The foundation was laid for the creation of TMPA when Doyle Willis was elected to the Texas Legislature with the support of many officers. The Police and Firemen’s Civil Service Act became law in 1947 and the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS) was created.
TMPA was created by a group of officers representing Houston, San Antonio, Ft. Worth, Waco, Austin and Abilene. The first TMPA conference was held and TMPA dues were $2.00 per year. TMPA also found success at the Texas state Capitol and reported passage of many law enforcement and criminal justice bills, including a bill that gave officers the right to petition for a referendum on their pay.
TMPA advocated for the successful founding of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education (TCLEOSE). Other legislative victories were the passage of enhanced benefits for retirees, surviving spouse benefits, and dues check off. TMPA membership continued to grow. TMPA membership dues increased to $3.00 per year.
Collective bargaining, education incentives and engagement in political activities were a few of the legislative accomplishments of TMPA. The Houston Police Officers Association discontinued their membership with TMPA. A competing law enforcement association was created and overall TMPA membership declined. TMPA dues increased to $1.00 per month and membership was opened to include state and county officers in addition to municipal officers.
TMPA hired its first Executive Director. Membership was broadened to include school district, college and university officers. A comprehensive legal assistance plan was implemented and membership began a steady upward growth. TMPA dues were $2.00 per month. Enrollment in the optional legal plan was an additional $5.00 per month.
TMPA membership doubled, primarily because our legal plan had become the best in the country. TMPA championed the passage of a bill that would provide some protections against polygraph abuse, and others that enhanced TMRS, including 20 year retirement. TMPA opened membership up to communications officers, corrections officers and other non-sworn members.
The second Executive Director in the history of TMPA was hired. A comprehensive strategic plan was developed and implemented. TMPA sought and was awarded funding for innovative training programs. TMPA membership exploded to more than 17,000 members strong.
TMPA hired its third Executive Director and membership passed the 20,000 mark. TMPA regained our position as the largest law enforcement association in Texas, a position we had not held since the 1980s. In response to legislative attacks on pensions, TMPA became a founding member of the Texas Law Enforcement Council which unites law enforcement labor groups to work together and further common goals and interest.