At the June meeting of the PPOA Board of Directors, I announced my resignation as PPOA president. I did so after great thought and consideration for many things — first, my health and my family, and second, my confidence in the strength and integrity of the current Board of Directors. I also felt a sense of relief knowing Tab Rhodes would take over the reins. I have known Tab a long time and I know he has what it takes to be a leader of one of the largest law enforcement unions in the state. I have complete confidence that PPOA will continue to provide strong advocacy for our members and the law enforcement community as a whole.
Leaving is bittersweet, however. There are many things I wanted to accomplish that remain unresolved. I plan on staying involved with PPOA and assisting the new leadership with the following projects:
- Fixing a broken promotional system: There needs to be a system that is fair and equitable. I believe we can find a solution that meets the desires of Sheriff Villanueva regarding education and field experience while being fair to those who promoted under previous systems.
- CCWs for custody assistants and security officers: I think a solution is closer than you think. The Sheriff’s Department and PPOA are on the same page, so it is only a matter of working out the details.
- Training for sergeants and lieutenants: This was something we negotiated in our current contract. We have been unable to begin training because the Department has not released the money to PPOA as of this date of publication. As soon as this issue is resolved, we can begin offering training to prepare our supervisors for management and tactical situations and for future positions as leaders and managers.
- Getting our patrol bonus pay: This was negotiated almost a year ago and the County and the Department have dragged their feet in paying the employees. I expect this to be resolved in the next few weeks.
- Fixing our insurance agency: We had a difficult time getting our insurance company on solid ground as a result of an unscrupulous broker we hired who was referred to us by trusted sources. We have already made significant improvements and taken corrective actions, but there is a long way to go to earn the trust of our members for their insurance needs.
- Firearm and ammunition sales: PPOA secured a firearms license for the purpose of selling guns to our members at discounted pricing. We are now in discussions with manufacturers to negotiate pricing on products we wish to offer, as well as finalizing liability insurance options.
- Expanding the online uniform and equipment store: I would like to see this store offer more products at discounted pricing and be more user friendly, which is one of the concerns I will personally be addressing.
- The PPOA Advantage Program: This program offers discounts for members in many different areas, including restaurants, cars, eyeglasses and loans. This is a new program that I hope to see grow to offer many discounts to our members.
This may sound like a lot of work, but most of these are well underway and I anticipate they will be accomplished soon.
I have had the privilege of advocating for PPOA members over the past 10 years, and I have enjoyed helping specific individuals who were in need of assistance or being mistreated. Unfortunately, there are many I didn’t get around to helping simply because I was too busy or overwhelmed with other problems. I apologize to each of you. I know your problems were important to you and I want to assure you, they were important to me also. Unfortunately, those of us in roles of assisting others often find there are more issues than time in a day. If you personally felt neglected in some way, I sincerely apologize.
I want to thank the staff at PPOA for doing such an incredible job. The praises I received really belong to them. They did most of the work. They are all dedicated professionals committed to helping PPOA and its membership. I will miss all of you. I want to also thank the Board of Directors. This Board is the strongest and most participative I have ever seen in my career, and they are committed to PPOA’s mission and members. In addition, I thank all the Department executives, current and past, who I have had the privilege of working with to resolve problems. We didn’t always agree, but most of you listened to reason and did the right thing.
I know this sounds like an Academy Awards speech, but I will end it with this: I want to thank the members of PPOA for allowing me to be your president and to end my career in service to you. It has been an honor and a privilege. Though some may not be happy with PPOA or my leadership, I was guided by a simple motto: Regardless of who you are, who you are connected to or how you feel about me, I will fight to protect you from abuses and wrongdoing. We are all brothers and sisters. There are times when we fight with each other, but in the end, we are family. I wish each and every one of you, regardless of rank or privilege, all the best in your careers and in life.