Treasurer’s Message

Shawn Welch

PORAC Treasurer

Take a deep breath and slowly push out. First off, PORAC’s UBS performance as of April 23. Our UBS investment total assets are $18,109,956 with a performance of +6.81%.

Over the last several days, PORAC’s Executive Board and association leaders have conducted over 25 meetings with California House representatives, senators and committee chairs for the U.S. House of Representatives. In the meetings, we spoke on commonsense and long-lasting police reform, law enforcement funding initiatives, Social Security reform for public employees and lowering the Medicare eligibility age for first responders. The meetings were extremely productive and allowed for some much-needed face time with our representatives in the U.S. Capitol.

So what was all that money talk about? Obviously, law enforcement funding initiatives such as Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne JAG), Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) programs and Body-Worn Camera (BWC) pilot programs. PORAC’s position is to support maintaining and expanding funding for these essential grant programs, and we will actively resist efforts to cut funding. PORAC also actively opposes efforts to place cumbersome and counterproductive policy strings to funding, especially at a time when law enforcement agencies need funding to implement effective reform. Thus, PORAC has asked members of Congress to maintain and expand law enforcement funding and to not allow counterproductive restrictions, or “strings attached,” on funding.

The Social Security reform for public employees is extremely important to our members who have had a career prior to becoming a public employee or who plan on having a second career after they retire. Currently, workers who have contributed to Social Security and split their careers between public service and private jobs do not receive a full Social Security benefit. Since the 113th Congress, PORAC has actively supported legislation that recognizes the Social Security Act’s debilitating Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO). Currently, there are two bills in the House that would correct these provisions — the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 82) and the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act (H.R. 2337). H.R. 2337 also forces transparency of the WEP program, so it is not a surprise to public employees upon retirement.

Final word: Based on what is going on in America with regard to relationships between law enforcement and the community, I ask that you protect each other on every call for service. Do not try to handle anything on your own and always have a partner with you. Leaders, be prepared to deal with the worst type of incident you can imagine and reach out to fellow leaders for assistance. We are still a law enforcement family, and family should always take care of each other.