Photos courtesy of New Day Foundation for Families  

Sterling Heights Police talked with Santa during New Day Foundation for Families Holiday Gift Giving Program. Det. Ken Mercer (above) and MAP Executive Board President and Sterling Heights Officer Rich Heins (below) along with other Sterling Heights Patrol Officers sponsored a cancer patient’s family in December 2015 & 2016.

 By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor

Sterling Heights Police have a history of helping their community and they are encouraging other area departments to join them in supporting the newest organization they are helping, New Day Foundation for Families.

On Dec. 12, 2016 Sterling Heights Police Officers Association (POA) President and MAP Executive Board President Rich Heins along with Det. Ken Mercer, Sterling Heights POA Vice President, presented gifts for a single mother, who suffers from cancer, and her three children during the New Day Foundation for Families Holiday Gift Giving Program. New Day Foundation for Families in Rochester supports area cancer patients and their families, who are struggling financially, physically and emotionally.

Sterling Heights Patrol Officers shopped for and wrapped gifts of needed and wanted items for the 34-year-old and her sons ages 15, 10 and 7. Mercer and Heins presented the gifts to a family friend since the woman was unable to attend due to treatments and a weakened immune system. She was diagnosed with B-cell Lymphoma in July 2016 when a tumor was found behind her sternum. Lymphomas are blood cancers in the lymph nodes. Now she is undergoing six 21-day treatments, which involve in-hospital stays.

“She was working full-time,” Heins said of the single mom. “She had two jobs.”

Diagnosed July 28, 2016, she is unable to work due to treatments and her weakened immune system. “She’s a waitress and she hasn’t been able to work,” Mercer said. “She was just so lethargic and short of breath that the doctors said she’s not allowed to work. Her blood cell count is down from chemotherapy and she could get sick.”

New Day Foundation for Families is the genesis of Gina Kell Spehn and Michael Spehn after losing their young spouses to cancer. They married and between them have five children who have lost a parent to cancer. Together they wrote the New York Times bestselling book “The Color of Rain,” which was adapted for the screen as a Hallmark Movie Channel original, premiering on May 31, 2014, and continues showing throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

“New Day provides short-term financial assistance for basic living expenses and emotional resources to family members. By reducing financial and emotional burdens, our programs have a profound impact on quality of life and treatment outcomes for cancer patients and their families,” said Josephine Long, Development Director at New Day.

Public safety employees stop bill that would've ended future retiree health benefits

House Bill 6074, which drew protest from public employees in Michigan and a barrage of calls to State Legislators will not be moved out of the House as part of a package of bills.

Early this morning, the House Local Government Committee reported that the only bill in this package that will be moved is House Bill 6075, which creates reporting requirements between public employers and Michigan Department of Treasury. This bill has no effect on retiree health care. 

MAP Executive Director Fred Timpner wanted to thank MAP members for their support! MAP members participated in the MAPO effort, contacting State Legislators to make this victory possible.

However, Timpner also wanted to alert members that is this a temporary win and MAP members may be called on again soon. Republicans are expected to introduce bills as early as January 2017, after new legislators have been sworn into office, that would negatively impact public employee healthcare and pensions.

In the meantime, Legislators were clearly swayed by the overwhelming involvement of MAPO members.


MAPO: 5 contacts in 24 hours

The Michigan Association of Police Organizations (MAPO) and its membership groups are asking that each member contact 5 Legislators in 24 hours. Starting at 1 p.m. today, Monday, Dec. 5th, MAP members are urged to reach out to 5 Legislators by 1 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 6. This campaign follows the close of the public safety leaders roundtable before the House goes into session tomorrow.

The contacts are:

1. Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter
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2. Local Government Committee Chairman Lee Chatfield
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3. Rep. David Maturen
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4. Representative for your District.
To find your Representative, Click Here

5. Senator for your District.
To find your Senator, Click Here

Thousands of MAPO members making thousands of calls and sending thousands of emails is the most impactful action we can take.

The message is simple – VOTE NO ON HOUSE BILL 6074.

The MAPO leadership has decided that the most effective use of our members' time is to generate 5 contacts to legislators through email and telephone calls.

At 1:00 Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, we will post the names of 5 legislators to contact in the 24 hour period that starts then.

Thousands of MAPO members making thousands of calls and sending thousands of emails is the most impactful action we can take. We are asking that each member take 5 minutes to make 5 contacts in that 24 hour period.

The message will be simple - VOTE NO ON HOUSE BILL 6074.

We are not threatening legislators or being confrontational. Our outreach is making a difference. We are going to accelerate in a focused manner next week prior to the House returning on Tuesday afternoon.

Be sure to check the MAPO website at www.mapo411.com on Monday afternoon. Thank you to everyone who has been calling and sending emails.

Have a safe weekend.

MAPO Executive Board

Karoub Associates is advising MAP members to call their State Representative and voice their opposition to a package of bills TODAY which negatively affects retiree healthcare and employer contributions to health savings accounts. Jim Curran of Karoub Associates explains the 13-bill package:

Despite statements to the contrary, the House Republicans introduced a 13-bill package that would impact retiree health care for retirees, active employees and new hires at the local level.

Beginning May 1, 2017, retirees receiving benefits would be required to pay 20% of cost unless the retiree health care benefit was funded at a level in excess of 80%.

Beginning May 1, 2017, employers are limited to putting 2% of base pay into a retirement health savings account.

The main bill that enables all the rest of the package is House Bill 6074, sponsored by Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter.

Our focus needs to be the defeat of House Bill 6074.

To our MAPO members, the message is simple:


Click below to find contact information for your State Representative.

Michigan House of Representatives

The Local Government Committee met this morning, Dec. 1, 2016 from 10:30 until noon. Speaker Cotter and other legislators testified in support of the bills and then the MML testified. The House Session began at noon and ended at 3:30 p.m. The Committee is going back for further testimony. The police groups and others will testify at this time.

Rep. Chatfield, Chairman of the Committee, told the press in attendance that there will be no vote today and that the committee is tentatively scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, Dec. 6. 

Keep those cards and letters coming. They are definitely having an impact.

I'll update further after committee. Information has been posted to www.mapo411.com

On a related front, the Senate adjourned at 5:00 Wednesday, Nov. 30 without taking a vote on SB 102 that would put new school employee hires into a DC plan. The Republican leadership plan was to vote it out tonight. The Snyder Administration weighed in heavily against the bill and that gave enough Republicans cover to say they weren't going to vote for SB 102. Snyder's staff testified that the bill would cost the state BILLIONS to cover the conversion cost and the cost of closing the DB plan for existing teachers.

Hopefully, the Governor will have his team publicly come out against the House retiree health care bills as strongly.