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California public safety should be proud.
We have fought back attacks against working Californians. We have banded together in times of need. And we have continued to protect our communities to the best of our abilities. We believe that if your families aren’t safe, nothing else matters.
I am proud to be the President of PORAC, the largest statewide association of public safety members in California and in the nation, and also someone who has worked my entire adult life in law enforcement in California.
We represent 64,000-plus members.
PORAC members work in cities and for counties; in public schools, community colleges, and on college and university campuses, in courts, in jails, and in public agencies in every community. We are there to protect the public on our streets, in our airports and on rail, in our parks, and on our waterfronts. We are committed to keeping our neighbors and families safe.
We believe that public safety is the primary goal of government. Every day, California peace officers don bullet-proof vests, tasers, batons, and guns to protect ourselves on the job. The risk to our lives is real. California cops are assaulted on the job daily. And every year, California adds an average of fifteen names of officers killed in the line of duty to the California Peace Officers Memorial.
We agree that California is facing a major budget deficit as our country is recovering from the worst economy any of us have seen in our lifetime. We know we have to get beyond the poisonous rhetoric. It isn’t about going after people who do their jobs; it is about providing safety and more jobs.
The financial problems in California are shared by all of us. Peace officers are making concessions that represent a step backward in their compensation package. We have been hit with layoffs, and have accepted the concomitant responsibilities and increased dangers on the job as part of our professional challenge.
PORAC knows that if we don’t speak out, no one else will speak for us. Everything we get, down to the pencils on our desk, were put there because a politician made that decision.
PORAC has a major presence in Sacramento, and we have always been willing to engage in a discussion about what is best for our members and the neighbors we protect.
A generation ago, we supported the idea of collective bargaining, which allows both sides to be heard equally. In 1974, PORAC co-sponsored the Peace Officers Procedural Bill of Rights and we have been a constant guardian of it since its passage. We played a major role in the creation of the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and have been protective of it each budget cycle.
We know how tragic it will be for future generations if only Wall Street, if only the big corporations, if only the rich, are heard in the political process.
Join with us to speak on behalf of law enforcement throughout California.
You can learn more by visiting us at www.Facebook.com/PORAC, www.Twitter.com/PORACalifornia, and by viewing videos about how we have fought to better the safety of Californians and the working conditions of those that keep our communities safe at www.PORAC.org.
The strength of our association is our membership. Stay safe.