Everything is subject to change when you work for the Sheriff’s Department. In fact, it seems that is the nature of the job: adapting to whatever is thrown at you. Just when you think a shift is pretty routine, something will suddenly occur that will test you in ways you never expected. That’s when training and preparation make a world of difference. In the past, life in the field might have shifted from week to week or day to day. These days, it tends to shift hour by hour. That’s life in 2020 — and it’s barely halfway over.
Between COVID-19, nationwide protests and mind-numbing budget curtailments, we are all facing the perfect storm of challenges at home and work. Despite the fact that most of us have families to care for, security officers and security assistants continue to exhibit a “service-before-self” commitment to public safety. I want to commend all of you for that dedication. Events may be canceled (PPOA barbecue, delegates meetings, academy graduations with friends and family, etc.), but the responsibilities remain. Uncertain paths are difficult to navigate (temporary assignments, job fairs, bureau closure proposals, etc.), but the level of professionalism I’ve seen from SOs and SAs over the last few months is second to none. Make no mistake, our classifications are an asset to this Department and to the communities we serve.
Please know that PPOA continues to be vigilant in protecting your rights. We have been participating in frequent conference calls with Department executives regarding job fairs, CCWs, budget shortfalls and more. If you do not already do so, I encourage you to stay connected to your union by reading the PPOA Week in Review emailed to members every Saturday morning.
By now, most of you know that Sheriff Villanueva publicly vowed to issue CCWs to SOs and C/As at the candidate debate hosted by PPOA in 2018. PPOA has urged the Sheriff to follow through on that promise ever since his pronouncement, and it appears this will be a reality soon. Please see page 18 for CCW information from the Sheriff’s Department.
I know you’ve heard this before, but please remember that we are all in this together. If your personal or professional challenges feel unhealthy or unbearable, please reach out to me, a trusted peer or Employee Support Services. There truly is power in numbers, and I’m confident security officers and security assistants will continue to overcome challenges as long as we are moving forward together.