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FAHN BYLAWS 
 
SECTION 1
PRESIDENT
 
1. The President of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the organization.
 
2. It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators and to enforce rules and regulations regarding its administration. The President shall vote only in the case of a tie vote. He/she shall serve for a term of one year and can succeed him or herself in office, however, he/she cannot serve for more than two consecutive terms. The President shall, as occasions demand, call meetings of the Executive Board.


SECTION 2
VICE PRESIDENT
 
1. The Vice President shall hold office for one year and can succeed him or herself in office, however, he/she cannot serve for more than two consecutive terms. It shall be the duty of the Vice President to preside at all meetings in the absence of the President, and to assist the President in the enforcement of the rules and regulations regarding the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators.
 
2. In the event of resignation, suspension or termination of the President, the Vice President shall ascend to the office of President and serve until the next scheduled general election of officers of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators.
 
3. In the event of the resignation, suspension, or termination of both the President and the Vice President, the Treasurer shall ascend to the office of President, and serve until the next scheduled general election of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators.

SECTION 3
TREASURER
 
1. The Treasurer shall be elected during the scheduled general election of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators, and shall hold office for one year. The Treasurer may succeed him or herself. He/she shall maintain all financial records pertaining to the office of Treasurer. He/she shall ensure that all applicable tax obligations are met and corporate filings are made, within the time limits imposed by statute.  He/she shall furnish monthly financial reports consisting of an itemized list of income and expenditures to the Executive Board, and shall make copies of the monthly bank statements available to board members upon request. A member shall be furnished a copy of the financial report upon request in writing to the Treasurer.

2. The Treasurer will ensure that association credit cards are issued to designated board members with fiduciary responsibilities with spending limits commensurate with their spending needs, as approved by the Executive Board.

3. The Treasurer will ensure that an independent audit is conducted of the association’s financial records no less than every three years. Regardless of this provision, an independent audit of the association’s financial records shall be initiated within 120 days after a new Treasurer is voted into that position.


SECTION 4
SECRETARY
 
1. The Secretary shall be elected during the scheduled general election of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators, and shall hold office for one year. The secretary may succeed him or herself. He/she shall keep minutes of all meetings, act as parliamentarian, conduct correspondence, issue notices of meetings, keep current a record of membership, and perform all other duties normally pertaining to the office of Secretary. He/she shall publish a copy of the minutes of all board meetings.  
 
SECTION 5
SERGEANT AT ARMS
 
1. The Sergeant at Arms shall be elected during the scheduled general election of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators, for a term of one year, and may succeed him or herself.
 
2. The duties of the Sergeant at Arms shall be to ensure only members in good standing, or a special guest approved by the Executive Board are present during the closed sessions of the meetings, and to perform other duties as directed by the President.

3. The duties of the Sergeant at Arms shall also include coordinating and monitoring the elections process and ensuring that only members present during the designated election period cast a ballot.

4.  In the absence of the Sergeant at Arms as outlined above, the President shall appoint a current board member to fulfill all aforementioned duties.

 
SECTION 6
AMBASSADOR AT LARGE
 
1. The Ambassador at Large shall be elected during the scheduled general election of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators, for a term of one year, and may succeed him or herself.
 
2. The duties of the Ambassador at Large shall include promotion of the works and efforts of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators throughout the Criminal Justice community, and the general public, to actively encourage agency and member support and recruitment into the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators, as well as perform other duties as directed by the President.
 
SECTION 7
PROGRAM/TRAINING DIRECTOR
 
1. The Program/Training Director shall be appointed by the incoming President during the scheduled general election of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators, for a term of one year, and may succeed him or herself.
 
2. The duties of the Program/Training Director shall be to secure/coordinate suitable locations and topics for future training seminars along with arranging for speakers, vendors and trainers for designated meetings and seminars.  The Program/Training Director shall also maintain routine contact with Regional Directors and assist them with requested training needs.

SECTION 8
CHAPLAIN
 
1. The Chaplain shall be appointed by the incoming President during the scheduled general election of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators, for a term of one year, and may succeed him or herself.
 
2. To preside over the benediction and invocation at the opening and/or closing of the annual conference, and the conference banquet, as well as perform duties as directed by the President.
 
SECTION 9
PAST PRESIDENTS
 
1. Past Presidents shall serve as a member of the Executive Board, and act as advisors on matters of concern to the organization.
 
2. Past Presidents shall have any and all privileges associated to a seat on the Executive Board; to include voting rights.  
 
3. Past Presidents shall have the right to run for the office of President after one-year absence from the office.
 
4. Past Presidents shall be considered lifetime members, not subject to annual dues or fees.

SECTION 10
REGIONAL DIRECTORS

1. Regional Directors shall be elected by members from their respective regions during the scheduled general election of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators. Regional Directors shall hold office for one year and may succeed themselves without limits. 

2. It shall be the duty of Regional Directors to facilitate training in the region they represent and keep the board informed of critical incidents within their regions. Regional Directors shall represent FAHN, assist agencies with training needs and recruit new members.

3. Regional Directors shall attend quarterly board meetings and assist the conference committee at the annual conference.

 

4. Regional Directors shall have voting rights.



SECTION 11
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
 
1. All members of the founding Executive Board (elected at the first organization meeting, held at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on December 12, 1996) shall serve as a Board of Trustees for FAHN. These members shall be considered lifetime members, not subject to annual dues or fees. These persons have shown an overwhelming desire to ensure the success and longevity of the association, and are to act as advisors and mentors to the Executive Board, as well as be available to assist in the day to day operations of FAHN.
 
2. The members of the Board of Trustees shall serve so long as they remain members in good standing of FAHN. Once all members of the founding Executive Board have left the Association, the Board of Trustees as is herein defined, will cease to exist.
 
SECTION 12
EXECUTIVE BOARD / COMMITTEES
 
1. The Executive Board shall be responsible for the overall operation of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators.
 
2. The duties of the Executive Board shall be to investigate any actions of individual members in regard to the possible effect on the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators; to take emergency action in suspending members; to recommend to the general membership follow-up action on a suspension or termination; and/or to recommend changes in policy and procedure.

3. Committees shall be established and directed by the President, as necessary.

SECTION 13
MEETINGS
 
1. Regular Board meetings of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators shall be held once each quarter in a manner and/or location as prescribed by the President. Meetings shall be held at host agencies or any other suitable locations.
 
2. One regular annual statewide meeting shall be scheduled each year, and will be open to all members. Dates and locations of these yearly meetings shall be determined by the Executive Board, and will include business, training, equipment demos and technique updates whenever possible, utilizing instructors and experts in the field of crisis management/intervention. The Program/Training Director shall be responsible for planning the meeting program.
     
SECTION 14
AMENDMENTS

1. The Constitution and/or Bylaws of this Association may be amended by a qualified member presenting a resolution, in writing, to the Association President, who shall ensure the proposed changes are posted on the Association’s web site, or by any other manner as prescribed by the Executive Board, at least thirty (30) days prior to the annual conference. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of voting members in attendance at the business meeting held during the conference is required to amend the Constitution and a simple majority vote of voting members attending the business meeting held during the conference is required to amend the Bylaws. A qualified member is one whose dues are current and is in good standing with the Association.

2. Effective date of amendments and resolutions: All amendments/resolutions passed and adopted by this Association, in accordance with the rules set forth in the Constitution or Bylaws, shall be in force and effective upon the adjournment of the conference wherein considered and adopted, provided an exception to this effect is not otherwise contained in the language of the amendment/resolution itself.
    
3. Revisions will be posted on the association’s web site in a timely manner.    


SECTION 15
RULES OF ORDER
 
1. The Rules of Order of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators shall be Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, in all instances not covered by the Constitution or By-Laws.
 
SECTION 16
ETHICAL CONDUCT
 
1. Each individual member shall, at all times, conduct himself or herself with integrity, and in a manner to reflect credit upon the criminal justice profession, as well as the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators.           

SECTION 17
ELECTIONS

1. Candidates for President-Elect and Vice President-Elect shall meet or exceed the minimum qualifications listed below. 

a.    Be an active member of the Association in good standing.
b.    Candidates for President shall have served at least one year in an elected Executive Board position.

2.   Elections process/procedures:

a.    Elections will be held during the general membership business meeting of the FAHN’s annual conference.
b.    Only members in good standing and present at the time of elections are permitted to cast a ballot.  There will be no absentee ballots.
c.    A member may vote for the Executive Board positions and ONLY for the Regional Director position in their respective region. Ballots which are not properly completed (i.e. someone votes for more than one person in any category) shall make the entire ballot null and void.  Failure to vote for at least one candidate in any category will not invalidate a ballot.
d.    Members seeking a position on the Executive Board must be present at the time that elections are conducted, unless extenuating circumstances preclude it. Such circumstances must be approved by a majority of the current Executive Board in order to be excused from this provision.  In the event that a candidate for an Executive Board position is not present and/or the absence is not excused by the Executive Board, then the candidate will be disqualified.

e.    Candidates for Regional Director Positions do not have to be present during the election process.

f.    Once ballots are cast, the ballots will be tabulated by a committee, to include all past Presidents present at the annual conference or any designee, excluding those who are running for office.  Ballots which are not properly completed shall be considered null and void.  Ballot election results will remain confidential until released at the time designated by the current President.
g.    Once the ballots are tabulated, they will be secured with the Association Secretary, until the time they are validated.
h.    The ballots will be retained for a period of six months from the closing date following the conference.
i.    Any protest or challenge of the election results must be submitted to the Secretary in writing, by the aggrieved party, no later than thirty (30) days after the closing of the annual conference.

1)    Contested results will be resolved by the Executive Board at the first quarterly meeting after the grievance is filed.
2)    The aggrieved party may elect to be present at the meeting and during the validation process.
3)    Once the Executive Board arrives at a decision, the President will notify the aggrieved party in writing, within thirty (30) calendar days.

j.    In the event of a tie vote:

1)    In the case of a Regional Director’s position, the Executive Board will appoint a candidate.
2)    In the case of an Executive Board position, the Past Presidents, in attendance, will appoint the candidate.   

SECTION 18
DECLARATION OF CANDIDACY

1. Candidates for any Board position, to include the Executive Board, shall submit a declaration of their candidacy, in writing, to the Secretary by the end of the regularly scheduled session the day prior to the scheduled elections, the year they are seeking election.  


SECTION 19
TERMS OF OFFICE

1. Members of the Board shall serve from the time they are installed in office until their successors are installed in office, unless they officially resign in writing, or are suspended or removed from office.

2. Officers shall be installed in office during the Association’s annual conference, unless exigent or extenuating circumstances exist.

3. Officers may be installed in office at such time as may become necessary due to the filling of a vacancy or other cause.       

SECTION 20
VACANCIES

1.    A vacancy in the office of the President shall be filled by the advancement of position, as previously stated in Section 2.  Such advancement shall be in an “acting” capacity only until the next regular election of officers.

2.    A vacancy in the office of any Board position shall be filled by an appointment made by the President and shall be subject to confirmation by a majority of the remaining members of the Executive Board.

3.    Once appointed, the “acting” Board member assumes all duties, responsibilities and privileges the position holds.

4.    Officers who were either advanced in position due to a vacancy or appointed by the President may declare their candidacy for the office in which they are “acting” at the next regular elections of officers and if elected, shall be eligible to serve a full term in office.

SECTION 21
REMOVAL/SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE

1.    Any Board member may be removed from office only for reason of malfeasance of duty, misfeasance of duty, nonfeasance of duty, for being arrested, or for committing an act that significantly effects the good order or brings discredit to the Association.
2.    If an act of aforementioned conduct is brought to the attention of the Executive Board, a vote to remove said board member may only be made by a motion and second by an Executive Board member, which includes at least one Past President (either to make the motion or to second the motion).
3.    Executive Board members entitled to a vote, in accordance with Article III of the FAHN Constitution, shall be entitled to vote on the matter. The votes shall be recorded by the association Secretary. Electronic voting and/or a telephone conference call may be utilized to obtain such a vote.
4.    A 2/3rds vote by Executive Board members entitled to vote shall be sufficient to relieve the said board member.
5.    A board member who is the subject of such a procedure shall not enjoy a vote in the matter.
6.    A member who is arrested or it is learned that they are the subject of an internal investigation, may be suspended from their position/duties by a majority vote of the Executive Board until such time as the matter is closed. At that time the Executive Board can decide to reinstate the member or proceed with removal.

SECTION 22
OFFICERS AND DUTIES

1.   President - In addition to other duties as may be required, the President shall:

a.     Appoint committees in accordance with the mission of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators.
b.   Keep members appropriately informed of Association activities.
c.     Make appointments to fill vacancies in office, subject to confirmation by the Executive   Board.
d.     Ensure that the FAHN policies are adequately maintained and properly adhered to in day-to-day functioning of the Association.
e.   Set goals, policies, and procedures for the Association to follow.
f.    Present any proposed amendments to the FAHN budget in effect during the term of office for consideration and approval by the Executive Board.
g.    Represent, or appoint a designee to represent, the Association at the scheduled NCNA    meeting(s) and/or other official meetings or proceedings where FAHN representation is required or desirable. 
h.    The president shall review all contracts, agreements or other legally binding documents for which FAHN is considering entering into before the contract or agreement is executed, or in cases where a contract is currently in place and is being considered for renewal.  The president shall indicate in writing, either on the contract itself or in a separate letter and attached to the contract, that he/she has reviewed the agreement and approves of the contract/agreement.  For instances in which the contract was agreed upon by vote of the executive board without the support of the president, the president shall still indicate in writing that he/she has reviewed the contract and that it meets with the desire and intent expressed by the board through the voting process.  The president shall brief the board at each quarterly meeting regarding any contracts entered into, or renewed, during the previous quarter.

2.   Other Officers –

a.    Duties:  The other officers shall serve in the same manner and for the same purposes as the President and shall in good faith support and carry out the mission of the Association.  In such manner, they shall serve in the absence of the President and/or any of themselves in the order of their rank/position.

SECTION 23
FUND EXPENDITURES

1. Specified Expenses:  The Treasurer shall be authorized to spend necessary funds to fulfill the requirements of his/her office as outlined in the Constitution and/or Bylaws of the Association.

2. Unspecified Expenses: The Board shall be authorized to approve all other expenses not specifically outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws of this Association.

3. Authorizing Funds Expenditures: Expenditures of Association funds shall be governed by the Executive Board. Major expenditures of organization funds, which exceed $2500, shall be approved by the Executive Board.

4. Expenditures of Association funds, which do not exceed $2500, may be authorized by the president or his Board designee.

SECTION 24 
LIABILITY

1. Bonds: The Executive Board shall require persons in the Association, who are identified as those handling significant amounts of the Association’s funds, to be adequately bonded.

2. Liability: The Executive Board shall be responsible for having the Association adequately covered by liability and other necessary insurance.

3.  Costs: The Association shall bear the costs associated with the provisions of this Article.

SECTION 25
MEMBERSHIP CLASSIFICATIONS

1.  Active Member:  (Previously Defined in Bylaws)
Active membership is limited to current, and/or retired Law Enforcement Officers, Corrections Officers, Parole and Probation Officers, and Criminal Justice Support Personnel of municipal police departments, sheriff’s offices, State Attorney Offices, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This will also include federal, state, county or local agencies having law enforcement jurisdiction and/or responsibilities in crisis incidents. 


2.  Associate Member:
Those persons not meeting the requirements for any other class of membership and are from law enforcement agencies outside the State of Florida or employed in the educational or mental health field and not directly in a criminal justice support role are eligible for this class of membership.  Associate members may not vote and may not hold office, but may serve on special and service committees.

3.  Honorary Member:
     a.    Those persons who have made significant contributions to the objectives of FAHN.

b.    This membership is limited to those individuals who may have no incentive to obtain membership in any category but, by virtue of their position or accomplishments.

c.    The Honorary member shall not vote or hold office in any capacity, except that they may serve as Ex Officio members of any committee.

d.    Eligibility for this category may only be initiated upon a recommendation by a member to the Board of Directors. 

     e.    Honorary Member status must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

4.  Life Member:
a.    Members of FAHN, who have made significant contributions, by actions or deeds beyond the normal call of duty toward the successful attainment of the FAHN objectives. 

b.    This membership status is different from the lifetime active membership granted to founding members.  This highest level of membership may be awarded only to those persons currently holding another category of membership in the Association.

c.    This honor may only be bestowed upon nomination by and 2/3rds vote of the Executive Board.

d.    The title of Life Member, when bestowed, shall be in addition to the regular membership title of member. He/she shall enjoy all of the privileges and benefits of his/her regular membership classification and shall be exempt from the payment of any association dues for the life or resignation of such member.  The privileges of a Life Member shall be determined by the class of membership for which the member would otherwise qualify.

1)   The criteria for eligibility: 
a)  Been a member of FAHN for a minimum of 5 years; and 
b)  Served at least five years on the Executive Board or completed at least five major accomplishments which have contributed significantly towards meeting the needs of the Organization. 
c)   This honor shall be bestowed in the following manner:
(1) The nomination shall be accompanied by documentation of eligibility and                                                        forwarded to the Executive Board at least 30 days prior to the                      convening of the Annual Conference at which the nomination is to be bestowed.
(2)  A favorable 2/3rds vote of the Executive Board is required. 


SECTION 26
FAHN INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP CITATION AWARD PROGRAM

1.    It shall be the goal of FAHN to recognize the outstanding achievements or actions of individuals or teams in the field of crisis negotiations.  This recognition will be in the form of an award and will be referred to as the “FAHN CITATION.”  The purpose of allowing an individual to be nominated is to allow for recognition in cases where a person acts alone or achieves a personal accomplishment worthy of recognition, but that did not involve other persons.  When other persons are involved in the incident or achievement, the entire group of those involved should be recognized.

2.    Any person can nominate an individual or team for a citation.  Nomination will be made by submitting the attached nomination form to the current president by any method (hard copy, hand delivered or mailed, e-mailed, etc.)  Any person other than the president who receives a nomination form shall forward the form to the president.  The nomination form may be accompanied by supporting documentation if the submitter so desires, such as newspaper reports or articles, department documentation, etc.  It is acceptable for a person to nominate another person or team from their own agency, or if the nominator is a team member, it is acceptable to nominate their own team.

3.    Nomination forms shall be reviewed at each quarterly meeting and prior to the business meeting at the annual conference.  The president shall present the nominations to the board for discussion, after which a majority vote will determine whether to award the citation.  Voting shall be in accordance with procedures set forth in the constitution and bylaws for all other issues (Board members present with voting rights shall cast their vote, and the president will only vote in case of a tie.)  Board members should consider the following factors in making their decision, and should indicate such considerations on the nomination form:
a.    Did the nominee perform or act in accordance with accepted or approved methods, or did their actions or achievement go “above and beyond” what is expected of a person or group in their situation?
            
b.    Did the actions of the nominee result in lives or property saved?

c.     Was the incident or accomplishment exceptionally challenging or unique to the level that special recognition is justified?

4.    Criteria for consideration of the citation award are as follows:
a.    Action/activity/accomplishment must have occurred within the state of Florida

b.    The nomination must be made within one calendar year from the incident or achievement

5.    Presentation of the citation will take place at the banquet of the annual conference, and will be presented by the president or his/her designee.  The presentation of the citation will consist of a summary of the incident or achievement and a presentation of an award to be determined by the board (such as commemorative plaques, trophies, challenge coins, etc.)  to each person being recognized, or in some cases of a group or team accomplishment, a single award may be presented to an entire team as determined on a case by case basis.

6.    Acceptance of the citation will require the nominee to agree to make a presentation regarding their incident or achievement at the following conference if requested by the board to do so, providing there is no pending litigation that precludes a presentation.

 REFLECTS  CHANGES  RATIFIED @ 2017 CONFERENCE

 

Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators

PO Box 351904

Jacksonville, FL 32235-1904

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