In the interest of this blog's function as a forum, The State Worker asked candidates for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association presidency to tell us why they want to challenge president Mike Jimenez. The CCPOA's annual convention runs from Aug. 15-18.
We posted C.J. Mohammed's statement on Monday. John Lanthripp offered the following seven paragraphs, which we have not edited, via email.
Why do you want to lead CCPOA?
In the year 1982 a group of GUARDS led by a man named Don Novey saw a need to improve their working conditions and to make sure that everyone that chose to be a GUARD had rights. History now shows that those goals were accomplished. We are now CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS that are trained and have the equipment available to perform our duties in a safe and professional manner.
Today I see that the organization that Mr. Novey built again has a need to have someone take charge and lead it through some difficult times. For over twenty years I have represented the men and women of the Camps Chapter of the CCPOA. It has been my passion to assure that the rights of my members are not violated. I say "my members" because I consider each member a part of my CCPOA family.
Many of the members as well as myself feel the current leaders of the CCPOA are not in tune with the members needs. Last week many institutions were notified that due to the realignment, thousands of positions are going to be eliminated. Many of our members are scared and have questions as to what the future holds. They don't know if they are going to lose their jobs or be forced to move hundreds of miles to keep their jobs. And our current leaders were playing golf at The Governor's Cup at Pebble Beach. This in my opinion is unacceptable behavior
Four years ago Mr. Jimenez, during contract negotiations became unprofessional. He states that his behavior was theatrics. I feel those theatrics cost the membership a great deal over the next four years. His actions were in my opinion unnecessary and it did not portray the membership accurately. The public needs to understand that my members are the mothers and fathers that are the coaches, scoutmasters, PTA member, church member, and sometimes community leader in their neighborhood. We take pride in the job we do and we always attempt to maintain our professionalism on and off work.
If elected I wish to reach out to Mr. Novey and have him assist me in returning the CCPOA to an organization that places its members first. We walk THE TOUGHEST BEAT IN THE STATE!! Everyone needs to see and understand the difficult job we do. I want to bring the media as well as politicians into the institutions so they can see first hand what we have to deal with on a daily basis.
Many people do not understand the love a person has to have for their membership to properly represent them. Mr. Novey cared about the members in such a way that he assisted in creating the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation. This organization helps correctional peace officers and their families throughout the country during times of need. I have this same love for the members.
A good leader leads through service to his members. Their needs always come first. I hope and pray I am allowed to bring that type of leadership back to the CCPOA.