President’s Message

Mike Durant
PORAC President

I understand that many of us are hearing about AB 953 and the RIPA Board on a continual basis. The regulations that are being proposed to the Department of Justice are mind-boggling. With that said, in the coming weeks or month we should have the initial regulations before all of us from Attorney General Becerra. PORAC has had several frank conversations with him about the proposed regulations. We have also met with Dr. Shirley Weber, the author of AB 953. During our meeting with Dr. Weber, she too was somewhat perplexed by how many regulations have been proposed, as well as the details of what has been proposed. When we last spoke with Attorney General Becerra, he said it is his plan to get the law enforcement representatives together with him and Dr. Weber to find common ground for what we collectively believe will be the best approach moving forward.

Thankfully, PORAC has cultivated relationships with Cal Chiefs President Ken Corney from the City of Ventura, CSSA representative and Kings County Sheriff David Robinson, and CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. All of them have done an outstanding job of representing our profession. Chief Corney went to the extent of reaching out to another state that currently has a practice of what has been proposed by the RIPA Board. The information that Chief Corney has provided will prove invaluable once Dr. Weber and Attorney General Becerra have a chance to fully review it. It demonstrates the time necessary (up to 20 minutes) to fully complete a contact under regulations much less detailed than those proposed by the RIPA Board.

We need only to take a look at Chicago to see the problems that have been created by similar regulations. Shortly after resigning from his position as United States attorney in Chicago, Zachary Fardon submitted a five-page public letter that amounted to a road map of what he believes went wrong there. We have all seen the tragedies that have befallen Chicago due to gang problems and gun violence in recent years. The following are a few paragraphs from his letter; you can read the rest at www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-open-letter-zachary-fardon-20170313-story.html.

The contract that settled the lawsuit swung the pendulum hard in the other direction by telling cops if you (officer) go talk to those kids on the corner, you’re going to take 40 minutes to fill out a form, and you’re going to have to give them a receipt with your badge number on it….

So cops stopped making stops. And kids started shooting more — because they could, and because the rule of law, law enforcement, had been delegitimized. And that created an atmosphere of chaos….

We need to flood those neighborhoods with local and federal law enforcement officers. Not just arrest the bad guys but also to be standing on that corner where shots otherwise might get fired, to be breaking up those corner loiterers, and to be meeting and learning and knowing the kids, the people, and the truth of who are the good guys, who are the bad guys, and who isn’t yet formed and can be swayed.

Several years ago, PORAC was approached by our publishers at 911MEDIA with an idea to showcase various associations and their respective departments throughout the PORAC membership. Since then, 911MEDIA and PORAC have provided our readership with some great stories of the various victories, tragedies, wins and losses of several associations. Recently, PORAC Vice President Meyer and I met with 911MEDIA again to discuss those and any other items to consider for our readership. PORAC plans to continue showcasing many of our associations in the coming years. We look forward to your input on enhancing our publication and interactions with all of our members.

Your PORAC Executive Committee traveled to Washington, D.C., late last month to meet with our federal legislators and discuss the priorities for public safety in California. During these meetings with our congressional delegation, PORAC demonstrated and explained how certain pieces of legislation will affect law enforcement in California and throughout the country. Some of the issues we discussed were:

  • Federal funding for state and local law enforcement programs and activities
  • 9-1-1 system reform
  • Privacy legislation — Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)
  • COPS grant programs, HIDTA and Byrne JAG grants
  • Law enforcement and schools

This month, many of us will come together in San Diego at the Bahia Resort for our annual Training Symposium. Our training staff, led by Claude Alber, has put together a great schedule of events and speakers addressing many issues we will be facing in the coming year and beyond. All of us at PORAC look forward to interacting with you during this training. Remember that many of your PORAC officers and Executive Committee members will be in attendance throughout the event. If you have any specific issues, please take the time to meet with us so we may be best situated to assist you as well as your association.

It is tax time for all of us, and our California Peace Officers’ Memorial Fund needs your assistance. We would like to remind all of our members to check the box. While you are completing your California tax returns, please take a moment to donate to the Memorial. With all of our members throughout PORAC, we can make a difference to all the families of our fallen heroes. Check the box — it’s that simple!