Brothers and Sisters,
As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and all the constantly changing guidelines set forth here in our great state and nationally, along with all of the other issues going on across the country concerning law enforcement, we as your Arkansas State Fraternal Of Police Executive Board have continually monitored and discussed how to conduct and continue the very important work of this great order. When it was decided to postpone the State Conference in June, I truly believed that there would not be an issue of having it in late August and the State Conference Committee did an excellent job in taking care of getting everything moved. Unfortunately the COVID-19 cases continue to rise and guidelines and restrictions continue to change, many police department/sheriffs offices have put restrictions on vacation and time off and we received very few registration forms for members and delegates that were going to attend, by the deadline. Therefore the State FOP Executive Board, after much discussion, has made the very difficult decision to cancel the “in person” state conference and instead have a virtual one day State Conference on August 22nd, 2020 by video teleconference much like we did for the State FOP Spring board meeting. We have two major hurdles to overcome in order to do this. (1) State FOP Executive Board elections, (2) Voting on proposed Constitution and Bylaw changes. As previously discussed shortly after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to these unprecedented times the National FOP Executive Board and FOP Legal Counsel has determined that you can deviate from the Constitution and Bylaws in order to conduct the necessary and vital business of the order.
I, along with members of your State FOP Executive Board reached out to our National FOP Executive Board as well as other State FOP Executive Boards for guidance and to find out how they are handling these same issues. We found that most State FOP Executive Boards are either (1) Cancelling their 2020 State Conferences all together and the current E-board continues on for another term until their next State Conference or (2) Have a abbreviated virtual State Conference by video teleconference and utilize an online election service that allows delegates to vote for State FOP Board Officer positions and proposed constitution and bylaw changes.
We, as your Arkansas State FOP Executive Board, have decided our best option is to have a one day abbreviated virtual State Conference by video teleconference on Saturday August 22nd, 2020 and to utilize an online election service for voting on State FOP Officer positions and proposed constitution and by law changes. Listed below are the guidelines set forth for running for State FOP Executive Board Office, and delegate registration and voting procedures. We will be using “Go To Meeting” for the video teleconferencing and “Election Runner” for the online voting. After rigorous testing, these two formats were decided to have best met the needs and security measures for our conference.
ELECTIONS FOR STATE FOP OFFICER POSITIONS
If you are a member in good standing and you are planning on seeking election to an Arkansas State FOP Executive Board Officer position, you must submit your Name, Lodge, and the Office you are seeking by email to Secretary Lisa Curry (firstname.lastname@example.org), President Kevin “Bart” Simpson (email@example.com), and Vice President Leonard Graves (firstname.lastname@example.org). It must be received by 2:00 PM on July 31, 2020. Any State FOP Executive Board Officer position that is unopposed after the deadline will be seated by acclimation and will serve another two year term. Any contested races will be voted on during the virtual State FOP Conference.
During the Spring State FOP Board Video Teleconference Meeting on April 25th, 2020 all the current State Executive Board Officers announced that they would be seeking re-election for their current office as listed below:
State President: Kevin “Bart” Simpson
State Vice President: Leonard Dewayne Graves
State Secretary: Lisa Curry
State Treasurer: Grady Russell
State 2nd Vice President: Michael Gibbons
State Sgt. At Arms: Anthony Parkinson
National Trustee: Allen Hamby
State Trustee Chairman: Michael Hall
Additional information on the entire election process will be forthcoming in the very near future.
Due to the change to a virtual State FOP Conference, each subordinate lodge in good standing will receive a new delegate registration form for those delegates who are going to participate online. This form must be filled out completely and sent to Secretary Lisa Curry. A registration deadline has been set for August 8th, 2020 and the forms must be received by that date. (Note: a good working email address must be included to be utilized as part of the voting process).
As a reminder: Under section 4 (a) of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Arkansas State Lodge Fraternal Order Of Police, each subordinate lodge Trustee shall be a delegate to the Biennial Conference and each subordinate lodge shall be entitled to one (1) additional delegate for each fifty (50) members or a portion thereof.
PROPOSED CONSTITUTION AND BYLAW CHANGES
There are 12-14 proposed changes to the constitution and bylaws that were properly submitted by the deadline. Those proposed changes will be voted on utilizing the “Election Runner” program. More details on the election process will be forthcoming.
We, as your State FOP Executive Board, did not make these decisions lightly and we realize that having the State Conference in this format is not ideal. We also realize that these new processes are not the norm, but we recognize that we have to adapt and overcome during these everchanging and unprecedented times and we must continue to do the work of this great order.
It is truly an honor to serve as your State President and I strive to work hard, for you and with you, every day during these difficult times so we can continue to make the FOP what it is and that is the best Police Organization in the world. Always remember that this organization like any organization is only as strong as it’s membership and there is no strength without unity. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call me, text me, or email me.
Kevin “Bart” Simpson
Arkansas Fraternal Order Of Police