Vice President’s Message

Damon Kurtz
PORAC Vice President

We are now about three-quarters of the way through the year, and I, for one, am looking forward to the normalcy of what an off-election year brings in 2021. To say this has been a challenging and disappointing year would be an understatement. Put aside the issues surrounding COVID-19, the political ramifications that have arisen from this year will be long felt. I do not think I ever thought that our political system could ever be as divisive as it has become. I have watched in disappointment the hate and vitriol spewing from the left and right. Worse yet, the media has become complicit in spreading hate and fear within our communities. Where does the public go to get the true news without political bias? We are constantly bombarded with half-truths and sometimes outright lies. Is it any wonder why there is so much unrest? Propaganda has been used for hundreds of years to undermine governments and political systems. Our media has become nothing more than propaganda. The “cancel culture,” which we live in today, seems hell-bent on changing the very fabric of our country. It seems the mantra now is, if we do not like our history, we will erase it and rewrite it based on political agenda, despite what the facts may be. God forbid, we focus on our progress and growth. As a nation, we have areas of dark and disappointing history. We also have so many things to be proud of. I think we can look at our own personal history in a similar fashion. I myself can say I have said or done things in my life that I am not proud of. Whether it was out of immaturity, ignorance or arrogance, I have made mistakes. But I have learned from those mistakes and have tried to be a better person as a result. It’s called personal growth. As a nation and as individuals, I think it’s important to know where you came from and where you want to be. 

I have written often about being civically involved and how important it is. Now, more than ever, we need our members to be involved in our communities. The activists have taken over the media and the political agenda. There is a deliberate and very vocal push to defund the police in our communities. Behind the scenes, there is a push to undermine our POAs and DSAs. Our ability to collectively bargain for our members is being attacked as an impediment to reform. If our voice is stifled, who will be there for law enforcement? At PORAC, we often speak of the “silent majority,” but the silent majority is you — those of you not engaged with your local POA or DSA who go out and do the job every day and go home to your families. We need the everyday person to start engaging in their communities. I’m not asking for people to get political. In fact, I think that’s where we all struggle to communicate with each other. As members of the community, we all have similar needs — the desire to live in a safe and clean environment. We need everyone to start having common-sense conversations with our friends, families and neighbors. Call or email your legislators — it does work! I believe together we can make a difference despite the obstacles the media may put in front of us. 

PORAC will continue to be a voice for law enforcement, and be a resource for our elected officials on legislative issues. Through our collective voice of over 930 organizations, we will force dialogue and try to bring reasonable solutions to the elected who, in many cases, act with emotion and without facts. These are tough times, but together we will get through it. Take care and stay safe out there!