Adopted June, 2009 (updated 07/25/10)
Originating author: Glenn Carpenter
Article I. Name, Seal, Emblem, Colors, Uniforms, Headquarters
Section 1.01 Name
Section 1.02 Seal
Section 1.03 Emblem
Section 1.04 Colors
Section 1.05 Uniforms
Section 1.06 Headquarters
Section 2.01 Purpose
Section 2.02 Duties and Powers
Article III Southwest Conference Membership
Section 3.01 Membership Classifications
Section 3.02 Southwest Conference and Tenure
Section 3.03 Meetings
Section 3.04 Annual Meetings
Section 3.05 Special Meetings
Section 3.06 Notice of Annual Meeting
Section 3.07 Quorum for Meeting
Section 3.08 Majority Vote
Section 3.09 Procedure
Section 3.10 Prohibition of proxy vote
Section 3.11 Absentee Voting
Section 3.12 Officers
Section 3.13 Chairman
Section 3.14 Vice Chairman
Section 3.15 Treasurer
Section 3.16 Secretary
Section 3.17 Conference Representative
Section 3.18 Conference Safety Officer
Section 3.19 Conference Webmaster
Section 3.20 Executive Board
Section 3.21 Resignation
Section 3.22 Vacancy
Section 3.23 Presiding Officers
Section 3.24 Dues
Section 4.01 Southwest Conference Business
Section 4.02 Southwest Convention Executive Board
Section 4.03 Conference
Section 5.01 Amendments to Article of constitution and procedures
Article VI Discipline
Section 6.01 General Overview
Section 6.02 Conference Level
Section 6.03 Suspension or Removal of Members
Section 6.04 Appeals
Article VII Awards
Section 7.01 Conference Blue Knight of the Year
Section 7.02 Conference Lord/Lady Knight of the Year
Section 7.03 Amos Elliot Ambassador of the Year
Section 7.04 Procedure for Nominations & Presentation
Section 8.01 General
By Laws of Blue Knights Southwest Conference
Section 1.01 Name: The name of the conference shall be known as the Southwest Conference, and shall be affiliated and sanctioned by the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Club, Inc.
Section 1.02 Seal: The corporate seal of the International shall be the Southwest Conference seal.
Section 1.03 Conference Emblem: The Southwest Conference Emblem shall be as depicted below:
Section 1.04 Colors: The colors of the International shall consist of a curved white background enclosed by a blue border with the words “Blue Knights” in blue, centered within the border. The center of the colors shall consist of the official Blue Knights emblem. A curved white background enclosed by a blue border with the State or Province in which the chapter is located, in blue, centered within the border.
Section 1.05. Uniforms: Any chapter may adopt a uniform that shall be in good taste and worn in such a manner as to project a positive image of the Blue Knights.
Section 1.06 Headquarters: The Southwest Conference Headquarters shall be at the current mailing address of the Southwest Conference (SWC) Chairman, or other conference officer as designated by the SWC Chairman. The address shall be reliable and all attempts should have it for the duration of term(s )in office.
Section 2.01 Purpose: Each Conference shall be organized to promote the purposes of the International and for fostering closer co-operation and support among chapters within the geographic Conference area. The International Board of Directors may designate Conference Officers or their respective committees to investigate and report on matters relating to corporate business. When the International Board of Directors requests Conference assistance, Conference Officers may make recommendations to the International Board of Directors.
Section 2.02 Duties and Powers: The Southwest Conference Executive Board shall assist all Chapters in the Conference with any affairs that pertain to the Southwest Conference. Efforts to adjudicate Chapter concerns should be handled at the Conference level before being forwarded to International. The conference secretary shall be the person designated to be the liaison for the Conference to the International and from International back to the Conference. Matters of immediate concern may be handled directly to International by the Conference Chairman or his designee so long as the conference secretary is kept current of the proceedings.
Article III – Southwest Conference Membership
Section 3.01 Membership Classifications: The five membership classes are: (1) Regular members; (2) Associate members; (3) Honorary members; (4) Special Honorary members (Southwest Conference Chaplain); (5) Life members
Section 3.02 Southwest Conference Members and Tenure: Only those persons who qualify under the applicable provisions of the International constitution may be members of the Southwest Conference. The term of membership shall be for one year commencing on the date of the annual election meeting of the members chapter or the date of admission or renewal or as a member at large, whichever is applicable.
Section 3.03 Meetings: The Southwest Conference shall hold an annual meeting for the purpose of conducting business and the election of Conference officers. The President of each chapter, or his designee (per Section 3.10), shall be entitled to vote in the election of officers, and amendments to the Conference Procedures at the annual meeting of the conference. The election of Conference Officers shall take place on even numbered years. Voting on other matters of conference business must be consistent with the International Constitution and Bylaws.
Section 3.04 Annual Meeting: The annual meeting of the members of the Southwest Conference shall be held at such time and location as deemed appropriate by the majority vote of the Southwest Conference Executive Board. However, the location of the next annual meeting may be determined after a chapter wishing to host the annual meeting makes a presentation. Concerns should include a centralized geographic location and close to the end of or beginning of the business year. The membership present shall indicate their preference by vote.
Section 3.05 Special Meeting: Special meetings may be called by vote of the Southwest Conference Executive Board or upon the written petition of at least twenty-five (25) percent of the Executive Board. Upon such vote or petition, the Chairperson shall call a special meeting of the Southwest Conference at such time and place as he shall deem appropriate and the Secretary shall give notice of the special meeting in the same manner as for the annual meeting. Only such business as is clearly set forth in the notice for the special meeting shall be transacted at such meeting.
Section 3.06 Notice of Annual Meeting: Notice of the time and place of the annual meeting or any special meeting shall be served personally, or by mail (electronically or postal service), not less than fourteen (14) or more than sixty (60) days before the meeting, upon each chapter of record, by the Southwest Conference Secretary. The Secretary’s statement that such notice was mailed shall be deemed to be due notice of the meeting.
Section 3.07 Quorum for Meetings: At any annual or special meeting of the Southwest Conference, the presence of ten (10) regular members shall constitute a quorum for all purposes. In the absence of a quorum, or when a quorum is not present, a meeting may be adjourned from time to time by vote of a majority of the members present, without notice other than announcement at the meeting and without further notice to any absent members.
Section 3.08 Majority Vote: At all meetings of the conference at which there is a quorum present, except as otherwise provided in these procedures, a majority of the votes cast on any matter before the meeting shall prevail.
Section 3.09 Procedure: Roberts Rules of Order shall govern conduct of any meeting unless inconsistent with Southwest Conference Procedures.
Section 3.10 Proxy Vote: Chapter Presidents may designate a regular member to vote on their chapters behalf. This designation must be in writing to the Conference Secretary at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the annual Southwest Conference.
Section 3.11 Absentee Voting: Unless otherwise prohibited in these procedures, absentee votes will be accepted on special occasions deemed appropriate by the Southwest Conference Executive Board. In such cases the vote shall be limited to one vote per Chapter.
Section 3.12 Officers: For the purposes of conducting business the officers of the conference shall be the Chairman, Vice Chairman (East, & West), Secretary, and Treasurer. A single person may hold the office of the Secretary and Treasurer. Only Regular members of the conference who are currently President of a chapter, or who have previously served in that capacity, may hold the offices of Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Conference Representative. Any regular member may hold the offices of Secretary and Treasurer. Associate and honorary members may not hold any conference offices either by election or appointment.
Those wishing to hold the office of Conference Chairman, Vice Chairman (East or West), shall notify – in writing (electronically or hardcopy) – the Conference Secretary of their intent; not less than 60 but no more than 90 days prior to the Southwest Conference during even numbered years. The Conference Secretary shall then notify all Conference chapters of those names running for office not less than 45 days prior to the Conference business meeting. A one page “biography” (from each candidate) may be forwarded to each chapter at this time
Section 3.13 Chairman: The Chairman shall be the general executive head of the Southwest Conference. The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Conference, Executive Board, and Executive Committee, and shall be an ex-official member of all other committees. The Chairman shall be the cosigner with the Treasurer on all notes, checks, and other legal documents. The chairman shall have the power to call meetings of the Executive Board and shall make a report of the work of the Executive Board at each Annual Meeting of the Southwest Conference. The Chairman shall act as the Conference Representative on the International Board of Directors.
Section 3.14 Vice Chairman: At the request of the Chairman, or in the event of the Chairman’s absence or disability, the West Vice Chairman may perform the duties and posses and exercise the powers of the Chairman; and to the extent authorized by law, the West Vice Chairman shall have such powers as the Executive Board may determine, and shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the Executive Board. The West Vice Chairman may continue to perform the duties of the Chairman until such time as the Executive Board declares a vacancy and elects a qualified replacement to serve as Chairman for the remainder of the Chairman’s term. In the event that the West Chairman is unable to perform the duties as Chairman, the East Chairman shall be so designated.
Section 3.15 Treasurer: The Treasurer shall have custody of all funds and property of the Southwest Conference, subject to regulations as may be imposed by the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall receive all Southwest Conference funds, depositing the same in the name of the Southwest Conference in such bank or trust company as may be designated by the Executive Board, or keep an accurate record of all receipts and disbursements, when necessary or proper. The Chairman may cosign with the Treasurer on behalf of the Southwest Conference on checks, notes, and other obligations. Upon confirmation from the SWC Chairman, the treasurer shall not make any disbursements of Southwest Conference funds other than administrative expenses in excess of one hundred dollars ($100.00) without prior approval of the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall enter regularly, on the books of the Southwest Conference to be kept by the Treasurer for the purpose, full and accurate account of all monies and obligations and paid or incurred by the Treasurer for or on account of the Conference, and shall exhibit such books at all reasonable times to any Executive Board member on application at any annual meeting. The Treasurer shall make a full report of the financial status of the Southwest Conference at each annual meeting and upon request, at any meeting of the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall, in general, perform all the duties incident to the office of Treasurer, subject to the control of the Executive Board or other mandate of International.
Section 3.16 Secretary: The Secretary shall have charge of all electronic and written recordings, the books, documents, and papers as the Executive Board may determine. The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Southwest Conference and Executive Board and shall keep the minutes of the meetings. The Secretary shall keep a record containing the names of those voting members of the Southwest Conference. This listing will contain all known Chapter Officers, and their contact information. The Secretary shall collect all yearly dues, if any, from the chapters and provide the collected funds to the Treasurer for deposit. The Secretary shall give adequate notice to all members in advance of the annual meeting or any special meeting of the Southwest Conference, and shall make a full report of the membership status of the Southwest Conference at each meeting. At the request of the Chairman, or as otherwise provided herein, the Secretary shall give adequate notice of all meetings of the Executive Board. The Secretary shall be in charge of the Motion Book.
Section 3.17 Conference Representative: The Conference Representative shall act as a liaison between the Conference Executive Board and the Chapters to the International and shall assist other members of the Executive Board as requested. The Conference representative shall be the spokesman to the International Board of Directors, on behalf of the Southwest Conference Executive Board and Chapter members. The Conference Representative, as mandated by International rule, is a member of the International Board of Directors. The Conference Chairman shall act in the capacity of the Conference Representative for the Southwest Conference.
Section 3.18 Conference Safety Officer: The Conference Safety Officer is selected by the Chairman, and approved by the Executive Board. The Chairman shall request volunteers from all members of the conference to be considered for this position. The role of the Chapter Safety Officer is to coordinate all Conference efforts for education, and implementation of a Conference Safety Program. This program might include safety briefings, bulletins, and member accident compilation. As safety is paramount to the members of this conference, the Conference Safety Officer shall give a safety presentation at each Annual Southwest Conference
Section 3.19 Conference Webmaster: The Conference Webmaster shall be appointed by the Chairman and approved by the Executive Board. The role of the Conference Webmaster is to maintain the Conference website that offers a means of communication between the Executive Board, Chapters and the public.
Section 3.20 Executive Board: The Executive Board shall consist of the Chairman, West Vice-Chairmen, East Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer. and Conference Representative. A minimum of three (3) Executive Board members are needed for the purpose of conducting any Conference meetings.
Section 3.21 Resignation: Any Executive Board member may resign at any time, by giving written notice of such resignation to the Southwest Conference Executive Board. A copy of that resignation will be forwarded to the international Board of Directors.
Section 3.22 Vacancy: Any vacancy on the Southwest Conference Executive Board may be filled for the unexpired term by a majority vote of the Southwest Conference Executive Board members. Any officer so elected by the Executive Board shall hold office until the next succeeding annual meeting of the membership of the Southwest Conference.
Section 3.23 Presiding Officers: At all meetings of the Southwest Conference the Chairman shall preside. In the Chairman’s absence the West Vice-Chairman, East Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer or Conference Representative in descending order shall preside over the meeting.
Section 3.24 Dues: The Southwest Conference Executive Board shall have the ability to assess dues to be paid by each chapter within it’s conference. These dues shall be accessed to each chapter equally based upon the Conference needs at the time. This assessment shall be in addition to monies that the Conference receives from International for each member. Failure of a chapter to pay the assessed dues will negate that chapter’s ability to vote at any Southwest Conference event or meetings. Dues must have been paid prior to any event or meeting.
Article IV – Voting
Section 4.01 Southwest Conference Business: Regular, Associate, Honorary, and Life members shall have the right to vote on general business submitted to them by the Southwest Conference Executive Board at the annual or any special meeting of the Southwest Conference.
Section 4.02 Executive Board: All Chapter Presidents or their respective designees, who must be a Regular member, shall have the right to vote on Executive Board Business matters that affect or concern Conference Chapters, and the election of officers to the Executive Board.
Section 4.03 Conference: Each Southwest Conference chapter, in good standing, shall have one vote for election of officers at the annual meeting of the Southwest Conference.
Article V – Amendments to Article of Constitution and Procedures
Section 5.01: These Procedures of the Southwest Conference may be amended only at the Annual Southwest Conference, and only by two-thirds (2/3’s) majority vote of those attending the conference business meeting (who have the right to vote). The proposed changes must be published at least thirty (30) days, but no more than sixty (60) days prior to the annual meeting by the Conference Secretary. The proposed change must be submitted to the Executive Board prior to being published in the event clarifications are needed. The procedural changes may be published in whatever manner as the Secretary deems appropriate.
Article VI – Discipline
Section 6.01 General: The Southwest Conference shall not interfere with the imposition of discipline administered to a Chapter member by their respective chapter. However, the Executive Board may upon request of the disciplined member or the concerned Chapter review the circumstances of the case and offer assistance or alternatives to aid either party to a successful and timely conclusion of the case. This request must be in form of written communication to the conference Chairman. The purpose of the Southwest Conference is to ensure all avenues of reconciliation have been explored. The Southwest Conference will review for compliance with International By laws and the Southwest Conference Procedures and return its recommendations within thirty (30) days of receipt of the request. If the discipline problem cannot be satisfied with the Conference efforts, either Party may request International review as outlined in the International Bylaws Article X, Section 10.03
Section 6.02 Conference: The Executive Board of the Conference shall police themselves and wherein a specific concern occurs of an Executive Board Member, said case will be forwarded to the International Board of Directors for disposition.
Section 6.03 Suspension or Removal of Members: Suspension or removal of members of or within Southwest Conference shall be handled only at the International level as provided for in Article X, Section 10.04 of the International By-laws. Any individual who has had their membership suspended for any length of time, for disciplinary reasons, will also not be allowed to attend any Blue Knight function during the period of suspension, as a guest or in any manner.
Once a member has been suspended or removed, in accordance with International By law Article X, and confirmed by the International Board, the affected member’s name shall be placed on the International Persona Non Gratis list.
Any member who knowingly brings a member not in good standing or a suspended member to any Blue Knight function shall be disciplined up to and including loss of membership in this organization.
Any Chapter that knowingly allows a member not in good standing or a suspended member to remain in attendance at any Blue Knight function could also have their Charter revoked.
No chapter or member will be disciplined if they are unaware of the individual’s status. If any member sees a former member (as listed above) they will inform the sponsoring Chapter or Conference of that member’s status so proper action can be taken.
Only those events exclusively for Blue Knights and not open and advertised to the public would be affected.
Section 6.04 Appeals: Either Party may request International review as outlined in the International Bylaws Article X, Section 10.03. This must be done in the minimal form of written communication. This may not be done without first having been reviewed at the conference level.
Section 6.05 Conference Investigations: In the event that an action occurs that may harm the positive image of the organization, and the affected chapter refuses to appropriately intervene, the Conference Executive Board may initiate an investigation. Once a complaint or information is brought to the attention of the Executive Board, the Board shall convene in a timely manner to identify the problem and decide what investigations are warranted. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Secretary shall inform all Members of the Executive Board of the outcome. Once the investigation is completed and the Executive Board deems discipline is necessary the Executive Board can impose a suspension or removal of the member(s) involved. All involved parties will be notified by the Conference Secretary. The decision of the Executive Board shall also be forwarded to International by the Conference Secretary. Any host chapter failing to impose the order of the Executive Board may be sanctioned up to and including of having their charter removed.
Article VII – Conference Awards
Section 7.01 Blue Knight of the Year Award
The Blue Knight of the Year is a member in good standing who has a high participation level in the Chapter and supports its activities. The Blue Knight of the Year demonstrates a positive image of the Blue Knights and the motorcycling law enforcement community. This individual works at all times to improve the relationship between the motorcycling law enforcement community and the general public while maintaining the fraternal spirit when relating to other Blue Knights.
Section 7.02 Lord/Lady Knight of the Year
The Blue Knight’s Lord/Lady of the Year is given to the spouse or significant other of a Blue Knight. A Lord or Lady has a high participation level in the Chapter and supports its activities in addition to supporting law enforcement community and the general public their Blue Knight. The Lord or Lady demonstrates a positive image of the Blue Knights and the Blue Knights Family. Along with their Blue Knight works to improve the relationship between the motorcycling and is guided by the fraternal spirit when relating to Blue Knights.
Section 7.03 Amos Elliott Ambassador of the Year
The winner of the Amos Elliott Ambassador of the Year is a Blue Knight who not only has a high participation level with home chapter but, encourages chapter members to support other family oriented motorcycle club rides and events to promote the Blue Knights. This Blue Knight often recruits other law enforcement officers with an interest of motorcycling into becoming Blue Knights or helps them in starting a new chapter. Member is willing to ride several miles to support Blue Knight activities of home chapter, other local chapters of the SWC and International. Promotes Blue Knights where ever the motor stops.
Section 7.04 Procedure for Nominations & Presentation
Nominations for the conference awards shall be solicited by the Conference Secretary from all chapters within the Southwest Conference approximately 90 days prior to the Annual Conference meeting. Nominations shall be received 60 days prior to the Annual Conference meeting so that awards may be engraved. Chapters hosting the Annual Conference shall be responsible for having the awards produced. The expense for these awards shall be paid by the Southwest Conference.
Awards will be presented at the Annual Conference Banquet.
Section 7.01 General: All references herein to the masculine gender shall include the feminine gender where appropriate. It is not the intent to segregate or exclude either gender, but only for the ease of communication.