President’s Message

Mike Durant
Mike Durant
Mike Durant
PORAC President

 

Executive Committee Meets in Reno

Your PORAC Executive Committee met last month in Reno, Nevada, at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in conjunction with our PORAC Training and Labor Symposium. During the meeting, those present discussed PORAC business and activities, including the lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., scheduled the week after the symposium.

There were over 195 members registered for the symposium, including the representatives of your PORAC Executive Committee, chapter directors and those who registered at the door. PORAC Training and Labor Consultant Claude Alber did a great job of putting together the best speakers available, who provided the most up-to-date information. Thank you to all of the instructors who participated in this year’s event.

PORAC advocate Randy Perry started off the training by providing an in-depth analysis of the current legislation aimed at public employees, mainly law enforcement. Following Randy was a presentation by PORAC LDF Chairman Fred Rowbotham and PORAC LDF Administrator Ed Fishman. They gave a great update on LDF and discussed the best possible way for your association to curtail costs associated with your LDF usage. They concluded with a bright financial picture for PORAC LDF moving forward. In the afternoon on the first day, representatives from the Jones Clifford law firm gave an excellent, detailed description of various workers’ compensation issues facing public safety members throughout the country.

The second day of training was presented by Rick Braziel, retired Sacramento Police Chief and representative of the Police Foundation. Rick gave a detailed presentation on the Stockton bank robbery case and Ferguson debrief. After intently listening to both presentations, our members were also completely engaged in the aftermath discussions.

PORAC Representatives in Washington, D.C.

Shortly after completing the symposium in Reno, representatives from your  Executive Committee, along with SPAC Chairman William Cho and PORAN President Tim Ross, traveled to the nation’s capital to meet with our federal legislators. Steptoe & Johnson representatives Darryl Nirenberg, Jason Abel and Eva Rigamonti gave us a complete briefing Monday evening shortly after our arrival. Clearly the following two days would be very busy, but most importantly, very beneficial and timely for weighing in on current and proposed federal legislation. PORAC Vice President Brent Meyer did an outstanding job in his article this month explaining our entire trip.

California Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony

In May, memorial ceremonies are held throughout the United States to honor the brave peace officers who laid down their lives in sacrifice for the safety of the citizens they are sworn to protect. Many of your PORAC elected representatives will be in attendance for the California ceremony, as well as National Police Week in Washington, D.C. The general public may not give these ceremonies the same attention as each of us, as they may not even be fully aware of the daily risks that a peace officer faces on the job, but we will never forget these heroes. The first recorded killing of a peace officer was in 1792. Since then, there have been more than 19,800 peace officers killed in the line of duty. Their names are engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. We know that these are not just names — they are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and other family members, including our friends, partners and co-workers. These were the peace officers whom not only we, the law enforcement community, but all citizens of the United States could count on, and they gave their lives for all of us. Nobody had to ask them, they just did; it comes with the responsibility, duty and honor of wearing the badge.

The last line of the poem engraved on the California memorial reads, “I ask for all here from the past, dear God, let my name be the last.” But as long as this profession asks you to wear a bulletproof vest, strap on a gun and deliberately put yourself in harm’s way to protect others, peace officers will be killed in the line of duty and names will continue to be added to the monument. This is the price we may be asked to pay so that the citizens of California and throughout the country will have a safer place to work and raise their families and for businesses to prosper.

May is also the month that we remember and honor those who have laid down their lives to preserve the freedom and safety of our nation. Memorial Day is when we honor the veterans of military service who protected our country and our freedom in times of war. Remember: Freedom is not free; it comes with a heavy price of personal sacrifice. Please keep all members of our United States military, our fallen peace officers and their families in your thoughts and prayers during this Memorial Day and throughout the year.