Bridge Collapse

Members of Lodge 21 through their employment with the Bloomington Police Department were proud to be able to assist the Minneapolis Police Department in the aftermath of the 35W bridge Collapse. A disaster of this magnitude puts great strain on the resources of any Police Department. This was well illustrated by the fact that a Police Department eight times the size of our own required the assistance of numerous other Departments in the securing and maintenance of the perimeter for this incident, not to mention the initial response.

I believe that all of the officers and departments that assisted in this effort benefited greatly from the exposure of their Officers to such an event. Seeing how this disaster was dealt with gave all who were exposed insight to and a better understanding as to what it takes to managing such an event. I for one would like to commend all of the Minneapolis Officers and Command Staff that I had contact with and I am sure that all of the others handled the situation equally well. Granted, we did a very small part in this endeavor (perimeter security) but it is one of those jobs that someone has to do, and I for one am glad we had the opportunity to help.

Seeing this bridge that I am sure we all have driven over on occasion in such a state was an eye-opener. This bridge, like so much or our country's infrastructure is taken for granted until something goes wrong with it.

By Don Rix- Trustee

In February of 2007 Bloomington Police FOP Lodge # 21 was invited to send a representative to Washington D. C. for a National FOP Event called “A Day on The Hill”. Officers from across the country were invited to meet with their perspective representatives to discuss the top Legislative priorities for the National FOP.

A. HR 82/S. 206 The Social Security Fairness Act
Legislation to restore full benefits for Law Enforcement Officers by repealing both the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset.

B.To oppose any legislation that would require the participation of Public Employees in Social Security.
1. HR 980 The Public Employer – Employee Cooperation Act.
This Legislation would guarantee the right of Public Employees to bargain collectively (A right we already have here in Minnesota).
2. HR 688/S.449 The State and Local Law Enforcement Discipline Accountability and Due Process Act. This would guarantee the right to procedural protection for Law Enforcement Officers accused of Administrative wrongdoing and protect them with uniform safeguards. (A right we also already have in Minnesota).

I traveled to Washington D.C. and met with Minneapolis Police Officer Lyle Delaney. Delaney has attended this event in the past on behalf of the Minnesota FOP; He is an experienced Lobbyist for Police related issues both locally and nationally. This trip was sponsored entirely by the State FOP at no cost to our Lodge. Over the next two days Officer Delaney and I met in person with Senator Amy Klobuchar, Congressman John Kline and Congressman Jim Ramstad. We also met with the staff of Senator Norm Coleman, Congressman Collin Peterson, Congressman James Oberstar and Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann. It was an amazing opportunity to walk the halls of the Senate and Congressional Offices and meet with such influential people.

We were very well received by those who responded to our request for a meeting. (We are still waiting for Keith Ellison to call back). Senator Klobuchar’s Staff personally escorted us from the Senators Office to the Senate floor via the underground train, once there; the Senator was gracious enough to give us a tour of the Capitol while the Senate was in session! Senator Klobuchar expressed the highest regards for the Bloomington Police Department from her experience as The Hennepin County Attorney. Congressman Jim Ramstad spoke with us for nearly an hour discussing Police issues both locally and nationally. Ramstad later spoke at an FOP fundraising event at which time made several references to “his friends Lyle and Don from Minneapolis and Bloomington”. After the event the National President of the FOP, Chuck Canterbury expressed to us how impressed he is with Congressman Ramstad regarding his sponsorship for Police Legislation.

As a result of the “Day on The Hill”, FOP members helped sign nearly forty co-sponsors to The HR. 82 Social Security Fairness Act. This brings the total to 219, a majority in the house, giving the bill “legs” to go to the Senate. With nearly 325,000 members, the FOP has a major influence regarding Police related Legislation.

The State FOP has shown their commitment to getting Bloomington Police FOP Lodge #21 involved in all aspects of the Organization. I look forward to representing our Lodge in future events such as the National FOP Conference in Louisville Kentucky In August. Should any member have an interest in attending future events, please contact a Board Member at 952-563-8617. Under most circumstances the cost of these trips are covered by the State FOP not Lodge #21.

Fraternally yours,
Don Rix- Trustee



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