For many PORAC members, Shawn Welch needs no introduction. He’s been a member of the organization since 2003, joined the leadership of the Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association in 2012 and became a PORAC director in 2014. Since then, he’s served in many roles, including as president and director-at-large for his DSA, Bay Area Chapter director and Bay Area Chapter president. His hard work in advocating for law enforcement made him a familiar name and face even before his election to the Executive Board in late 2020, and you may have read our profile about him in the pages of our October issue.
Leading by example is a crucial aspect of effective leadership. Leaders who model behavior that emphasizes integrity, creativity, good communication and a willingness to engage in continuous growth are vital to developing others. Furthermore, an effectual leader influences behavior by showing how to complete the task or delegate tasks. By directing and guiding others, influential leaders can accomplish organizational goals while demonstrating a blend of management and leadership skills.
Redwood Chapter Director Gary Frace wants PORAC members to know that they don’t have to come from a large, prominent local law enforcement group to make their mark on the future of the profession. “I believe PORAC is here to help speak for the associations that do not have thousands of members,” he explains. “That is why we have to be united, so we all have an equal voice and can all be heard.”
Law enforcement has always been a challenging profession, but never more so than now. Peace officers face complicated, highly specialized legal issues on a daily basis — from workers’ comp cases to contract negotiations and grievances to internal affairs investigations, civil lawsuits and criminal defense — all amid an atmosphere of increased scrutiny of their profession and unprecedented social upheaval.
On Monday, December 7, the Legislature convened its 2021–22 session. Due to COVID-19, this day looked quite a bit different than in years past. While legislators were still sworn in as usual, it occurred without family and guests present. The Senate met in the Capitol’s Senate chambers, and the Assembly held its session at the Golden 1 Center — both televised on the Senate and Assembly websites.
2020 is, finally, drawing to a close. While control of the Senate hinges on two January runoff elections in Georgia, Democrats have maintained their majority in the House and President-elect Joe Biden continues to unveil his Cabinet selections, setting up a potentially confrontational dynamic for the 117th Congress. Change will come to Washington in 2021.
While COVID-19 prevented PORAC from gathering for its annual Conference of Members and looks to be a present part of our lives well into 2021, there are many reasons to be optimistic as we close out a whirlwind of a year, thanks in part to the fresh ideas and leadership of our newest Executive Committee members.