Jimmy Chavez

AHPA President, Jimmy Chavez

Dear AHPA members,

For the past several years, it seems AHPA goes a full twelve rounds with the Arizona Legislature or the agency.   Employees fight to create safe, productive work environments, while decision-makers only seem to be steadfast for the bottom-line on a budget line item.  Though our organization and members have been prosperous in many decisions (like personnel reform), it is easy for many people to still feel “beat-up”.  Low morale jabs us left and right.  Budget cuts continue to hit below the belt.  We bob and weave every day because our jobs have become increasingly dangerous.  However, one fighter once said:

Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.” – Mohammad Ali

Our organization never throws in the towel, because our members are resilient.  It really is a testament to the hardworking men and women in our profession that refuse to sit ringside.  Every year, AHPA sets out new goals and accomplishes great wins for all DPS employees.

AHPA’s leadership trains all year long and continues to meet with those important decision makers.  Right now, we are weighing in during monthly meetings with Director Halliday.  AHPA continues to address the HP uniform that many of us find to be an inferior product.  Whether it is performing our primary function out on the highways or attending a formal ceremony, our uniform should exemplify the professionalism of our officers.

Additionally, thanks to the suggestion of one of our members, we have addressed the need to have a hydration/food contingency plan for situations where our officers are at a lengthy scene.  Some examples would be a dust storm caused pile up on I-10, highway closures/evacuations due to wildfires, protests at the capitol.  With the agency’s responsibility covering every corner of the state, there should be a plan in place and resources available to streamline the current process.

Strategy has allowed our organization to effectively help members and their jobs-with outstanding results.  During this upcoming 2013 legislative session, AHPA plans to focus its efforts on salary increases.  For several years, our organization has funded pay studies to demonstrate to legislators how underpaid all DPS employees are compared to other law enforcement agencies. (CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR STRATEGIC PLAN & PAY STUDIES) Even when monetary issues were forbidden subjects in the ring, AHPA still supplied lawmakers with this information.  As our state begins to see an upswing in revenue, it is the organization’s hope to bring pay issues back to center stage.

AHPA continues to be the main contender for our members.  Round for round, we are making a difference for you.  If you have suggestions or concerns we can raise on your behalf, please contact me or your AHPA district representative directly.  We promise to provide you a voice at the judge’s table.

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