California Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony
Last month was our annual California Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony in Sacramento, as well as the National Police Week events in Washington, D.C. PORAC Vice President Brent Meyer and I had the privilege of attending both the national ceremony and our California memorial. These are solemn events that stunningly honor our fallen heroes from 2014, plus officers from years past who were formerly unrecognized. PORAC once again had the privilege of providing the lunch for each person attending the state memorial ceremony.
As mentioned last month, PORAC had the honor of being the facilitator for the family of Deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko from Ventura County Sheriff’s Office (EOW October 28, 2014) during the ceremony in Sacramento. To each of you who have lost a husband, wife, son, daughter, mother or father, PORAC would like to remind you that they will never be forgotten and will always be in our thoughts and prayers.
PORAC Board of Directors Meeting in Sacramento
In early May, your PORAC Board of Directors met in Sacramento in conjunction with the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony. Four times a year, the PORAC Board of Directors meets to discuss issues facing our members, whether political or policy related, or furthering our advocacy in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C. We should be very proud of the dedication that each of these members demonstrates on behalf of all peace officers in California and Nevada.
During this meeting in particular, several Assembly and Senate races were discussed and many endorsements were made or codified from past meetings. Many legislative bills were also discussed and positions taken to either support or oppose specific legislation. Once again, it is PORAC that is the leader throughout the state in advocating for peace officers’ rights and benefits. Your PORAC Board of Directors fully understands the need to stand up for the rights and benefits of all peace officers.
During our Board meeting, Vice President Meyer reported that we had received an email from the president of the DSA of San Diego, notifying us of their intention to leave PORAC at the end of June. We were notified in April that the DSA of San Diego Board of Directors voted to leave PORAC. Their decision was openly discussed at our meeting and was met with much disappointment from PORAC leadership, as well as the directors at the meeting. Many of our directors stated that they intend to send letters to the DSA of San Diego Board of Directors, asking them to reconsider. Vice President Meyer and I share the frustration of the rest of our Board. Together we are united in our ability to fend off all of the attacks facing public safety in California and throughout our country. Should the DSA of San Diego not reconsider their choice, we wish all of their members well in the future.
PORAC Legislative Day
Annually, PORAC holds a Legislative Day where members of our Board of Directors and association leaders from throughout the state converge in Sacramento to walk the halls of the Capitol, discussing pertinent legislation that PORAC has been working on throughout the year. Our past Legislative Days have proved very beneficial for PORAC, specifically on the passage of SB 313 (Brady Bill) and AB 1035 (workers’ compensation).
Aaron Read and Randy Perry, along with Chelsea Irvine, provide PORAC with talking points on specific pieces of legislation that we believe are most important to our members. Each of us met with our respective legislators and discussed those points brought to us by our advocates.
As all of you know, PORAC supports the responsible use and implementation of body-worn cameras. With that said, we focused many of our efforts over the past several weeks on opposing AB 66, by Assembly Member Shirley Weber. That bill, in the original draft, would have been completely adverse to everything that PORAC has been working toward since the beginning of the year. Aaron and Randy have been working closely with the author’s office, as well as each committee, to get amendments into the bill to protect all of us. More than ever before, I saw firsthand how professionally and tactically our lobbyists work for all of PORAC. On this bill and all other PORAC legislation, the efforts of Randy and Aaron were phenomenal. We are truly fortunate to have the very best of the best working on our behalf.