President’s Message

Mike Durant
Mike Durant
MIKE DURANT
PORAC President

A few years ago, we were 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 readers with some great stories of the victories, tragedies and challenges of several associations. This month is clearly no different. With all the issues that have befallen the city of San Bernardino, this month’s article sheds light on just how tough things have been for our PORAC members there. We hope you appreciate their story.

It would be naïve for any of us in law enforcement to believe that the entire landscape, both legislatively and in terms of media outreach, has not been changed dramatically by the tragedies and confrontations between citizens and the law enforcement community. Almost every encounter between law enforcement and private citizens is being viewed in some quarters as bullying or strong-arm tactics by officers. All of us should recognize that we have entered an age where we need to reacquaint ourselves with those we have sworn to protect and serve, and to educate policymakers and our own neighbors that we became law enforcement officers because of our great respect for working with our community.

We have had the opportunity to write opinion pieces and appear in legislative hearings to explain very clearly that law enforcement absolutely wants to be part of the solution. Our teams at Aaron Read & Associates and Marketplace Communications are there at every turn to ensure that PORAC is the law enforcement voice that policymakers and the media turn to first. We are listening to individuals from all quarters. Every person with whom we make contact is important, and the safety of our members and the citizens we are sworn to protect and serve is paramount to us.

This year we are facing a staggering number of legislative bills. To date, there have been 3,201 Assembly bills and 1,736 Senate bills introduced. That means PORAC and our advocates at ARA have sifted through more than 4,900 bills, a staggering number due to the fact that we are in the second year of a two-year legislative session. Our teams at ARA and PORAC have spent countless hours discussing which pieces of legislation are relevant to you and which issues PORAC should actively engage in. This is not a task that ends with the first discussion. Bills are amended over the course of months and the analysis continues with those changes; on many occasions this happens numerous times throughout the course of the legislative session.

Recently, without any warning and on the deadline for bill introduction, Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced Senate Bill 1286. The purpose of the bill, should it become law, is to roll back many of the protections we receive via the Peace Officer Bill of Rights (POBR). Leno describes his bill as bringing transparency to law enforcement. What it really does is ridicule law enforcement officers with public reviews of all of our records and hearings regarding police discipline matters. We caught word of this bill immediately and have been watching Leno’s every move in relation to it. PORAC and our advocates at ARA, along with many other law enforcement organizations and stakeholders, such as Californians for Retirement Security, have already begun to strategize about how best to neutralize this draconian piece of legislation.

Due to scheduling conflicts and the federal legislative calendar, your PORAC Executive Committee will be traveling to Washington, D.C., later this month to meet with our federal legislators to discuss the priorities for public safety in California. During these meetings with our congressional delegation, PORAC will demonstrate and explain how certain pieces of legislation will affect law enforcement in California and throughout the country.

Also this month, many of us will come together in Reno, Nevada, 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 executive officers and 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 and your association.

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

 

PERS COLA Adjustments

 

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System reported at its March 16 Pension and Health Benefits Committee meeting on the retiree cost-of-living adjustments for May 2016. Because the rate of inflation for the year ending December 2015 was only .120%, there will be an impact on the upcoming cost-of-living increases, especially for those who have retired in the last 10 years. The reported increases are shown at right.

 

Year of Retirement              

COLA Effective May 1, 2016

2004 and earlier2%
2005    1.555%
2006–2014No increase
2015    Not eligible

CLICK HERE to see the entire report on the COLA adjustments.