The Columbia Police Officers Association was originated
in 1975. This organization was started
by Detectives and Patrolmen of the police department. The organization
came to life on January 20th, 1975 when four of the original members signed
Articles of Incorporation.
The stated purpose
for the organization listed in that original document
were to, "promote and protect the interests and well-being of the
uniformed patrolmen and detectives of the Columbia, Missouri Police Department
and to foster civic pride in the residents of that city in its police
The original board of directors for the CPOA numbered eight officers and
detectives. In those days, the formation of a "union" type organization
was a bold maneuver on the part of the original members. Local governments
had historically frowned upon organized labor. It is a credit to the founders
of this organization that the CPOA now enjoys status and credibility with
the City, County and State Government.
In the early 1980's the CPOA joined forces with the nationally recognized
Fraternal Order of Police. CPOA became Missouri State FOP Lodge #26.
In 1975 the CPOA served
the rank and file. The organization was so respected in the community
that historically, most command rank officers of the police department
remain members of CPOA in a non-voting "associate" member status.
Few labor organizations enjoy such cooperation and status to include their
commanders in their ranks.
CPOA has undertaken to represent its members in promoting their interests
by serving as the recognized bargaining unit for its members. City ordinances
now mandate that the CPOA is involved in the annual meet and confer sessions
required by state statute.
CPOA has actively sought to foster public relations by using its
not for profit status to collect donations from the public, and then redistribute
the funds to numerous deserving organizations in this community. Emergency
shelters, youth athletic teams, and other worthwhile organizations have
historically benefited from the CPOAs commitment to its original
corporate purpose of promoting civic pride in the police department.
Now, the CPOA totals 129 members. The men and women of the CPOA reshaped
the organization in the last ten years and have now included Sergeants
and Community Service Aides as full members. Furthermore, retired members
can now remain in CPOA with associate memberships.
Written By: Detective Emerson (Skip) McGuire