The Sheriff’s Security Officer (SSO) classification is growing at a pace faster than ever before. Last year alone, the Department hired nearly 100 SSOs from classes #46, #47 and #48 (an additional 24 recruits graduated with Class #49 earlier this month). While growth like this is both necessary and positive, it does not come without challenges. The Academy taught us that working as a team is essential. However, that’s not always easy when new personnel are ushered in on a regular basis. That’s why veteran leadership at each unit is essential. This philosophy also applies to your union. There is real power in numbers, and whether we’re negotiating contracts or standing up for our collective rights as security officers, we need to be on the same page.
When I join PPOA reps to speak to each class of new hires, we are always pleased to welcome them to their new union. On occasion, one or two will refuse membership. I’m told this occurs in custody assistant classes, as well. However, it’s worth noting that there are rarely any exceptions when it comes to classes of newly promoted LASD sergeants — most of whom have 20-plus years of experience and understand that union protection is crucial for law enforcement personnel.
If you are one of the few security officers who has not applied to join PPOA, I respectfully ask that you reconsider for your own good and the greater good of our association. When we sit down at the negotiating table later this year to secure a new salary contract for all security officers, I would love to be able to tell the County reps that we are there literally representing 100 percent of our classification.
BENEFITS OF PPOA MEMBERSHIP
- Ability to vote on potential salary and benefits contracts
- Ability to vote for your union board representative
- Access to PPOA online discount uniform store
- Access to PPOA discount tickets for amusement parks and movie theaters
- Access to PPOA labor representation at all levels of the grievance process
- Access to a legal defense plan in the event of a work-related criminal investigation and civil litigation
- Access to free legal consultation for non-work-related matters
- Access to POPA Federal Credit Union
- Access to PPOA college scholarships for you and/or your dependents
- Access to discounted insurance products
The list goes on. You can easily offset your monthly dues by taking advantage of PPOA’s substantial group discounts on goods and services. Most important, PPOA membership gives you peace of mind and the knowledge that a team of professionals is available 24/7 to protect your rights, your benefits and your career.
I encourage everyone to join PPOA and stand in unity with your partners. If you are not currently a full member, please contact me and I will answer any questions you have about PPOA.
TWO FINAL NOTES
Every time I see a photo of SSO Amy Williams in uniform atop her horse, I can’t help but smile with pride. As I’ve documented in this column before, she is a true trailblazer as the first and only SSO to ride with the LASD Mounted Unit. Keep up the excellent work, Officer Williams!
The first PPOA delegates meeting of 2018 is scheduled for March 20 at Almansor Court in Alhambra. Delegates play crucial roles for this union, and this year the PPOA Board will be making significant improvements to the delegate system. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, if you’d like to get more involved with your union, please contact Greg Torres (email@example.com) to learn about becoming a delegate.