About MAP

Law enforcement officers nationwide are being executed simply for doing their job. In fact, for the fifth year in a row, ambush-style executions were the number one cause of felonious officer deaths, according to a 2014 report released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).

So why are some U.S. politicians and other leaders encouraging the public to question the integrity of public safety officers, who are hired to PROTECT the public and the officials who represent them?

The current anti-police sentiment is in reaction to citizen deaths during altercations with police officers. The most noteworthy case is that of a Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown, an African American, on Aug. 9, 2014 while he was fleeing police. In this case, like many of the others, Brown was not cooperative with police during his attempted arrest. However, much of the media coverage does not discuss that very critical fact. Shortly before the shooting, Brown was captured on video camera robbing a nearby convenience store, stealing several cigarillos and shoving the store clerk. Police said a struggle between Brown and a Ferguson officer over the officer's gun led to his death.

Photo by Chris MacCourtney
Sterling Heights Patrol sponsored the Howard family through New Day Foundation for Families’ Holiday Gift Giving Program, which benefits cancer patients and their immediate family.


Photo by Sterling Heights Police Officer Randy Shippy
Sterling Heights Police Officers Jesse Wilson (left) and Erik Kame (right) assist Avrianna (center from left) and Elisa through the Cops and Kids Christmas shopping program.


 By Jennifer Foley, MAP Editor

Sterling Heights Police have spent many years helping needy families during the holidays, but in December 2015 they decided to also reach out to families coping with cancer.

Sterling Heights Det. Ken Mercer said the Michigan Association of Police (MAP) represented department has been active with Cops and Kids, covering the expenses and going shopping with needy children for Christmas presents for the past 17 years. This year over 20 officers participated in that program helping 50 children. The department also provided Christmas gifts to two families through New Day Foundation for Families’ Holiday Gift Giving Program. New Day helps cancer patients and their families who are going through a tough time financially as well as physically and emotionally.

Photo by Chris MacCourtney
Sterling Heights Command Officers sponsored the Greer family through New Day Foundation for Families’ Holiday Gift Giving Program.

The Foundation was started by a woman who lost her husband to cancer and man who lost his wife to cancer. The couple’s deceased spouses had been lifelong friends who both died just six weeks apart from incurable cancers, leaving their spouses to raise five young children. The two later married and Michael Spehn and Gina Kell Spehn’s story of loss and love was featured in the New York Times Best Selling book “The Color of Rain,” which was made into a Hallmark channel movie, which aired for a second time Jan. 18, 2016.

“Crushing expenses, fear andand stress do not discriminate when cancer strikes,” said Josephine Long, Development Director at New Day. “We financially provide, for approximately three months, for core household expenses, but also offer emotional support because every family copes differently. We employ licensed social workers and counselors to better serve our families.”
New Day also helps with the educational needs of the dependent children such as pay-to-participate school activities fees, costs for field trips, school clothing and supplies. This allows the children to focus on their academics by temporarily relieving them from the stresses of home.

By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor

Jerald James has always enjoyed coming to the aid of others, so helping his fellow Detroit EMS co-workers resolve employment concerns was a natural transition for him. Now that he’s recently retired, James is taking his next step helping others as the newest MAP Labor Relations Specialist.

“The one thing that attracted me to the union when I started (Detroit EMS) in 1997 was witnessing employees rights not being honored or respected and watching co-workers or peers really struggle with their rights and their benefits and wages,” James said.

James represented EMS workers for nearly two decades through his various positions at Detroit EMS, including EMS Superintendent and his most recent position as EMS Captain. He begins his new career with MAP in September.

Labor Relations Specialist Jerald James

“Once I crossed into the union world, it became very rewarding to me to win a grievance or have a phone call and get some stuff straightened out,” he said. “It made the job dually rewarding - I was delivering babies and ... getting peoples’ jobs back when they were wrongly discharged. For a lot of people you end up saving their life or their careers when no one else would or could.”

James was a Michigan Association of Fire Fighters (MAFF) Union Steward since 2014, when EMS Supervisors joined MAFF. Now MAFF representatives are hoping EMTs and Paramedics will join the union as well.

“I was actually the union president for the group when we affiliated with MAFF,” James said. “To me, it was a natural transition. I really liked what I’m doing - I wouldn’t change it. I think this is a nice group of guys I’m dealing with too,” he said of the Labor Relations Specialists.

His union career track began in 1997 as Union Steward with International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). He climbed the ranks to Chief Steward from 1998-2002 and President from 2002-05. In 2005, he was promoted to Lieutenant, and in 2007 became President of EMS Officers Association, a group not affiliated with any organized union.

A headquarters building designed for efficiency

The location and the resource structure of a union's central office combine to have a direct and profound impact upon the organization's ability to serve its membership.

The headquarters should be centrally situated in order for labor relations' professionals to have rapid access to all members. It should be in the closest possible proximity to the offices of the union's other service providers, such as its legal specialists. It should have the capacity to host large and small-group meetings, to house the modern hardware that is essential to sophisticated business operation and to provide the kinds of functional accessories that create a setting of which all members can be proud.

M.A.P.'s central office is located near a network of expressways interconnecting Michigan's cities. The labor relations' staff thus is within swift driving range of points throughout the state. The office is literally across the hall from the Coalition of Public Safety (COPS) Health Trust, the organization's affordable health care plan which has been negotiated into several contracts. It boasts comfortable meeting and conference facilities and contains all of the state-of-the-art machinery, including a complete internet presence that is necessary to a modern union operation. And, just as important, it is kept working at peak efficiency by a highly qualified support staff that includes a research assistant.

Efficiency is both the objective and the result of the headquarters office design - the kind of efficiency that makes certain all members' needs receive immediate and full attention.