The history of the CPOA, as narrated by Det. Skip McGuire.

  The History of CPOA

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 it’s police department."

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 it’s 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 CPOA’s 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

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