By Thomas W. Bahr, Interim Executive Director
This past May, the WPPA held its 72nd Annual Convention at the Kalahari Resort in Lake Delton. I am pleased to report the convention was well attended by our members and delegates representing their respective locals from across the state and Upper Michigan.
This was the first year that the WPPA held its annual convention at the Kalahari Resort, and their recent expansion and remodeling provided us not only excellent meeting facilities but also provided our members’ families with entertainment at America’s largest indoor Waterpark. To those that chose to see the sites, the Wisconsin Dells/Lake Delton area provides a wealth of opportunities ranging from sightseeing trips to specialty shops and, of course, the ever popular Ho Chunk Casino.
The theme of the convention was “The Law and You!” and included seminars on Garrity issues, estate planning, discrimination law, family law, labor law, and campaign finance law, just to name a few.
The success of this year’s convention was due in no small part to the members of the Dane County Deputy Sheriffs Association and the Madison Professional Police Officers Association. Many of their members volunteered their time to assist with all manner of things to ensure that various events and seminars ran smoothly. Special thanks go out to those members who volunteered their time to provide free childcare to WPPA members. These two groups apparently enjoyed the experience, and have agreed to provide the same service next year. WPPA members seemed to appreciate the service as well, as every single person we surveyed indicated that the childcare was a helpful addition.
Next year’s convention will again be held at the Kalahari on May 15, 16, and 17, 2005. For the first time, the convention will be moved back one day to begin on Saturday, rather than Sunday, and end on Monday. We received numerous suggestions about future seminars and events members would like to see incorporated for the next convention. The WPPA convention committee will be meeting over the next few months to begin planning for next year and will be considering many of these suggestions.
Traditionally, this is the issue of the Wisconsin Police Journal in which we highlight the past convention. Please take the time to read about Convention 2004 and enjoy the photo journal. There is an article on pages 24 and 25 that may interest those of you from our larger locals if you have ever considered sponsoring a representative of a small local at the annual convention.
Almost every year at the annual convention, we see a change in the WPPA Board of Directors. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the WPPA’s newly-elected President, David Mahoney, and to thank Past President Lyle VanderWyst for his four years of service as WPPA President. We also want to thank Todd Trapp for his service as WPPA Treasurer, and welcome Doug Koykkari as the newly-elected Treasurer. Fortunately, Lyle and Todd will stay on the Board: Lyle as our Vice-President and Todd as a Director. Also, we say farewell and thank you to past Directors Bernie Reinfeldt and Eileen Micklitz and a sincere welcome to Directors Dale Anderson from Dane County and Michael Doud from Waukesha County.
At the annual convention and in the cover story of this magazine, we pay tribute to our own for their heroism and service to the community. Please read about the WPPA’s 2004 Service Awards on pages 16 and 17.
Also, in this magazine you will find photos and an article about the 2004 Torch Run and Summer Games for Special Olympics Wisconsin that were held in Stevens Point on June 10, 11 and 12. And, by the way, the WPPA Directors’ Raffle for the Law Enforcement Torch Run® raised over $6,600 this year at the annual convention. The Board of Directors has been sponsoring this annual raffle since 1994, all proceeds of which benefit Special Olympics Wisconsin.
In closing, I would like to acknowledge the WPPA staff for their diligent efforts during this transition period to work together to ensure that the level of service that the WPPA provides to its members is not compromised. As Wisconsin’s largest and strongest law enforcement association, the WPPA values the privilege of protecting the interests of those dedicated men and women who protect our communities. I have a deep appreciation of the challenges confronting Wisconsin’s law enforcement workforce, and I am committed to seeing the WPPA continue down the path of success that it began in 1932.
Have a safe summer.