The topic for this month’s article comes from my father, retired LAPD detective Larry Rhodes.
My entire life I heard, “Money talks, bull$#*t walks.” As I get older and begin my tenure as PPOA president, this saying continues to resonate in my recent experiences.
PPOA has been feverishly working to establish collaborative relationships, be it with ALADS, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors or the state Legislature. While these relationships are the primary component for communicating our needs and perspective, it has become blatantly obvious to me that my father’s adage has come home to roost — “Money talks, bull$#*t walks.” For this reason, I am humbly asking each and every one of you to opt in to donating to the PPOA Political Action Committee (PAC).
The PPOA PAC interviews candidates for elected office, offering endorsements and campaign contributions. Additionally, donations to the PAC are used to encourage and defend statewide legislation as well as ballot initiatives. As you can imagine, our voice is only as large as our political checkbook. PPOA needs your help in order to continue our efforts to protect our interests and defend our salaries, benefits and retirements. As a comparison, other large law enforcement associations have PAC funds ranging from $1.5 to $4 million. During my tenure as your president, it is my goal to increase our PAC account to an annual standing balance of $2 million. For this reason, PPOA is asking everyone to provide a suggested (and hopeful) donation of at least $20 per month. While $20 per month to you personally may represent about five gallons of gas or six Starbucks macchiatos, $20 per month represents what could be up to approximately $180,000 a month to the PAC. That would not only give PPOA a voice, that would give us a shout!
I understand that donating to another cause is difficult, not particularly popular and may not be achievable for some of you. But I must take the opportunity now to explain that public safety in California is in trouble. Our cause of maintaining safe communities is being threatened by the well-meaning but often misled reformers who at this moment are running our government.
Public safety has been marginalized. Well-intended social reforms have created unintended consequences, impeding effectiveness, increasing danger to law enforcement professionals and compromising community safety.
Recent reform efforts continue the disparaging of crime victims while coddling offenders. Statistics prove that the efforts of social reforms are increasing the number of victims in these same neighborhoods the reformists claim to care about.
PPOA and other public safety organizations are supportive of viable reforms, especially those that will help California through this crisis with mental illness and homelessness. I have personally communicated this message to each and every elected official and governmental staff member in our meetings during the last few months.
All we ask is that our voice, experience and expertise be heard. The only way to enhance professionalism in public safety is for our subject-matter experts to be included in the discussions. The only way for our voice to be heard is to have money backing our perspective. Again, and for that reason, I reluctantly but fervently request you donate to the PPOA PAC. Please complete the form below or visit PPOA.com to complete the form online. Please help us assist you in improving each of our communities in California, our profession and our lives.