable wisdom! Been there, done that, struggled through it. Right? Yes. 2019 Dues are due ASAP. I’m sending out invoices today for current members.
Recap of the First Meeting: At the first general meeting (January 23, 2019) we got a lot accomplished. We voted and created the board, discussed the issues that small departments are facing, prioritized those needs, decided on a meeting schedule (Next meeting is Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 10:30 at a place still TBD. Waiting on a phone call back), discussed the member discounts that I am working on, created short and long term goals for the Association, heard from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on the importance of creating effective policies for the Association, heard from Chris Febus from Virtual Academy about the online education platform that will be available at a reduced rate for our members – and will be included on a basic level for Association members for free. If you missed the first meeting you can still absolutely join. It is never too late.
The next meeting will cover approving the bylaws, creating the subcommittees, approving forms, giving updates on new information and grants, planning the annual conference and recapping the first meeting. We will also create a training compendium to create from that a training network.
OSPDA merchandise is available and can be purchased by sending in the order form and payment. It is quality material and embroidery. I should know, I created it. Credit cards will be accepted soon as well for merchandise. Merchandise ordered now will be delivered at the next meeting. If you’d like to have it shipped, we can do that as well.
There will be a lot more information about everything that I’ve discussed here coming soon. Keep an eye out on the website and Facebook page. I’m working on Association issues continually. Please contact me with any concerns/questions/ideas/thoughts. I want to hear everything from you. Have an idea at 2am? Email me. (Don’t call then, please…) Have a concern? Call or email. My contact information is on the website as well as listed below. I created this Association to be a voice for you – and that only works if I hear your voice.
Stay Safe out there and stay in touch,
Katherine E. Bobick
Ohio Small Police Department Association
Phone: 330.671.0302 Fax: 330.998.6504