(from an e-mail of July 19, 2020)
From its inception in 1992 at the Las Vegas Police on Bikes conference, until 1997, IPMBA was essentially a program or Committee of the League. While called “President” the leader was essentially a committee chair. At that time every person who took IPMBA training and became officially certified (which included a fee) also became a League member. The number of League members who joined because of IPMBA was pretty large, and the percentage of IPMBA members vs. regular members was substantial. As a result, the leader of IPMBA was given a position on the LAB Board. Alan Howard, Tom Woods and I all served in that role. Jennifer Horan was the League staff liaison for the IPMBA committee at that time.
What I remember is that IPMBA was just that, a program, not a priority for the League. Police on bikes was growing thanks to increasing community policing emphasis around the country. There were a lot of federal dollars going into community oriented policing. We started looking into the amount of money being brought into the League by police members, and somebody (I seem to recall it as being Jennifer Horan as she was privy to the numbers) suggested forming our own organization. That would allow us to grow and improve our program, training, and things more important to our members. Decisions wouldn’t have to go through the LAB Board. They had their own agenda and priorities. I’m trying to remember specific discussions at our meetings and I’m not remembering them. Basically it was something like LAB is using our money to pay their overpaid Executive Director [Jody Newman], their expensive K Street HQ, and there are many things we could do, if they would let us. I guess we didn’t like having to ask the LAB Board or ED to do things.
I was the new IPMBA President at the time and remember informing the LAB Board of our decision at the rally and Board meeting in the Boston area at Babson College [Summer 1998]. I seemed to remember them being a bit surprised and stunned. I wanted to try to make it as amicable as possible, and partner together on things as best we could, but frankly that really never happened. John Schubert was on the Board at that time, and he may be able to add to the story. The only real overlap was the the agreement that an IPMBA PCI [Police cycling Instructor] (who was essentially considered an LCI+) could receive LCI certification and credentials by paying the LAB fee and purchasing the materials. I think perhaps a dozen people took advantage – but I”m honestly not sure.
Jennifer Horan left LAB and became the first Executive Director of the new Police on Bikes (our official corporate name) dba IPMBA. The first office was established in Baltimore on Federal Hill. I suspect that as our dues started pulling money away for LAB, the League started to suffer. When Jennifer Horan left due to pregnancy, we hired another LAB staffer – Maureen Becker – who is a force of nature and is still the IPMBA ED.
That’s the down and dirty I remember right now. I suppose if you have any specific questions it might spur my memory.