About The Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (O.P.B.A)
The Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (O.P.B.A) represents police departments and law enforcement agencies throughout Ohio including ranking officers and chiefs.Membership in the O.P.B.A is limited to duly appointed, sworn police and law enforcement officers, correction officers and dispatchers of governmental or quasi-governmental police departments or police agencies or such retired officers, or dispatchers, located within the State of Ohio. This association exists to provide aid and protection to its members, for the education of its members, for the general welfare of its members and their families and for the betterment of police and people of their communities.
Meet Our Team
Extensive experience in representation of OPBA members and other public sector unions in matters including litigation, arbitration of employment related issues, contract negotiations, civil service appeals, cases relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act, particularly concerning wage and hour issues, interest arbitration, and unfair labor practice matters.
Defense of Civil Rights Litigation including Title VII, 42 U.S.C. Sections 1981 and 1983.
Defense of other discrimination based litigation both in federal and state courts grounded in statutes such as Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Title IX and actions based on Chapter 4112 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Extensive practice before administrative agencies in Ohio such as State Employment Relations Board, State Personnel Board of Review & Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
She is a member of the Toledo Bar Association, Toledo Women’s Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association. In addition to her professional affiliation, Yvonne enjoys spending her time volunteering for charitable events, working out and traveling.
George earned his Bachelor of Science degree (Interdepartmental Major in Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology) from the University of Toledo and later his J.D. from the University of Toledo (cum laude) in 1996 while serving as a sergeant on the Toledo Police Department. During George’s career as a police officer, he was a patrol officer, detective and supervisor at the police academy. George also served as president of the Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association (TPPA) and as regional vice president of the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA – AFL-CIO).
George was admitted to the Ohio Bar in May, 1997 and is admitted to practice before the Ohio Supreme Court, the Federal District Courts of the Northern District of Ohio, and the Southeast district of Michigan and the United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuity) in Cincinnati. George has worked as an attorney with AFSCME and different police organizations before associating with the OPBA in 2015. Mr. Gerken services OPBA member units in all areas of labor law as well as acting as a criminal defense attorney for OPBA members who are charged with criminal offenses in the scope of duty.
In his private practice, George works in the areas of Labor Law, Estate Planning/Succession Planning; Criminal Law; Family Law and has served as Special Counsel for Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.
Community activities are important to George. He has served by appointment of Governor Taft on the Ohio Building Authority. He also served on the Supreme Court of Ohio Client’s Security Fund; the Supreme Court of Ohio Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline; and on the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, Citizens Advisory Committee.
George is a member of the Ohio Bar Association; the Toledo Bar Association; and has been a member of the Morrison R. Waite Chapter of the American Inns of Court as well as a Wealth Counsel member.
In the two years she served as clerk, public records were available to the public, electronic filing was implemented, $20 million was returned to taxpayers and public entities. Rocco, along with Cuyahoga Council, implemented a program to collect delinquent court costs that captured nearly $1.5 million in less than two years. While at the County, Rocco along with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and the Cuyahoga County Police Chiefs Association, created the first-ever countywide Guidelines for a Sexual Assault Investigation and was a member of the districtwide Heroin Initiative Task Force led by the United States District Attorney.
Rocco has spent a good portion of her career serving the City of Westlake, where she lives with her husband and two children. She was elected multiple times to the Westlake Board of Education, serving as its president and vice president and volunteered as a community magistrate. Rocco previously worked as a City of Westlake Prosecutor/Assistant Law Director. She is a founding member of WIN (Women Involved Now), a non-partisan organization aimed at encouraging and supporting women who run for elected office.
Her legal experience also includes time as an assistant prosecutor for Lake County and an assistant attorney general for the State of Ohio, practicing in state and federal courts.
Rocco’s proven leadership skills date back to her days at Ohio University, where she graduated with a B.S. in Communications and Public Relations before attending law school at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. At OU, Rocco was a member and officer of Mortar Board, an ambassador to the President and an officer in her sorority and student-alumni group. Upon graduation she was one of five students selected and awarded the Campus Wide Outstanding Senior Award and the Alumni Board Scholar-Leader Award.
Randy provides day to day advice to the OPBA, its Directors and its members and on many occasions has spoken on behalf of the OPBA at various educational, legal and political seminars. Since 2005, his peers have nominated him to appear in the Martindale Hubbell Attorney Directory with the distinction of having an “AV” rating, the highest rating given to an attorney for professional excellence and integrity.
A native Texan Randy obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.He earned a Masters degree in Labor and Industrial Relations at Michigan State University and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Akron.
After Law School, Kat started her own private practice, worked as a contract attorney for the Law Firm of Jones Day, and then served the City of Cleveland for four years as Assistant Director of Law. She has extensive experience defending police officers and the Cleveland Department of Public Safety in federal §1983 excessive use of force claims and has arbitrated various labor matters.
Kat lives in Avon Lake with her husband and two young children. She enjoys spending her time with her family, cooking, working out and traveling.