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.
While many hoped that 2021 would be a less tumultuous year than 2020, the first week of January quickly proved that it was not to be. On January 6, extremists breached the United States Capitol, delaying the certification of the November 3 presidential election and killing Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
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.