By Steve Sears
The 110-member strong Wayne PBA 136 is entering its 65th year in 2021, and with that anniversary -which has been fostered by growth and relationships since 1956 – there has been pride in serving both its officers and community residents.
John Barrows has been PBA President for the past two years and has been on the executive board for approximately 5 years. “The PBA is a benevolent association established to help fellow officers and also to assist the community,” he says. “We proudly represent all members of the Wayne Police Department and as a union we assist officers throughout their careers.”
The PBA negotiates the salaries and benefits for the members of the department and has a long standing, working relationship with the township of Wayne. “The positive relationship we have with the township,” says Barrows, “makes dealing with issues much easier, with communication being a key aspect.”
For its members, the PBA provides donations, hosts fundraisers, and assists members and their families during times in need. Barrows explains. “Many of our members have benefited from these services while going through cancer treatments, medical procedures, financial hardships, just to name a few.” Also, the PBA always has its eyes and ears attuned to the needs of locals, always ready to help. “For our community, we’ve donated enormous amounts of money over the years to families with children diagnosed with cancer, families that have suffered hardships, families struggling to provide for their children during holidays, etc. Our members have decorated houses, provided presents, visited children in hospitals, assisted with landscaping, and various other tasks to help the families during troubled times. As a PBA we are able to provide a lot of these services by the donations we receive from the community and through our fundraisers we’ve had throughout the years.” For example, bowling and golf outings, Casino Nights, ice skating, and other events generate funds for those in need. But there’s another key element. “These events allow our members to interact with the members of the community so people can see that police officers are more than just men and women in uniform. During these events, the community gets to meet with members and interact in different settings than their ‘usual’ interactions while at work. The relationships we build with the community members is why our PBA has been so successful over the years. The PBA has always played a major role in the community, and through the years we’ve been able to better serve our members and the community.”
As time progresses and the PBA board changes leadership, each new member brings something new to the PBA. “We are always,” affirms Barrows, “open for change and advice on how to better serve our members and the community.”
No celebration has been planned for the PBA anniversary; the COVID19 pandemic has changed the way the group interacts with the public. “But, like I’ve said we improvise and overcome to become a better PBA throughout the years,” says Barrows.
For more information about Wayne PBA 136, visit www.waynepba136.com.