Unified Communication and Compassion
To help you learn more about where and who your fellow members are, in PORAC Law Enforcement News we’ll profile each of the 14 chapters up and down the state. We hope that reading about every chapter’s challenges and achievements will bring us all closer together and inspire you, your association and your own chapter as you navigate the road ahead. This month, we feature the Inland Chapter.
Unity is of the utmost importance to the Inland Chapter, whether that means being in sync internally about political issues or providing external support to those who need it. That unity is crucial in a vast chapter that encompasses the two largest counties in the United States, San Bernardino and Riverside, occupying more than 15% of California’s total geography. Key to this sense of solidarity are chapter meetings, where members are consistently informed about elected officials and their positions on public safety legislation. Chapter President Rich Randolph points out that this allows the chapter to be on the same page before politicians attend chapter meetings, regardless of whether the politician is from a state or local office.
Each meeting also includes “chapter homework,” in which all presidents or representatives from the chapter’s 60 member associations volunteer to complete a task for the greater good of the chapter. That can mean making calls to politicians about a particular bill, bringing current MOUs to the meeting so there are resources on file for anyone who goes into negotiations, or a variety of other helpful efforts.
Of course, there are still occasional differences that arise within the chapter, as there are anywhere else. But the unity of the members and the relationships they have built with one another mean they always come together in the end.
“Despite association sizes or members, everyone from small associations to the largest all come together,” Randolph says. “Some of the best conversations and debates I have had in my career have been during our chapter meetings.” That feeling of support has been consciously fostered by the Inland Chapter’s leadership, which sat down with its members and asked them what they wanted to see. They made adjustments to meetings based on the feedback they received, which has resulted in strong attendance and engagement.
“One thing I learned as POA president is you have to listen to your members,” Randolph says. “If they complain, listen and ask for suggestions. Your members, no matter the size of your association, are important. This philosophy is no different as a chief or as a chapter president.”
Randolph cites a specific example of a beneficial addition that highlights this level of communication: the Inland Chapter’s text alert system, which allows individual associations to spread the word about critical incidents, officers involved in traffic collisions, calls for union assistance or other issues impacting their members. “Instead of our association presidents reading a watered-down press release or incorrect news, the affected association president will directly text me information that they want to get out,” Randolph says. “This text then goes to every president and board member within the Inland Empire, including non-PORAC associations within our chapter area. This simple tool has brought us together during the darkest of times.”
The feeling of unity within the Inland Chapter extends to all their relationships. When incidents cross into multiple jurisdictions, Inland is always there to offer support. In the wake of tragedy and misfortune, that kind of support has spoken volumes. “We have rallied around each other after terrorist attacks, bankruptcies, leadership changes, political differences and so much more,” Randolph says. “These opportunities and those acts of unified compassion have helped make our chapter strong and special.”
The connections extend to other chapters of PORAC as well; for instance, Inland’s executive board agreed to start attending all the board meetings of their allied chapters within Southern California. A PORAC member for more than 16 years, Randolph believes it is vital that chapters can be relied upon to support one another, and he takes pride in knowing that the Inland Chapter is a strong partner that is always willing to help those who need it. “We are proud of the new PORAC leadership and welcome ongoing dialogue with our family in California,” Randolph says. “No matter where you are in the state of California, Inland Chapter is here to support all PORAC membership.”
The focus on support and compassion has led to the Inland Chapter being more unified than it has ever been. Plus, they have made an effort to make everyone feel welcome at meetings and make it an enjoyable experience. “When you come to an Inland Chapter meeting — no matter if you’re a presenter, vendor, attorney of an association — you are a part of the meeting,” Randolph says. “Like a good patrol sergeant, you make sure your troops have fun but get the job done. That’s the philosophy of our team.” Hopefully, the unity shown by the Inland Chapter can extend far and wide, keeping everyone informed and bringing about positive change.
“The roller-coaster California Assembly ride of changing laws and the attacks on law enforcement is real,” Randolph notes. “When I go to Washington, D.C., for Police Week and my brothers from other states are saying California law enforcement is hurting the country by not stopping these politicians from changing the laws, that angers me but it’s true. So when all the big associations came together on Assembly Bill 392 and other big challenges, I was so proud. These efforts at the Capitol are so important. This information isn’t seen in the news — it comes up at chapter meetings. Changes are happening so much, and by being involved and in the know, you can involve others within your respective associations.”
President: Rich Randolph
Vice President: Jason Polanco
Treasurer: Alex Raya
Secretary: Moe Duran
PORAC Director: Tony Bolanos
NUMBER OF MEMBERS
San Bernardino and Riverside Counties
Getting Members Politically Engaged
To help you learn more about where and who your fellow members are, in PORAC Law Enforcement News we’ll profile each of the 14 chapters up and down the state. We hope that reading about every chapter’s challenges and achievements will bring us all closer together and inspire you, your association and your own chapter as you navigate the road ahead. This month, we feature the Los Angeles
Political advocacy ranks high on the current agenda of the Los Angeles South Chapter, whose leadership prides itself on keeping members apprised of issues and news related to law enforcement and labor, candidate endorsements and more.
Most notably, the chapter has been galvanizing support for SB 230, the law enforcement–backed legislation that has been amended recently to focus solely on use-of-force training and policy guidelines. Chapter President Brandon Browning says he and other chapter leaders have been contacting legislators to help push the measure forward, and they’ve also been encouraging their 3,230 sworn and non-sworn members from 53 associations throughout southern Los Angeles County to do the same.
“Our role is to educate our member associations regarding the importance of PORAC and how providing support to political candidates and supporting, opposing or sponsoring legislation affects our families and careers,” says Browning, a 22-year PORAC member who also serves as the vice president of the El Segundo Police Officers’ Association.
This level of engagement from members helps ensure that the chapter and PORAC’s positions on state and local issues are recognized by elected officials and that leaders supportive of law enforcement get a seat at the table to advocate on behalf of peace officers.
Browning says the chapter is particularly happy with the success rates of its endorsed candidates. Many of the judicial, Senate and Assembly candidates that the chapter has supported over the last few years won their respective elections and have since established a strong working relationship with the chapter. The chapter is currently vetting several candidate endorsements for the 2019 and 2020 congressional, judicial, district attorney and various other races.
These victories are in part the result of the chapter’s unique relationship with the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) and the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS). Support from these two large and influential associations is vital when it comes to endorsing law enforcement–minded candidates and bringing public safety issues to public attention since the chapter represents many small associations that have 100 or fewer members. “It’s important that we work cooperatively with ALADS and LAPPL” to make members’ voices heard, Browning says.
In order to stay informed and engaged, chapter Vice President and 25-year PORAC member Cheryl Morris says members need to attend chapter meetings and activities. These meetings provide members with updated information on laws and proposed legislation that affect peace officers, as well as the latest news on training, events and other PORAC-related business. She stresses the importance of these bimonthly gatherings because meeting attendance has been a struggle for the chapter. Most member association leaders are not being afforded release time and general members are “extremely busy policing our communities and fighting crime, so it’s often a struggle to find the time needed to focus on labor and political issues,” says Morris, a former Los Angeles Port Police Association secretary.
Despite this, chapter leaders do their best to accommodate members by rearranging meeting dates and times and by updating members virtually. They make every effort to reach out to their members to establish connections and share the importance of being involved in PORAC. However, Morris believes meeting in person is the best way to do this.
“Attending meetings encourages active listening and meaningful discussion, whereas emailing the information too often falls upon deaf ears,” she says. “Meetings also allow us to bring members together so that we can learn from each other, see what other associations are experiencing and offer support and advice.”
Bringing members together, Browning and Morris agree, is their favorite thing about being involved with PORAC.
“PORAC membership creates an environment in which peace officers interact and work toward achieving common goals and objectives,” they say. “Not only do we keep members informed regarding current issues and endorsements, but we offer financial support by way of PAC/PIC contributions, sponsorships and donations to the families of fallen, injured or critically ill members. We continue to reach out to our members and are constantly striving to build a strong, effective and powerful branch of PORAC.”
President: Brandon Browning
Vice President: Cheryl Morris
Treasurer: Joe Cameron
Secretary: Scot Martin
PORAC Director: Marshall McClain
NUMBER OF MEMBERS
Southern Los Angeles County
Coming Together to Serve
To help you learn more about where and who your fellow members are, in each issue of PORAC Law Enforcement News we’ll profile one of the 14 chapters up and down the state. We hope that reading about each chapter’s challenges and achievements will bring us all closer together and inspire you, your association and your own chapter as you navigate the road ahead.
This month, we feature the Tri-Counties Chapter.
Devastating and destructive events marred the latter part of 2018 for the Tri-Counties Chapter. On November 8, Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus was killed in the line of duty while responding to an active shooter incident at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks. Later that same day in nearby Simi Valley, the Woolsey Fire erupted and quickly spread to more than 96,000 acres, killing three people and destroying 1,600 structures before it was contained on November 21. Throughout December, heavy rain prompted flash flood warnings in areas affected by the fire. The onslaught of events had chapter members in Ventura County working around the clock during the holiday season to protect life and property.
Their effects were equally felt farther north, in neighboring Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Members there gathered to honor Helus and to show their support for their hardworking brothers and sisters.
“We have come together a great many times in support of each other,” says Chapter President Marylinda Arroyo of the Santa Barbara Police Managers’ Association (SBPMA). “With the fires, floods and other significant events over the years, we’ve helped each other through it all, especially through the recent loss of our member Ron Helus.”
This banding together of members demonstrates the chapter’s resiliency and reflects how its leadership operates.
“It has definitely never been about an individual — it’s about all of us,” Arroyo says. “It’s about the team and the efforts of all those who are willing to give their time and energy” to better each association, the chapter and PORAC as a whole.
This interaction among members is one of Arroyo’s favorite things about the chapter and PORAC.
“The networking and working alongside outstanding individuals who serve daily to protect the communities we all live and work in” is rewarding, she says.
The chapter’s leaders carry on the strong tradition of leadership that has been influential in many areas of PORAC throughout the years. PORAC leaders from the Tri-Counties include past PORAC President Mike Durant and past chapter director Michael McGrew. In addition, many members currently serve on the Executive Board: Anthony Sanders is the Region III Executive Committee Member and Director-at-Large for Ventura County DSA, Javier Antunez is Chapter Director, Treasurer Roger Garcia is on the Insurance and Benefits Trust board, and Chris Coulter is on the Legal Defense Fund board, representing Region III.
The strong leadership and engagement from members have given the chapter a loud voice in both the political and legal realms. Notably, the chapter was instrumental in the landmark state Supreme Court case, Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs Association v. Board of Retirement, which raised the benefits for government employees’ retirements.
The chapter has also been involved in subsequent efforts made by the Ventura DSA and other associations for raises, health insurance and other benefits for peace officers.
When the chapter isn’t fighting litigation or dealing with other issues affecting law enforcement statewide, Arroyo says that chapter leadership focuses on helping members network and ensuring that members have up-to-date information about PORAC’s numerous benefits. This is achieved through bimonthly chapter meetings held in Santa Barbara that cover everything from the chapter’s expenses to PORAC’s legislative priorities and news from each county. For members who can’t make it to the meetings, the chapter posts detailed minutes and other announcements on its website at
As a member of PORAC for 23 years, a member of the SBPMA for four years and a member of the SBPOA for over 20 years, Arroyo recognizes the important role that PORAC plays to support law enforcement.
“PORAC is based on empowering all peace officers and achieving common goals and objectives,” she says. “It’s about encouraging officers to have a voice to represent the interests of law enforcement and to make a positive difference in their communities.”
President: Marylinda Arroyo
Vice President: Don Douglass (Ventura County)
Vice President: Neil Gowing (Santa Barbara County)
Vice President: Sonny Lopez (San Luis Obispo County)
Secretary & PORAC Director: Javier Antunez
Treasurer: Roger Garcia
Number of members
San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties
Bringing Members Together
To help you learn more about where and who your fellow members are, PORAC Law Enforcement News will regularly profile one of the 14 chapters up and down the state. We hope that reading about each chapter’s challenges and achievements will bring us all closer together and inspire you, your association and your own chapter as you navigate the road ahead.
This month, we feature the South San Joaquin Chapter.
The South San Joaquin Chapter represents law enforcement associations in some of the state’s most rural landscapes. With abundant access to rivers, mountains and forests, the people of Inyo, Kern and Tulare counties enjoy the comforts of city life and the adventure of the great outdoors.
But the area’s geography has presented the chapter with two enduring challenges: bringing together a membership of smaller law enforcement associations spread across great distances and overcoming physical barriers posed by the mountain ranges that separate the chapter from the greater PORAC membership.
Not long ago, the chapter was semi-dormant, with minimal structure and lack of member participation. For a time, it was even viewed as an extension of the Central California Chapter. The geographic inhibitors didn’t help. But under the leadership of Chapter President and PORAC Director Ryan Maxwell, the chapter has overcome issues of distance and rebuilt itself.
After becoming a PORAC director in 2014, Maxwell took the reins of the chapter along with Tim Caughron and Bryan Tenhet, the chapter’s two other directors-at-large. In 2017, Maxwell became president and began shaping the chapter into what it’s become today.
“The dynamic configuration of our chapter is … what makes us unique,” Maxwell says of the region’s geography and culture. “Being a part of law enforcement in the South San Joaquin Chapter is not and should not be described as 31 different law enforcement associations, but rather as a family of law enforcement. We are as close as family and I’m proud to be a part of it,” Maxwell says.
Maxwell says he worked very closely with Tenhet, who serves as the chapter’s vice president, to get the chapter back on its feet. “He was very instrumental in getting the chapter up and running,” Maxwell says. “He has a great devotion to law enforcement.”
Thanks to their teamwork, in recent years, the chapter has successfully re-established connections with and among its membership by holding regularly scheduled meetings and becoming more active in PORAC. As a result, member participation has grown significantly, which Maxwell says is reflected in the chapter’s accomplishments.
In 2017 and 2018, the chapter proudly presented POREF scholarships to two deserving students in the region. “A search of winners from previous years revealed that there had not been a winner from our chapter” in nearly a decade, Maxwell says. “These were proud moments for us, and it shows membership participation.”
The POREF scholarship and other PORAC benefits, such as the Legal Defense Fund and Insurance Benefits and Trust, are just a few examples of the key important information discussed during chapter meetings, which Maxwell believes are the foundation to getting members engaged.
“Members should be involved because, first and foremost, this is their association!” he says. “Being involved and attending meetings allows members to get up-to-date information regarding issues that PORAC is working on for its members. It also allows them to see these things firsthand and see the importance of the association and how their dues money is working for them.”
For Maxwell, more engagement gives the chapter “a voice” and its members the opportunity to better connect with local law enforcement within the region and beyond. “The ability to work with outside law enforcement agencies has made it possible to learn from others as well as assist other agencies with issues as they arise,” he says.
Maxwell, who has been a PORAC member since 2011, says that he was elected to his leadership positions because of his interests in promoting the welfare of both the association and peace officers in general. “I am not afraid to speak my mind nor am I afraid to dig my heels in when I need to get the job done,” he says.
Asked what other PORAC members might be surprised to learn about the chapter, Maxwell says: “Southern hospitality isn’t just reserved for the southern states — it’s alive and well in the South San Joaquin Chapter.
“The atmosphere of our chapter is relaxed. If you show up [to a meeting] wearing a tie, we might cut it off of you, so wear a tie you don’t like,” he says. “Boots, jeans and a nice polo is the perfect attire, but just remember to knock the dirt off your boots at the door.
“Our chapter meeting doors are always open, and we extend an open invitation to any PORAC member who wants to attend our meetings,” he adds. “Just let us know you are coming and we will set you a place at the table.”
President & Director: Ryan Maxwell
Vice President, Director-at-Large & PAC Rep: Bryan Tenhet
Treasurer: Jeremy Knoy
Secretary: Kevin Kimmel
Number of members
Inyo, Kern and Tulare counties