As reported by, Ed Brannigan, the leader of the state’s second-largest police union, was elected national vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police last Thursday. Brannigan knocked out the incumbent, David Hiller, of Michigan, by a vote of 1,577 to 1,365 at the union’s national conference in Salt Lake City. He will remain president of the state FOP.

As the number two officer for the largest law enforcement union in the country, he said his duties will include testifying before Congress and traveling from state to state to rally public workers as governments sidestep the collective bargaining process to cut into their pensions and health benefits. More than a dozen states including New Jersey took that route in an effort to close budget holes this year.

“All of a sudden we’re the bad guy. We weren’t the bad guy on 9/11,” Brannigan said. “It’s not our fault, it’s government mismanagement.”

During his two-year term, he said he will focus on bringing state and national unions together to present a united front across the country. New Jersey’s largest unions banded together to fight a bipartisan bill rolling back public workers’ benefits this year, but they were ultimately defeated.

Brannigan said unions face historically challenging times because of the political climate, and he’s preparing for a tough battle. “I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” he said.