The Police Chief, the Professional Voice of Law Enforcement
Advanced Search
July 2014HomeSite MapContact UsFAQsSubscribe/Renew/UpdateIACP

Current Issue
Search Archives
Web-Only Articles
About Police Chief
Advertising
Editorial
Subscribe/Renew/Update
Law Enforcement Jobs
buyers Your Oppinion

 
IACP
Back to Archives | Back to September 2011 Contents 

Proposed IACP Constitutional Amendments

By Philip A. Broadfoot, Chief, Danville Police Department, IACP Parliamentarian


or the last 118 years, the IACP has strived to identify, serve, and address the needs of its membership and the law enforcement profession. Its success and stability in meeting this mission is a testament to the dedication, commitment, and wisdom of our members and the leaders they elect to represent them.

Unfortunately, when it comes to electing the IACP leadership, we severely limit the ability of those same members to participate in the process.

Currently, the IACP Constitution only allows those members who are physically present at an IACP Annual Conference to vote for candidates for IACP Office. As a result of this restriction, many active IACP members who find themselves unable to attend an annual conference have no opportunity to make their voices heard.

In response to this situation, earlier this year, IACP President Mark Marshall, with the approval of the Board of Officers, convened an Ad Hoc Committee on Elections to review the process by which the IACP conducts its elections.

As IACP Parliamentarian, I had the honor to serve as Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee. The membership of the committee included IACP President Mark Marshall; IACP First Vice President Walter McNeil; IACP International Vice President David Beer; IACP Vice President-Treasurer Carl Wolf; IACP Past President David Walchak; Chief Gary Vest (Powell, Ohio); and Donald Chesworth retired New York State Police Superintendent and former IACP Parliamentarian.

The committee members met throughout the year, invited comments and suggestions from the membership, and provided the IACP Executive Committee with updates on their deliberations. The driving principle behind the committee’s work was the belief that in order to promote greater membership involvement in the IACP, the IACP Constitution and Rules should be amended to allow for all eligible IACP Members to vote in the election of the IACP Board of Officers.

This principle was reinforced by a membership survey conducted as part of this review effort, which found that nearly 90 percent of the 1,400 respondents favored allowing all active and eligible members to vote for candidates for IACP Office.

The work of the committee is now complete, and, as required by the IACP Constitution, the Executive Committee has reviewed and approved two proposed amendments to the IACP Constitution that will be placed before the membership at the Chicago conference. These amendments, if adopted, would remove a restriction that limits voting to only those members in attendance at the annual conference and would also provide for the automatic succession of IACP Vice Presidents to the IACP Presidency.

These proposed amendments were drafted after a thorough discussion and considerable debate within the Ad Hoc Committee, with the IACP Board of Officers and the IACP Executive Committee. Throughout the process, all parties involved were focused on the potential impact that these changes could have on our association and its future. The proposed amendments presented to the membership for consideration fully reflect this deliberative process and debate.

The full text of the ballot questions and the actual changes made to the text of the IACP Constitution are provided in the box, but I would like to take this opportunity to provide a more detailed overview of the rationale behind these proposals.



Question #1

Should the IACP Constitution be amended to remove the restriction that eligible IACP members must be present at the annual conference to vote for IACP Constitutional Officers?

Issue Background: Currently, the IACP Constitution requires that in order to vote in IACP elections, an eligible member must be present at the annual conference. The proposed change would amend the articles of the constitution to remove this restriction. This would allow the Executive Committee to determine the means by which all eligible IACP members could vote for IACP Constitutional Officers without being present at the annual conference.

Rationale: As stated earlier, the IACP Constitution, by requiring members to be physically present at an IACP Conference to vote, significantly limits the ability of an active member to participate in the governance process of the association. The change proposed by this amendment would remove the current the restriction and empower the IACP Executive Committee to explore options for greater voter participation in future IACP elections.

There are several factors that are important to note about this proposed amendment:

First, adoption of the amendment would not result in an immediate change to IACP election procedures. It simply provides the Executive Committee with the option to modify those procedures in the future if they determine it is in the best interest of the association to do so. It also provides the Executive Committee with the flexibility to review a range of electoral options (absentee voting, mail voting, on-line voting) and determine which, if any, is best suited for the IACP.

Secondly, adoption of the amendment would only remove the voting restriction as it applies to elections for IACP Constitutional Officers. It would not change the current process for amending the IACP Constitution or the approval of IACP membership resolutions. These questions would only be considered by those IACP members who are present at the annual conference.



Question #2

Should the IACP Constitution be amended to provide for the automatic succession of duly elected IACP Vice Presidents to the IACP Presidency?

Issue Background: Currently, the IACP Constitution and Rules requires elected Vice Presidents to stand for election each year in order to ascend to the IACP Presidency. (i.e., Fourth Vice President must run for Third Vice President, etc.) The proposed change would eliminate this requirement and allow the Fourth Vice President, to ascend through the chairs automatically at the conclusion of each term. Under this proposal, each Vice President would still be required to verify annually their eligibility to serve on the Board. In addition, the IACP Executive Committee would retain its authority to discipline and/or remove a member of the Board of Officers for misconduct or malfeasance.

Rationale for Change: Over the years, concern has been expressed by both members of the leadership and the IACP membership at large that the requirement that Vice Presidents stand for election annually represented a potential problem for the effective governance of the association.

Typically, an IACP President serves on the IACP Board of Officers for four years prior to assuming the Presidency. During that time, incumbents gain a full appreciation of the reach and scope of IACP’s programs and activities, as well as learn the nuances of IACP financial and management practices. This exposure to the IACP and its operations helps ensure that while in office, the IACP President is able to lead the IACP effectively while ensuring the continued stability of the association. As the constitution is currently written, it is possible that an individual could challenge a sitting vice president and assume the IACP presidency with little, or no, preparation or experience in working with the IACP.

The proposed amendment would eliminate this possibility by allowing vice presidents to ascend through the chairs automatically at the conclusion of each term. They would still be required to establish their eligibility to serve on the IACP Board, and the Executive Committee would retain its authority to discipline and/or remove a Board member for misconduct or malfeasance.



Approval Process

In order to be adopted, a proposed amendment to the IACP Constitution must receive the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership present and voting during the 2011 IACP Annual Conference. Voting on proposed amendments will take place on Monday, October 24, in the convention center. The polling booths will open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 4:00 p.m.

If you are attending the 2011 IACP Annual Conference in Chicago, I urge you to take this opportunity to vote on these proposed amendments. It is my firm belief that approval of the proposed amendments will help to enhance the governance and operation of our association and ensure the continuing success of the IACP.

Question 1:

Should the IACP Constitution be amended to remove the restriction that eligible IACP members must be present at the annual conference to vote for IACP Constitutional Officers?


Rationale: Currently, the IACP Constitution requires that in order to vote in IACP elections, an eligible member must be present at the annual conference. The proposed change would amend the Articles of the Constitution to remove this restriction. This would allow the Executive Committee to determine the means by which all eligible IACP members could vote for IACP Constitutional Officers without being present at the annual conference.


Proposed Change to Article VII—Annual Conference

Section 1: Time, Place, and Purpose. Annual conferences shall occur at such time and place as shall be determined by the Executive Committee. If it is later determined by the Board of Officers that contractual obligations are not being adhered to, the Board of Officers may select another time or place and official notice thereof shall be published in The Police Chief at least three (3) months prior to the actual date of such annual conference. It is during the annual conference of the Association that, in and among other things, the membership has the opportunity to elect and install constitutional officers; amend the constitution; adopt resolutions; receive reports from the Vice President–Treasurer, Executive Director, and committees; and to participate in any business sessions of the Association.

Section 2: Election of Officers. Election of Officers to Constitutional positions will occur during the annual conference as determined by the Executive Committee. These activities will be held in accordance with the requirements for these ballots prescribed elsewhere in the Constitution and Rules of the Association.

Section 3: Constitutional Amendments. Voting for any proposed amendments to the Constitution will occur at the annual conference as determined by the Executive Committee.




Question 2:

Should the IACP Constitution be amended to provide for the automatic succession of duly elected IACP Vice Presidents to the IACP Presidency?


Rationale: Currently, the IACP Constitution and Rules requires elected Vice Presidents to stand for election each year in order to ascend to the IACP Presidency. (i.e., Fourth Vice President must run for Third Vice President, etc.) The proposed change would eliminate this requirement and allow the Fourth Vice President, to ascend through the chairs automatically at the conclusion of each term. Under this proposal, each Vice President would still be required to annually verify their eligibility to serve on the Board. In addition, the IACP Executive Committee would retain its authority to discipline and/or remove a member of the Board of Officers for misconduct or malfeasance.



Proposed Change to Article IV—Officers

Section 4: Eligibility. Members of the Board of Officers at the time of filing, election, and appointment, and continuously for at least two years immediately prior thereto, must be an active member of the Association in good standing. Each officer, except for the International Vice President and the Executive Director, at the time of filing, election, and appointment also shall be regularly engaged in active police service as the operating chief executive of their police agency. In addition, each year at the time of filing and election, all officers must certify that they remain eligible to serve on the Board of Officers. The Executive Committee shall review the findings of the election commission and determine the eligibility of candidates for office immediately following the filing for office by a candidate.

Section 5: Term of President. A President, who shall not thereafter be again eligible for the office, shall be invested annually at a business session of the annual conference of the Association. The individual shall serve as President until the termination of the annual conference next ensuing after their investiture.

Section 6: Terms of Other Officers. (a) The Fourth Vice President (and any vacant board position) shall be elected annually during the annual conference of this Association and serve in that capacity until the conclusion of the annual conference next ensuing after their election (unless otherwise noted in this section). At that time, they shall ascend automatically to the Office of Third Vice President. In like manner, the First, Second, and Third Vice Presidents shall automatically ascend to the next higher office following the completion of their current term.

(b) In like manner, the Vice President–Treasurer shall be elected for a three-year term and shall be eligible for reelection. Vice Presidents at Large shall also be elected to a single three–year term and not be eligible for reelection. Each of these officers shall serve until a successor is elected and installed. The International Vice President, the General Chair of the Division of State and Provincial Police and the General Chair of the Division of State Association of Chiefs of Police shall serve in office in accordance with rules approved by the Executive Committee.

(c) Vice Presidents at Large may not run for President, First, Second, Third, Fourth Vice President without a one-year break in service.

(d) Individuals who are elected to fill the unexpired term of a Vice President at Large are eligible to run for a single three-year term.



Please cite as:

Philip A. Broadfoot, "Proposed IACP Constitutional Amendments," The Police Chief 78 (September 2011): 66–67.

Click to view the digital edition.

Top

 

From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVIII, no. 9, September 2011. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.








The official publication of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
The online version of the Police Chief Magazine is possible through a grant from the IACP Foundation. To learn more about the IACP Foundation, click here.

All contents Copyright © 2003 - International Association of Chiefs of Police. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright and Trademark Notice | Member and Non-Member Supplied Information | Links Policy

44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA USA 22314 phone: 703.836.6767 or 1.800.THE IACP fax: 703.836.4543

Created by Matrix Group International, Inc.®