Treasurer’s Message

Treasurer’s Message

I am writing my monthly article while we are in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Many people are getting sick and some are dying. Families have been told to shelter in place.  The stock market has tanked. Store shelves are empty. Congress is working to pass a stimulus package. Doctors are studying ways to treat patients. Scientists are working toward a cure. There are many questions in my mind. Will someone I know die from this? Will my family or I get sick? Will the economy recover? When will life return to normal? I hope that by the time you read this I will have discovered that all my family and friends have stayed safe, that a vaccine is on its way and that the stock market is on its way to a solid recovery. Read More »

Treasurer’s Message

One lesson I wish I would have learned earlier in my life is to do a better job of living within my own means. One law of finance seems to be that your expenses will always grow to match or exceed your income. As a young father and officer, it seemed that every time I received a raise, my expenses would grow to exceed it. It wasn’t that my expenses grew without my control; I allowed them to grow. Often, I let them grow not when I got a raise, but in anticipation of one. We all know that we often overcalculate the take-home aspect of an anticipated raise. When we pre-commit our new income before it materializes in our paycheck, we can leave our family budgets out of balance, introducing debt and sometimes even ruin to our family’s finances. Read More »

Treasurer’s Message

A career in law enforcement can at times engulf our entire life.
Law enforcement isn’t just an occupation; it can become a lifestyle that affects every aspect of our lives. Often officers develop a sense of distrust in people outside of law enforcement circles, and as a result, they gravitate toward other officers to build relationships and friendships. Read More »

Treasurer’s Message

When we began our careers, the last thing on our minds was our retirements. While most of us have adequate pensions that we can rely on to cover our financial needs in our later years, many of us have not considered our medical needs after retirement.  Medical expenses are significant and have been increasing at a considerable rate. Over the last 10 years, the cost of the average employer-sponsored family medical plan has increased by 55%. In 2018, the cost of the average employer-sponsored family medical plan in the United States was nearly $20,000 a year. Rates in California are even higher. In my city, the cost of family medical, dental and vision is nearly $27,000 a year. Read More »

Treasurer’s Message

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year when families and friends come together to celebrate their beliefs, give thanks, review the year’s highs and lows, and enjoy one another’s company. For law enforcement officers, especially those working shifts that interfere with traditional holiday observances, the holidays can be a time of struggles. For my first Thanksgiving as a police officer, I was assigned to work day shift. As a young man, I was dismayed to discover that my extended family chose not to entirely reschedule Thanksgiving around my personal schedule. I went to work frustrated and without a plan for dinner. I figured that I would just find a place to eat in my assigned beat. Read More »

Treasurer’s Message

I know it’s still 2019, but I want to talk about the 2020 elections. When we think of elections and Election Day, we usually think of November and often focus on the presidential elections that come every four years. With the next presidential election a year away, it’s easy to think that we have plenty of time left to get involved in the electoral process and our decisions will be easy to make. But next year’s presidential election is just one of the hundreds of races in the state that will affect law enforcement. Besides the presidential race, there are 53 congressional races, 80 State Assembly races and 20 State Senate races. Read More »

Treasurer’s Message

Law enforcement officers are often exposed to events and situations that the human mind is not made to process. Most officers can name at least one call that changed them, a call that they still can see clearly in their mind, a call that will forever impact them. Unfortunately, some officers have several of these calls still playing inside their head. My call occurred around midnight in the early morning hours of a Sunday in the fall of 2001. While the details of that night are not critical to my message here, I can tell you that the images and feelings I had that morning are forever burned into my mind. Read More »

Treasurer’s Message

In 1998, I was hired as a Sacramento police officer. During my six months in the Academy, I attended the funerals of two law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. On December 8, 1998, Sacramento Deputy Sandra Larson was killed in a traffic collision while transporting prisoners. Even though I was only two months into the Academy, I can still remember the gravity that her death brought to me. It opened my eyes to the reality that law enforcement officers are not invincible, and in my chosen occupation there was a real possibility that one day I might not return home from my shift. Read More »

Treasurer’s Message

By the time this article is printed, I will have reached the six-month mark as PORAC treasurer. This is the sixth article I have written, and over the last six months, my articles have covered a variety of topics. I received an email from a member earlier this month asking why my treasurer articles were not about being a treasurer. Until that email, I wasn’t even sure anyone read my articles. A week later, I ran into a member who said he recognized my face from my articles and stated he enjoyed my articles. My wife, who was with me at the time, was surprised and asked me if “people actually read those?” Until this month I wasn’t sure. As for the focus of my future articles, I will continue to cover any topic that I feel best serves the interests of PORAC and its members. Read More »

Treasurer’s Message

Those of us in leadership roles in law enforcement unions often face the difficult task of interacting in the political process with our corresponding bodies of government. Whether we like it or not, as public employees, we must deal with the government and the politicians who control it. Unfortunately, we do not get to control who is elected to manage the government that employs us, but we can have input in the process. The level and type of input law enforcement unions have with local and state governments are as diverse as the strategies and opinions we have about the political process. Read More »