Custody Assistants: members who work side by side with Deputy Sheriff personnel in the County jails, Station jails and court lockups, interacting with the same inmate population in the same working locations.”
The above paragraph is from a letter sent by PPOA to Assemblymember Jim Cooper back in August 2020. At the time, it was in support of Assembly Bill 664, and our inclusion along with other classifications in 621 as “first responders” in COVID-19 relief legislation.
It is efforts such as this on behalf of our classification to have us recognized and included for the inherent risk of the job you perform, plus the responsibilities and leadership positions that come with it.
As a member of the Legislative Committee, I participate in meetings regarding Assembly and Senate bills that could have an impact on our group, either positively or negatively.
PPOA consistently meets with its lobbyists in Sacramento to monitor the numerous pieces of legislation that could potentially involve Custody Assistants directly or indirectly. The subtle or direct language that frames a bill plays a significant part in how it’s viewed and applied, like, for example, our gas tax and Measure J.
A lot of times it’s not just for the now, but for the future as well. Items such as retirement, pension or your inclusion as “public safety members, public safety employees or employees of first responders” are part of the mission.
Previously, I have stated that the things taking place now are to improve, empower and expand us beyond the immediacy of our current roles, to leave it in a more favorable condition for the next generation to take the baton.
If you have questions about your State Senate, Assembly or constitutional officers, please ask, or you can seek answers at govbuddy.com.
I would also like to encourage you to cover your life details in the event of your passing or that of your spouse or dependents.
During my tenure, I have attended several funerals and memorials for Custody Assistants. It’s never easy to see the family go through the loss of a loved one. But many of those boxes can be checked on behalf of those whom you care for if you address those details while you are still able.
Take the time to ensure your beneficiary information is up to date and that you have an established power of attorney on file. Also, make sure your basic contact information is up to date. It sounds simple; nevertheless, I’ve come across several instances where information had not been kept current. Not doing so can make an already painful situation more difficult.
Safeguard yourself and your loved ones, having the peace and assurance that they are covered.
- Group term life and AD&D insurance: Available for purchase to all active members and continued into retirement.
- Voluntary term life for dependents: Covers loss of life due to illness or accident for spouse/dependents.
- Protection at no cost: All active, full-time PPOA members are provided with a $2,000 life insurance and $4,000 accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) policy at no cost, carried by Voya Insurance.
In closing, I’d like to acknowledge the passing of East L.A. Station Jailer C/A Mark A. Lopez. Lopez was a dedicated 22-year veteran of the Department. He performed his duty with pride, efficiency and the respect of his peers. The expressions shared at his memorial service speak to his character and caring heart for his wife and loved ones. On behalf of PPOA, we thank him for his spirit, work ethic and belief. The job is not done.
Take care and stay safe.