President’s Message

Brian Marvel
PORAC President

The members of the California Legislature were sworn in to kick off the new two-year session on December 3, and our statewide executive officers took office on or around January 7. PORAC was able to personally attend or send representatives to several of those swearing-in ceremonies. Vice President Damon Kurtz and I were present for the inauguration of Governor Gavin Newsom in Sacramento. Listening to the speeches by the leaders of California, I reflected on how difficult the atmosphere for public safety was in the Legislature last year and what that means for the road ahead.

Unfortunately, I anticipate that 2019 will be just as bad as 2018, or even worse when it comes to public safety. At the top of our list of concerns is the impending use-of-force legislation. Thankfully, Assembly Bill (AB) 931 did not make it out of the Rules Committee last year, but it will be revisited this year. PORAC is working very hard to ensure that we have a seat at the table and are part of the conversation to try to direct how any legislation on this topic will look. As I’m sure you are all aware by now, the advocates for AB 931 want to raise the standard for use of force above and beyond what was set by the Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor, from “reasonable” to “necessary.” In effect, this would create the expectation that you use all other means at your disposal before utilizing deadly force — even to the extent of getting in your vehicle and driving away! It must be said that I’ve yet to meet a law enforcement professional who wants to be involved in a shooting. However, I think it’s outrageous to give all of the legal advantage to the individuals who are trying to kill us when we are simply reacting to their escalation of violence. If the proponents of this dangerous measure were to achieve their goal, public safety would take a dramatic turn for the worse. Case in point: Chicago! I doubt those communities are happy with the daily carnage of murder and mayhem thanks to the ACLU.

Every member of our profession throughout the state needs to realize that they must become involved in this issue. I continue to urge all our members, family and friends to write or call your elected officials and let them know about your concerns. This proposed law would create a situation where any use of force could lead to an officer being criminally prosecuted, civilly sued or terminated from their job for trying to defend their lives or somebody else’s. All it would take is a use-of-force expert to say they would have handled it differently! No incident is ever the same, and for this reason, we will continue to fight this battle to preserve your safety and that of the public we’ve sworn to protect and serve. For additional information, please listen to my recently released podcast episode on this subject at PORAC.org/podcast.

As I write this, we’re mourning the news that three law enforcement officers were assassinated in the span of just five days across the U.S.: Shreveport Officer Chatéri Payne, who was shot outside her home while heading to work; Birmingham Sergeant Wytasha Carter, who was shot while investigating a vehicle burglary call; and right here in California, Davis Officer Natalie Corona, who was shot while responding to a traffic collision. In addition, we’ve seen two close calls where the officers survived only because a perpetrator’s weapon misfired — one in Sacramento in January and another in Illinois last year, from which the dash-cam footage was recently released. (Watch that video on the PORAC Facebook page if you haven’t already; it’s a sobering sight.)

These incidents show how rapidly events can evolve in our line of work, and how so much can go wrong in a split second. We’re already at a severe disadvantage in the face of such senseless acts of violence, and AB 931 would make the situation even worse. Those pushing this measure capitalize on the media’s perpetuation of the myth that deadly use of force by peace officers goes unpunished and is out of control — when the reality is, in a state of nearly 40 million people, of the millions of contacts that occurred between police and individuals last year, deadly force was involved in just 114 incidents. I think our profession is doing an incredible job. We will continually push for the necessary resources to make our profession safer, which in turn makes our communities safer. With that said, we’re pleased that the governor’s new budget gives POST an increase of $14.9 million from the General Fund, plus an additional $20 million for de-escalation and mental health crisis training. POST has been so underfunded for many years, it is nice to see the tide turning the other way.

Please, be safe out there and cover your partners. We extend our deepest condolences to all of the families, friends and colleagues of the officers we have lost in the line of duty. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Vice President’s Message

Damon Kurtz
PORAC Vice President

One of the major benefits of PORAC membership is the ability to connect to other associations and network with colleagues on the challenges we face in law enforcement labor. Whether it’s at the bargaining table or in the political arena, having a group of our peers who can share experiences to help us with our own individual and association challenges is invaluable. PORAC strives to offer multiple opportunities for our members to meet and exchange information. From monthly local chapter meetings to our many training classes throughout the year to the annual Conference of Members, our goal is to make sure you have the tools you need to be successful. One of the best opportunities we provide in this area is the yearly PORAC Symposium, which is rapidly approaching.

The 2019 Symposium will be held at the Monterey Marriott April 9–10 (Tuesday and Wednesday). As always, we’ll present speakers and training opportunities designed to help you increase your knowledge about the pressing issues that affect our members now, as well as those that may loom in the future. This year’s event is focused on the theme of officer safety and wellness, a topic that seems particularly crucial as we mourn the deaths of 10 law enforcement officers nationwide within the first four weeks of January — five killed by gunfire, three struck by cars and two from heart attacks. This represents a huge increase in line-of-duty deaths compared to the same period in 2018 and a grim start to the new year. From ambush killings and traffic accidents to cardiovascular issues and PTSD, there are many physical and emotional threats facing our profession right now, and our training sessions will explore a variety of these issues as well as how we can best protect ourselves and others.

In addition to gaining knowledge from the experts, Symposium attendees will get to connect socially with their fellow members from around the state. PORAC is sponsoring a networking session for professional development on Tuesday evening, a great chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones while swapping stories and tips. These events truly demonstrate the beauty of PORAC — that there is strength in numbers when we join together for a common cause and share what we’ve learned with one another.

And what better way to achieve this than on a visit to the beautiful Central Coast of California? Especially if you haven’t experienced a Symposium before, I encourage you to join us this April. Even if your association can’t send a large contingent, it can be highly beneficial to have at least one representative participate and bring back what they’ve learned to share with the rest of your members and colleagues. Online registration is now open and it looks likely to be another sold-out event, so go to PORAC.org/events/symposium to sign up before our special room rate expires on March 15. I hope to see you in Monterey!

Treasurer’s Message

Timothy Davis
PORAC Treasurer

When I was elected president of the Sacramento Police Officers Association, I had a singular focus on negotiating our association’s next MOU. While I was aware that there were many other responsibilities of an association president, I had not given them much thought. During my first month as president, many of these other responsibilities reared their heads. I was immediately contacted by two mayoral candidates who wanted our association’s endorsement, I was called out to provide representation to officers on a critical incident, I had my first closed-door meeting with the chief of police, I responded to media requests for interviews, I began meeting with city council members who had been neglected by my association in the past and I held my first board meeting, in which a divided group argued over a very contentious issue. I was overwhelmed and, to be honest, I really didn’t know what I was doing.

I quickly realized that I could not do the job alone, but I was under the misguided belief that I should be able to run my organization completely by myself, without any training or assistance. On my first callout I didn’t even notify the other members of my association’s leadership team, because I didn’t think it would be right for me to bother them at night. One afternoon, a few weeks into my term, I became frustrated because I was having difficulty setting up an appointment to meet with my city council members. One of the staff members saw my frustration and said, “Why are you trying to do that? That’s my job.” I felt both stupid and relieved — stupid for not having asked and relieved to know that there were people just waiting to assist me in my duties and responsibilities.

I’m not sure if other association leaders have had similar experiences, but the truth is that most of us who volunteer to serve our membership begin with little knowledge on how to do the job well. While I struggled through my first few months, my true failure was being too proud to ask for help. After those first few weeks, I quickly rectified that error. I began to reach out for both assistance and knowledge. I learned that there are many experienced leaders out there who have been through similar experiences. These leaders also had to struggle at first, and they achieved their successes because others were there to help them in their times of need. Most of these leaders stand ready to help us when we need them.

I also discovered that I need training to learn how to better serve my membership. An association president needs to understand negotiations, public relations, media relations, politics, discipline process, leadership, mentoring, budgeting and many other diverse topics. Association leaders need to seek out training for themselves and for their board members. I searched for and began attending training that would help me be more successful in serving my membership. I passed on the knowledge I gained to my board and encouraged them to attend training, too.

My keys to understanding how to be successful in my responsibilities were conversations with my fellow association leaders and attending training. PORAC was instrumental in helping me in these two areas. I began attending my local chapter and other PORAC meetings, where I would see leaders of other associations in my region. I would take the opportunity to discuss issues affecting my association and gained great insight from my fellow leaders. I also began to attend PORAC training classes. At these classes, I not only received great instruction, but I was again able to meet with other association leaders to share and discuss issues that affected our members.

Even now, with over three years of experience in running my association, I still feel that there is much for me to learn. I still use the connections I have made at PORAC to discuss important issues with my fellow association leaders, and I continue to search out new training courses for myself and my association board. I would encourage those of you in leadership roles in your association to attend PORAC meetings and training. Participate and learn. Make new relationships with other leaders in your area and you will learn to be a better servant to your membership.

President’s Message

Brian Marvel
PORAC President

With the close of 2018 behind us, we welcome 2019 with a new set of goals and continued work on past projects. The Christmas holiday season gave us a chance to look back on our organization’s successes and the areas in which we need to strengthen. January is a good time to reset and look forward to the challenges ahead and we have quite a few.

Aside from fighting the continuing legislative bills that seek to attack the very work we do in protecting the public, I would like to focus on our training program. I firmly believe our associations and members should have more opportunities for training, to prepare ourselves for what we face every day as association leaders. PORAC offers five core training classes annually. Last year we added media training and brought back the line of duty death training. We are in the process of analyzing the feedback from both of those classes. It is my goal to add these two classes to our annual training curriculum.

As PORAC assesses our training program, I am looking at how effective our training is. Is it up to date? Timely? What other types of training should we be offering? With that in mind, I think it would be very beneficial for us to partner with the Force Science Institute. It was an important step to have Dr. Bill Lewinski speak about the science of shootings at the Conference of Members in November. The information is vital to us as we try to explain and have people understand use-of-force incidents. We are currently working with Force Science to begin holding two regularly scheduled trainings in California. We anticipate kicking these off in 2020. This partnership would allow Force Science to offer more classes in California, and PORAC members would save on travel costs by not having to fly out of state for the sessions. Keep an eye out for more details as we finalize this partnership and what it will look like.

On top of that, POST just launched their Innovations Grant Program. One of the categories for this grant program is officer wellness. In 2017, 140 officers committed suicide and some of the research regarding this subject says this is underreported. Yet less than 5% of departments have suicide-prevention programs. I know a lot of agencies are trying to address officer wellness, but it is incumbent upon associations to be the leaders and assist their agencies to implement these programs. The reality is we witness death and destruction daily and that takes a toll on us. I have directed our training manager, Claude Albers, to prepare a grant solicitation to kick this program off. If our proposal is accepted, I am hoping we can start the training in late 2019 or implement it as part of our 2020 curriculum.

In addition to looking at our program, I want to start branding PORAC’s training. We will be updating the logo and changing the name. I want to raise the bar and make our training even better. I am still working with Claude on creating a video-based training program. This would not only provide our members an opportunity to get training 24/7, but it also would entice them to attend our in-depth in-person training.

I know last year was very challenging for our profession. We lost several members of our family. All of them heroes serving their communities. We suffered major fires at the beginning and end of the year and had active-shooter incidents. The pace at which we’re doing things has increased. Demands on public safety have increased exponentially, yet the number of people wanting to join this distinguished profession has dropped off. A recent Washington Post article reported that nearly 66% of almost 400 police departments surveyed said their applicant pool had shrunk. We at PORAC will continue to fight to ensure the respect and dignity our members deserve. I want to welcome our new vice president, Damon Kurtz, Fresno POA, and treasurer, Timothy Davis, Sacramento POA, who officially took their seats January 1.

Best wishes for a safe and happy new year.

Vice President’s Message

Damon Kurtz
PORAC Vice President

This will be my first article as the vice president of PORAC, so I thought I would take a moment to tell those who don’t know me a little about myself. I was born and raised in California. Growing up, I lived in several communities and ultimately graduated high school from Nordhoff High in Ojai, located just outside of Ventura, in 1989. I then joined the Navy and became a Navy diver.

I spent my time in the Navy predominately in Norfolk, Virginia, and Sasebo, Japan, diving on submarines and surface ships performing repairs and maintenance. After leaving the Navy, I attended Allan Hancock College Law Enforcement Academy and was later hired by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department in December 1994. In June 1998, I lateraled to the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department, and later to the Fresno Police Department in 2004.

I have worked a variety of assignments with three different departments, which gives me the ability to look at issues with a variety of perspectives. In 2008, I became active as an association leader. This was the start of the Great Recession and I became engrossed in what seemed to be constant negotiations with the city for concessions. I spent four years on the Fresno POA Executive Board before being elected to the first vice president position in 2012, and in 2016, I became FPOA president. It was during my time as FPOA vice president and president that I became active in PORAC, being elected as Region II Insurance and Benefits trustee in 2013 and later as its chairman, all of which has led me here today to represent you as your next PORAC vice president. I am looking forward to working hard for you and to a new partnership with PORAC President Brian Marvel.

As we head into the new year, I know there will be multiple challenges, none more challenging than what we face in the new California Legislature. With the Democratic supermajority, it will take an “all hands on deck” approach if we are to be successful. Brian and I will be here in Sacramento lobbying on behalf of PORAC and the law enforcement community, but that won’t be enough. We need everyone to be involved in this effort as we move forward. We need association leaders at the chapter level to be meeting with your elected officials and their staff at their local offices. When the call goes out, we need all of our members and their family to send letters to your representatives. Together we can change the narrative, but it will take all of us to make sure our voice is heard. I have a motto: “You are at the table or on the menu.” I believe we can do this with all of your help.

Lastly, as I start my new role as vice president, I have been asked what will I do differently, which is a bit of a loaded question. I am careful not to make any bold statements of change since I have not sat at the desk or walked in the shoes of those who have come before me. What I will say is I am committed to working hard for the membership of PORAC and to its mission. I will always be open to new ideas and I am not afraid to make changes as they are needed. My broader goal is to grow PORAC and to provide the best possible service to our members.

Treasurer’s Message

Timothy Davis
PORAC Treasurer

I want to start by thanking the PORAC membership for electing me as treasurer of PORAC. I am honored to be selected to serve you and the interests of law enforcement in California. I pledge to put my time, efforts and knowledge toward advancing the safety of all Californians, especially those who have stepped forward, put on a badge and serve their communities as law enforcement officers.

I come from a law enforcement family. My father started his career with the Sacramento Police Department in 1970, after returning home from his military service in Vietnam. As a child, I remember him stopping by the house during his evening shift for “Code-7.” I was proud to see my father in uniform. When he returned to work after eating, my sisters and I would watch out the window as he turned on his emergency lights, chirped his siren and left to complete his shift. I was inspired by my father and his service to both our city as a police officer and our nation as a military police officer in the Army National Guard. He always seemed to be in one uniform or the other.

I followed in my father’s footsteps and joined the Sacramento Police Department in 1998, where I have served as a police officer for the past 20 years. My son, by graduating from the Sacramento Police Academy this past summer, has made it three generations from the Davis family to serve Sacramento.

My family is not unusual. Many of you come from law enforcement families. Whether you are the first from your family to serve or you come from a multigenerational law enforcement family like mine, we are all brothers and sisters, serving our communities together. We have all, by taking the oath to serve, joined the law enforcement family. Our family is currently facing many struggles. Many of us are facing staffing shortages and long hours, as our agencies labor to fill vacant positions. We are under attack from the media and anti-police groups who mistakenly blame law enforcement for society’s problems and failures. We are facing more dangerous criminals in our communities as changes such as realignment and reduced sentencing have emptied prisons and jails and returned criminals back into the neighborhoods we police. With decriminalization of drugs, lack of quality mental health services and rampant homeless problems in our communities, the demands on law enforcement is ever increasing yet we don’t have the tools and staffing we need to adequately and safely address the problems that society demands we solve.

Our law enforcement family is strained and struggling, but we are resilient and will push through. We have proven our ability to adapt to societal changes and we will continue to be successful in safely serving the communities we are sworn to protect. There is much work to do. I dedicate myself to serving you. I am honored to walk with you and I am here to advocate for law enforcement and for laws and policies that will allow us all to better serve and safeguard our communities.

President’s Message

Brian Marvel
PORAC President

I want to start by thanking all the members who were able to join us for the 66th Annual Conference of Members in Reno. Conference is always a special time for PORAC. The gathering not only gives our members the opportunity to come together before the busy holiday season commences, but it also brings them up to speed on important organizational, trust and benefit updates so that they can confidently head into the new year knowing where PORAC stands and where it’s headed.

Unfortunately, our members arrived at this year’s Conference with heavy hearts because of a series of devastating events affecting law enforcement and communities throughout the state.

On November 8, Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus was killed trying to stop an active shooter at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks. Helus, along with two CHP officers, entered the bar and immediately engaged with the shooter, who struck Helus multiple times. Helus died along with 12 others that night. His brave actions saved many lives, and he and the other responding officers are heroes. Sergeant Helus’ actions epitomize service above self, and tragedies like these are what makes our profession unique: we never know whether we’ll make it back home at the end of a shift. He will never be forgotten!

Hours after losing one of their own, deputies in Ventura were confronted with another tragedy. The Woolsey Fire erupted in Simi Valley on November 8 and began destroying parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. With no time to grieve, Ventura deputies and officers sprang into lifesaving mode, working alongside firefighters to protect life and property. At the same time, in Northern California’s Butte County, the destructive Camp Fire broke out, wiping out the town of Paradise and its surrounding area. This fire has become the nation’s deadliest in a century, killing over 80 people, and the most destructive in California’s history, scorching more than 150,000 acres and destroying nearly 19,000 structures.

With the loss of an officer and two fires burning across both ends of the state in the forefront of our minds, PORAC had to conduct business during Conference. I ask that you please keep Sergeant Helus’ family, colleagues and friends in your thoughts and prayers. It will be a difficult road to healing for Helus’ family, but rest assured that they’ll always have the unwavering support of the larger blue family. I ask that you also keep the first responders fighting these fires in your thoughts. We realize how incredibly devastating fires can be on our first responders and their communities, so PORAC has a created a charity fund to help those affected by the wildfires. Please visit cahpcu.org/wildfireReliefFund and consider making a donation today.

Before delving into highlights from the Conference, I want to recognize Vice President Brent Meyer for all his years of hard work and dedication to PORAC. I appreciate the tremendous work he has done during his past five years as vice president. He always stepped up when needed, valued and cared for our members and always made himself available to answer questions. During his tenure, he refined our recruitment and retention program and worked diligently to increase the size of PORAC. It was a great pleasure to be able to work alongside him to take PORAC to the next level. Thank you for your service, Brent, and all the best on your new endeavors!

I would like to welcome Damon Kurtz, past president of Fresno POA, as our new vice president. Damon was elected by acclamation since he had no opponent. I’m excited to start new projects and to continue to build on what Brent has done for PORAC. I think Damon and I will make an excellent team, and we will continue to be PORAC’s voice in the state and national Capitols and provide our members with top-notch training and benefits.

During Conference, we had one executive officer election for the position of treasurer. Longtime Treasurer Marcelo Blanco lost his reelection bid to Tim Davis of Sacramento POA. I would like to thank Marcelo for his incredible work as treasurer and chair of both the Fiscal Management and Budget Committees, positions he has held for nine years. He provided PORAC with a solid financial footing and was diligent in overseeing finances to ensure that we stayed well within our budget while also increasing our reserves to ensure that we would be able to fight any battle that came our way. Everyone owes Marcelo a debt gratitude for all he has done to help our organization thrive financially.

To that end, I want to welcome Tim as our new treasurer. I look forward to working with him and to continuing the tradition that Marcelo has set for PORAC and his stewardship of its finances. I know Tim will do an excellent job as our next treasurer.

With the new team of executive officers in place, I am hopeful that we will meet and exceed membership expectations and our organization’s vision for the future. We will work together to oversee PORAC’s branding, goals, mission and image and continue to vigorously protect and defend the benefits of all our members in public safety. I anticipate 2019 being as difficult, if not more so than 2018.

In closing, we’re thankful for our families and loved ones who support law enforcement. Each day of work could be our last, so their support means the world. Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, happy holidays and happy new year!

Vice President’s Message

Brent J. Meyer
PORAC Vice President

After 59 of these messages over the last five years, you’d think there wouldn’t be much more for me to say, but I think that there is. And while it could simply be summed up with “thank you,” I feel obligated to use my last bit of space here to express my appreciation for this opportunity. The last several years seem to have gone by so fast. Friends and colleagues have come and gone, and within the next month, I will be joining them, having done my part to take PORAC forward. Without regret, this is something that I look forward to.

Eleven years ago, the PORAC Board of Directors had a deep bench of leaders, and it was clear that our organization was as sharp and effective as ever; we beat back legislation that was bad and advanced law that was good for our membership. In joining the Board in 2010, I was very proud to sit with and learn from the fine group of men, all of whom brought our profession’s very finest to the table.

To my complete surprise, I was asked to run for PORAC vice president and joined the Executive Committee to help to take us even further ahead. These were large shoes to fill, as PORAC was as strong as anyone had ever seen. With a steady cast of Board members capable of doing this, moving the association either inches or miles depends on what each one brings to the table. New people mean fresh ideas. Fresh ideas mean new accomplishments. New accomplishments result in a stronger organization. It was an exciting time to jump in and do my part to foster the development of our membership and training programs, as well as to keep PORAC engaged at a variety of levels.

When I wasn’t completely re-imagining and ramping up the marketing of PORAC through the website redesigns, app development and re-branding of our materials, I was constantly on the road making presentations to local associations, new and old, talking about the value of being affiliated with our association. Having never been in sales, I found that boiling our mission and what we do down to Networking, Advocacy, Image, Training and Benefits really helped me explain to folks what PORAC does for them and why it’s important for our membership to stay connected.

I wouldn’t have been as successful at this without having an incredible staff of people who worked each day to make my job easier and to ensure that PORAC kept its focus on the issues that really matter and delivered benefits to you, the members. In particular, Finance and Administrative Manager Kim Busman made sure that I had the resources I needed to get the job done, and Angie Gonzales was the direct conduit to making membership, the crux of what I dealt with, always run smoothly. Training Manager Claude Alber helped me keep perspective about what really matters. Communications Manager Chris Steele helped my creative visions become reality and made them look good. And I am very proud to have had a hand in hiring the very best employees in Tori Tillman (RAM), Shon Sharma (Accounting), Jacquelyn Blow (Administration) and Amy Eubanks (Reception). I will certainly miss seeing them each morning, as they are always prepared and ready to deliver their best to you. And though I didn’t work with them as routinely, I will also miss IBT Manager Maria Jimenez and the great staff of the Insurance & Benefits Trust, with whom we share the office. I am very proud of the work our team does, and I am confident that our membership will always be taken care of if they have an issue that needs to be addressed. If you ever find yourself in Sacramento, please go out of your way to thank them for wanting to work for us.

When I became the leader of the Sacramento Police Officers Association in 2007, there were many things that I wanted to do, not the least of which was to better involve our association in PORAC and to use the benefit of our location in the state Capitol to be a force multiplier for our statewide association. I felt extremely fortunate to have been able to work with past presidents Ron Cottingham and Mike Durant; I learned from both that a lot has gone into building PORAC up to what it is today. Over the course of the last year, it has also been a pleasure to get to better know Brian Marvel, with whom I have enjoyed the opportunity to work, albeit for just a short amount of time. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all three for the insight I gained as a principal leader of our association.  

There will be many challenges ahead for the next Board of Directors. I believe that the infusion of new directors to the PORAC Board will not only strengthen, but also greatly help out the new leadership of PORAC. But it shouldn’t stop there. I cannot continue to stress enough just how important it will be for you to get involved! Don’t just stand by and wait for something to affect you directly before you take the opportunity to see what is going on at PORAC. The Board of Directors consistently needs your input and involvement. Challenge your representatives and make sure that they understand your position on the issues. They must hear from you. This is absolutely critical and necessary to the long-term effectiveness of PORAC, especially as we enter the next legislative session!

It’s been a great honor to have had your respect and support and to have been one of the few you chose to speak for the membership. I know that we have not always agreed on every issue, but hopefully the debates we’ve had here were thoughtful and respectful. It was certainly helpful to me to have heard your points of view, and I know that better decisions were made — or at the very least were better informed — because you took the time to write, call, email or drop in. I appreciated it, and I hope you continue to do what needs to be done to move PORAC forward. This will always be your association.

Many of you have heard me say that no one ever sits in the academy and daydreams about leading their association. It is a calling and is certainly something that you have to want to do or have a drive to do. Whichever it was for me, I do know that getting to know the great members we have within this organization always drove me to try even harder to do the best job I could for you. You deserve that, and I hope I did not fail you. Even on the worst days, being the vice president of PORAC was an honor because I had the opportunity to represent you — the very finest of the profession in the country.

Thank you for bestowing upon me the time and your trust in this great privilege of representing you and your association. 

Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Treasurer’s Message

Marcelo Blanco
PORAC Treasurer

Our Investments

Prior to completing this Conference financial report, I spoke with Mark Sikorski of UBS Financial Services, and he told me that our investments were down 0.24%, and that is with 25% of our monies in fixed income/bonds. The S&P for the same period is not doing much better, which is a difference from last year when our investments were up 19%. Obviously, we would be doing much better if all of our monies were in stocks; however, there needs to be some security built into our investments. Since Mark and I began managing these accounts, our reserves have increased from $2.05 million to just shy of $6 million.

The Audit

Finance and Administrative Manager Kim Busman was very busy this past year. We did very well at the closing of last year’s books by realizing a savings.

The auditing firm identified certain areas of our financial practices that may be of concern. Fortunately, this year they did not attack the issue of us having just one person predominantly dealing with all of the financial transactions. One of their major areas of concern pertains to an individual’s ability to defraud the organization, and they want to make sure that we are aware of the issue and that we establish mitigating or corrective measures. We always heed the auditors’ warnings and therefore have established numerous checks and balances to prevent such an occurrence. The president, vice president, Budget and Fiscal Management Committees and I are on hand to review Kim’s work and prevent opportunities for wrongdoing.

Consequently, this year the auditors were still concerned about the amount of money being held by PORAC chapters, with varied methods of oversight for disbursement.  However, they were a bit more at ease based on the new reporting format established to show how PORAC is managing the funds. The auditors suggested PORAC continue monitoring the use of chapter funds. Please keep in mind that the intent of the chapter reimbursements is to help chapters run their local business and benefit their members. Chapter funds should be spent in furthering the goals of PORAC and its members.

The Budget

PORAC’s Budget Committee, composed of Executive Committee Directors Barry Donelan, Randy Beintema, Anthony Sanders, Gary Moore and me, has been very busy through this budget cycle. The committee decided to take a look at portions of the budget where it felt the organization could be more efficient. The Budget Committee has taken its fiduciary responsibility very seriously and is not afraid to ask tough questions and make tough budgetary decisions. The committee’s budgetary decisions and directions are always based on doing what’s best with your money. As such, the committee targeted some areas for potential cuts based on PORAC utilizing its money wisely and efficiently. The committee delved into an area that is very hard to overcome, changing what is known as “business as usual.” The committee looked at areas of the budget that could be streamlined, in addition to areas where we could increase efficiency and reduce potential unnecessary expenditures.

That brings us to next year’s budget. Over the past few years, I have presented the members with an unbalanced budget. The reason for taking such an action is based on the practicality that, as a private business, we are under no legal requirement to have a balanced budget. In addition, our budget is a road map of where we plan to navigate throughout the year, with a calculated financial ending point. Sometimes things change throughout the year — some roads become longer than we thought, while on others we find shortcuts or realize we don’t have to travel in that direction. Obviously, the shortcuts and roads less traveled save us money. Last year, we found several opportunities to save money, but there were also a few longer treks than expected. Unfortunately, once we tallied the entire trip, we were a bit overextended on our projected income; however, we are going to stick with this roadmap, make the necessary adjustments along the way and curtail costs whenever possible.

Fiscal Management Committee

Your Fiscal Management Committee (FMC), composed of board members from each region, met in May to review PORAC’s vouchers from last year’s Conference through April 2018, and in August to discuss the results of the audit and how to address them. Upon review of the vouchers, the committee did not find any discrepancies as to how PORAC is reimbursing its directors. Besides reviewing the vouchers and contracts, the FMC is in place to deal with any other issues that may arise that affect how PORAC manages your monies. In addition, the committee reviewed the contracts and other information from the past Conference. Aside from realizing that the cost of a gallon of coffee at hotels is outrageous, all other matters were consistent with providing the best training venue for our members while keeping our finances in mind.

PORAC Assets

The PORAC building continues to show its age. As such, the business complex association decided to ensure everyone painted their respective buildings.

From Your Treasurer

This has been a busy year with the normal PORAC events, along with Conference planning for 2021. Kim and I have secured our Conferences for the next three years. Future Conferences will be held at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa for 2019; Disneyland for 2020; and the Hyatt in Monterey for 2021. I can speak with certainty that our members, guests and vendors will have a distinct and remarkable experience at each of the upcoming locations.

Finally, I want to thank everyone for the support I have received as your treasurer for the past nine years. I know Tim Davis will do a remarkable job as your next treasurer. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year.

President’s Message

Brian Marvel
PORAC President

As the leaves take on their fall colors, it’s time for PORAC members to gather round at our 66th Annual Conference of Members set for November 15 – 18. It’s called a conference of members for a reason. The conference, like PORAC, exists for you. This is your prime time to let PORAC leadership know what you think about where the organization is headed and how it’s been conducting business. We are only as strong as you want us to be.

There’s a lot that has happened this year that you might want to weigh in on, and we would value your input. Let us hear what you think of AB 931, the shelved Assembly bill that will likely come back next session to limit officers’ use of force and which PORAC has adamantly opposed. Do you have opinions about the Janus decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this summer that public employees can’t be required to pay agency fees? Or what about Governor Brown’s recent signing of AB 748 and SB 1421, broadening public access to police body-camera recordings and your personnel records, respectively?

Whatever your thoughts, please share them with us. Remember, PORAC is here for you, and we cannot represent you if you don’t say anything. I encourage all members to attend this year’s Conference (see page 17 for more details). Not only will you be able to catch up with friends and associates, you also can find out more about what makes your PORAC membership so valuable, such as the Legal Defense Fund, Insurance and Benefits Trust, Retiree Medical Trust, along with our ever-increasing footprint in the social media realm. Be sure to download the PORAC app before you go so that you get all the Conference updates and a few surprises to increase participation at conference.

National Law Enforcement Museum

PORAC was very proud to be in attendance at the grand opening of the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C., on October 11. PORAC has been a major sponsor and consistent supporter of the museum and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), and our support was recognized by our prominent position on the museum’s donor wall as a partner at the “Guardians of Justice” sponsorship level. (See related museum story on page 12.)

The 57,000-square-foot museum, with its collection of more than 21,000 artifacts, is the culmination of a nearly two-decades process. We must thank NLEOMF CEO Craig Floyd for endeavoring to persevere and seeing this day come to fruition. It all began when Congress authorized the museum in 2000, but the museum was built without any government funds. Instead, individuals, companies and organizations contributed to the establishment of this worthy museum in Judiciary Square, next to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Besides learning about the history of American law enforcement, museumgoers can “walk in the shoes” of an officer by participating in a training simulation or assuming the role of a police dispatcher. It is hoped that exhibits like these bridge the gap between the public and police, and that people walk away from the museum with a better understanding of and appreciation for our officers, who day in and day out, without fail, protect our communities knowing on any given day, they may make the ultimate sacrifice.

Before the ceremony started, you could feel the excitement that this day had finally come. I remember being a rookie and hearing how a museum dedicated to our profession was in the works. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I was honored to represent PORAC at this most auspicious event almost 20 years later. Outside of the excitement of the grand opening, Clint Eastwood made a surprise visit and kicked off the ceremony. I would gather everyone in attendance wished they could do what Dirty Harry did in his movies, but we all know the difference between reality and Hollywood.

Several more speakers addressed the attendees, including former President George W. Bush via a recorded video message. The keynote speech by retired Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey brought it all together on why this museum is so important to us, our profession and the community.

One of the most significant features of the museum is the Hall of Remembrance, which honors the 21,541 men and women who died in law enforcement service; most of their stories are unknown by those who visit. But those stories now will be told for all to hear; Never Forgotten.

I hope that each of you has the opportunity to visit this spectacular and much-needed museum soon. It does law enforcement proud. If you go to YouTube, type “National Law Enforcement Museum construction time-lapse,” you can see, in a little over a minute, the construction progress from May 2016 to October 2018 with high-quality webcam imagery. Also, C-SPAN recorded the grand opening ceremony if you would like to watch it.

See you at the Conference in Reno!