Vice President’s Message

Damon Kurtz
PORAC Vice President

As we head toward the end of summer, President Marvel and I are staying concentrated on our efforts at the Capitol regarding legislation, specifically the use-of-force bills. AB 392 has passed through the Legislature after many amendments from its original form. We now remain focused on SB 230, which deals with policies and training, including funding to accomplish the training. We believe AB 392 in its present form codifies the Graham v. Connor standard. With the passage of these two bills, California will have the most extensive legislation on use of force.

Although this started as a negative, I believe that solidifying the use-of-force standard and bringing a minimum standard of training and policies to all agencies will help law enforcement be more effective going forward. This current legislation was a result of a lot of hard work and collaboration with many law enforcement groups across the state. Although we may have different memberships, we have a common bond of representing law enforcement. We are stronger together as the voice of law enforcement when we focus on the profession as a whole, rather than the individual issues of our respective associations. United we stand, divided we fall.

While Brian and I are focused on the Capitol, the PORAC staff is focused on the 67th annual Conference of Members. So much hard work by our staff goes into bringing events like this to the membership. Make sure you thank them when you see them at Conference. This year’s event will be held November 22–24 at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort. The Conference of Members is probably the single best networking opportunity for association leaders and members. It provides a venue to speak with attorneys, vendors and, most importantly, other association members. It’s an opportunity to seek insight and strategies for the current issues you may be dealing with at the local level.

For some, it’s an opportunity to share their experiences with others. I have often heard people say about an event or training, “I didn’t get much out of it.” If you are an experienced association leader, I ask you to look at it from the perspective of what you are giving to the event. Your experience and advice could be the best piece of information received by another member. This is what makes PORAC so unique — its diversity of membership. We have 922 associations spanning the entire state. Our associations represent police, sheriffs, custody, probation and many more specialty groups, like school police. The Conference of Members is where all the knowledge and experience gather in one place. We provide the venue, but you provide the experience, through not only what you get but also what you put into the event. I hope to see you there.

In the coming months, you will see a more focused PORAC when it comes to officer wellness. From speakers at this year’s Conference to upcoming training, we want PORAC to be a resource for our officers’ well-being. PORAC recently received a POST grant to focus on officer wellness and will have more information on classes in the near future. Peer support and support for our law enforcement family is an integral part of what we do as association leaders. We at PORAC want to be a partner and a resource to our associations in building and maintaining peer support and officer wellness programs.

In the coming months, you will also see the implementation of PORAC’s online fundraising mechanism. This will offer associations a way to fundraise for their members who are in need of financial support. PORAC wants to provide a more cost-effective way to fundraise and limit fraud and abuse. As I’ve said before, it’s our goal to help our associations in the representation of all of our members. Thank you, and stay safe out there.