From August 28 to 31, the FOP celebrated its 63rd Biennial National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, with 4,325 registered delegates and alternates, plus guests, family members and supporters, making it the highest-attended Conference to date. Members enjoyed the many attractions Nashville has to offer, including live music, good food and a special country music concert at the Grand Ole Opry. The Taste of New Orleans event gave everyone a sneak peek at what is to come in 2019. A special thank-you to Andrew Jackson Lodge #5 for showing us all such a good time!
The Expo was once again a huge success, with 137 vendors showcasing their products and services to the members. Three staff members received Service Awards for their years of dedication to the organization: Jack Parlon (10 years), Michael Coviello (10 years) and Andrew Bittner (20 years). A push was made for donations to the Memorial and Disaster Relief funds, with $34,450 being raised for the Memorial and $59,075 raised for Disaster Relief. With two hurricanes now having made landfall, these donations are more important than ever. Eight amendments were brought to the business floor, with five passing, two being withdrawn and one ruled out of order. Six resolutions were passed as well.
The delegates elected the following members to the Executive Board for the next two years:
- President: Chuck Canterbury — South Carolina
- Vice President: Jay McDonald — Ohio
- Secretary: Patrick Yoes — Louisiana
- Treasurer: Tom Penoza — Delaware
- Second Vice President: Les Neri — Pennsylvania
- Sergeant at Arms: Keith Turney — Illinois
- National Trustees Chairman: Rob Pride — Colorado
Congratulations on your election, and thank you for being willing to serve the membership!
Jack Dudek Member of the Year 2017: James A. HarrityJimmy, as he is commonly known, has been a member of the FOP since 1981, when he became a police officer with the Delaware River Port Authority. He distinguished himself as an FOP leader by serving as a delegate and vice president for his local lodge, Penn/Jersey Lodge #30. He has served on the Pennsylvania State Lodge Board of Directors for the past 20 years, holding the offices of trustee, chairman of trustees, conductor and his current position as second vice president. Jimmy created a drug and alcohol program for the Port Authority officers and expanded his program to include the Pennsylvania State Lodge. He also took on the task of assisting FOP families in their most feared hour of need, the line-of- duty death of a member. Jimmy not only provides comfort and emotional support, but also guides the families through the daunting process of acquiring the local, state and federal benefits that they are due for the sacrifice made by their loved one.
Jimmy’s leadership and service didn’t begin with the FOP; it began when he entered the United States Army 51 years ago. After his distinguished service in Vietnam, which ended when he was seriously wounded in a RMG rocket attack, Jimmy felt the need to serve again. He became a police officer with the Delaware River Port Authority, where he quickly distinguished himself through his undercover drug work and as tactical commander for high-angle rescues. Jimmy was also dispatched to Ground Zero the day after the 9/11 attack, where he served for a seven-week period. He has received three Liberty Bell Awards for outstanding service from the city of Philadelphia.
Jimmy’s dedication and service to his brothers and sisters in the FOP, his country, his department and his community are inspiring. The FOP is proud to have members like Jimmy within its ranks. Congratulations!
Read this story in the Fall 2017 issue of the FOP Journal.