In recognition of his long-time support of law enforcement officers, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Labor Council today endorsed State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) for Governor.
FOP Labor Council Executive Director David Wickster said Kirk Dillard was the obvious choice, noting Dillard’s background reflects he has long been a champion for law enforcement and public safety.
"Today we are pleased to announce our support of Kirk Dillard in the Republican Gubernatorial Primary. Kirk Dillard understands the needs of law enforcement and will tirelessly work on our behalf,” said Wickster. "As a state senator, Dillard was one of the best advocates for the law enforcement community in Springfield. I encourage all FOP Labor Council members, regardless of your political affiliation, to pull a Republican ballot for Kirk Dillard on March 18—it is the best thing you can do for your future and the future of Illinois.”
"I'm proud to have the trust and support of the FOP Labor Council, which serves as the national and state legislative voice of those who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving others. Ensuring the safety and well-being of Illinois citizens is any Governor’s utmost concern, and there is no better way to achieve public safety than to place a high priority on the safety, livelihood and interests of the men and women in uniform,” said Dillard.
Wickster said that the Senator has demonstrated he understands the importance of collective bargaining, and has shown a willingness to work with labor organizations like the FOP in order to negotiate sound public policy. In fact, Wickster noted that one of the primary reasons Dillard voted against the recent “pension reform” measure—aside from his belief that it was unconstitutional—was because labor representatives were largely barred from negotiations on the legislation.
Dillard has also supported past measures to protect the retirement benefits of law enforcement officials. In 2012, he supported a bill to allow for service to be transferred from a Chicago police pension fund to a downstate police pension fund (HB 1872), as well as HB 3332 which changed the requirements for transferring service under the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. Two years earlier, he voted in favor of legislation (SB 3022) that allows police officers to purchase up to two years of military service as credit for their pensions, and lent his support to a measure (SB 5417) protecting police officers and their survivors in the event a pension fund becomes insolvent.
This year Dillard has co-sponsored legislation banning traffic ticket quotas (SB 3411). Dillard said drawing officers to busy traffic areas and away from neighborhoods where they have more contact with members of the community, quotas create unnecessary tension between the public and law enforcement without any quantifiable evidence that they are preventing crime.
"Kirk Dillard's support of initiatives that protect and provide assistance to current and retired officers will continue when he is elected next fall. The Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council looks forward to working in partnership with Kirk Dillard and his running mate State Representative Jil Tracy as we continue to fight for a safer Illinois,” concluded Wickster.
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.