Monthly March Email from ACSPP President Larry Oletski

Hello,   

Where do we begin?  In these unprecedented times, there are so many questions.  Words cannot adequately express the overwhelming flood of emotions.  Our daily rhythm and routine has been completely upended by a pandemic virus.  The solace we find in community and engagement is temporarily removed.  

Spring is a season of renewal.  The United States has a can do spirit that makes this country the best country in the world.  Our organization is bursting at the seams with uniquely qualified people to meet this challenge head on.  To support this effort is your legislatively recognized Employee Organization Group, the Association of Colorado State Patrol Professionals (ACSPP).  Your volunteer ACSPP board members are committed to helping you in these trying times.  Our focus remains your PERA retirement security, associated employee benefits, and pay.  We sincerely thank you for the opportunity to serve you in this capacity.

Now, none of the ACSPP Volunteer Board Members are Toilet Paper Barons, nor do we have the schedule of when your local grocery store is going to re-stock the chicken noodle soup and hand sanitizer.  What we do have is our commitment to advocate for you, our current and future members.  We take this task seriously and are tenacious in our efforts to best serve you.  So, while you ponder what recreation you can do and remain socially distant, take a few moments to reflect on the latest update from the ACSPP…

Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation (CSPFF) News 

Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation has made the decision to remove the eight (8) hour community service requirement for the 2020-2021 scholarship application cycle.  The health and safety of our CSP families is of utmost importance to the Foundation and we understand that requiring applicants to attend public gatherings is not appropriate at this time.

Applicants are still required to submit a personal essay, addressing the prompts identified in the application instructions, with regard to any community service they have completed in the past.  If an applicant does not have prior community service experience, they should write their personal essay about any community involvement or activity they have participated in and answer the essay prompts to the best of their ability.

Please note that those applying for the Master Trooper William Modén scholarship are still required to provide proof of twenty-five (25) hours of previously completed community service, as this is a unique component of eligibility for this scholarship fund.

Scholarship applications must be submitted no later than 3:00 PM Mountain Time on March 31, 2020.  To learn more about this amazing program, please visit the following website:

https://www.cspff.net/scholarship-fund

Please direct questions or any needs for clarification to Katie Maselbas at Katie@cspff.net or 720-269-4046 x106.

Colorado State Patrol Magazine

The Spring / Summer edition of the Colorado State Patrol magazine has arrived.  If you did not receive your copy, it may be because the ACSPP does not have your current address.  To correct this situation, please e-mail our Professional Staff member, Donna Campbell at DonnaC@acspp.net to provide updated information.  

These times will certainly provide for compelling reading in the next edition of our Fall / Winter edition.  If you have an article that you would like to see published, please send your submission and high resolution photos to our magazine editor, Clint Rushing at cspmag1@gmail.com.  You can also reach out to your respective ACSPP board member for assistance with your article.  

Upcoming ACSPP Board Meeting / Upcoming ACSPP Elections

The next ACSPP board meeting was scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled.  We prioritize our board members’ health and will reconvene in April.  The date of that meeting will be Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 9:30 AM.  To see the February meeting notes, please visit the ACSPP website at www.acspp.net this coming Friday, March 20th.

As a reminder, the ACSPP reminds our members that the following board member positions are coming due in June 2020

  • District 4
  • Non Commissioned Officers
  • Commissioned Officers
  • Port of Entry

Legislative Session Update

The reality of the severity this pandemic came into sharp focus when the 2020 Colorado Legislature suspended the current session on March 13, 2020 for two weeks.  This move comes even as the legislature’s biggest responsibility is still undone: the annual state budget.  With the State of Emergency declared by Governor Polis, the normal rule that requires the session to be done in 120 consecutive days is supplanted by Joint Rule 44.  In a normal year, the legislature’s powerful budget committee waits until mid-March to set the final numbers for the spending plan, based on the latest forecasts from government economists.  This is not a normal year, to say the least.  Joint Rule 44 redefines the session as 120 working days, making it possible for lawmakers to pause the session and resume it later, if necessary.  Our lobbyist, Mr. Bill Skewes, and the CSP Legislative Liaison, Sergeant Honn, will certainly have their hands full once the session re-commences.  Until then, here are a few updates on legislation relevant to our department and Association.

SB 065 – Hands Free Device while Driving.  This bill has passed the Senate and is awaiting its first committee hearing in the House.

SB 026 – Audible/Visual Trauma Workers Compensation.  As mentioned last month, this Senate Bill would allow for employees (read our Communications Officers) to claim workers comp upon a PTSD diagnosis. This bill has passed the Senate, and it also passed its first Committee hearing in the House.

HB 1027 – Port of Entry Officers the ability to Direct Traffic (This bill has passed both the house and the senate and is awaiting a signature from Governor Polis.)

HB 1153 – Collective Bargaining.  As mentioned last month, this bill IS NOT true collective bargaining.  This proposed bill gives the two legislatively recognized employee organization groups, Colorado WINS and the ACSPP, a chance to meet with and discuss with the Governor’s office matters related to pay, working conditions, and benefits prior to the announcement of proposals for the upcoming session.    This bill, as written, does not mandate or dictate terms related to these matters.  This bill has been introduced and is under consideration.

What is important about this bill is that the ACSPP wants to collectively bargain with the state.  This bill is not collective bargaining.  Further, the ACSPP wants to represent the entire department.  The ACSPP will not give up the hard-fought Trooper Pay Bill {CRS 24-50-104(1)(a)(III)(A)} to have this purported collective bargaining.  

HB 1285 – MOST Program Bill.  This would continue the MOST program until 2025.  The bill has passed its first committee and is currently in the House.

HB 1145 – Move Over or Slow Down, would require vehicles to slow 20 miles per hour upon approaching a stopped emergency vehicle.  This bill has made it through the house, all three readings in the Senate, and is awaiting a Governor’s signature.  Thanks go out to the Donahue, Jursevics, and Moden families for their efforts in helping with this bill’s success.  

Recent Mailing from the ACSPP and American Income Life (AIL)

In the past few weeks, the ACSPP has fielded questions from many members about the validity of the mailings from American Income Life (AIL).  Through our partnership with this supplemental insurance company, every ACSPP member received a no-cost $2,000 Accidental Death & Dismemberment benefit.  Now, the reality is that AIL is an insurance company, and they would like to offer you even more services that you can buy from them.  If you elect to fill out the card and mail it back to them, a representative from their company will contact you.  In this day and age of SPAM / PHISHING calls, receiving a call from a number you do not know is highly suspect.  Please know, you control what information AIL will receive.  If you do not have interest in the additional services that are offered through AIL, please do not mail this card back to them.  If you have any questions, or concerns about the service from AIL, please contact your respective ACSPP board member. 

ACSPP Night with the Colorado Avalanche

If you purchased tickets for the annual ACSPP Night with the Avalanche on March 15, 2020, please know that the final word on this game has not been determined by the NHL or the Colorado Avalanche.  As more information becomes available, this will be provided.

Listed below is a comprehensive list of ACSPP board members by position.

Civilians – Angelina Page (Port of Entry) 

Communications – Brian Mockmore (Pueblo Communications) 

Retirees – Jane Crisman 

Port of Entry – LaDonna Mason (Ft. Collins POE) 

Non-Commissioned Officers – Clint Rushing (1-A Golden) 

District 1 – Angela Deguelle (1-C Castle Rock)

District 2 / Vice President – Randy Belisle (Troop 2-A Florence)

District 3 – John Takahashi (Troop 3-B Ft. Morgan)

District 4 – Andrew Bogue (Troop 4-B Craig)

District 5 – Amy Clark (Troop 5-B Alamosa)

Specialty Troopers / Treasurer – Nathan Emery (Vehicular Crimes Unit)

Commissioned Officers – Rich Smith (2-A Florence)

President – Larry Oletski (Academy)

In closing…

Thank you for this opportunity to serve as your employee organization group.  The people we serve deserve the very best.  In these times that stretch our ability and capacity, please know that the ACSPP is here to support you.  Our support comes with only one condition.  Please, join the ACSPP, become a member, and reap the benefit of what the ACSPP can do for you. 

Thank you very much.