Happy new year! Hopefully 2015 welcomed you in great health and with the afterglow of bright and festive holidays with your families. While the close of our annual Conference seems to mark the end of the year for us here at PORAC, December in the State Capitol is just as eventful as any other month, save for Christmas and the New Year’s celebration which, for me, came and went quickly (along with a whole lot of rain)!
After a pretty successful election season in 2014, a new slate of legislators was sworn in and began gearing up to take on California’s challenges. With the guidance of our team at Aaron Read & Associates, we have been hard at work developing those relationships, in the hope of a productive and advantageous year on your behalf. Our federal advocates in Washington, D.C., Steptoe & Johnson LLP, are also honing our national voice in anticipation of it being heard by a significantly different and, likely, more conservative Congress.
As the year came to a close, PORAC took some important steps in mapping out a strategy to address the impacts of Proposition 47. As we have already seen some of the detrimental effects this new law is having on our membership associations, PORAC has initiated a review to determine if there is anything more that can be done to blunt it or substantially minimize what it is doing to make our profession more difficult. Suffice it to say this will be a long and protracted fight, likely chock full of headshaking stories of crimes that shouldn’t have happened and an endless trail of misdemeanor citations. We will keep you updated on any progress that we are able to make.
Despite the challenges we face, PORAC remains committed to being at the forefront of issues that are important to peace officers in California. We stand ready to be the voice of reason and center of thoughtful debate on ideas and proposals that affect you and your quality of life, be it professionally on the job or personally as a vital member of your community. Though widely known, remember that no other organization exists with the resources and reputation to effectively accomplish these tasks better than PORAC — a fact best demonstrated by our actions, rather than our words.
PORAC has maintained, and will continue to maintain, its presence at meetings of your chapters’ representatives throughout our organization and across the state. But just our being there isn’t enough. Though it may seem to you or your association like just another meeting to attend, showing up and staying involved in your chapter serves as an invaluable source of information to your members, as well as helps build a strong foundation for your organization. President Durant, Treasurer Blanco, Secretary Magor and I are always prepared to pass along the latest information about PORAC’s initiatives and direction when we are there. Even more importantly, we are there to collect any local insight you have on issues that likely impact the rest of law enforcement in the state, as well as answer your questions. This sharing of information is absolutely key to PORAC staying nimble and effective for you.
PORAC also distinguishes itself with the training that we offer each month. We are eager to continue improving and adapting it as needed to ensure that you always get the most useful, up-to-date and effective programs out there and so that the leadership of your association can adapt as the landscape changes. As our point man on recruitment and retention for PORAC, you’ll continue to see me at our training sessions, which I see it as a valuable means by which to meet and discuss where our organization is, and hear what is meaningful to our membership. If you have an interest in attending any of the trainings offered by PORAC, a complete calendar of the year’s courses can be found on page 16 of this issue of PORAC Law Enforcement News. Questions or inquiries about our training sessions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, we are continuing to roll out the updated version of our online membership system, which allows you to manage your association in real time and conveniently, whatever assignment you may have. This is a great opportunity to remind you that if your association’s contact information or elected officers/representatives have changed, you need to log on and update that information electronically or contact Angie Gonzales at the PORAC office at email@example.com.
Take care and stay safe!