PORAC Director-at-Large Shawn Welch is no stranger to what it means to be a leader. As a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps, Welch, who spent his entire enlistment in the infantry, deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2003 with a platoon of 50 Marines on an assault on the Umm Qasr port facility in Iraq. After proudly serving his country for over a decade, Welch traded one uniform for another when he joined the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff.
For Goyette & Associates (G&A), representing PORAC members in legal cases is about helping good people who need it — but it’s also about something greater. “It is very rewarding, not only to help clients individually, but also to support law and order in our communities,” firm founder and CEO Paul Q. Goyette explains. “Without solid public safety, economies cannot flourish. Law enforcement and public safety are the cornerstone of our quality of life.”
August 31 marked the closing of the 2019–20 two-year legislative session. Both houses continued until after 1 a.m., with work on majority vote bills ceasing at the 12 a.m. constitutional deadline for adjournment. Measures requiring a two-thirds vote were exempt from the midnight rule and continued until the close of session.
Following a typical August recess during an atypical year, legislators have returned to Washington, where they face a daunting array of challenges. Over the next several weeks, Congress will strive to find consensus on a COVID-19 relief package, strike a compromise on appropriations and keep the government open, all while continuing to work toward an effective and collaborative vision of police reform.
Recessions, global pandemics, anti–law enforcement legislation, the list goes on and on. Since being founded in 1953 — when less than three dozen California peace officers formed a special association, collectively motivated to professionalize our occupation, with service at the core — PORAC and its members have met every challenge throughout the past 67 years with resiliency, determination and courage.