TRAVIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSOCIATION

 

CONSTITUTION

 

ARTICLE 1. ORGANIZATION NAME AND OBJECTIVES

 
Section 1. Name of the Association
 
The organization shall be known as the Travis County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Association (TCSLEA).
 
Section 2. Duration of the Association
 
This Association shall be perpetual.
 
Section 3. Objectives of the Association
 
This Association shall be a non-profit, voluntary Association composed of members as defined in ARTICLE II of this Constitution. It is the intent of this Association to remain free from any outside influence or domination.
 
The purpose of this Association will be:
 
A. To promote professionalism within the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.
B. To foster complete cooperation and cohesiveness between the various divisions within the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.
C. To improve wages, benefits, working conditions, and job security for all employees of the office. .
D. To promote social fellowship within the membership.
E. To encourage respect for law and order.
F. To promote active involvement in community service endeavors.
 
Section 4. Powers of the Association
The powers of this Association shall be vested in its membership, and shall be exercised by a Board of Directors as described in ARTICLE III, but subject to the limitations contained in this Constitution.
 

ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP

 
Section 1. Membership Types and Qualifications
 
A. Regular Membership shall be limited to:
 
1. Travis County Sheriff’s Office personnel licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (hereinafter referred to as TCOLE) that hold a position within the office, or persons whose commission is held by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. A person is considered, by this Association, to hold a position within the Law Enforcement and Corrections Division after they have successfully completed the Training Program.
2. Regular members shall have the right to vote and hold office in the Association.
B. Associate Membership shall be open to all other employees of the Travis County Sheriff’s Department.
C. Auxiliary / Corporate Membership shall be open to all citizens, corporations or businesses of the United States of America who wish to support the Association.
D. Honorary Membership shall be open to:
1. A member of the Travis County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Association who retires from active duty will be carried as an honorary life member, provided he/she was a member in good standing for the five (5) years prior to retirement. Except retiring members during the first five (5) years of this Association. An honorary member in this category will receive all benefits as described in the Constitution and Bylaws, but subject to exclusions as set forth in the Constitution and By-Laws.
2. A deserving citizen may be elected to an Honorary Membership upon recommendation of the Board of Directors and approval by a majority of the members present and voting. He/She shall not be entitled to receive member benefits.
E. All members included in Subsection A, B, and C shall complete a membership form, which shall contain the name of the member, home address, home telephone number, and position within the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. The membership application will also contain other pertinent information as determined by the Board of Directors.
F. Reserve Deputy membership:
1. Reserve Deputies of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office are eligible to become voting members of the TCSLEA after completing the FTO program.
2. Reserve Deputies of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office who have not completed the FTO program are eligible to become associate members.
3. Reserve Deputies of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office are not eligible to hold a position on the Board of Directors until such time as enough Reserve Deputies join that they would support another representative.
 
Section 2. Dues and Assessments
 
The Board of Directors shall set the annual dues for the TCSLEA. Membership dues shall be due each year on the annual date of the first date of membership, or paid monthly or bimonthly by payroll deduction.
 
Assessments, in addition to dues, may be levied by the Board of Directors, subject to approval by a majority of the members present and voting.
 
Honorary members, as defined in ARTICLE II, Section 1. (D) are exempt from paying dues and assessments.
 
Section 3. Suspension of Membership and Benefits
 
Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution and By-Laws, any member of this Association who has failed to pay his or her dues or assessments as required by the Constitution and By-Laws shall be automatically suspended from the membership.
 
A member who has been suspended for non-payment of dues or assessments may be reinstated only upon payment of all moneys currently due at the time of his/her expulsion, and such additional indebtedness for dues and assessments as occurred during the period of expulsion, unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Directors, and approved by a majority of the members present and voting.
 
No member shall be entitled to any benefit or aid of any kind if the occasion calling for such benefit or aid occurred prior to membership or while said member was delinquent in dues.
 
Section 4. Termination of Membership
 
Except as provided elsewhere in this Constitution and By-Laws, membership in this Association shall terminate by abandonment, withdrawal, non-payment of dues or assessments, or death of the member or any member that has not reversed a termination notice by the TCSO will have their membership revoked by TCSLEA 10 days after the findings of their final appeal. Whether it is in criminal or civil court.
 
Section 5. Privileges.
 
Regular members in good standing shall have equal rights and privileges to participate in the election of officers, attend membership meetings, participate in the deliberation and voting upon the business of such meetings, to express any views, arguments, or opinions on any business properly before such meetings subject to the rules herein contained and as set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws of this Association.
 
A.) Retirement Ring & Badge
 
Regular members who are in good standing with the TCSLEA and have served three years without a break in service will receive a retirement ring and badge from the TCSLEA.
 
If the member has a break in service they must renew their status as an active member and remain active for three consecutive years in order to be eligible to receive the retirement ring and badge. Years as an active member prior to the break in service will not be considered as an exception for this rule.
 
The Corrections Officer members who originally transferred into the TCSLEA at the time of the merger on January 1st, 2012 will be “Grandfathered” under this section and will be eligible for the retirement ring and badge.
 
Members that do not meet the requirements above may purchase a retirement ring and badge at cost through the TCSLEA.
 
Section 6. Constitution and Bylaws
 
Each regular member will be provided a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws and Memorandum of Understanding upon request.
 

ARTICLE III GOVERNMENT

 
Section 1. Board of Directors
 
A. The Board of Directors shall be composed (15 ) members: 1. President- Shall be elected by the regular members of both Bureau’s and; a). Served the last seventy two months within the Law Enforcement Bureau. b). Hold a minimum rank of Senior Deputy and a maximum rank of Sergeant.
 
2. Vice President- Must be elected from and by the Corrections Bureau.
3. Second Vice President- Must be elected from and by the Law Enforcement Bureau.
4. Co-PAC Chairmen- (1) Must be elected from and by the Law Enforcement Bureau. (1) Must be elected from and by the membership within the Corrections Bureau.
5. Co-Treasurers- (1) Must be elected from and by the membership within the Law Enforcement Bureau. (1) Must be elected from and by the membership within the Corrections Bureau.
6. Secretary- Must be elected from and by the membership within the Corrections Bureau.
7. Field Representatives- (4) Must be elected from and by the Law Enforcement Bureau. (3) Must be elected from and by the Corrections Bureau.
 
In case of a vacancy occurring in the presidency on the Board of Directors, an interim President from the Law Enforcement Division shall be elected by the Board of Directors to assume the position of President. The Board of Directors shall elect a Law Enforcement Board Member to serve the balance of the corresponding term.
 
If a vacancy occurs elsewhere on the Board of Directors the Board of Directors shall fill the vacancy. The member appointed shall fill only the unexpired portion of the term of the Director he/she replaces from the respective Division.
 
It shall be the duty of the Board of Directors to conduct all the affairs of this Association; to control and supervise the handling of all funds and property; to cause a complete record to be kept of all meetings and acts; to supervise all officers and employees of this Association; to cause membership certificates and other required certificates to be issued to members. Provided, however, the Board of Directors shall be bound by the vote of the membership on any matter.
 
Any member found guilty of a violation of the Constitution or a breach of trust or of conduct detrimental to the Association may be expelled by the Board of Directors. At the next regular meeting, majority of those present and voting may override such exclusion.
 
The Board of Directors shall manage the Association finances and its action shall be final unless overridden by a two-thirds (2/3’s) vote of the entire membership. Expenditures in excess of $1000.00 require approval by a majority vote of the membership present and voting at a regular or special meeting.
 
Business of the Board of Directors shall be conducted at regular or special meetings. The Board of Directors will not undertake to make any final business decisions that could/should be undertaken during a general membership meeting.
 
The President, Vice President & Co-Treasurers- The term will begin January 1st, 2012. The President will serve two year terms which will begin January of even number years. The President will be assigned to and elected from the Law Enforcement Division members.
 
Secretary, Second Vice President & Co-PAC Chairmen- Shall serve two year terms which will begin January of odd numbered years. The remaining Field Representatives shall serve for a period of one year and shall take office at the first meeting in January of each year.
 
Section 2. Duties of Officers
 
President
The President shall call and preside at all meetings of the Association and the Board of Directors and shall perform all duties incident to the office of President and Chairman of the Board of Directors
 
Vice-President
The Vice-President shall preside in the absence of the President and perform such other duties as assigned by the President or the Board of Directors.
 
Second Vice-President
The Second Vice-President shall preside in the absence of the President and Vice-President and perform such other duties as assigned by the President or Board of Directors.
 
Treasurer & Co-Treasurer
The Law Enforcement Division Treasurer shall have charge and custody of all funds and securities of the Association. He/she shall receive and give receipts for moneys in the name of the Association in such banks; trust companies or other depositories as shall be selected in accordance with the provisions of ARTICLE III of this Constitution. He/She shall perform the entire duties incident to the office of Treasurer and such other duties as assigned to him/her by the President or the Board of Directors. If required by the Board of Directors, the Treasurer shall give a bond for the faithful discharge of his/her duties in such sum and with such surety or sureties as the Board of Directors may direct. The Co-Treasurer of the Corrections Division will have joint access to all funds and securities. However, the TCSLEA Treasurer will write all checks and issue all deposits.
 
Secretary
The Secretary shall keep separate minutes and attendance records of all members at membership and Board of Directors meetings. He/she shall ensure that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and By-Laws or as required by law. He/she shall be custodian of the corporate records. He/she shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.
 
Co-PAC Chairmen
The PAC Chairmen shall jointly preside over the Political Action Committee and perform such other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.
 
Field Representatives
Each representative shall act as a contact person in their area. Each representative shall report back to the Executive Board. The representatives shall perform such other duties assigned by the President or the Board of Directors.
 
Special Events Chairperson
The special events chairperson shall choose and chair a committee to plan and organize special events and fund raising events to be held in the name of The Travis County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Association.
 
Section 3. Pay, Gifts and Remuneration
 
Directors shall serve without pay.
 
The Board of Directors shall approve any gifts or remuneration.
 
Section 4. Executive Board
 
This Board shall consist of the;President, Vice-President, Second Vice President, Co-PAC Chairmen, , Co-Treasurer’s, a Secretary.and (4) Field Representatives from the Law Enforcement Bureau and (3) Field Representatives from the Corrections Bureau. The Executive Board shall meet at the request of the President on subjects that must be decided upon immediately. The subject to be decided on shall by nature be one in which a delay of a decision would jeopardize the benefit to be gained by the Association.
 

ARTICLE IV. ELECTIONS

 
A. The Office of President must be permanently held by a member of the Law Enforcement Division.
 
Section 1. Nominations:
 
Any member seeking a position on the Board of Directors shall file for that office with the Secretary between September 10th and October 20th.
 
The member shall file for office in the form of a written memo. The memo shall contain the name, rank, and duty assignment of the member and the office he/she seeks. The member must sign it and submit it to the Secretary.
 
The names of all qualified candidates shall be read to the membership at the regular October general membership meeting. Members who have not filed as a candidate may be nominated from the floor in the regular October general membership meeting. Nominations shall not cease until a motion has been entertained and properly carried.
 
All members who are on assigned duty when the nominations are made may make a written nomination, in form of a motion, which must have a second, and both parties sign the motion and the second. This motion must be given to the Secretary before the call to order of the October meeting. The Secretary shall place each written nomination before the membership.  
Members may only file, be nominated, or run for one board position at each election.
 
All members eligible to vote may vote on all positions open to election.
 
Section 2. Non-Regular Membership Voting Rights
 
Associate, Auxiliary and Honorary members shall not be entitled to vote or hold office in the Association.
 
B. Eligibility for Office
Only regular members who have been members in good standing for the four (4) months preceding the November general membership meeting shall be eligible to hold office.
 
In order to avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest, members holding the rank of Lieutenant or above will be prohibited from holding a position on the Board of Directors.
 
The Secretary, upon the filing of an application for office, or upon nomination of a member for office shall inform the member if he/she is qualified and eligible.
 
Section 2. Voting
 
A. The Board will appoint an Election Chairperson. The Election Chairperson will set up the polls on either the TCSLEA secure website or polling stations. The Election Chairperson will determine means of voting and announce the voting dates and polling locations 60 days prior to the election. The Chairperson can use the latest technology and make a reasonable and good faith effort to maintain the integrity of the polls. The Chairman will post election results on the TCSLEA website as soon as practical after at the close of the polls
B. Voting must be conducted by a secret, paper ballot at a polling location or electronic ballot on the TCSLEA website which ensures a single member casts a single vote.
C. During the voting period of time the Chairperson will immediately report any voting irregularities to the President and Executive Board.
D. A challenge to the results must be made to the Election Chairperson within 72 hours after the election returns.
E. A petition to recall the election results must be filed within 21 calendar days of the posted election results.
F. Run-off elections will be held in accordance with provisions A, B, and C of this section on dates to be announced by the Board of Directors.
 
Section 3. Installation of New Officers
 
Installation of new officers of the Association will be the first order of business at the Board of Directors meeting preceding the first general membership meeting of the New Year
 
Section 4. Recall and Removal of Officers
 
Any officer of this Association may be recalled or removed from office for willful neglect in the performance of his/her duties to this Association. Provided, however, that whenever such officer is to be removed, he/she shall be served with a copy of the notice of this suspension, pending hearing before the Board of Directors and three randomly chosen members, of the charges forming the basis of his/her contemplated removal. Such charges must be set forth in clear and concise language signed by the President upon the direction of a majority of the Board of Directors. Provided, however, that if the officer against whom such charges are pending should be the President, the Vice-President may sign such charges or any other officer directed to do so by the Board.
 
The officer charged shall have the right to a full, fair and impartial hearing before the Board of Directors and three randomly chosen members concerning the charges preferred. If after such hearing the said Board of Directors and members determines that such charges are sustained, and sufficient cause for removal exists the said Board of Directors shall; submit a copy of the charges together with a copy of their findings, to the members and shall call a special recall election not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days from the original date of suspension. If a majority of the members voting shall vote for his/her removal from office, the said Board of Directors shall thereupon declare such office vacant.
 
Section 5. Recall Election
 
At any time during the term for which any officer or director has been elected, an election may be held for recall for any or all of them, provided a petition signed by not less than 25% of the membership is presented to the Board of Directors.
 
Section 6. Board Members Attendance
 
Any Board member of the Association who shall miss five (5) unexcused meetings consisting of general membership or Board of Directors meetings held in a twelve (12) month period shall automatically be removed from office. The Secretary shall report the absence to the Board of Directors. Upon notification to the Board of Directors a hearing shall be held in accordance with ARTICLE IV, Section 4, provided, however, that if a majority of the Board of Directors determines that the missed meetings were indeed excused the officer shall automatically be reinstated. If an officer or director is removed he/she shall be replaced in accordance with ARTICLE III, Section 1 (A).
 
Section 7. Member in good standing
 
A member in good standing will be defined as a person eligible to be a regular member who has completed and submitted the membership application, and paid all dues and Assessments.
 

ARTICLE V. FUNDS

 
Section 1. Contracts
The Board of Directors may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents of this Association, in addition to the officers so authorized by this Constitution to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the Association, and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.
 
Section 2. Checks, Drafts, ETC.
1. All checks, drafts or orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the Association, shall be signed by the Treasurer elected from the Law Enforcement Division such officers, agent or agents of the Association as shall be determined by the resolution of the Board of Directors.
2.No more than ten (10) percent of the total in the General Fund Account can be voted on to be expended during any one given General Membership Meeting. Any amount which exceeds ten (10 percent of the total in the General Fund Account must receive a two thirds majority membership approval. The voting on said motion must be made in accordance with Article IV Section 2.
 
Section 3. Deposits
All funds of the Association shall be deposited to the credit of the Association in such banks, trust companies or depositories as the Board of Directors may direct.
 
Section 4. Books and Records
A. The Association shall keep correct and complete books and records of accounts and shall also keep minutes of the proceedings of its members, Board of Directors, and committees, having any of the authority of the Board of Directors, and shall keep at the registered or principal office a record giving names and addresses of the members entitled to vote.
B. All books and records of the Association may be inspected by any member or his/her agent or attorney for any proper purpose.
C. Any member requesting to inspect or have inspected the books or records of the Association shall make the request in writing to the Secretary. The request should include specifically what is to be inspected and for what purpose the inspection is being conducted. An appointment will be set for the inspection.
D. The Corrections Division Co-Treasurer may maintain a ledger and records which account for the Corrections Divisions deposits, expenditures, and account balances.
 

ARTICLE VI. AMENDMENTS

 
Section 1. Amendment Procedure
A. This Constitution may be amended by a majority of the entire membership; such voting shall be by ballot after such amendment shall have been submitted in writing to the Board of Directors and approved by a majority vote of the Board. If not approved by a majority of the Board the sponsor may raise the issue at the next general membership meeting as per ARTICLE VII, Section 1 (C ). Notice shall then be given by placing a copy of the proposed change or changes on all available and pertinent mediums. Notice shall be given at least thirty (30) days prior to the date selected for the balloting.
B. The Parliamentarian shall have the authority to adjust or correct matters of form and grammar in the Constitution as directed by the Board of Directors. However, the corrections or adjustments are only for house cleaning purposes and may not alter the intent of the Constitution in its body.
 
Section 2. Action(s) That Void the Memorandum of Understanding Between the TCSLEA and TCUSOA
 
The following actions will immediately void the merger and agreement between the TCSLEA and TCUSOA. Whereby, causing said By-Laws to revert back to the pre-merger meaning and effect, causing the Law Enforcement Bureau members to maintain the TCSLEA name, money, and all associated assets:
 
A. Altering any word or the changing the basic meaning or intent of any By-Law which is addressed in the MOU.
B. The loss of 50.01% of the original number of “250” Corrections Division membership due to resignation or cancelation of their membership within three months. (The loss of 126 member)
 
Section 3. Effective Date
 
This Constitution and subsequent amendments shall be in full force and effective immediately upon adoption.
 

ARTICLE VII. MEETINGS

 
Section 1. Meetings of General Membership
A. The regular meeting of the general membership of this Association shall be held on the last Monday of each month at five thirty p.m. (5:30 p.m.).
B. Special meetings of the membership of this Association shall be called by a majority of the Board of Directors, or by written request, submitted to the President, and signed by twenty percent (20%) of the entire membership. The President or other authorized officer shall notify the general membership at least seven (7) days prior to such special meeting or change in the regular meeting by publishing a notice on all available and pertinent mediums.
C. A question or proposal submitted to the general membership at a regular or special meeting of this Association, which has been voted on and passed by a majority of the members in attendance and /or proxy shall become final in authority and the Board of Directors shall be guided accordingly.
 
Section 2. Meetings of the Board of Directors.
A. Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held the same night as the general membership meeting each month at five o’clock p.m. (5:00 p.m.).
It will be open to any member of the Association, but only as observers, only the Board of Directors has the right to vote.
B. Special meetings of the Board of Directors of this Association shall be called by a majority of the Board of Directors. Special meetings shall not convene prior to seventy-two (72) hours after the Secretary has given notice of such special meetings.
C. The Chairman of the Board of Directors or any member of the Board for the consideration or disposition of a particular matter may call emergency meetings of the Board of Directors of this Association. Other matters may be considered and disposed of if all members of the Board of Directors are present at such emergency meeting.
D. Any Board member may call for a closed meeting and upon the approval vote of a majority of the Board of Directors the meeting shall be closed to non-Board members.
 
Questions or proposals within the power of the Board of Directors shall be decided by a majority vote.
 
Section 3. Presiding Officer Not To Vote – Exceptions
 
The presiding officer shall not vote on any question except when his/her vote is necessary to overcome a deadlock or tie vote, including the PAC Board
 
Section 4.Endorsement for Office of Sheriff
 
In order for this body to issue an endorsement of the Office of Sheriff Travis County, 50.1% of the Law Enforcement Bureau PAC members and 50.1% of the Corrections Bureau PAC members must vote to endorse the same candidate. Otherwise, no endorsement or contribution can be issued under TCSLEA or FOP Lodge 912 name. (Revised 2015)
 
In order for this body to issue an endorsement for the Office of Sheriff Travis County, 50.1% of the Law Enforcement Bureau and 50.1% of the Corrections Bureau must vote to endorse the same candidate. Otherwise, no endorsement or contribution can be issued under the TCSLEA or FOP Lodge 912 name.
 
Section 5. Voting Process to Determine a Breach of the MOU
A. A Breach of the MOU and or the By-laws shall require a two thirds (2/3) vote from the Regular Membership (Associate Members are excluded) who are in good standing from the Law Enforcement Bureau.
B. An independent 3rd Party (Non-TCSO employee or relative) will be hired to conduct a secure, secret ballot in either an; A). Electronic or online vote or by B). Paper ballot.
C. A notice of the polling vote/motion must be posted on the TCSLEA website homepage 48 hours prior to the opening of the polls.
D. Electronic voting polls must run for Seventy Two (72) continuous hours.
E. Paper ballot polling must have polling locations at the East, West, and Central Commands which are open from 6am until 6pm for three consecutive days.
F. The Election Judge must certify the Election results in writing or electronic mail.
G. The election results are final.
 
Section 6. Severance of Membership
 
1.In the event of a severance of membership between the Law Enforcement and Corrections Division(s) membership; all monies in the TCSLEA & PAC account(s) must remain in the care, custody, and control of the remaining members of and from the Law Enforcement Bureau.
2. The TCSLEA name and all associated materials, and documents must remain in the care, custody, and control of the remaining members from the Law Enforcement Bureau.
 

Article VIII. Collective Bargaining

 
Section 1. Once Collective Bargaining is obtained, the Law Enforcement Division members will make up the majority of the Bargaining Committee by one person until the duration of the first agreed upon and enacted agreement. After the expiration of that agreement and prior to the enacting of a new CB agreement there will be equal representation on the Bargaining Committee.