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International Union of Police Associations

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International Union of Police Associations
HeadquartersSarasota, Florida
Key people
Sam A. Cabral, President
Main organ
Websiteiupa.org Edit this at Wikidata

The International Union of Police Associations (IUPA) is a North American police union, and is chartered as a national union that represents law enforcement and support personnel with the AFL–CIO.[1]


Local police unions join the IUPA to secure collective bargaining rights and afford their members job security.[2] The IUPA negotiates on behalf of local unions for better wages, benefits, and working conditions in their contracts.[3][4][5][6][7] The IUPA offers assistance on such items as equipment recommendation or budget issues, and will send a representative to speak for the union. Besides help with legal representation, the IUPA offers financial, insurance, and health services, educational opportunities, police products, and home services.[8] Apart from police officers, IUPA also represents some corrections officers and medical first responders.[9]

An extensive investigation completed by the non profit Center for Public Integrity revealed that the IUPA has mostly become a sham fund raiser organization that provides little to no benefit to law enforcement officers. For example, in 2018, the IUPA only gave 2.7% of its raised funds to law enforcement families. The majority of its operating budget funds an extravagant salary for the IUPA Director and various telemarking companies. [10]

The IUPA publishes NewsWatch, a weekly publication for the law enforcement community.[11]

The organization has been criticized for its status as charity: it received a 'D−' rating from the Better Business Bureau,[12] and was listed among America's worst charities by the Tampa Bay Times in 2014 because of its low spending on its mission.[13] IUPA operates under multiple trade names, including 'Police Officers Support Association' and 'National Emergency Responders Coalition'. The majority of their budget is spent on fundraising.[14] In 2017, the IUPA raised about US$13 million through solicitors, of which almost US$12 million went to the solicitors.[15]


The union had, as of 2020, three compensated 'IUPA officer' positions listed on its website:

  • Sam Cabral, who has been 'international president' since 1995 and officer of the organization since 1988. Cabral retired in 1991 from the Defiance, Ohio detective bureau.[16][17]
  • Mike Crivello is the 'international vice president' and former 'union president' (2010–18). Crivello retired in 2009 from the USAF Security Police, and in 2019 from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Police Department.[17]

Its board further consists of a number of uncompensated vice-presidents and had a total of 16 voting board members in 2016.[18]


In 1954 the predecessor of the IUPA, the National Conference of Police Associations (NCPA) was founded in an effort to strengthen bargaining efforts. In 1966 Canadian associations were allowed to join, and the name was changed to International Conference of Police Associations, and later to International Union of Police Associations.[16] IUPA was founded in 1979 as a national union under AFL–CIO, reported to have 51,000 members by 1979/1980, and said it represented over 100,000 members in 2018.[14] However, its 2016 form 990 are reported a much lower number: 19,200.[18]

Since 2005 it has been headquartered in Sarasota, Florida,[19] where it purchased a building in 2018 for its headquarters.[20]

Policy positions and lobbying[edit]

In 2016, the IUPA was one of several law enforcement organizations that supported federal legislation to renew the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program.[21] In 2020, IUPA spoke out about the importance of mental health concerns for law enforcement, describing stress as a bigger threat to police officers' safety and well-being than violence.[22]

In 2017, the IUPA, together with the Ohio State Troopers Association, filed a lawsuit against a Florida company for manufacturing defective bulletproof vests.[23] Also in 2017, a IUPA spokesperson warned about law enforcement officers being endangered by carbon monoxide fumes from defective Ford Explorer patrol cars.[24]

In 2018, the IUPA was one of several organizations that supported the Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act to give various law enforcement access to screening devices suitable for detecting drugs such as fentanyl.[25][26]

In September 2019, well over a year before the elections, the union formally endorsed the re-election campaign of Donald Trump, while stating that the Democratic contenders vilified the police.[27]

Gregory Tony

In April 2020, four days after a 39-year-old Broward Sheriff's Office deputy died from COVID-19, and after 20 other deputies tested positive for the virus, President Jeff Bell of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association -- a 1,400-member branch of the IUPA -- criticized Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony over the lack of personal protective equipment for the officers, and Tony's failure to respond to their memos about the situation.[28][29][30] Tony said Bell’s actions were "dishonorable."[28] That same month, Tony suspended the union president without pay, and placed him under administrative investigation, and Tony then terminated him in January 2022.[29][28] The union announced a vote of no-confidence by its officers in Tony.[30] A total of 88% of 786 voting road deputies and sergeants voted "no confidence" in Tony.[30]

In June 2020, during the George Floyd protests, the AFL–CIO rejected demands by the Writers Guild of America, East and others to expel the IUPA.[31][9]


  1. ^ "International Union of Police Associations (I.U.P.A.)". Library of Congress. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  2. ^ Antonelli, Kris (January 19, 1992). "Worried About Layoffs, County Sergeants Form Union". The Baltimore Sun.
  3. ^ Poolaw, Rhiannon (February 6, 2018). "City of Lawton approves police contract". KSWO-TV.
  4. ^ Carpenter, Jacob (August 22, 2011). "Lee sheriff's sergeants seek union contract with pay raises, improved benefits". Naples Daily News.
  5. ^ "Settled!". American Police Beat. March 30, 2016.
  6. ^ "Sarasota-based union to represent Broward deputies". Herald-Tribune. October 6, 2015.
  7. ^ "Source 1 Benefits to Manage Dental and Vision Benefits for Milwaukee Fire and Police Retirees". Business Wire. March 30, 2016.
  8. ^ "Police union changes affiliation, expands goals". The Livingston Parish News. April 26, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "'They don't belong': calls grow to oust police from US labor movement". the Guardian. June 11, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  10. ^ Zubak-Skees, Sarah Kleiner, Chris (December 27, 2019). "They promise to help families of fallen officers. But they're mostly paying telemarketers". Center for Public Integrity.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ "NewsWatch". Multiview. July 6, 2018.
  12. ^ "International Union of Police Associations | BBB Rating Overview | Better Business Bureau® Profile". www.bbb.org. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  13. ^ Tampa Bay Times, 2014. America's Worst Charities (pdf)
  14. ^ a b "They promise to help families of fallen officers. But they're mostly paying telemarketers". Center for Public Integrity. December 27, 2019. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  15. ^ Owens, Dennis. "Investigators: What to know before writing a check to a charity". ABC 27 News.
  16. ^ a b Quinnell, Kenneth (September 23, 2019). "Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: International Union of Police Associations | AFL-CIO". aflcio.org. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  17. ^ a b "I.U.P.A. Officers". The International Union of Police Associations. IUPA. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Form 990, 2016
  19. ^ Murdock, Zach (October 19, 2017). "Sarasota Police choose IUPA for union representation". Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  20. ^ Staff Report (August 20, 2018). "Union buys Sarasota office building for $2.6 million". Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  21. ^ "Leahy's Bill to Renew His Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program Passes House". VTDigger. May 13, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  22. ^ Woolston, Chris (January 20, 2018). "Each year, dozens of cops are killed on the job. But the biggest threats to their health may be stress and depression". HealthDay.
  23. ^ Lipscomb, Jessica (October 24, 2017). "Police Unions Sue Pompano Beach Company for Making Defective Bulletproof Vests". Miami New Times. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  24. ^ "Ford Works With Police Agencies After Cops Sickened by Fumes". U.S. News & World Report. August 3, 2017.
  25. ^ "Brown, Portman co-sponsor bill to help Ohio law enforcement detect fentanyl". Sentinel-Tribune. April 26, 2018.
  26. ^ "Bill to aid law enforcement with drug screening". Portsmouth Daily Times. April 27, 2018.
  27. ^ "The International Union of Police Associations Formally Endorses the Campaign for the Re-election of President Donald J. Trump". officer.com. September 10, 2019. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  28. ^ a b c "BSO Union President Who Clashed With Sheriff Fired After Investigation". January 27, 2022.
  29. ^ a b Cohen, Howard (April 4, 2020). "BSO deputy dies of COVID-19. 'And we're probably going to lose another'". Miami Herald.
  30. ^ a b c Anwer, David Selig, Terrell Forney, Saira (April 20, 2020). "Deputies vote no confidence in Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony". WPLG. Archived from the original on May 2, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  31. ^ "AFL-CIO board takes action on racism, police violence". The Stand. June 10, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.

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