They make up roughly 11% of peace officers in the United States. They have to overcome discrimination in the field, are thought by some to be “too weak” or “too emotional” to succeed in leadership positions, and often face stress and burnout due to bias, harassment and lack of acceptance. Yet, through it all, women in law enforcement continue to excel in handling hostile situations without excessive force, improving community–police relations and pushing law enforcement toward being a more diverse and united profession.
Amid all the chaos brought on by 2020, one of the bright spots from this past year was the formation of PORAC’s Statewide Chapter, made up of eight state associations. Part of the chapter’s charm, President Yolanda Abundiz says, comes from the fact that “we’re all from varying fields and not centrally located, but can all come together and work collaboratively toward a common goal for our membership.”
February 19 marked the legislative deadline for all new bills to be introduced. While this deadline provides us with an overview of the issues we will be facing, we are always guaranteed new surprises and challenges, as bills are continuously being amended to change the course and impact of the legislation. It is rare for a bill to make it to the governor’s desk in its original form.
One could be forgiven for looking at a headline from earlier this month — impeachment, acquittal and Donald Trump — and having some confusion on what year it is. On almost the exact anniversary of then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 impeachment acquittal, the United States Senate voted to acquit the former president once again.
Today, Senator Anthony Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) introduced SB 387– the Law Enforcement Academic and Recruitment Next (LEARN) Act – sponsored by the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) and the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA). The LEARN Act will create increased opportunities to recruit a more diverse pool of prospective officers, require more academic coursework as part of the required training each officer must receive, and provide financial resources for both prospective and current officers to pursue a college education that will help to prepare them for the rigors and adversities inherent to modern-day policing.
The police are taught that if their lives or the lives of innocent others are in imminent jeopardy, they are legally allowed to use the force necessary to stop the threat. The advent of body cameras and our ability to review force encounters confirms that in the vast majority of cases where officers decide to use deadly force, they are justified in doing so.
San Diego County Probation Officers Association (SDCPOA) President Scott Laudner comes from a long line of law enforcement professionals. “My grandfather was a sheriff, my father was a Border Patrol agent and my uncle was a police officer,” he shares, adding that his wife is also a probation officer. So it was only natural for him to put on the badge and uniform and uphold the tradition to protect and serve.