GEORGIA FOP HISTORY

THE PEACOCK YEARS (1978-1982)

 

1978

 

On April 1st and 2nd, a State Board Meeting was held at the Wanderer Motel on Jekyll Island. The Legislative Committee reported on the signing into law by Governor Busbee of the bill raising court pay from $8 to $12. It was noted that Virginia had recently passed legislation regarding police officer salaries. It was suggested that we consider similar legislation. The legal aid committee had a large agenda. Brother Clements of Macon requested help from the State Lodge and Grand Lodge in satisfying a $15,000 judgement rendered against one of their officers. This matter was referred to the State Attorney Eddie Hartness for further study. The LaGrange Lodge reported that their attorney advised he would need $2,000 to continue defending a brother by filing an appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Also, they needed $650 to help defend a member in another case. The State Lodge voted to provide support in both cases. State Attorney Hartness briefed the membership on a case in Calhoun were a member lost due to poor representation by his attorney and a case in Ellijay were a brother was a victim of politics. There was no action taken in these matters. Brother Grant reported on a brother in Albany that had been convicted of rape and was requesting assistance. Support was denied. Discussion was held regarding giving the Ladies Auxiliary 5% of the magazine's profit instead of the current 3%. It was decided to study the matter further before taking any action. In closing remarks, President Polak stated that he would not be seeking re-election as President. He thanked everyone for their support during his tenure and indicated that he would be running for National Conductor at the upcoming National Conference.

From June 11th to 14th, the 9th Annual Georgia FOP Conference was held at the Sheraton Motor Inn in Albany. The conference opened with a dinner meeting on the first day. Special guest and dignitaries gave welcoming addressed and informed the members of the many events planned for the conference. The Auxiliary began the first business meeting with a very well prepared Memorial Service. The business session began with a report by the magazine committee. Dale Jablonski was present to answer questions and update everyone on the recent publication. The insurance committee reported on the different insurance plans available to members. Reports were given regarding legal insurance plans. There was some question as to the plans handling of civil rights complaints. The committee was asked to investigate the plan and report back at the next meeting. Under Legal Aid committee report, Attorney Eddie Hartness updated everyone concerning the Macon Lodge being "hocked" to cover a $15,000 judgement. It was reported that the National Lodge was limiting all legal aid requests to $5,000 due to a lean financial position. After discussion and review, the legal aid committee recommended giving the Macon Lodge $1,000. The motion was seconded and passed. In other legal aid business, the committee recommended that the Ellijay officer that had become a victim in a political situation be given $1,000 to help with legal expenses. Brother Roberts of Atlanta made a motion to approve the recommendation. It was seconded by Brother Banks of Macon and passed. The Legislative Committee talked about the Police Officers Bill of Rights. There was much discussion and dissension because the bill did not spell out coverage for deputy sheriffs. A vote was taken to support the bill as currently written. In other legislative business, it was recommended that work begin on a salary bill. There were candidates challenging for every office except Sec/Treasurer (Stafford), Conductor (Banks) and Chaplain (Orr).l There were two candidates for president with L. S. Johnson of Columbus running against Bill Peacock of Dekalb County.

The following State Officers were elected:

President W. E. Peacock Dekalb County
1st Vice President M. J. Maloof Atlanta
2nd Vice President T. L. Knighton Albany
Sec/Treasurer D. M. Stafford Savannah
Conductor David Banks Macon
Inner Guard E. W. Atchley Rome
Outer Guard F. D. Roberts Atlanta
Chaplain R. E. Orr Savannah
National Trustee J. J. Brown Savannah

The newly elected State Officers sworn into office by National Secretary Bill Bannister, President Peacock thanked the Albany Lodge for hosting a great conference.

On October 7th and 8th, a State Board Meeting was held in Columbus. The Alabama State President was introduced and shared information about the activities of the Alabama State Lodge. Brother Jeter of Columbus welcomed everyone to Columbus and invited members and families to their lodge for supper. Brother Stafford reported that the magazine was doing well and should surpass last year's revenues. He stated that local lodges still were not sending in articles. Brother Roberts, Chairman of Legislative Committee, went over recent election results and outlined how they would impact our legislation. Responding to a request from the state Corrections Officers Association, a motion was passed to support their legislation for increased pay and benefits. The Legal Aid Committee reported that the National Lodge had denied assistance to the Macon Lodge due to improper filing of the request. In other legal business, the committee made a recommendation that State Attorney Eddie Hartness be given a retainer of $300 a month and that he would oversee and establish a uniform procedure for obtaining legal assistance. Under new business, President Peacock discussed the cost involved in the State Conferences and recommended changing the by-laws to have a conference every two years. A motion was made and passed to direct the State By-laws Committee to prepare a amendment for the next conference to make the change to a biennial conference. In closing remarks, President Peacock noted that the State Lodge and the Columbus Lodge were celebrating their 9th anniversary. He read the minutes from the first meeting on 10-04-69. It recognized Daddy Banks of Macon and Pete Stafford of Savannah.

The following lodges were chartered in 1978:

01-10-78 ---- Warner Robbins/Houston County Lodge #47
02-21-78 ---- Americus/Sumter County Lodge #48
03-25-78 ---- Pickens County Lodge #49
03-28-78 ---- Cordele/Crisp County Lodge #50
06-24-78 ---- Manchester Lodge #51
unknown ---- unknown lodge #52
08-09-78 ---- Barnseville/Lamar County Lodge #53
08-22-78 ---- Baxter Shavers (Rossville) Lodge #54

 

1979

On April 7th and 8th, a State Lodge Board Meeting was held Tifton. Brother Roberts of Atlanta presented a legislative report and stated that most local lodges had done very little to support the State Lodge's efforts to pass the Police Officers' Bill of Rights. The importance of each lodge working to get the support of their local legislator was stressed. Brother Dyer suggested that a constitutional amendment would be the best way to get a Bill of Rights. The State Attorney provided information regarding the Georgia Municipal Association and County Commission Association using taxpayer money for lobbying. Brother Roberts recommended that the matter be researched further and if feasible that legal action be taken to stop the practice. The Awards Committee recommended that awards be presented at the upcoming State Conference to Mrs. Taff for her work with the Ladies Auxiliary and Brother Clements for his past service as National Trustee. Brother Banks of Macon reported that their lodge needed some assistance with legal aid for a member. Brother Stafford updated everyone on the upcoming National Conference. Under new business, Brother Peacock proposed having a contest were members submit their best story involving a traffic stop. It was approved to proceed with the contest and award prizes. Brother Brown of Savannah recommended that the State Lodge sponsor a state wide softball tournament and pistol match. Brother Banks of Macon made a motion to give $500 to the Ladies Auxiliary for them to sponsor a scholarship. Brother Peacock reported that the State Lodge Brochure that he was developing would be ready by the State Conference. Brother Knighton of Albany suggested that the State Lodge obtain some type of give-a-way favor for the National Conference. A motion was approved to have a committee of Brothers Knighton, Maloof and Peacock to look into finding something.

On June 11th - 13th, the 10th Annual State Conference was held in Gainesville at the Holiday Inn. Mayor Randolph Waters welcomed the Georgia FOP to Gainesville, the "Queen City". Also, Chief Georgia Knapp and Sheriff Ed England provided welcoming statements. Special guest, Criminal Justice Professor John Granfield of Georgia State University, was introduced by President Peacock. Gainesville's President Nick Moore introduced the Conference Committee (Ricky Rich, Gary Lenderman, Dan Bishop and James Ash). He also announced information about a tennis tournament and pistol match. Further, he informed everyone that there would be parking lot security each night of the State Conference. After a Memorial Service led by Chaplain Orr and the Ladies Auxiliary, President Peacock called the meeting to order and introduced National President Pat Stark. He stressed the importance of unity and explained how more could be accomplished by working together. Brother Roberts gave the Legislative report and talked about the Police Officer's Bill of Rights. President Peacock announced that the Public Relations Brochure was completed and available. Brother Jeter of Columbus spoke about an incentive pay plan that the State of Florida has in place and recommended that the Georgia FOP endorse the plan. After discussion, the plan was amended to include experience as well as education. Further, a motion directed that a copy of our proposal be sent to Governor Busbee, Lieutenant Governor Miller and Speaker Murphy. Brother Childers made a motion that $2,000 be given to the FOPA to help them get started. Brother Yearwood of Dekalb County seconded the motion and after much discussion, it passed. Under Legal Aid, Brother Brown of Savannah made a motion to give $1,500 to the Macon Lodge to assist a member in a legal case. The motion was seconded by Brother Johnson of Columbus and passed.

The following State Officers were elected:

President W. E. Peacock Dekalb County
1st Vice President Billy Jeter Columbus
2nd Vice President Wayne Atchley Rome
Sec/Treasurer D. M. Stafford Savannah
Conductor David Banks Macon
Inner Guard Mike Gaddis Alto
Outer Guard Nick Moore Gainesville
Chaplain R. E. Orr Savannah
National Trustee L. S. Johnson Columbus

President Peacock advised that National President Stark would give the State Officers their oath of office at the banquet. President Belmar of the FOPA spoke regarding their campaign of support for the Police Officers' Bill of Rights. President Peacock explained a proposal by Dale Jablonski to modify the percentages on the magazine contract. It was decided to give the plan a twelve months trial. President Peacock stated that all complaints regarding the State Magazine should be sent to the State Secretary. Brother Childers of Savannah made a motion to increase the Secretary/Treasurer's expense allowance by $50 a month. The motion seconded by Brother Johnson of Columbus and carried. President Peacock announced the dates for the FOP Softball Tournament and then closed the meeting.

On October 20th and 21st, a State Board Meeting was held in Savannah at the Downtowner Motor Inn. President Peacock called the meeting to order and under announcements Secretary Stafford reported that Lieutenant Governor Miller was the only person to respond to the letter sent out about incentive pay. Under the history committee report, Brother Kinsman reported that he has obtained a file cabinet to store information about the State Lodge. Brother Jeter of Columbus reported on the Wage Survey and stated it should be completed by the first of the year. Under Insurance committee, the State Secretary reported that our insurance company did not mail out our renewal premium notice on our $2,000 accidental death policy. Therefore, the State Lodge was paying two claims for members out of the general fund. President Peacock directed the Insurance committee to move quickly to find another insurance company. State Attorney Hartness advised that the legal action against the Georgia Municipal Association and County Commission Association regarding using tax money for lobbying should be filed in the name of individual members. Several members offered the use of their name. A motion was made and passed without discussion to purchase a $600 file cabinet for the State Attorney to use for keeping State Lodge legal records. The Legal Aid Committee recommended that $1,000 be given to the Rome Lodge to help a member. A motion was made by Brother Kinsman of Columbus and seconded by Brother Collins of Fort Oglethorpe to approve the recommendation. After some discussion, the motion passed. Brother Johnson of Columbus presented a plaque to brother Brown of Savannah for his past service as National Trustee. Under the Legislative Report, Brother Brown questioned if the State Lodge should continue their efforts on a Police Officers' Bill of Rights. He felt that we should move on to other issues. President Peacock stated that we continue our fight because we had spent to much time on it to quit. President Peacock made some committee appointments prior to adjourning the meeting.

The following lodges were formed in 1979:

02-23-79 ---- Jesup/Wayne County Lodge #55
09-29-79 ---- Dublin Lodge #56
10-24-79 ---- Preston Ard (Thomaston) Lodge #57

 

 

1980

On April 19th and 20th, a State Board Meeting was held in Macon. Brother Bassett proposed a bylaws change to allow for a "sponsor membership" in the State Lodge. This new membership would be part of the magazine program and the membership would be given to purchasers of ads. There would be no voting or participation rights associated with being a sponsor member. The magazine committee chairman, Pete Stafford reported ad sales were up and that the committee was satisfied with the job that the publisher was doing. There was discussion regarding the softball Tournament to be held in conjunction with the State Conference to raise funds for a scholarship program. It was noted that a team composed of firemen had won the tournament last year. After much discussion, Brother Jeter made a motion to allow non-police teams that had already made plans to enter this year, but to change the rules to allow only police teams after this conference. Brother Bob Spiegal of the Florida State Lodge spoke on behalf of the Easter Seal Program. It was pointed out that the National Lodge was a sponsor and encouraged all State Lodges to support Easter Seals. Brother Peacock spoke and committed Georgia to the program for the coming year. Due to the rising cost of gasoline, it was decided to increase mileage reimbursement from 15 cents to 20 cents. Prior to adjournment, Brother Childers made a motion to allow the State Secretary to attend the National Chamber of Commerce Seminar at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

On June 15th - 17th, the 11th Annual State Conference was held in Columbus at the Sheraton Inn. The Conference was opened with a very impressive Memorial Service conducted by the Ladies Auxiliary and State Chaplain Sarge Orr. Brother Stafford reported on the seminar that he attended at Notre Dame and advised that he had learned of some ways to save the State Lodge some money. During the Insurance Committee report, Brother Atchley pointed out that insurance benefits are paid out of the State Lodge's general fund. It was suggested that the State Lodge look into obtaining an insurance carrier, Brother Daddy Banks made a motion to increase the Ladies Auxiliary percentage of profits from the magazine to 5% from 3%. After considerable discussion, the matter was tabled. There was discussion on the proposed bylaws change to allow for a "sponsor membership". After Brother Stafford explained the benefits to the Magazine Program. Brother Dyer pointed out that the change had not been mailed out in time to meet the requirement of sixty days notice prior to the conference, President Peacock ruled that the proposed change would have to go back to committee for approval at a later date. Chairman of the Wage Survey Committee, Brother L. S. Johnson recommended that the survey be done away with. He stated that participation was poor and the National Lodge was already dong a survey. After heavy discussion, a motion by Brother Polak to continue the survey was passed. There was discussion regarding the lack of action by the Legislative Committee. After some of the reasons were explained regarding the matter, a motion was made by Brother Dyer to form a Political Action Committee. After State Attorney Hartness explained what was involved in forming a PAC, the motion was passed. Discussion was held regarding participation by non-FOP teams in the softball tournament. It was pointed out the purpose of the tournament was to raise funds for scholarships to be given to FOP children. A motion by Brother Roberts to let the Tournament Committee run the tournament was passed. A request by the Atlanta Lodge #8 was made asking the State Lodge to help in the purchase of six bicycles for children at the Georgia Regional Hospital. The motion was made and passed to by the bicycles. Brother Roberts made a motion to make "salary incentives" a priority for the upcoming legislative program. Brother Richardson of Columbus discussed the eligibility of a member in his local lodge. It was noted that the bylaws leaves acceptance of membership to the local lodge as long as it does not violate the provisions of state or national bylaws. It was recommended that the local try to resolve the matter before bringing it to the state or national lodge. Two previously tabled motions were brought back up for discussion and consideration. The matter of a "sponsor membership" was passed over the sole objection of Brother Dyer. The increase of funding to the Ladies Auxiliary passed after Brother Polak's motion to leave it unchanged failed.

The following officers were elected:

President W. E. Peacock Dekalb County
1st Vice President Mike Maloof Atlanta
2nd Vice President Wayne Atchley Rome
Sec/Treasurer D. M. Stafford Savannah
Conductor David Banks Macon
Inner Guard Gary Lancaster Dekalb County
Outer Guard F. D. Roberts Atlanta
Chaplain R. E. "Sarge" Orr Savannah
National Trustee L. S. Johnson Columbus

In further business, Brother Polak made a motion to raise the secretary's expense per month from $125 to $200. It was seconded by Brother Banks and passed. Discussion was made regarding when to hold the two annual Board Meetings. It was decided that they would be held in February and September. It was decided that $50 a day plus expenses would be made to members going to the Capitol to lobby for the State Lodge. National President Dineen was the guest speaker at the banquet and announced that a Labor Seminar sponsored by the National Lodge and to be attended by state lodges from all over the southeast would be held in Georgia.

On September 27th and 28th, a State Board Meeting was held in Gainesville. In the Magazine Committee Report, Brother Stafford introduced and explained a PR Program called "Kids Don't Go With Strangers". Dale Jablonski of the Georgia FOP News explained that the program was very timely. The program was approved. In the legislative report, State Attorney Hartness spoke regarding legislation prohibiting the Georgia Municipal Association and the County Commissioners Association from using public fund to lobby. State Historian W. E. Kinsman discussed putting together a ten year history book for the State Lodge. It was approved on a motion from Brother Polak. The National Labor Seminar location and dates were announced. It will be held at the Admiral Benow Inn on Virginia Avenue near the Airport on November 14th,15th and 16th. Secretary Stafford announced that he had reserved 50 rooms for Georgia at the National Conference to be held next summer in Orlando. The room rates were guaranteed at $35. President Peacock advised that he had divided the state into sections and had assigned a state officer to each area. Each officer should stay in contact with lodges in his area and try to reactivate lodges that were not current in their per capita. It was announced that the February Board Meeting would be held in Atlanta and that the State Lodge would host a Legislative Reception. President Peacock reported that he had personally delivered the six bicycles approved at Conference to the Georgia Regional Hospital.

The following lodges were chartered in 1980:

01-12-80 ---- Decatur Lodge #58
01-07-80 ---- Dalton Burnam (Eastman) Lodge #59
08-29-80 ---- Michael E. Etchison (Monroe) Lodge #60
12-11-80 ---- Liberty County Lodge #61