Brian R. Marvel
Spring is here, and for many, that means it’s time to organize, declutter and deep-clean your home. In addition to freshening up your living space, spring cleaning is a great opportunity to review important financial planning documents that may not always be at the forefront of your mind, such as your insurance and benefits.
As we progress through our careers with our respective agencies, we sometimes set our insurance and benefits on autopilot, only making sure we have coverage during annual enrollment. We routinely renew our policies year after year, without giving thought to whether we have the appropriate coverage at the most favorable cost. As you know, disaster can strike at any time from many different sources — this includes dying on duty or off. Now is a great time to review those policies, especially your life insurance.
Ask yourself: Is your coverage current and adequate? Will you and your family be taken care of? Do you have all the types of coverage you need? Work with a knowledgeable insurance agent to review your needs and make any necessary adjustments to your current plan. PORAC offers some incredible insurance options through the Insurance and Benefits Trust (IBT). Visit ibtofporac.org and see what we have to offer, and for more information about how IBT serves the membership, check out our Trust profile on page 20. In addition to making sure you’re covered, one of the most important things you need to ensure is that your beneficiary information is up to date. Please, please make sure this information is current and correct. You don’t want your money going to unintended individuals. Sadly, this happens more than you think.
Unfortunately, sometimes, even with careful planning, the unexpected on-the-job injury, fatal accident or line-of-duty death can leave you or your family in need of more assistance than anticipated. In those cases, many often get help from law enforcement members and the community at large, who step up to assist officers or their families by opening up their wallets and contributing what they can to help them get back on their feet. Over the years, I, like you and many of our members, have given to those in need by establishing and donating to online fundraising campaigns on crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe.
Seeing the contributions many of our associations were making to these campaigns was the impetus behind the creation of PORAC’s Fund a Hero — an in-house fundraising platform for law enforcement, by law enforcement. As you may be aware, Fund a Hero is free to the membership and, unlike other online crowdfunding platforms, has no costly fees associated with launching a campaign. PORAC makes no profit from the fundraisers, meaning that 100% of the proceeds go directly to the officer or family. Also, each campaign is verified by PORAC, so members are protected from donating to fake campaigns, and most importantly, we do not share or sell your information to anyone.
Since its inception last year, we are proud to report that Fund a Hero has hosted numerous successful campaigns that have provided tremendous support to those in need — over $100,000 in donations have gone to survivors of a line-of-duty death, relief funds for families going through medical emergencies and much more. As of this writing, we have a handful of active campaigns on our website, including the recently launched fundraiser for the family of Oxnard Police Officer Nathan Martin, who was tragically killed in a traffic collision while off duty on January 29. We encourage you to contribute to this and all the other worthy causes on our website at PORAC.org/fund-a-hero. I want to thank our members who have helped these campaigns grow; your support has meant the world to officers and their families across the state.
In an effort to keep the momentum going on current campaigns and to ensure the success of future ones, PORAC is in the process of developing resources that will help members maximize the results of their fundraisers. One of those resources will be a promotional packet that will include a checklist of things to do to make sure your campaign is successful; it’ll cover how to promote your fundraiser on social media, how to get the word out to the media and much more. Keep a lookout for this helpful guide in the near future. As with all the campaigns we are promoting, it is important that we share them on our social media platforms; it’s free and expands our reach. Every little bit helps.
Also, a friendly reminder that Symposium and the inaugural POREF Open Golf Tournament are just one month away. If you haven’t already done so, please register online at PORAC.org/events/Symposium. We hope you will join us for these two exciting events — two days of great training and updates, followed by a day spent with friends and colleagues benefiting a worthy cause.
Last but certainly not least, we have dedicated this issue of the magazine to all female officers across the country in honor of National Women’s History Month. Women in law enforcement are breaking barriers while also working hard each day to protect and serve our communities. The women in our ranks deserve to be recognized this month and every month for their invaluable contributions to our profession. Please join us in saluting our sisters in blue.