One of the most difficult aspects of law enforcement is the unpredictability and outright danger of the job, which makes line-of-duty injuries and deaths far too common. But even in the darkest hours, one of the best things about the profession is the way its members take care of their own. Both of these elements are on full display in Fund a Hero, PORAC’s groundbreaking in-house fundraising platform that enables members to help their brethren and their families when they need it most.
One of the quotes that’s guided Jesus Montana during his long tenure with PORAC is “If not me, who?” As he explains it, “Simply complaining about issues doesn’t solve anything. I have always recognized that I had the ability to solve problems — not singlehandedly, but I knew where the resources were to resolve it.”
It was 20 years ago this month when the world stood still, watching in shock and fear as a series of terrorist attacks took the lives of almost 3,000 people on American soil. The catastrophic events that transpired on September 11, 2001, rocked our country to its core, forever transformed our national security landscape and caused more law enforcement line-of-duty deaths than any other single event in American history — close to 400 over the course of that terrible day and the ensuing two decades.
This is the second in a three-part series on the need for law enforcement to take back the narrative on use of force in the profession. This second installment discusses recapturing the narrative of mixed messages and overcoming the jargon of “use of force.” This blanket term has paved the way for the words “excessive” and “force” to be coupled together, which always casts law enforcement in a negative light and portrays officers as unjust and violent aggressors.
Here’s the thing about cops. Cops are resilient. Resourceful. Go-getters. A-type personalities. Cops are strong, courageous — some are damn-near unicorns (you know who you are). You sacrifice. You suffer. You endure. You see pain. You see death. You see hate, and you see evil, and you put everything on the back burner because when that uniform is on, you are it. You are the only thing holding that line, and that is good. You are good. You feel good.
When Valley Chapter Director Jim Bock joined PORAC at the start of his law enforcement career in 1998, all he knew about the Association was that he “paid dues and had LDF coverage — that is where my knowledge began and ended,” he explains. That all changed a few years later, however, when Bock attended his first PORAC Conference in 2001 to learn more about association leadership. The networking, camaraderie and engaging conversation that took place during the Conference helped light a fire under him that has remained strong ever since.