JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The election for Jacksonville's Fraternal Order of Police leadership began Tuesday.
It's now a two-man race for president of the FOP. Sgt. Robert Beers of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is facing off against interim FOP President Steve Amos.
Both have been members of the FOP for years. Amos is currently the interim president, naturally stepping up from vice president of the lodge when Nelson Cuba was removed following the big Internet cafe scandal.
Both candidates are dedicated to continuing to bring the FOP in a positive direction.
The 3,300 members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5-30 will cast ballots starting Tuesday. They'll vote between JSO sergeants Amos and Beers.
"I see the challenges that lie in front of police officers and corrections officers in this city and I want to help out and I think i'm prepared to do so," said Beers. "I run on a platform of trust integrity, service and loyalty to this lodge and I believe I've proven that over the years."
Amos was named interim president back in March after former president Nelson Cuba and vice president Robbie Freitas were arrested in connection to an internet gambling and money laundering scheme. Both agree it's time to continue highlighting the good the FOP does for our community and move forward.
"It was very difficult a lot of people were wondering where we were gonna go and what was going to happen with our FOP, but we are the seventh largest lodge in the United States, the Jacksonville FOP, we are the largest in Florida and we've got the best group of people the best members ever and we all bonded together, everybody stayed together, nobody lost the faith and we're still here today," said Amos.
"Those were the actions of a couple of our members they were leaders in our organization but the organization still exists and it exists for the members and not just one or two people the FOP is the union that represents law enforcement officers nationwide," said Beers.
Here in Jacksonville, it negotiates contracts, provides legal counsel, works with the city on benefits, handles criminal issues and arbitration among other things. It's a full gamut of representation both Amos and Beers want to head up.
"I have an assertive personality i'm not laid back i'm not afraid to stick up for myself or the members and I think they want what everybody else wants they want pay, and benefits and job security we're no different then anyone else working in Jacksonville," said Beers.
"We have a pension balance going on as everybody knows. We want to support the police and fire pension fund in that, we have contracts that will come open for negotiation late next year but we'd like to start in the early part of the year to start working on that," said Amos.
The voting starts Tuesday with retirees and goes through Dec. 10.
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