PORAC continues to be the voice of law enforcement in the news media. There is no other organization that reporters turn to more often than PORAC when they are in need of a public safety perspective. Our outreach has been varied throughout the state, and we tackle issues covering a broad scope. In recent months, PORAC leadership and advocates have been published in papers from Ventura to Santa Cruz to Sacramento on issues ranging from pensions to endorsements to Proposition 47.
Ventura County Star, Timm Herdt, “Bill Governing Use of Police Body Cameras Advances After Compromise”: The Ventura County Star printed a piece regarding the most recent body-worn camera hearing, in which Aaron Read & Associates advocate Randy Perry’s testimony was highlighted: “Lobbyist Randy Perry, representing the Peace Officers Research Association of California, an umbrella organization for police unions across the state, argued such a requirement could result in officers being ‘potentially disciplined if they have some discrepancies.’ He noted that the U.S. Justice Department has recommended that officers be given the opportunity to review videos before writing reports, a procedure that would lead to more accurate reporting. ‘Accuracy is the most important part of a fair judicial system,’ he said.”
CalBuzz, Mike Durant, “Why Unions Back Bonilla Over Glazer”: Our team was approached by the Susan Bonilla for Senate campaign to clarify organized labor’s support for Bonilla over opponent Steve Glazer. A piece penned by President Mike Durant was featured in CalBuzz, an online blog frequented by those in the political world.
Sacramento Bee, Chelsea Irvine, “Another View: Prop 47 Gun Provision Must Be Fixed”: PORAC was one of the main opponents to Proposition 47, which passed by a wide margin after an extraordinarily well-funded campaign of half-truths about the flawed initiative. Subsequent to the passage of Prop 47, numerous bills have been introduced to address the most egregious flaws. One such bill, AB 150 by Assembly Member Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore), amends the law to make theft of any firearm a felony. The Sacramento Bee published an op-ed from a social justice advocate praising Prop 47. In response, our MPC team drafted a piece from our staff, as consultants to PORAC. Employing a female voice not extensively heard in law enforcement, we utilized our staff’s experience of witnessing a violent crime likely perpetrated with a stolen firearm.
Santa Cruz Sentinel, Mike Pruger, “Public Pensions Are Not in Crisis”: Our team was approached by Santa Cruz Deputy Sheriffs’ Association President Mike Pruger regarding a piece that ran in the local Santa Cruz paper warning of the “pension crisis” happening in California. Again, the facts of the piece were skewed and the realities of public employee pensions were omitted. We worked with President Pruger to craft a response that was clear and noncombative while expounding on the facts of the issue — the collectively bargained concessions already made by the DSA and why reasonable public employee pensions are critical to the recruitment and retention of quality officers.
Body-worn cameras have been the talk of the Capitol in recent months, and those discussions have become even more common as video of additional incidents has been made public throughout the nation.
Recently, our team at MPC interviewed San Diego Police Officers Association President Brian Marvel regarding San Diego P.D.’s implementation of a body-worn camera program. We will be breaking the interview into multiple segments, highlighting the various issues involved in the successful use of body-worn cameras. These segments will give policymakers and the media an important firsthand look into San Diego officers’ experiences with this new technology. We thank President Marvel for traveling to Sacramento to share his experiences and insight.
Our team at Marketplace Communications continues to work with PORAC leadership to create PORAC TV segments that keep members informed on the wide range of PORAC’s activities on their behalf. Recently, we recorded President Mike Durant regarding PORAC’s efforts to ease the strain between law enforcement officers and those they serve. While we understand that many are frustrated, President Durant explained in his vlog that PORAC is willing to work together to create a sense of community that can be lacking in some areas. This was a no-nonsense, one-cop-speaking-to-the-community piece. If you haven’t seen the video, you can view it on PORAC’s YouTube channel (www.YouTube.com/PORACalifornia), Facebook (www.Facebook.com/PORAC) and Twitter pages (www.Twitter.com/PORACalifornia) for updates as these segments go live.
Furthermore, during the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremonies in Sacramento in May, we had the opportunity to interview members of PORAC’s Board of Directors to create a historical archive of these officers’ experiences, both on the frontlines and in their efforts with PORAC. Each Board member had a distinct experience to share with us, highlighting the issues in their areas of expertise and their local jurisdictions. We will continue these video archive sessions as Board and Executive Committee members are available.