Fugitive Recovery Network (FRN)

My thoughts on an association
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Author:  Joe Stiles [ Wed 06 Jul 2011 04:47 ]
Post subject:  My thoughts on an association

First, congratulations to all those who were able to make it to Vegas to jump start the idea of a real national association. I commend you and will do all that I can to support the idea.

Second, the viability of any association relies on its funding. I don't think it will be possible to sustain the work without revenue. The problem that I have seen with others who tried to form an association instead of a loose networking confederation was that the funding of the association usually benefitted only one person or just a few people. Every member who joins must believe that he or she is going to receive some return on their investment more than just a certificate or patch or ID card. Once this realization becomes widespread, I don't think membership will be a problem. I have benefitted greatly from the contacts I have made on this site and I believe a formal consolidation of those contacts will be helpful and a boon to our industry.

Third, I understand that a second meeting on the eastern side of the US might be in the works. I have a suggestion that might seem odd to some. I would like to suggest Frankfort, KY. I have spoken to Scott MacLean about this and would like to share my reasons with the rest. The city is convenient for many members of this site. Kentucky, being a non-commercial bail state, might provide us with a unique opportunity to present bail enforcement in a professional light by means of the local media. Members of their state legislature could be invited to attend. I also believe that a representative of PBUS should be invited to speak. The two PBUS conventions are the largest gathering of bail agents in the country and any recovery association would do well to introduce and allign itself with them. I understand this might be distasteful to some, given PBUS' recent lovefest with reality TV, but I think the offer should be made. I am ready to assist in any way that I possibly can.

The last comment that I have is regarding standardized education and training. As the different states vary so much in what is needed to qualify to do recoveries in the various jurisdictions, I'm uncertain how this would be accomplished. Perhaps membership in the association would be better served if every agent were required to supply whatever documents were needed for them to do lawful recoveries in the jurisdictions in which they intended to work. In those states where nothing is needed, perhaps letters of reccomendation from bondsmen they have actually done recoveries for would suffice.

Again, these are just some of the thoughts that I had. I hope to be able to take an active role in helping get this association off the ground and running.

Author:  OrangeCountyBounty [ Wed 06 Jul 2011 09:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: My thoughts on an association

I concur to a point Joe. I responded in detail in my thread.

Author:  tsuggs [ Wed 06 Jul 2011 10:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: My thoughts on an association

As a board member of the CA Bail Agents Association, I know first hand the problem with attracting and keeping membership. So, that would be our number 1 priority. We have to give value to the membership.

One way could be a public education campaign. Inform the public and the other parts of the CJS, how bail recovery works, who does it and what the benefits are to the public.

Regarding the PBUS, I will be in Florida in 2 weeks for the mid year conference.

Several years ago I made a little stink about the dog and pony show. I made more friends than enemies, so I may have some influence to get a rep from the PBUS to attend next years meeting.

Finally, Kentucky, Illinois, Philadelphia or even Wisconsin would be good ideas for the meeting. They all have issues dealing with bail.

A meeting of positive, professional men and women could bring in a lot of good PR and a chance to educate the public, law enforcement and debunk the hollywood stereotypes.

Excellent suggestions Joe!

Author:  OrangeCountyBounty [ Wed 06 Jul 2011 11:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: My thoughts on an association

Sounds good guys!

Author:  Jayc4929 [ Wed 06 Jul 2011 12:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: My thoughts on an association

I agree with Joe on having the next meeting in Kentucky,It may help to show that this industry is full with more professionals than not.I have had the pleasure of dealing with defendants that ran to Kentucky as well as the local law enforcement.In my experience there are still some areas in Kentucky that are on the fence about our business.It may not take alot to sway them one way or the other.If we could possibly get media attention there at this meeting I believe that it would be very beneficial to our industry and once one state sees us in a better light than we may have a better shot at the others.
As for Joe and the other "four horseman" I believe he as well as the others are the perfect candidates for the educational aspect of these states.
I agree with Joes post in general,the ideas and opinions in his post seem very accurate and should be looked into further.
This is just my opinion on the matter and worth everypenny that it cost me to write this post!! lol
All in all I think this association has the tools and opportunity to be something great for our industry.

Author:  MadMadi [ Wed 06 Jul 2011 13:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: My thoughts on an association

On the issue of leaders in the industry and getting them involved, I think we need to remember not all leaders of the industry are on this forum and that we should seek out those that arent and present the opportunity for them to get involved in this developement as well. I know of one in MN that has been doing this for years that has no involvement on this forum but has alot of experience to offer. I will be meeting with him tonight and discussing this with him as well and would encourage others to do the same with those they have connections with. If we are to be successful at this, we need to go "outside the box" :wink:

Author:  tsuggs [ Wed 06 Jul 2011 18:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: My thoughts on an association

I can have a preliminary search done in Kentucky for next years meeting. I would also suggest, just to look at all potential locations to include in the search Chicago, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

They have all been in the news recently with stories about bringing bail back to those states and in particular, Philadelphia with all its uncollected forfeitures and bail skips.

And Wisconsin almost had bail legislated back in this year. A new bill will be back to try and get bail back in again later this year or early next.

Either of these locations would give us a good forum to present our side of the issue and I am sure we would get plenty of news coverage.

Author:  Joe Stiles [ Thu 07 Jul 2011 05:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: My thoughts on an association

Thanks for the kind words, Bill.

Madi, I couldn't agree with you more. While the idea for this association may have started here, in order for it to grow and be viable members from outside this forum would need to be notified and encouraged in order to represent more parts of the country.

Tony, Any of these locations would be a great place to start. I mentioned Frankfort because it is a non commercial bail location, it is geographically situated to make travel easy for most of the south and central parts of the country, but I agree that it is no where near as politically poised at this time as Wisconsin to be influenced by any show of professionalism in the industry. Not trying to point out the elephant in the room, but many BEAs might find travel both cost and time prohibitive. If every member of the forum could commit to trying to get at least three others to come to a meeting, attendance would of course increase exponentially.

I also agree with Madi that letters from bonding companies might not be the only method of vetting potential members. Perhaps, for states that have no licensing or training, NABBI could approve a list of schools or courses that would at least assure that potential members have a minimum working knowledge of what this industry is all about. Scott's on-line course is an excellent example but I'm certainly in no way suggesting that it is the only course.

On a side note, is anyone besides Tony planning on attending PBUS' summer conference? I admit that I wasn't thinking of attending before, but I might reconsider if enough people were going and would be available for a brainstorming session.

Author:  KARMA [ Thu 07 Jul 2011 08:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: My thoughts on an association

many BEAs might find travel both cost and time prohibitive.

Exactly . . .

Author:  tsuggs [ Thu 07 Jul 2011 10:59 ]
Post subject:  Re: My thoughts on an association

I understand the cost and time may be prohibitive for many agents. I am fortunate to be small enough that I wont lose much bail if I am gone for a couple of days.

Then again, I could lose that $1M bond to someone else. So be it if it happens.

For years I listened to members of the PBUS board predict the demise of the commercial bail bond business. I used to think that they were Chicken Little crying the sky is falling.

Not anymore. PTRS have been and are still pushing to do a way with private surety "bail for profit," as they like to put it.

They have The U.S. AG Eric Holder, American Bar Association, International Police Chiefs, Assocaiton of County Execs, etc on thier side.

Plus they have the news media covering every time a bail agent or bounty hunter spits on the side walk.

So we have to look at the cost of organizing, educating and improving the professionalism and standards of recovery agents or the cost of doing nothing.

Most of the people on here and a couple other forums, are the cream of the crop. You are the best of the best. Your input is needed.

So lets have a main meeting next year in Kentucky. Elect a board, approve bylaws, mission statement, etc. Then hold smaller regional meetings to recruit and educate the public and law makers.

We can divide the country into 3 sections and keep travel time down to less than 2 hours by air from anywhere within the region.

That way we can get more members and media coverage. We should also be able to get help from the surety companies with the expenses, if we present a good game plan to them.

Its a lot of work, but is it worth it to keep our jobs?

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