El Monte Police Officer’s Association & Auxiliary Finish 2012 in “Solidarity with the Community!”
The El Monte Police Officer’s Association (EMPOA) started 2012 with the goal of doing a better job at living their motto, “Solidarity with the Community!” Consequently, the EMPOA has done much to live up to their promise. In order to preserve the critical staffing levels and services provided to the community, the EMPOA has taken pay cuts for the past three years and has committed to three more years of pay cuts. Additionally, the EMPOA voluntarily restructured pensions, medical, and fringe benefits to help address short and long-term budget concerns. The EMPOA also agreed to no increases until the City of El Monte is able to restore an appropriate cash reserve. El Monte’s elected officials and executive staff has applauded the unprecedented level of cooperation and commitment shown by the EMPOA towards the residents and businesses in El Monte.
The EMPOA considers the formation of the EMPOA Auxiliary as their crowning achievement for 2012. EMPOA President Ben Lowry said: “In order to have true ‘Solidarity with the Community,’ we need the community itself to become a part of our decision making process.” The EMPOA turned to long time El Monte resident and retired EMPD police officer, Richard Thomas, to be their Director of Public Affairs. After discussing the goals of the EMPOA, Thomas suggested that EMPOA form a group of diverse and civic-minded members of the community to help guide the efforts of the EMPOA. The “EMPOA Auxiliary” was formed and tasked with finding ways to help the EMPOA contribute to the community in ways that are more meaningful. With their help, support, and guidance, the EMPOA Auxiliary has identified dozens of organizations and individuals in El Monte that needed help and support.
The EMPOA Auxiliary’s newest member, Josie Zapata, helped the EMPOA & Auxiliary end 2012 strong by throwing the seniors at the El Monte Villa Raintree Apartment a New Year’s Eve Party. Due to the struggling economy, the budget for these seniors was not sufficient to have a Christmas or New Year’s Party. Josie brought this to the attention of the EMPOA who was able to provide the necessary resources for the party to take place. Thanks to Josie and the EMPOA Auxiliary, these seniors were able to ring in the New Year with a great party.