Vice President’s Message

Damon Kurtz
PORAC Vice President

When I speak or write about PORAC, I often list our benefits, which can be found on our website, PORAC.org. It’s easy to point out what PORAC offers to its members and how it benefits them. The reality is that the most valuable benefit of PORAC membership is the members themselves. I am always amazed to see the amazing family we have in the law enforcement community. Acts of heroism and compassion are the norm, even in the face of adversity. I feel a sense of pride knowing I get to represent such an incredible group of people. Even though law enforcement seems to be the focal point of negativity from the media and our elected officials, rest assured that PORAC will continue to push back against this narrative and highlight the amazing job our members do every day.

A testament to the compassion of the law enforcement family has been shown in the recent introduction of our Fund a Hero program. We have had a handful of campaigns for our member associations and have raised around $85,000 so far. We will continue to work on improving ways we can help our members in need. It’s disappointing that we still see instances of fundraising platforms that take more than they advertise and make it difficult to get the money to the designee once it is raised. PORAC’s Fund a Hero program makes no profit and disperses funds quickly so that those in need are taken care of. If you see a Fund a Hero campaign on your social media feed, make sure you like and share it. Help us spread the message so that the campaigns can be more effective.

Meanwhile, registration for the 2020 Symposium is open at PORAC.org/events/symposium. Scheduled for April 21–23 in beautiful Indian Wells, Symposium is a pared-down version of our annual Conference that is more focused on training and education instead of bylaws and elections. Symposium is an excellent place to network with your peers in law enforcement labor and meet with panel attorney firms and vendors. This year’s list of presenters will cover a wide range of topics, from a legal defense case overview by Allison Berry Wilkinson to Lieutenant Colonel Robert J. Darling’s discussion on crisis management. He will discuss what it was like to be inside the presidential bunker in Washington, D.C., during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Finally, you will hear from retired Phoenix Police Officer Jason Schechterle about his horrible on-duty accident and his inspirational story of perseverance.

This year’s Symposium will culminate with the first annual POREF Open Golf Tournament. We hope you come out and enjoy the event, even if you cannot attend Symposium. The tournament will be held on the Firecliff Course at the Desert Willow Golf Resort. I had the opportunity to tour the course during Conference, and I was not disappointed — it is truly one of the prettiest courses I’ve seen. For avid golfers, this course will be a treat, with a chance to win $25,000 with a hole in one. For normal hackers, as the majority of us are, this will still be a fun event. There will be vendors on the course with plenty of activities, like an air cannon to shoot your golf ball down the fairway. The day will end with a raffle of cool prizes. The proceeds will go to POREF so that we can continue to help in times of crisis and provide quality scholarships. I hope to see you out there.

Take care and be safe!