Vice President’s Message

Damon Kurtz

PORAC Vice President

Summer is upon us, and it appears that the restrictions related to the pandemic are continuing to ease. Whether that’s due to science or politics, I will leave for another conversation. The easing of these restrictions means in-person meetings and the ability to travel for most of us. For me, the in-person meetings are a welcome change — to say I have a little Zoom fatigue would be an understatement. Getting to see everyone in person at chapter meetings and other events is a welcome change from the last year in our “virtual” isolation.

One of the perks of my job is that I get to speak to association leaders and officers around the state about what PORAC has to offer and how we can help their POA/DSA. As a former POA president, PORAC membership was something that I always valued because of the benefits and protections it gave my members. Whether it was the obvious need for legal defense or a disability plan that protected our members should they be injured, it was nice to know that my members were covered. This allowed me to focus on all the other issues that came with being an association president. We often speak to PORAC’s advocacy efforts, but there is so much more that PORAC is here to do for your association. 

I have written and spoke about it many times, but an undervalued part of membership is the ability to network with our peers in law enforcement labor. With the COVID restrictions being lifted, our PORAC training classes are moving forward and are in high demand, usually filling up quickly. We continue to look for opportunities to bring more training classes to meet the demand of the membership. One of the best opportunities for members to network is at the annual Conference of Members. This year will be in Monterey, California, from November 19 to 21. With all the members, panel attorneys and industry vendors, the event will sell out quickly, so be on the lookout for Conference registration announcements coming soon.

One benefit of PORAC I wish we did not need is the Fund a Hero program. Unfortunately, we see all too often our law enforcement families in crisis, or worse yet, officers lost in the line of duty. Just this past month, we lost officers in the line of duty in Stockton and San Luis Obispo. A tragic reminder of how dangerous the law enforcement profession is. Law enforcement associations were originally formed to take care of our member families in crisis and loss, created as “widow and orphan” organizations. It was in that spirit that the Fund a Hero program was formed to raise money for our member families in need. Fund a Hero was created with the intent to provide a level of protection from fraud that can happen from other platforms and offset some of the unavoidable fees associated with fundraising by paying for the first $10,000 in fees. No amount of money can replace our loved ones, but making sure the families of our fallen officers are financially taken care of should be a priority for us all. Regardless of the platform used, I encourage you to support these efforts if you can by visiting PORAC.org/fund-a-hero. I hope to see you all soon and as always, stay safe and healthy out there. Take care.