BRIAN R. MARVEL
20th Anniversary of 9/11
It’s hard to believe 20 years have passed since the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. It was a day that I am sure everyone can remember exactly what they were doing when the news broke. The devastation, loss of life and how our lives dramatically changed on several levels after that attack will never be forgotten. As the solemn 9/11 anniversary fast approaches, lets come together, united, to honor the victims, including the occupants of the twin towers, the Pentagon, the passengers inside the hijacked airplanes, the heroes who stood up against the terrorists and all the incredible first responders who ran unflinchingly into the burning and collapsing buildings to save lives. As we commemorate this fateful day, let’s be resolute in defending and keeping America safe from future terror attacks. Never forget!
PORAC Advocates for Members at the Federal Level
PORAC is proud to be a leader for the law enforcement community in advocating for our members at the state level — but our efforts go far beyond that as we also work to ensure our voice is heard at the federal level, weighing in on federal reform measures that will have an impact on peace officers nationwide.
As we’ve seen in the past year, calls for police reform have been a nationwide issue. In response, federal elected officials introduced H.R. 1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which is a legislative package that reforms policing throughout the country. While our nation’s leaders are likely not going to reach a deal on this package this year, PORAC remains committed to advocating now and into the future for the funding and resources peace officers need to carry out their duties safely and effectively. Importantly, we also remain vehemently opposed to any changes to qualified immunity, or U.S. Code Section 242, that would make it easier to penalize officers and would do nothing to actually improve policing or public safety outcomes.
To inform federal policies, last year, PORAC released our comprehensive Policy Platform (tinyurl.com/sa8pjs6p), which provides our experience and knowledge as a resource to collaboratively develop the best path forward for policing in America. The Policy Platform offers many recommendations, including establishing national standards for all officers in order to clearly define when force can be used, creating national training and recruitment standards to ensure officers are prepared to meet the national standard, providing the necessary tools and resources, and allocating funds to implement those standards and training.
To continue this dialogue and advocate for the smart policies and initiatives that we know from our 67 years of experience will not only improve policing, but will actually help bridge the divide between the law enforcement profession and the communities
PORAC also recently placed an op-ed in The Hill, titled “Success on Police Reform Hinges on Funding, Not Defunding Law Enforcement.” I encourage you to read the op-ed online, which can be found at tinyurl.com/yd7zrbzw. In the article, I explain and outline that smart policies and initiatives, if not coupled with the funding to support them and the political will to see them through, will go nowhere. If we really want to improve public safety outcomes and repair trust in law enforcement, PORAC strongly supports:
- Minimum recruitment standards that will ensure we hire the best people for the job
- Minimum training standards so that all peace officers in the United States meet minimum standards of competency and ethical behavior
- New programs that pair officers with social workers and mental health professionals
- Investing in programs to help increase the diversity of the law enforcement profession
- Incentivizing higher education through scholarship and grant programs
While there is still a lot of work to do and calls for police reform will continue, we are hopeful that we can move forward with sound solutions like these at the federal level that will best serve our officers and communities, and we look forward to continuing to advocate for our members in California and nationally.
Celebrating Labor Day
As we celebrate Labor Day this month, it’s important to remember this holiday as a time to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity and well-being — especially public safety officers. I want to thank the men and women who have taken an oath to serve and protect our communities and have dedicated their lives to a noble profession that makes this country a better, safer place. You’re the best-trained officers this country has ever seen, and your contributions are unmatched in lending to the qualities of this country that make it a great place to live. Thank you — and especially thank you to our members who must work over the long weekend to keep our communities safe. Happy Labor Day!
Grand Opening of PORAC’s New Headquarters
We moved! PORAC celebrated the grand opening of our new headquarters in Sacramento on Monday, August 9, as we held our first full in-person Board of Directors meeting in over a year. It was exciting to have all of PORAC’s leaders back together in one room to discuss the many efforts underway to support you, our members. We’re thrilled to be in the new space as our organization continues to grow, allowing us to adapt, evolve and provide us new ways to engage and interact with the membership. The new facility will allow us to better serve the law enforcement community in California and beyond.