We are working towards completing our Comprehensive and Popular Annual Financial Reports to give you a complete picture of the current financial status of your LAGERS retirement system. In the mean time, here are some quick updates.
Many people my age (mid 30s) can’t fathom what it’s going to be like in 30 years when we reach retirement. It’s a hard concept for us to understand because it is so far away from now. For some, you’re on the doorstep of retirement and others may be like me. Either way, we all need to understand the financial value LAGERS brings to our ability to achieve financial security in the future.
Local government service is for heroes. It takes employees and officials who care deeply about building quality of life for their city. Their accomplishments create what we all love about our communities, from parks and main streets, to clean sidewalks and safe neighborhoods.
Melvin Bockelman was recently celebrated by the Kansas City Police Department. Last year in September, the KCPD honored 50 years of innovation of the computer system that would become the lifeblood of the department. The designer of that system 50 years ago was Mr. Bockelman. The computer system implemented in Kansas City was revolutionary at the time, and is considered one the United States' most advanced computer-based information systems.
Mr. Bockelman was the manager of the computer systems division under the leadership of Chief Clarence Kelly of KCPD. Together, these two pioneers developed the system to make Kansas City a safer place for its citizens and the officers in the field. After he retired Mr. Bockelman went to work for LAGERS employer Lafayette County, where he implemented a similar system there.
The system was called Alert 1, short for Automated Law Enforcement Response Team 1. A former member of the Air Force as a computer systems manager, Mr. Bockelman used his skills in this emerging field to create this “thinking machine” to perform crime rate analysis and crime record searching at the same time. People came from all over the country to see the new computer and learn from the department about this new technology. Mr. Bockelman also traveled the world sharing the story of ALERT 1 to other departments.
After retiring, Mr. Bockelman didn’t stop sharing his expertise. He went on to work for Lafayette County Courthouse, implementing a computer system for them.
LAGERS' Executive Director and I attended the annual conference of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) last week. This conference gathers together the leaders of the largest public pension plans in America. Attending allows us to hear ideas about how to better serve our members and gain insight into best practices in the retirement industry.
Overview of 2019 Legislative Session The first regular session of the 100th General Assembly came to a close on May 17th. This year, the legislature tackled some major, and often controversial, issues and the final weeks of session were unsurprisingly not without little drama.
As former active members, many of you worked in positions that made our communities safer, cleaner and stronger. These roles were vital to ensure we have vibrant communities. Spike Huff was no different than many of you. He began his career as a road deputy sheriff for Franklin County and eventually transitioned into being a civil deputy and a bailiff in the county court house.
However, Steve’s second (or possible first) passion in life is music. Here’s what he had to say about his passion for music: