Cindy Rodriguez, NLPOA National President
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Esteemed NLPOA members,
I traveled all day from Milwaukee, back home to Las Vegas, from our 43rd National Training Conference and wanted to share about 1000 thoughts running through my head after an incredible week with you, but I'll keep it to the highlights.
I am filled with optimism, energy, joy and excitement for today, tomorrow, and what the next two years holds for our amazing members and OUR organization.
Over the past few months, I have had the honor to visit with several chapters, chat on the phone and correspond through e-mail with many of you. In addition, I had the opportunity to talk with many of you in person, at the conference about what was on the "top of your minds."
Although my responsibility changed yesterday from National Treasurer to National President, I am still the same person, I am you and you are me and I am ready to represent and serve you. There are only two exceptions to me remaining entirely the same, because two things have distinctly changed, I am even more grateful to be a part of this incredible organization and I feel an even more immense sense of pride.
From our newest members experiencing an NLPOA conference for the first time, to our oldest members, who still invest the time and expense to participate, I know we all share a common thread. We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, to truly make a difference by extending a helping hand to those less fortunate people in our communities and to our fellow officers. We get the opportunity to meet once a year, face to face with our NLPOA family to share both our failures and successes.
I was reminded of the extraordinary amount of dedication, commitment and "straight up" talent that I had the pleasure to be in the company of. Because of this hidden advantage, we also benefit from the leadership, coaching and mentoring that is going on in every classroom, hallway and social setting.
The general membership meeting is one of my favorite days because we ALL get the opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, make recommendations and highlight the incredible work that is being done in our communities across the nation. For me, it's like a giant, annual, patrol briefing, on steroids!
We shed tears of joy and tears of compassion and empathy this week. As we were reminded on several sobering occasions, Officer Darrin Fulton shared how his KCPD just lost Officer Brad Lancaster who was shot and killed in the line of duty on May 9.
During the general membership meeting, Deputy Juan Avila, Milwaukee Vice President announced that one of his guys, Deputy Alex Colon, who was part of our conference committee had gotten hit by a car, while on his duty motorcycle and he was uncertain about his condition other than Alex was en-route to the hospital. That evening, Alex was discharged from the hospital and managed to walk into the Gala to our pleasant surprise, with only some road rash. The audience went crazy and gave him cheers and a huge round of applause.
Lastly, NLPOA Officer of the Year, Alan Alvarez made light of a life altering, physical condition and said he wanted to be photographed "standing up,” as we honored him. He told us to cherish every single day because we never knew what our future could hold. Alan’s tribute was well earned through his tireless dedication to SDPD and the NLPOA, but he stole our hearts with his inspirational attitude.
Regardless of the time taken off from the streets, we are not immune, because while we are in training, crime doesn’t take a vacation. There are thousands of our peacekeepers, still out there, holding it down until we return to over watch.
We all have much gratitude for the Milwaukee Chapters hard work on this year’s convention. I am also appreciative for past Presidents Andrew Peralta, Felipe Ortiz, Mike Ramirez, Roy Garivey, Ruben Diaz and all the veterano’s for their mentor-ship and encouragement. One colossal icon and mentor, Vicente Calderon, founding member, was sorely missed and I was ecstatic to share the news of the elections with him.
Congratulations also go out to this year’s NLPOA honored recipients, as well as my newly elected board members Maria, Roy, Joe, Darrin, Andrew, Terry, Jeff, John, and Aimee.
In closing, I am deeply honored to serve as your 2016-2018 National President. We are game changers. We have made history together by modeling to the world, inclusivity and diversity from within. I know we will continue to build this resilient organization and exponentially accomplish great things together. I am proud of you and this noble profession. Your support and faith in me has been nothing less than humbling and propels me forward to work harder.
Surround yourself with greatness and you place yourself in the path of infinite possibilities. Godspeed brothers and sisters.
Cindy M. Rodriguez,
NLPOA National President