Police Organization Signs Statement of Support for Guardsmen, Reservists
By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2008 The National Fraternal Order of Police formalized its support here yesterday for the men and women who wear both the military uniform and that of their local law enforcement agencies.
Chuck Canterbury, front right, president of the National Fraternal Order of Police, signs his commitment of support to police officers who serve in the military during a ceremony Oct. 20, 2008, at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 1 in Washington, D.C. Canterbury is joined by Thomas F. Hall, front left, assistant defense secretary for reserve affairs, Gordon Sumner, back left, executive director for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, and Army Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz, commander of the District of Columbia Army National Guard. DoD photo by Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“I don’t know of any other profession that has as many people in the National Guard and Reserve as law enforcement,” said Chuck Canterbury, president of the police organization. “It just seems like the two go hand in hand. I’d just like to apologize that we haven’t done this before.”
Canterbury signed his organization’s commitment to ensure job security as well as employee benefits for its police officers in the nation’s military reserve components and their families during war and peacetime. The organization understands the requirements and essential roles military volunteers hold in preserving national security, he said.
“So many of our members are in the Guard or Reserves, and we just wanted to show our support and make sure the people that are mobilized are remembered and taken care of,” Canterbury said. “Law enforcement and the military are both highly regarded by the national public, and it’s always good for these groups to speak in a united voice.”
Now that the National Fraternal Order of Police has formally affirmed support of its military members and the federal government, the next step is to challenge local chapters and lodges nationwide to make the same commitment, he said.
“The next step is to go out to our 2,200 lodges and chapters throughout the country and having them sign a show of support,” he said. “We’ve just done it at the national level, so now we’ve got to do it at the local levels, so they will know what we’re doing.”
The Fraternal Order of Police is more than 320,000 members strong and is the most affected among organizations working with the Defense Department’s National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, said Thomas F. Hall, assistant defense secretary for reserve affairs.
“This show of commitment is going to mean a lot throughout the country,” Hall said. “Service as a police officer is very compatible with that of military service. With that, the support of organizations like the [Fraternal Order of Police], who understand the rules and the laws and go far beyond that, are critical.”
ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between reserve-component members and their civilian employers, and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. It is the lead Defense Department organization for this mission.