Vice President’s Message
BRENT J. MEYER PORAC Vice President
Some time ago, I found myself a bit shocked when comparing the actual number of reserve police officers in California to the number of reserve members whose associations participate in PORAC. In today’s anti-police climate, and amid a couple of notable incidents involving reserve/960/auxiliary/special peace officers across the country, it still eludes me as to why someone who works in a part-time peace officer capacity would think that they don’t need coverage. It’s clear that they have the same authority and responsibility as full-time peace officers when they don that uniform and go out into the public. And now, more than ever, they are being used to temporarily bolster the staffing for many agencies across California. So for $94 annually, reserve membership in PORAC seems like a no-brainer, right?
As I mulled this over and thought about a solution to what I see as a serious issue, little did I know that Ventura County Reserve Sergeant Kevin Bernzott, who is the Executive Director of the California Reserve Peace Officers Association (CRPOA), had identified the same issue from a different perspective. If you didn’t know, CRPOA offers legislative advocacy, disability coverage, POST-certified training and legal services to its members. Coincidentally, CRPOA offers its coverage for $94 annually. Again, for the California reserve peace officer, a no-brainer.
Initially, I thought that the solution could be as simple as finding a way to blend both organizations’ benefits, offering them together as a package deal for $94 annually. Seems easy and potentially feasible, right? Well, not so much …
Over much of the last year, this little project has become something of an educational journey, exploring CRPOA’s benefits and comparing them to what PORAC offers to our reserve membership associations. As you know, I am always looking for ways to improve benefits for our member associations. In this case, many of our associations also belong to CRPOA. And in speaking with several reserve members, as well as having had the opportunity to meet with the CRPOA Board of Directors, it quickly became evident that both PORAC and CRPOA offer benefits that, while they do slightly overlap, independently offer the most comprehensive coverage for the California reserve peace officer if obtained together.
So, for just $188 annually, a reserve peace officer in California can enjoy: the very best legal defense fund coverage; access to training that is mandated to ensure they keep their POST certificate up to date; access to a disability insurance plan; and updates on the most recent legislative and political initiatives that both PORAC and CRPOA are pursuing. Most importantly, the collective welfare of both organizations is reinforced by bringing more reserve members together in both organizations.
PORAC membership is available to associations of reserve peace officers, while CRPOA offers an individual membership program. To find out if your association is already a reserve member association within PORAC, or for more information on how your association can join our reserve membership program, please contact Angie Gonzales in Membership Services or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or come visit me at our booth at the CRPOA Annual Conference on August 11 and 12 in San Diego. I’d love to discuss our membership benefits with you.
By the time you read this, registration for PORAC’s Annual Conference of Members will be open on the Conference webpage (porac.org/events/conference/registration). This year’s event will be held November 18 through 20 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, and the cost for the hotel and park admission can’t be beat! If you haven’t registered your association, consider this a reminder! We are also pleased to announce that you will be able to register up to five people under a single point of contact for your association or organization. Remember, you must register first to get access to the PORAC room block.
Wondering where your quarterly invoice is at? Even if you remembered to update your association’s contact information and mailing address, it’s probably not in the mail, since we have implemented the next phase of POLS (PORAC online system). Effective with the third quarter billing, you will not receive an invoice from PORAC unless you opted back in by completing the notice that you still want them delivered to you in the mail. For those of you who have made the transition already, you are able to completely manage and pay your invoices online, as well as update membership reports and maintain your membership database (additions/deletions/retirements), or take advantage of several other features that the new system offers.
Thank you for your membership. Take care and stay safe!