Dear NAPO members,
Things here continue to grow more restrictive regarding public gatherings of any kind. The time frames for those restrictions also continue to be extended farther into the year. So we’ve had to conclude that our 2020 TOP COPS Awards will not be able to be held as first scheduled on May 14 at the MGM National Harbor outside Washington, D.C. This decision also applies to our May 13 Lobby Day on Capitol Hill and Legislative Luncheon.
All the NAPO elected officers, as well as our own in house staff, in evaluating the current public health situation as well as the outside recommendations and prohibitions from the CDC, the Office of the President, the U.S. Capitol Complex, the U.S. Congress , the District of Columbia government, and the State of Maryland government, unanimously see this the same way. It is not possible, (in fact it would be illegal under the current executive orders) to hold our event as originally scheduled.
Having said that, it is also very important to us individually and as an organization that we honor the men and women who were nominated by their peers and selected as this year’s TOP COPS. We are looking at the two remaining NAPO events for 2020 that we already have scheduled, our annual convention in Ohio in July, and our fall seminar in Florida in October.
Given that we need to reset our TOP COPS Awards for this year to a later date and location, we are trying to reset it only once. This is for several reasons: To try to make it as smooth as possible under the circumstances, recognizing that some disruption in plans is unavoidable. To work within the travel requirements for our Award winners, whose airline tickets can generally only be changed once without penalty. To save unnecessary time, cost and expense that would be incurred in moving it twice. And to do our best to set the new date/venue sufficiently far in the future so as to have the best chance of being out from under the current gathering and travel restrictions.
Since none of us know how long or to what degree of restriction current and future public health regulations will extend, we are going to look at moving TOP COPS to the October meeting as our best chance under the circumstances. We still are planning a successful convention in Cleveland in July, but the possibility of restrictions still being in place regarding larger gatherings make it more prudent to try to move the Awards program later in the year.
Thank you to Tom Austin and the OPBA for all the work they’ve already done and continue to do to make our convention a success.
To sum up:
- TOP COPS will not be held May 14 in Washington.
- TOP COPS will be held later this year.
- Our May 13 Lobby Day and Legislative Luncheon are cancelled. We can provide the legislative awards directly to deserving Members of Congress and their staffs later in the year.
- Our convention is still set for Ohio in July.
- Our fall seminar is still set for Florida in October.
- We are resetting our TOP COPS Awards dinner to coincide with our October meeting in Florida. Most likely about the week of October 18.
- We will notify everyone of more information regarding the new date/location as soon as it is firmed up.
From every one of our office staff, thank you very much for your understanding and support during these unusual times. Please do let me know of any questions, comments or concerns.
William J. Johnson, Esq., CAE
National Association of Police Organizations