Brent J. Meyer
PORAC Vice President
With so much going on in our profession today, it can be difficult to keep up with it all. So often, if it’s not condensed into 140 characters or less, it isn’t important enough to grab my attention and I just miss it. Where I used to get the newspaper and a cup of coffee is now where I pick up my to-go order and quick-charge my device. We are all on the move.
The original minutes for the January Board of Directors meeting ran to many thousands of words, but we had to cut them down to 2,400 to make them fit this publication while still making sense. Brian and I get roughly 800 words each month to pass along to you what we feel is most important to know. And in our technology-driven world, these print articles are considered long reads. More and more now, we are trying to condense a whole lot of information into smaller and smaller chunks for you. We know that information is coming at you so fast that even when you do actually get to read it, you rarely get the flavor of the discussion that paved the way for any action to be taken.
PORAC is doing its part, though. We are always improving the website, as well as increasing the amount of information we push out to you via Constant Contact, the PORAC Online Membership System (POLS) and our mobile app, which was introduced to you during the 2017 Conference. But we won’t be successful without you, and it is essential that we have the most up-to-date contact for you — be it as the leader of your local association or as a member who wants to stay informed.
That said, have you paid your dues yet? If you haven’t, this could be the last issue of PORAC Law Enforcement News that you ever receive. But it’s about more than just paying the bills on time. Keeping current (or ahead, for some of you) ensures that your respective chapters have money to operate and participate in all the things that they do. It also guarantees that you have access to the benefits of membership that are offered by the Legal Defense Fund (LDF), Insurance & Benefits Trust (IBT) and, if you have it, the Retiree Medical Trust (RMT), all of which you retain by remaining a member in good standing with PORAC.
There is a big pension fight ahead this year, and you may have noticed a $2-per-member monthly dues increase at the start of the new year, which was implemented by the membership to help fund the fight. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact your chapter director/president or regional Executive Committee member, or call me at PORAC Headquarters.
No sooner does our Annual Conference mark the end of the year than it is time for our Annual Training Symposium, which is quickly approaching. This year’s Symposium will be held at the DoubleTree Hilton Resort Palm Springs, located in Cathedral City, on April 10–11 (Tuesday–Wednesday). As usual, the PORAC “mini-conference” addresses the current trends and issues related to the rights of peace officers, as well as offering a thoughtful discussion on the FLSA, recent legal decisions related to pensions and information that you need to be aware of concerning the upcoming Janus v. AFSCME case litigation, which will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court later this year. Our statewide advocates from Aaron Read & Associates will also review the most recent legislation moving through the State Capitol.
While you don’t necessarily need to send a whole contingent of representatives from your association to the Symposium, I would strongly ask you to consider having at least one person participate and bring back the information to your fellow members and co-workers. I can assure you that it will be worth the relatively low cost. In addition, Symposium is a great opportunity to network with other PORAC leaders to address issues that you might also be facing within your local association. The Executive Committee (which includes your region’s representatives) will be there, so please make plans to join us and introduce yourself. After listening to your feedback at last year’s Symposium, we’ve made a few changes that I think you will enjoy. And we look forward to the opportunity to visit with you. Go to www.porac.org/events/symposium for more information and to get signed up before our special room rate expires on March 24!
Finally, speaking of networking, it has been really exciting to see a growing number of new faces at the chapter meetings as we get into 2018. These meetings are the ideal place to address local association issues, build support for your local elected officials and hear important updates from your specific region’s representatives. Take advantage of this monthly occasion to strengthen your ability to lead your association! A calendar of all meetings can be found on our website or mobile app.
Thank you for your membership, have fun and stay safe!