Do you belong to the Los Angeles Retired Fire & Police Association? Retired members of both departments are eligible, but active members with 20 years of service are also eligible for membership. The Association urges and welcomes these members. The purpose of the organization is to operate a social welfare organization on a non-profit, non-sectarian, non-political basis for the pensioners of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Departments, their spouses, widows, widowers, and dependent parents or children.
Now, the big question – what do you get out of it as a member? Well, for starters the Association publishes a quarterly newsletter to keep the membership informed. A roster book is published every other year. With this roster book one can keep track of old partners and friends. The Association also sponsors an annual barbecue each June and a Christmas party in December. Both of these events are at a very nominal cost to those attending. They are well attended and there are some great prizes!!
I am a one of 16 directors of the LARFPA – eight representing retired police officers and eight representing retired fire personnel. While recruiting for new members, I found out that after officers retired they didn’t submit a deduction card to the pension department for the five dollars a month deduction. They thought they were still members because they received a Thin Blue Line in the mail, from a completely separate organization! Some were not sure if they belonged to the Association, because they signed so many papers when they retired. Those were a few of the reasons; once I explain about LARFPA they usually join.
Once while recruiting I was talking to a police retiree regarding joining the LARFPA. When I told him the monthly dues were $5 he asked me, “What does the Association do for my dues?” I couldn’t believe his question – I would have thought he’d ask, “Is that all the dues are?”
I retired from the Police Department after 39 years but I promise to serve all retirees to the best of my ability, but you have to realize I was a cop a long time. Most of my retiree’s friends are police officers, but I have a bond with the fire department – my 1st cousin Ralph Ramirez retired with the rank of Battalion Chief.
So, those of you who are already members of LARFPA – Thank you! You already realize the importance of being a member. You already know that the strength of any association or organization is the membership. Our board members will do all that is possible to stay on top of current issues concerning retirees and getting it out to the membership. For those of you who are not members – What are you waiting for?
Remember, when you separate from the fire and police departments, you’re no longer a part of it. You’re a retiree who is now spending more time with your grand children, doing with them what you couldn’t do with your own children. You’re taking trips, enjoying life to the fullest, and spending your hard earned pension.
I guarantee that when you’re retired for a short time you’ll want to contact a past partner or friend that you lost touch with. How great would it be to just open your LARFPA roster book and find that friend?
By Arthur (Art) Placencia, Board Member
Photos by Ed Allen, LAFD retired