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International Union of Police Associations (IUPA), AFL-CIO, Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Law Enforcement Officers across the country join together to celebrate 30 years of a rich heritage in negotiation experience that has given officers access to unparalleled benefits, wages, leave and time off.

June 24, 2009, Sarasota, FL. The International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO (I.U.P.A.), announced today that the law enforcement community is celebrating IUPA's 30 year anniversary as the largest and only AFL-CIO chartered union whose members consist solely of public employees of law enforcement agencies as well as city, county and federal governments.

The IUPA, which obtained an AFL-CIO charter on February 19, 1979, realized early on the importance of strength in numbers within the law enforcement community. Today, under the leadership of the International President, Sam A. Cabral, the Association successfully assists numerous law enforcement locals including those in 'right to work' states and provides union contract negotiations and benefits to locals in over 35 states.

President of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney, stated that, "The AFL-CIO affiliation brings the full weight of the labor movement behind officers dealing with local wages, benefits and working conditions to improve their ability to support their families and increase officer safety." In addition, he added that "a host of financial benefits are provided to IUPA members through the AFL-CIO's Union Privilege program with low interest loans, retail discounts and insurance programs."

"Officers and their families seldom get proper representation that protects them during times of duress and need," says President Sam Cabral. "It is in the charter of the IUPA to ensure officers receive adequate support and benefits. Together, the Association forms one cohesive 'family' to support and to help each and every member."

Commenting on the support of the IUPA, Officer and Regional Vice President from Port St. Lucie, Jim Weinert, concluded that, "We are glad that we made the switch to the IUPA. Their patience, knowledge and most importantly, their support, made it possible to get the best contract for our officers ever." Recently, the IUPA was highlighted by The Labor Relations Information System, which cites that one of the many strengths of the IUPA with respect to contract bargaining is its ability to negotiate more leave time for its officers, as well as securing higher wages for its members.

"At the national level, the IUPA's Legislative Office in the Washington, D.C. area is a strong advocate for the field level officer," notes John Balcerzak, President of the Milwaukee Police Association, Local #21. He further describes their experience by stating that his Local "has been a charter member since 1979 and during the past 30 years, we have benefited from our affiliation in so many ways, such as our Officers Bill of Rights, access to paid overtime and the Legal Defense Fund to name just a few. The IUPA has been at the forefront of the issues that affect law enforcement officers across the country and we are assured that it will be there for the next 30 plus years to come."

John O'Keefe, Vice President of the New York State Police Investigators, Local #4, praised IUPA's economic value to his members saying, "Since we joined the IUPA, in 1995, our salaries have more than doubled. A major added value is our access to scholarships for our children and the innumerable financial benefits through the AFL-CIO's Union Plus program."

Executive Vice President Dennis Slocumb noted that: "As the economy continues to struggle, criminal activity will continue to rise and budgets will be reduced. These cutbacks will include layoffs, salary cuts, and the reduction of other expenditures in place to protect the public. Failure to properly fund law enforcement agencies places both the public and the officers themselves at risk. Too few officers on the streets can impact timely responses to crimes and effective service. In addition, officers calling for backup in critical situations may be injured or killed before help arrives. The IUPA will continue to remind each elected official the importance of maintaining our public employees."

"The biggest challenge for the Association lies ahead as it continually meets with state and local jurisdictions to champion support for their law enforcement agencies," adds International Secretary-Treasurer Timothy Scott. "The first and foremost obligation of any government is to protect its citizens. That can only happen when law enforcement is enabled."

In recognizing their thirty years of service to the law enforcement community, President Cabral said, "We can't predict what law enforcement will be like in the next 30 years, but be assured that the IUPA will be there with and for our officers."


Originally chartered in 1979, the International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO is the only AFL-CIO chartered labor union that exclusively represents law enforcement personnel. The more than 100,000 law enforcement personnel (one out of every four eligible) represented by the IUPA are all full time employees of law enforcement agencies ranging from line officers up to first line supervisors as well as civilian employees. The IUPA's mission is to protect and advance officers' wages, benefits and work conditions. Membership includes officers from agencies throughout the United States and in the Caribbean. More information is available at


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