July 8, 2016
For immediate release
CONTACT: David Blanchette (217) 370-9223
Illinois FOP statement on shootings of Dallas police officers
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge President Chris Southwood issued the following statement regarding the ambush-style shootings that killed five Dallas, Texas police officers and injured several others:
"What happened in Dallas was a purely evil, cowardly act. Those responsible should face the swiftest and most severe justice that our nation allows. The fallen are heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice serving and protecting the community they loved. Ironically, these heroes, some of whom were shot in the back, were protecting participants at an anti-police protest. Our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers go to the fallen and their families, the survivors and their families, friends and fellow law enforcement officers, as well as the civilians who were injured by these despicable acts.
"Illinois law enforcement officers vow to honor the memory of our fallen brothers in Dallas. Their ultimate sacrifice reminds us why we put on the badge every day - to make sure that cowardly criminals and evildoers are removed from our streets and the vast majority of good, honest citizens can enjoy living in our free society.
"We also express our disappointment with the current President, who vowed to unite the country and now eight years later we are more divided than before. More and more people think it is OK to demonize and urge violence against police officers, and this is a situation the President has done little to correct. I call upon all our political leadership, state and national, to tell the nation specifically what they intend to do to stop the senseless slayings of those who protect our way of life in every American community."
The Fraternal Order of Police, founded in 1915, is the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. With a proud tradition of officers representing officers, the FOP is the most respected and most recognized police organization in the country. The Illinois FOP, chartered in 1963, is the second largest State Lodge, proudly representing more than 34,000 active duty and retired police officers - more than 10 percent of all FOP members nationwide. Visit www.ilfop.org for more information.
The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council is a Law Enforcement Union representing some 10,000 plus professionals who work in the Criminal Justice Arena and are granted their collective bargaining rights under the Illinois Labor Relations Act. Our members are Municipal Police Officers, County Sheriff’s Deputies, Police Officers who work for Elected Constitutional Officers, University Police Officers, County Correctional Officers, Court Security Officers, Probation Officers, 911 Telecommunicators, Records Personnel and some related Support Staff.
Outside the City of Chicago the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council represents more law enforcement professionals than any other union in Illinois with over 490 bargaining units. Our largest units boast membership numbers in the hundreds, while some of our smallest units consist of only four to five members. We have a presence in some of the most remote parts of the State, such as the Cities of Beardstown and Metropolis and the Counties of Washington and Union, as well as some of the densest regions, such as the Chicagoland Area and Cook County.
Experienced Labor Professionals
The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council prides itself in representing its membership in the specialized field of public sector/public safety labor representation. With a full time staff of 13 attorneys and 13 field representatives, all responsible for negotiating contracts and representing membership, the FOP Labor Council has 208 years of combined Law Enforcement experience and 475 years of labor experience, collectively.
With offices in Western Springs (north) and Springfield (south), the FOP Labor Council is the only union who can meet the demands of law enforcement professionals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with 10 administrative staff members and a 24 hour emergency hotline.
A Long and Strong Tradition
The Illinois FOP Labor Council was originally framed as a “Labor Committee” of the Illinois FOP State Lodge back in 1983 in anticipation of police officers gaining the right to collectively bargain. In 1984 collective begging became collective bargaining with the inclusion of police officers and firefighters under the Illinois Labor Relations Act.
With the onslaught of police officers seeking rights under collective bargaining the Labor Committee quickly evolved into an independent entity known today as the FOP Labor Council. Several active law enforcement officers from across the state left the security of their employment to help form the Labor Council. Their dedication and commitment established the backbone of the Labor Council which today employs labor experts with experience from across a broad range of the labor relations spectrum.