Michigan Association of Police

By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor

Allen Park Police Officers have represented themselves for many years, but with several senior officers getting closer to retirement, they thought it was time to seek professional representation with Michigan Association of Police (MAP).

“We’ve negotiated our own contacts for many years, but it just became time to unionize,” said Chris Franco, Allen Park Police Officers Association Local Union President. “We’ve got a younger department coming up and we just wanted some changes. We felt that having more professional representation would help us.”

The 25-member group voted to join MAP in March 2023 after having Union presentation meetings with MAP and Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM). Allen Park Police Officers were also impressed by what they’d heard about MAP from neighboring agencies.

“There was a lot of word of mouth with MAP and ultimately we saw MAP was a little more personable and dedicated,” Franco said. “We know that traditionally POAM is larger, but we didn’t necessarily want bigger. We wanted more focused. We wanted to be able to reach somebody when we need to and get their attention.”

MAP Director Chad Trussler certainly got their attention during their meeting with MAP officials. “It wasn’t an off the wall business plan. They listened to what we needed and we liked Chad and the way Chad talked to us,” Franco said. “He didn’t seem like a business guy trying to sell a product.”

MAP was officially certified by MERC to represent Allen Park Police Officers in April and is busy negotiating the group’s first MAP-represented contract. Their former contract expired June 30, 2023. “We just opened up negotiations last week,” Franco said in late July. “We had some inside dealings we had to get through and then we got the ball rolling.”

One of their chief concerns is providing a greater sense of uniformity between senior and younger officers. “We have five different tiers in our department,” Franco said. “We’re really trying to close that gap a little bit between all the officers. That’s important because we want to keep and retain those younger officers.”

“It’s not just the financial aspect of it,” he said. “It’s having that representation and overall protection and fairness. The members can look forward to getting good representation. It’s kind of that third party checks and balances type of situation.”

The level of service Allen Park Police Officers have received from MAP has been noteworthy.

“They’ve answered every call we’ve had. They’ve put the time in. I don’t think we’ve even sent our dues payment in yet and they’ve been helping us for a couple months, so you know they’re dedicated,” Franco said. “They recognized right off the bat what our members wanted to change without even talking to us. They noticed our contract was spread out over so many different tiers. We just feel, as a department, we’re all doing the same job, so we just should all be working under the same type of package.”