Last Updated on August 2, 2022 by Luke Feldbrugge
The Texas Municipal Police Association is the voice of Texas Law Enforcement. It protects the interests of law enforcement officers and helps when officers, and their families, need help. It also works to provide mental health services to police officers. The Homes for Heroes Foundation gave a $10,000 grant to the organization to help it fulfill its mission. This Homes for Heroes Foundation grant is part of the Homes for Heroes’ Circle of Giving, providing assistance for heroes in dire need across the country.
Texas Municipal Police Association Interview with Jay Flynn
Homes for Heroes Outreach Coordinator, Jay Flynn, talks to Kevin Lawrence and Mike Gomez from the TMPA. You can watch the full interview here or read the transcript of the interview below.
Jay: Hello and thanks for joining us today. I’m Jay Flynn, Homes for Heroes, hero outreach coordinator, and I’m joined today by some special guests with the Texas Municipal Police Association charities. Kevin, Mike welcome. Take just a moment and introduce yourself to our viewers.
Kevin: Hi, I’m Kevin Lawrence. I’m the executive director here at TMPA. I’ve been here for 22 years. Before that I was a cop for 22 years.
Mike: Hi, my name is Mike Gomez. I’m the field service supervisor here at TMPA, going on 17 years now. I was a full-time police officer for 14 years before that.
Jay: Awesome. Thank you guys, both, for your service as officers, and thank you for what you’re doing at the TMPA. Thanks for joining me, taking some time out of your busy day to join me today. As part of the Homes for Heroes Circle of Giving the Homes for Heroes Foundation provides grants to nonprofits whose missions are to support heroes in dire need. I’m happy to share that the Texas Municipal Police Association charities is going to be the Homes for Heroes Foundation, July 2022 grant recipient. Congrats guys.
Mike: Thank you so much we appreciate it.
Jay: Absolutely. So Kevin and Mike, the Homes for Heroes Foundation is honored to present the Texas Municipal Police Association charities with a $10,000 grant. I’ll roll out of the way and there’s your big poster-board check that talks about the grant monies that are coming your way for officer assistance.
Kevin: Thank you guys so much. We’re honored to be able to accept it. We’ve got two officers’ funds designated that those funds are going to be used to assist. Michael will talk about that in a minute.
Jay: Awesome, awesome. We certainly owe gratitude to those who have served in law enforcement in Texas and throughout our nation. I understand there’s many challenges that our officers are facing today. You know in today’s times, things are just a little different from time to time. We hope that this grant helps TMPA charities serve our police heroes.
Let’s talk about TMPA charities and the missions of each. Kevin, I see you’ve been the executive director of the TMPA since 2010, so that’s a couple years under your belt for sure. Give us a little bit of history on how the TMPA charities came to be and all that good stuff.
Kevin: The Texas Municipal Police Association has been around for 72 years now. We were first formed in 1950 originally, as the Association of Municipal Law Enforcement Officers. But over the years, that’s changed. We now represent almost 32,000 active duty law enforcement officers today, from all different types of agencies and all different ranks within those agencies. State officers, county officers, city officers, school districts, universities and colleges–you name it, they’re all welcome here at the TMPA.
The services we provide on a daily basis are legal assistance, lobbying, training, etc. But years and years ago we used to have a thing called the Texas Municipal Wives Association, which later became the auxiliary, and they started doing scholarships for members. The TMPA started doing line-of-duty death benefits and that’s what led us to form TMPA charities Inc., so that we could have a separate 501(c)(3), so those types of activities could be carried on. With support from the public and from organizations like Homes for Heroes, not only are we doing the scholarships and the line-of-duty death benefits, but we are also assisting officers in times of crisis. Recently, when an officer’s wife died during childbirth, TMPA charities stepped up to help out the family. Officers lose their home to a fire or they lose a home during a hurricane, you know we’re there to help out. That’s basically the genesis of TMPA charities.
Jay: Wow that’s awesome. It sounds like it kind of grew and is doing a lot of really good things. So Mike, you’re the field services supervisor. Tell us a little bit more about what that means and what your role is within the TMPA.
Mike: Well, I look at it as being a quarterback on the ground – boots on the ground – and making sure that we’re doing the things that are most beneficial to our membership. That’s statewide. As you all know, Texas is a really small state, so it’s not an easy task. We’re very fortunate that we have a really good group of guys and gals that are out there who really care about the organization, who really care about the membership. They’re out there working hard because they are the face of the organization. That’s the first person you see. They’re involved in being the first one on the scene, whether it be a hurricane or any type of other natural disaster that may affect someone or any of our membership.
Jay: Those are the guys that are out there they are on the front line of interaction with officers and your team.
Mike: Right, and it’s also a buffer position too between management and line officers.
Jay: Gotcha, awesome. You play a pretty key role. Kevin you talked a little bit about the different officers that make up the Texas Municipal Police Association across the state of Texas. Sounds like you guys will represent a plethora of organizations. You want to talk a little bit more about that and how you may interact with other law enforcement associations or departments within the state?
Kevin: Yeah, in Texas it’s funny. The Houston Police Officers Union is independent, and Dallas is independent. We represent the mid-to-smaller agencies all across the state. As I said, we’ve got 32 000 members, but they’re from over 2,000 different agencies. So, you can imagine, we’ve got a lot of members who come from agencies with less than 10 officers. But we’re all over the state of Texas and we represent all different ranks. I like to joke with the executive director of the Texas Police Chiefs’ Association, because I’m pretty sure we have more chiefs that are members of TMPA than he has in the chiefs’ association.
Jay: That’s good. So Mike, tell us a little bit more about the mission of TMPA charities and the things that it does to support law enforcement and their families. I know we’ve talked about the natural disasters and things like that, but expand on that just a little bit more, and tell us about what TMPA charities do for field officers.
Mike: It’s about them realizing that the organization they belong to is giving back. At the same time we are doing what we can do for them in their time of need. I think we’ve done a really good job over the years. I’ve seen other organizations contribute money to TMPA charities because of what we do with it. I would say probably 30% of the time, they’re not even TMPA members. They’re cops and it’s about doing what’s right. Sometimes funds go to other non-profits as well, and again it’s about doing the right thing and making our members feel proud of what we’re doing with their hard-earned money.
Jay: Awesome. Well I know we’re honored at Homes for Heroes and the Homes for Heroes Foundation. Kevin, tell us how our audience can get involved in supporting the mission and where they can go to learn more about Texas Municipal Police Association and TMPA charities.
Kevin: I’ll be happy to do that. I’d like to mention one more thing about what Mike was just talking about. We also try to provide our members, and law enforcement across the state, with mental health services counseling.
I know that, as a firefighter, you know our first responders are expected to see things that human beings just shouldn’t have to see–and deal with things that human beings shouldn’t have to deal with. Very often, we’re the last ones to reach out for help when we need it. That’s something else we do through TMPA charities; we make sure services are available to our members and their families. I want to make sure we mention that as well. As far as the general public is concerned, we are always honored anytime we can partner up at the local level. We partner up with the concerns of police survivors. We partner up with all different organizations that are interested in helping out our families or individuals. They can go to our website TMPA.org. There are ways that they can contribute directly to TMPA charities, which is a 501(c)(3), so all contributions are tax deductible.
Jay: That’s awesome. I noticed when I was there and checking out your page that 100% of all donations are actually given to the people in need or to other groups for their missions. There’s nothing coming off the top for marketing and those kinds of things.
Kevin: 100% of it goes directly to the recipients, to the members. TMPA takes care of all the overhead, the administrative charges, and we do not do any kind of telemarketing or fundraising. We don’t have any private companies helping raise money for us. You know very often those groups take 80%-85% right off the top. We don’t do any of that. We make sure 100% of it goes to help those that need it.
Jay: That’s awesome because that’s what the intent is–to help those in need, to help our officers when they’ve got a dark day. You mentioned mental health and definitely, in my role with the fire chiefs, mental health for our first responders, as with our military, is a huge emerging issue right now. I believe in 2017, suicide surpassed line of duty deaths for fire, EMS and law enforcement communities. So I commend you guys for reaching out and doing that fine work.
Kevin: I’m not sure that’s when it actually surpassed. I think that’s when we finally started actually tabulating. I think before that, nobody was really collecting that data.
Jay: Absolutely, but definitely a huge thing. Guys it’s been an honor to spend some time with you today and talk about the Texas Municipal Police Association and TMPA charities. Everything that you guys are doing as an association is truly making a difference within the law enforcement community. I’m sure that the officers that you guys are serving are so thankful for what you guys do, both in their time of need and then from their advocacy perspective. Any final thoughts gentlemen before we call it?
Mike: I just wanted to give a shout out to Trooper Maldonado who got this all started and got us together.
Jay: Absolutely, I know what you guys are doing not only helps the officers, it helps our communities. Having officers live in the communities where they work and be part of the community is important. We talk all the time about how cops are your neighbors, they are your husbands, and wives, and fathers, and mothers. You know they’re members of your community and so anything we can do to help stabilize that workforce is critical. What you guys are doing is important, Absolutely.
Kevin: I agree 100%.
Jay: It’s been an honor and thank you guys for joining me today. We appreciate everything that you guys are doing for the law enforcement community. Thanks for being here with us to hear more about the great work that the Texas Municipal Police Association is doing.
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Homes for Heroes Foundation
Grants from the Homes for Heroes Foundation are made possible by the Homes for Heroes Circle of Giving and its network of real estate professionals who are committed to providing savings on home and mortgage buy, sell and refinance transactions for firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, military (active, reserves and veterans), healthcare professionals and teachers.
Please take a moment to learn more about the Homes for Heroes Foundation and the grants it provides nonprofit organizations who help heroes in need, or simply to make a donation.