When Kyle Weatherman was 8 years old, he told himself that one day, he’d be in a position to make an impact in his community and on those around him. Now, he’s made those aspirations come true, not only by becoming one of the brightest young talents in motorsports, but also by standing up and showing his support for law enforcement. Last June, Weatherman, a full-time NASCAR Xfinity driver for Mike Harmon Racing, proudly debuted a “Back the Blue” paint scheme on his car for the Dixie Vodka 250 race in Florida, including a thin blue line flag across the hood and the hashtag #BacktheBlue along the side.
Every April, we honor the public safety members who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and provide lifesaving assistance to citizens in times of crisis. The idea of an annual event to show appreciation for these personnel actually has its roots in California — begun by Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher Patricia Anderson in 1981, it soon spread across the country until President Bill Clinton officially proclaimed the second week of April as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in 1994.
To sum up the current circumstances of peace officers and their unions, Messing Adam & Jasmine LLP (MAJ) references an apt line from the 1973 song “Stuck in the Middle With You,” by Scottish singers Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan: “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.” Law enforcement faces attacks from those on the political left who want to erode their due process, free speech and collective bargaining rights, as well as from those on the right who seek to reduce their wages and pensions. As officers find themselves stuck in the middle between these opposing forces, they’re fortunate to have MAJ by their side as a powerful ally, working to protect them and their rights.
Going above and beyond to help his brothers and sisters in law enforcement is all in a day’s work for South San Joaquin Chapter Director Ryan Maxwell, who believes dedication to a higher cause is a crucial part of his leadership role. “Directors must have the opinion that law enforcement is not a job,” he explains. “This is not just a paycheck; this is a profession, and a profession must maintain high standards, not only for our own safety but also for the public.”
Over 2,500 bills have been introduced this year. This number is much higher than we anticipated, considering the restrictions and limitations placed on legislators with regard to how many bills they are allowed to move to the other house. Of the bills introduced, PORAC is tracking nearly 200 that could potentially have an impact on law enforcement officers or the safety of the communities in which they serve. Of those 200 bills tracked, PORAC has currently taken an oppose or support position on 80 measures (and counting). This is a record high for PORAC in the first year of a two-year session — showing that the shortened legislative session, limitation on bills and effects of COVID-19 have not slowed down legislative priorities related to policing issues, reform and criminal justice.
The weather was unseasonably warm in Washington as February turned to March, and Congress was perhaps unseasonably productive. On March 11, President Joe Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, a massive COVID-19 relief bill that represents a major achievement for the new president. The American Rescue Plan was passed through the “budget reconciliation” process in order to circumvent the 60-vote filibuster and snuck through Congress on a series of party-line votes. Vice President and former California Senator Kamala Harris was on hand to cast the deciding vote in the event of a tie, but her intervention eventually proved unnecessary for the bill’s final passage.
ACTION ALERT! You can help to oppose Senate Bill 2 – dangerous legislation that would not only create an unfair and unreliable process for revoking an officer’s license to practice law enforcement but also reaches far beyond police licensing to include policies that would place even the most respectful officers at risk of being personally […]