First, all the members of our Association are employees of the Forney Police Department. However, the Forney Police Department and Forney Police Officers Association are two separate entities. We are not run by the Chief of Police and the Chief is not a member of our Association.
As far as the impression that some may get, I cannot speak for the entire city. Our Association has endorsed Ms. Helms. The endorsement was purely by name. The endorsement is given by the Association, which does not include the Chief of Police or the entire Forney Police Department.
To answer the question of our endorsement being ethical or not. The Association has a constitutional right to express its opinion on who the best candidates in a political election. The Association will not be receiving benefit by the endorsement. We chose to endorse Ms. Helms based on her vision of the City of Forney, the high regard she holds her family, and her belief that the first responders are of utmost importance to the protection of this wonderful city.
To the question of the Forney Police Officers Association being a Political Action Committee, we are not. Therefore, the FPOA did not financially support Ms. Helms’ campaign in any way. However, if we were to set up a PAC, we could potentially financially support future campaigns.
The FPOA was formed under the advisement and help of TMPA (Texas Municipal Police Officer Association). Police associations are present in many cities. The associations can and do support candidates of their choice. Our situation is not unprecedented and is a part of our political heritage that freedom of speech is necessary to ensure that we are governed by competent people.
Our integrity was called into question for not informing the City Manager of our endorsement. Again, we are our own separate entity not overseen by any public official.
To answer the question of persecution, the decision of a vote is a personal choice which the Association cannot, and will not determine. Nobody will be treated with disrespect or ostracized for a vote different than the collective opinion.
I hope this has answered any questions regarding the FPOA, Police Chief, and the Forney Police Department.
Representative of FPOA
Representative of FPOA