The Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (O.P.B.A)

Legislative Positions update

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OPBA Proud

by Thomas Austin, Executive Director

As a twenty year member of the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, I never have doubted the representation or benefits I have received.  On September 1st, I personally witnessed our representation provided to OPBA members in critical incident situations.  It was approximately 5:50 p.m. and I was working with my other shift mates in the patrol division.  We were dispatched to an active shooting.  Within a few short minutes of arriving, one of my shift mates was faced with having to use deadly force.

I immediately saw the effects of a deadly force situation on my co-workers.  Our patrol union representative was on the scene within 15 minutes.  Our patrol representative had already been in contact with the OPBA 24-hour answering service and was speaking to our OPBA attorney.  When the officer, who was required to use deadly force, returned to our police station, an OPBA attorney was waiting to provide legal counsel.

This scenario is a service the OPBA offers to ALL its members.  In fact, since June 2015, the OPBA has assisted members or departments in at least five separate police shooting incidents.

Immediately after the incident, the OPBA made available to the involved officers the services of the Westshore Critical Response Service to provide counseling services to the officers.  This service is offered to ALL OPBA members.

As a police officer, union director and executive director I am proud of all the OPBA does for its members.

2015 is an election year for Department Directors.  Please see the OPBA By-laws Article VII which addresses the Board of Directors.  I encourage you to participate.
Many of our departments, especially some of our new member departments, are hiring new employees.  Please make sure that all new employees complete a membership card to assure that all benefits the OPBA has to offer are received.  If you know of somebody who needs a membership card please call the OPBA office at 1-800-457-4190 or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
The 2015 OPBA golf outing returned this year.  Congratulations to 1st place winners Chad Lockhart, Ryan Buckles, Rick Yusko and Jason Rickenbacher.  Lake Forest Country Club in Hudson provided a challenging golf course along with excellent food.  Numerous prizes were awarded.  Over $4,000 was raised for the OPBA Charitable Foundation.  Thank you to all our sponsors and participants.
REMINDER:  If you ever need advice from an OPBA attorney or OPBA business agent, contact them as soon as possible.  Waiting to get advice may make a positive outcome more difficult.
The OPBA monitors a 24-hour answering service to be utilized by its members.  Please call 1-800-457-4190 for assistance.





Meetings will be held on the following Thursdays:

November 5, 2015

Letters will be sent to directors and alternate directors confirming meeting location.  Meetings begin at 7:30 p.m.


Meetings will be held on the following Thursdays:

December 3, 2015

Notices will be sent to police departments, directors and alternate directors confirming meeting location.  Meetings begin at 7:30 p.m.


Are held at the O.P.B.A. Office.  All Executive Board members are notified by phone or mail prior to the meetings.

Questions or problems?

Call the O.P.B.A. office at (440) 237-7900


Valued Supporters


Suburban Press, Inc

Tom Austin, Executive Director

Andy & Sue Douglas

American Income Life

Argie, D’Amico and Vitantonio

Crabbe Brown and James LLP

Jeff Pedicino

Pat Petsche, Merrill Lynch

Badges Plus

Sargent & Associates

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North Coast Awards

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Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association

Cleveland Area Golden Gloves


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Ohio State Former Boxers

California Casualty

Progressive Benefits

Greater Cleveland Police Emerald Society


Thank you again for your generous donations.


Traditional vs. Roth 457b Deferred Compensation Plans

A public employee’s deferred compensation plan has always been a very important part of their retirement planning.  However, with the recent changes in the public pension plans, and likely more coming in the near to immediate future, planning for one’s retirement has never been more important.  One of the best ways you can combat any negative changes to your pension is by paying yourself first; and a great way to do that is through your deferred compensation plan.

Hopefully, every Police Officer has at least started contributing to a deferred compensation plan available in their city.  That is the first step.  However, now most cities offer multiple plans to choose from, so it’s important to know what your options are and choose the plan that best matches your needs.  Also, even more recently, some cities now offer both a “traditional” deferred compensation plan and a Roth option as well.  Depending on your situation, one or the other may suit you best, or even a combination of the two.


The traditional deferred compensation plan is what most Police Officers have been contributing to for years.  Your contributions go in pre-tax, which reduces your taxable income now and lowers the amount of taxes you pay today.  Throughout your career, all the gains in the account grow tax deferred.  You then pay taxes when you retire or when you separate from your employer and want to start withdrawing those funds to supplement your pension in retirement.  So you reduce your taxes today, defer taxation on all gains in the account throughout your career, but eventually pay taxes on the whole account as you draw it out over time.  The goal is that hopefully you take the money out at a manageable level so that you pay a lower tax rate than you otherwise would have in the past.  However, it’s important to note if you decide to liquidate your account all at once, it would all get added to your taxable income for that year and you could jump up several tax brackets.   This could cause you to end up losing a lot more of your account to taxes if you withdraw your funds frivolously and without proper planning.


The Roth deferred compensation plan works pretty much the exact opposite.  Your contributions go in AFTER tax, so you don’t receive any tax break today, and your taxable income doesn’t get reduced either.  However, all subsequent gains in the account grow tax deferred.  When you retire or separate from employment, your ENTIRE deferred compensation account can be withdrawn TAX FREE as long as it is considered a qualified distribution. In order to be deemed a “qualified distribution,” the Roth account must have been established for at least five years, and you must be at least 59 ½.  As long as these conditions are met, any and all of the Roth account can be withdrawn at any time tax free!


However, it’s important to note the traditional deferred compensation plan has no age requirement on distributions--you just need to be retired or separated from service.  As you can see from the above, in order to take advantage of the full benefits of a Roth deferred-compensation plan, you would want to wait to take withdrawals after age 59 ½.  This is an important thing to consider if you are planning on retiring prior to that.

So which plan is right for you?  There is no short and easy answer.  A lot of things come into play:  your current and future tax brackets, the age you plan on retiring, how much you think you will need per year in retirement, and much more.  For some, the best way to diversify their tax strategy could be by contributing to both of these plans.  That way, in retirement, you will have some pre-tax assets to draw from and also after-tax Roth assets.  Deferred compensation plans offer high-dollar limits that you can contribute to each year, so they are a great tool to use to try to effectively maximize your retirement.  If you’d like more guidance on which plan makes the most sense for you, feel free to give us a call.


Lineweaver Financial Group
9035 Sweet Valley Drive
Valley View, OH 44125

Securities offered through Triad Advisors, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Lineweaver Wealth Advisors, LLC. Lineweaver Wealth Advisors is not affiliated with Triad Advisors.


Domestic Violence

Sherri Bevan Walsh
Summit County Prosecuting Attorney

White picket fences. A yard with a big oak tree. A husband, wife, two kids, and possibly a dog. Sounds like the typical, idyllic, Norman Rockwell family setting. And many of us have that image in our heads when talking about the good old days – describing a family dynamic perhaps from six decades ago. The 1950’s gave us television classics like ‘Leave It To Beaver’ and ‘Father Knows Best’. The shows highlighted an ideal lifestyle where minor problems were solved in less than 30 minutes.

But we know better. Families back then argued and fought just like families of today. And many times those arguments escalated into violence. We can no longer think the husband feels he is misunderstood, or blame the wife for not doing enough to keep her husband happy. We cannot use the same mentality now as many did when dealing with domestic violence from 60 years ago.

Just recently, a Summit County couple was found dead in their home. Investigators say it was a murder-suicide. The 55-year-old man strangled his 46-year-old wife, before killing himself. The couple was going through a divorce. And just days before their bodies were discovered, a judge ordered the man to move out of the house as part of the divorce proceedings. And, police were called to the home twice over a four month period for reports of the couple arguing.

Could something more have been done? What role can police officers and first responders play in preventing these situations from escalating?

The U.S. Department Of Justice defines domestic violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner."

Domestic Violence is a crime when a person:

  • Knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical harm to a family or household member;
  • Recklessly causes serious physical harm to a family or household member;
  • By threat of force, knowingly causes a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm.

The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office offers assistance and guidance in these types of situations. We regularly provide training for law enforcement agencies. In May, the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office held four days of training for the Akron Police Department. Throughout the training, prosecutors described different situations and scenarios involving domestic violence. Prosecutors provided insight into how to deal with the victim and the aggressor and how to tell the difference between the two.

For example, the victim may not have any obvious physical injuries. And the aggressor’s injuries can be more severe than the victim’s. But injuries alone do not tell the whole story. First responders need to try to get deeper into what happened. Consider the history of violence of each party involved. Were there any past convictions? How many times were officers called to the home? What do neighbors, co-workers, or family members say? Gather as much evidence as possible. And take pictures. A lot of pictures. People’s memories may fade, but the pictures remain, and can many times tell the story. Taking these steps will not only help the victim but assist prosecutors in proving their case.

Although anyone can be a victim, the majority of domestic violence victims are women. Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 85 percent of victims of intimate partner violence are women, and women ages 16-24 are at the highest risk of being affected by intimate partner violence.

So what can a victim of domestic violence do? Breaking free requires a safety plan, in order to minimize risks when it's time to leave.

  • Determine the safest route out of your home.
  • Pack a bag with necessities and hide it.
  • Develop a way to signal a neighbor or friend nearby if/when you need help.
  • Gather important family papers (driver's license, birth certificate/s, medical records and social security card/s) and place them in a secret place.
  • Save and hide small amounts of money over time.
  • Consider clothing (and toys for the kids) you would need to take if/when you leave.

If you would like more information, or to schedule a training session with the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, please call Angela Walls-Alexander at 330.643.4118 or email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This article is not to be considered legal advice. Please consult your police legal advisor regarding any legal issue.