Vice President’s Message

Damon Kurtz
PORAC Vice President

As we enter the new year, it’s a chance to start fresh, and we all have hopes of a quiet year here in Sacramento. Unfortunately, we know we will have similar challenges to face in the coming year here at the Capitol. The trend of attacking law enforcement from both the media and from the Legislature does not seem to be waning. It appears there will be additional battles to be fought both in the Legislature and in the court of public opinion. We are hearing rumors of a bill focused on the ability to revoke POST certificates for officers as part of discipline. It’s legislation like this and last year’s use-of-force legislation that makes it so vital to have a strong presence in the Capitol.

As effective as PORAC is at the Capitol, we still need your help at the local level. We know through polling that our communities overwhelmingly support law enforcement. Unfortunately, this support does not always show in the mainstream media or at the ballot box. The vocal minority is ruling the day. We can change this narrative by simply being more engaged in our communities.

I know most officers choose not to be engaged in the political process, and I don’t blame them. In this era, people are attacked for having an opposite opinion. Who wants to be attacked for their opinion? Many political candidates are registering as independents as the environment becomes more divisive. We can make a difference and change the false narrative. If we as representatives took the time to write op-ed articles to our local papers and speak of the good our officers do every day, we could challenge the narrative that is being pushed by the mainstream media with respectful rebuttals. Take the time to educate your friends and neighbors on the issues, and we will see a difference.

Lastly, we need to start focusing on candidates who are about common sense. We must look at candidates based on their stance on issues rather than the political designation. As easy as this may sound, it is hard for people to vote for someone in the opposite party they identify with. If we don’t work together to change the narrative on law enforcement, who will do this job in the future? We all have seen the challenges in recruiting new officers. Candidates who are passionate about the profession are dwindling, and many do not see this as a long-term career. It is up to us to push back and protect this noble profession. PORAC will be there fighting back, and I hope you will be, too.

On a lighter note, I want to point out that PORAC has several upcoming trainings, and I hope you take advantage of what we have to offer. In April, we will be back in Palm Springs for the annual Symposium, which will culminate in our first-ever golf tournament, the POREF Open. This will provide additional resources to our relief and scholarships, along with additional opportunities for networking with our membership. Our Fund a Hero program is up and running, with several causes in need. Please take the time to visit the website at PORAC.org/fund-a-hero and support our members in need if you are able. I look forward to this new year and the challenges it may bring. Thank you and stay safe!