Brent J. Meyer
PORAC Vice President
Happy new year! Hopefully 2018 welcomed you with great health and in the afterglow of bright and festive holidays with your families! While the close of our Annual Conference seems to mark the end of the year for us here at PORAC, December in the State Capitol is just as eventful as any other month — save for the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, which, for me, come as a welcome break from the craziness of the traveling season.
As the year ended, PORAC took a significant step in addressing the ongoing impact of Proposition 57, as the Board of Directors acted to support the Keeping California Safe Act of 2018. This effort, a partnership of citizens, business owners and law enforcement, is the latest in the campaign to reverse the accumulation of effects stemming from AB 109 and Proposition 47, which have eroded the already-thin blanket of public safety in our state. The Keeping California Safe Act will hopefully be on the ballot later this year, and you should take a hard look at supporting it locally.
By now, you’ve probably already received the first-quarter invoice for PORAC dues, and noticed a monthly increase of $2 per member for the start of the new year. If you hadn’t heard, the delegates at the 2017 Annual Conference of Members voted in favor of changing the PORAC Bylaws to create a mandatory assessment that will be used to address anticipated reform initiatives targeting our pensions, expected later this year. Unlike the previous three years of the dues assessment, there is no opt-out provision. As in previous years, however, you may make a lump-sum contribution from your association’s general fund or PIC account, but you should consult a PAC attorney to determine what is in the best interest of your specific association. Don’t hesitate to contact your chapter director/president or regional Executive Committee member, or get in touch with me at PORAC Headquarters.
Whether it’s addressing statutes that adversely impact our working environments or our retirement security, PORAC remains committed to being at the forefront of the issues that are important to peace officers in California. We stand ready to be the voice of reason and thoughtful debate on ideas and proposals that affect you and your quality of life, be it on the job or for you personally as a vital member of this profession. Though it is widely well-known, remember that no other organization exists with the resources and reputation to effectively accomplish these tasks than PORAC — a fact best demonstrated by our actions, rather than our words.
PORAC will continue to maintain its presence at meetings of your chapter’s representatives throughout our organization and across the state. But just being there isn’t enough. Though it may seem to you or your association like just another meeting to attend, showing up and staying involved in your chapter serves as an invaluable source of information to your members, as well as helping to build a strong foundation in your organization. President Marvel and I are always prepared to pass along the latest information about PORAC’s initiatives or direction when we are there. Even more importantly, we are there to collect any local insight that you may have on issues that likely impact the rest of law enforcement in the state, as well as answering your questions. This sharing of information is vital to PORAC staying effective for you.
PORAC also distinguishes itself from others by the training that we offer each month. We are eager to continue improving and adapting it, as needed, to ensure that you always get the most useful, up-to-date and effective programs out there so that the leadership of your association can adapt as the landscape changes. As our point man on recruiting and retention for PORAC, I see this as a valuable means to meet and discuss where our organization is, as well as what is meaningful to our membership. If you have an interest in attending any of the training offered by PORAC, a complete calendar of the year’s courses can be found on page 38 of this issue of PORAC Law Enforcement News or at PORAC.org/calendar. Questions or inquiries about our training may be directed to Training Manager Claude Alber at email@example.com, or by calling the PORAC Office.
Finally, the start of a new year is a great opportunity to remind you that if your association’s contact information or elected officers/representatives have changed, you need to update this information with us so that the right people get notified. You can always do this electronically, or by contacting Angie Gonzales at the PORAC Office or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your membership, have fun and stay safe!