Omaha Latino Peace Officers Association restructures after FBI searches
OLPOA installs new leadership, renames itself as Omaha chapter of national organization
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Amid controversy facing previous leadership, a local police organization is making some changes.
After Omaha Police officers questioned where the money they’ve been paying to the Latino Peace Officers Association’s Omaha chapter has been going — many of them halting their dues — the organization changed its name and its leadership.
Monday night, a representative from the national organization met with Omaha members to reorganize the chapter, now called the National Latino Peace Officers Association – Omaha chapter.
There’s a new president: Sgt. Queno Martinez. There’s also a new board of directors.
A spokesperson for the national office said the organization will continue to bridge the gap between Latinos and law enforcement, and do great work — as it has since 1987. The organization wanted it to be clear that the investigation is of others and not of the organization.
The action comes weeks after the FBI searched Officer Johnny Palermo’s south Omaha home. The president of the OLPOA, he and the past president of the nonprofit, Officer Dan Torres, were placed on paid administrative leave because they were subjects of an internal investigation.
Palermo will officially retire next week after 20 years of service.
The feds also made an unannounced trip to headquarters of PACE, a police athletic league for at-risk children started by OLPOA. Since that time, the organization has been hemorrhaging dues-paying members.
6 News checked with the city’s finance department before the searches and found that 150 officers had money deducted from their paychecks — about $150 annually — to go directly to the OLPOA.
After the FBI searches, there were only eight employees paying dues to the organization — 142 people had stopped supporting the organization financially.
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