Brent J. Meyer
PORAC Vice President
Happy new year! Here is hoping that you have a bright, prosperous and safe 2016. Because of you, Californians are better off and we all enjoy the highest and most professional level of security that public safety officers can provide. In the spirit of this thought, I want to offer my most heartfelt and sincere appreciation to all of you who were involved in the emergency response to the terrorist attack in San Bernardino on December 2. Like the rest of the world, I was glued to my TV and social media as you ran toward the danger, protected life and tracked down two very dangerous people. Your bravery is remarkable, and the hallmark of that kind of courage can only be found in those with your level of dedication and training, which makes you very special. Though some may criticize the actions of our profession in situations like this, let no one challenge your righteousness or ability to get the job done in the safest way possible for you and the citizens whom you work for. I hope you find solace in the fact that had you not reacted in the way you did that day, and without the precision in which you carried out that work, undoubtedly more lives would have been lost. Thank you for being willing to do the work that you do … we all depend on it.
Events like the terrorist attacks that unfolded in San Bernardino further underscore the determination that we have to represent your interests, both in California and Washington, D.C. How ironic it is that within the last year, PORAC leaders found themselves trying to justify the retention and use of surplus military equipment in local police and sheriff’s departments to our elected leaders in the nation’s capital! There is no greater time to stand taller and be louder on this subject than now, even amid the endless calls for more transparency and more restrictions on the ability of local police to safely and effectively do their jobs. This year will be no different, and PORAC will aggressively move forth on issues that will stop the “bullets” that your ballistic vest can’t.
While advocacy and a good legal defense plan keep you covered, training and sharing knowledge after critical incidents like the one in San Bernardino are also imperative in the work that PORAC does to keep you safe. So, I am excited to tell you that one of the days of our upcoming annual Training Symposium will be dedicated to two half-day debriefs of critical events that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, and Stockton, California. PORAC’s 2016 Annual Training Symposium will take place at the Silver Legacy Hotel in Reno, Nevada, on April 5 and 6. Registration and additional event information is available at www.porac.org/events/symposium.
While you are getting registered for Symposium 2016, please also take a moment to check out www.porac.org/membership-
information/committees/poref for information about our scholarships, which are awarded each year to our members’ dependents. There are specific eligibility and timeline requirements, so don’t delay, as the closing date for applications is April 1. You also don’t have to worry about checking back to see when the applications are available. Simply add your email address to the notification list, which is available on that webpage as well.
As you’ll recall, PORAC members ratified a bylaw proposal at the 2014 Conference of Members, which assessed a voluntary $2 per member/per month dues assessment on regular member associations for the 2015 and 2016 calendar years. Again, this assessment is voluntary, and your association may opt out of it, if you desire. Remember, if you would like to simply make a lump-sum contribution from your association’s general fund or PIC account, you must also complete the opt-out form, and mail that payment in a check that is separate from your dues check. Also, if you opted out in 2015, you must complete a new request form for 2016. This opt-out must be received in writing at PORAC Headquarters. Because this is a programing adjustment for the new POLS membership system, we’ve created a form that you must complete and send back, so that we can process your quarterly dues invoices correctly. This form is distinct in color (fluorescent green) and was mailed out in the first quarter dues invoices, which were mailed in December 2015. Should you have any questions, or need another copy of this form, please contact Angie Gonzales in membership, either at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 937-6722.
Finally, this is a great opportunity to remind you that if your association’s contact information or elected officers or representatives have changed, now is the time for you to log on and update that information electronically in the POLS membership system, or contact us at the PORAC office.
Take care and stay safe!