Vice President’s Message

Damon Kurtz
PORAC Vice President

May is a time for law enforcement and our communities to remember those we have lost and for the names of those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice to be enshrined on memorials so that we never forget.

Normally at PORAC, we are preparing for the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremonies and our annual Legislative Day at the Capitol. Instead, these events have been canceled and we are going on more than six weeks of sheltering in place. Although this year’s events have been canceled, we at PORAC will still take the time to honor our fallen officers. At the same time, we will continue to push for better protections for the officers still on the job. PORAC continues to lobby our state and federal leaders for better resources for first responders. Our priorities include making sure first responders have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and priority COVID-19 testing and making sure those who have been infected with the virus have a workers’ compensation presumption.

The disconnect with most elected leaders regarding what we do in law enforcement remains constant. This is why it’s so refreshing when you have elected officials like Assemblymember Jim Cooper, a former captain with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. It’s nice to have an elected leader who “gets it” when we approach him with our issues.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have remained focused on representing our members so that they can focus on keeping our communities safe. It’s our goal that we provide you with the best possible benefits here at PORAC.

As soon as the shelter order is lifted, PORAC and its staff are eager to get back to the business of representing our members. We will turn our focus to training classes that have been postponed and on this year’s Conference of Members at the Disneyland® Hotel. We have a number of training classes that we think will benefit the members; visit PORAC.org/training to see a list of trainings available. We are also in the process of developing a peer support class and an Advanced Collective Bargaining class. The Advanced Bargaining class will be held in October here at PORAC Headquarters in Sacramento. The class will cover issues related to negotiation in times of a down economy, which we are already hearing about due to the impact the current economy is having on contract negotiations.  

Although it was disappointing that we were forced to cancel this year’s Symposium, we have already begun planning for the 2021 Symposium, which will be held at a location in Dana Point overlooking historic Doheny Beach and the Pacific Ocean. We will once again host the POREF Open in conjunction with Symposium. After a few months of limited travel, I know I am ready to get our training and event schedule back to normal. I hope to see you at one of these events in the near future. 

Stay safe and healthy out there!