Well, we are halfway through 2020, and to be honest, I’m kind of done with the events of this year. It seems like every article I’ve written this year starts out talking about the strange times we are experiencing. It feels like we are living through a cheesy made-for-TV movie with plot twists and conspiracies. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined a world in which “defund the police” is a political platform debated at the highest levels of our government, or in which a pandemic literally shuts down our nation.
With all the craziness we have faced this year, I bet many of you have been looking at the calendar to see how soon you can retire. I have seen some officers with apps on their phones that count down the days until the day they have planned for their retirement. Often, officers have two dates in mind: the earliest day they can collect their retirement and the day they reach their maximum retirement benefit. Read More »
Amazing how the world turns in less than a month. One incident in one city a thousand miles away has upended our entire profession, sparking dramatic calls for police reform at the federal, state and local levels. All the hard work responding to the COVID-19 crisis, the last couple of years working with the Legislature on Senate Bill 230/Assembly Bill 392, and the increased work on building greater relationships and trust within minority communities all pretty much evaporated overnight with the death of George Floyd. A vast majority of peace officers around the nation, including PORAC, were shocked and saddened by what we saw on that video. Read More »
To say 2020 has been life-altering would be an understatement. We began it with a sense of optimism: After three years of negotiations on use-of-force reform in California, we had landed on a solution that we felt addressed the needs of the public and law enforcement with AB 392 taking effect in January and SB 230 set to go into effect in 2021. But by March, the COVID-19 pandemic was in full effect and we all experienced a complete shutdown of our country. Now, in the aftermath of the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis, we find ourselves in a national battle over extreme reforms to law enforcement at a national level. Read More »
Over the past several years, we have felt intense pressure to “reform” policing in America. Often, the reforms advocated are not well thought out and would make both our communities and our police less safe by placing dangerous and unrealistic burdens on law enforcement officers. Following every high-profile event, we have seen a new demand for police to make additional concessions, often in the areas of officer safety and due process rights. Removing these existing rights would prevent officers from thoroughly safeguarding our communities while also protecting our safety. Often the concessions are forced on law enforcement agencies by pandering politicians in order to appease a loud but very small segment of our community. Read More »
Hopefully, most of us are accustomed to using budgets to guide us in our personal finances. A budget is an important tool for us to manage our money. A personal or family budget is a fundamental part of good financial management. Our budgets should reflect our goals and priorities. Our budgets should also reflect our best estimate of our projected income and how we plan to expend our income. Our expenses can usually be divided into fixed expenses, and those expenses that change from month to month. Our expenses should also align with our goals and priorities. Our budgets should be flexible enough to adjust to changes that can occur during the year. When significant changes occur to our financial situation, we need to take the time to reevaluate our budget, as well as our goals and priorities. Read More »
As we move into the summer months, there seems to be some movement toward a degree of normalcy. Businesses are starting to reopen and, hopefully, this means getting back to work for those who have been laid off. No one could have predicted the pandemic or the effects it would have across this nation, but the challenges to law enforcement are at the forefront for us here at PORAC. We continue to push legislatively for better testing of first responders and workers’ compensation protection should you be infected. With the governor’s executive order on workers’ compensation and the pending AB 664, I am confident we will be able to provide appropriate protection for our first responders. Read More »
PORAC was founded in 1953 when less than three dozen California peace officers formed a special association, collectively motivated to professionalize our occupation, with service at the core. One of the earliest successes was the development and implementation into law of the first “peace officers standards setting” agency, now POST, which was eventually followed by the rest of the nation. On that foundation, we built strength to increase our rights and benefits as peace officers. We began to have greater self-determination and autonomy from city and county administrators, along with police management. We have met some of the toughest times — recessions, natural disasters, legislation and now, a global pandemic — head-on. I am proud to be at the helm and strive every day to continue our legacy of exceptional service and professionalism. Read More »
Traditionally, May is the time of the year when the law enforcement family from across the country comes together to honor all the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of their communities. It is a month marked by hundreds of solemn yet heartfelt ceremonies, including national observances on Peace Officers Memorial Day and throughout Police Week. However, the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. Along with school and business closures, events of all kinds are being canceled, and sadly included among them are peace officer memorial ceremonies. Read More »
May is a time for law enforcement and our communities to remember those we have lost and for the names of those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice to be enshrined on memorials so that we never forget.
Normally at PORAC, we are preparing for the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremonies and our annual Legislative Day at the Capitol. Instead, these events have been canceled and we are going on more than six weeks of sheltering in place. Although this year’s events have been canceled, we at PORAC will still take the time to honor our fallen officers. At the same time, we will continue to push for better protections for the officers still on the job. PORAC continues to lobby our state and federal leaders for better resources for first responders. Our priorities include making sure first responders have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and priority COVID-19 testing and making sure those who have been infected with the virus have a workers’ compensation presumption. Read More »