I want to express my appreciation and gratitude upon being recently elected as president of PPOA. I am honored to represent you! I thank and acknowledge outgoing President Nancy Escobedo for her years of dedicated service to PPOA and its membership. Following in the footsteps of my predecessor will be a huge order, and I aim to expand upon the vision and servant leadership she provided. Our members are the true leaders of PPOA. The PPOA team and I have the privilege of serving and protecting your interests to the utmost of our ability. Specifically, with negotiations on the horizon, I promise you nothing less than our best.
Theodore Roosevelt, whose leadership I have long admired, once stated, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly.” This quote, in my opinion, applies to our PPOA members because we are an association of men and woman who, on a daily basis, strive in the arena of Los Angeles County against dire situations while producing quality results within the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Medical Examiner. We do our duties with dignity and pride despite unimaginable odds. This is why I feel so privileged to protect and support this Association.
For our retiree members, we truly look forward to supporting you and the legacy you provided that encouraged so many of us to pursue our chosen professions. We continue to see increases in both the population of our retired base and the activities in which they engage. We anticipate a 2024 Roundup in Laughlin this April that expands the value of the contributions of our retired members. To those of you with retirement on the horizon or who have recently retired, I wish you continued success in all your new endeavors.
This year’s upcoming public election cycle will bring to the surface various candidates, issues and legislation in which PPOA will be strongly engaged to protect the rights and livelihood of our members. In collaboration with our affiliated unions, we will strategically fight to ensure we remain viable, healthy and safe. If change is a constant, we must adapt in a form and manner that reaches the best outcome with the highest result.
Regarding our physical and mental well-being, let us do our utmost to guard against those stress inhibitors that often go unchecked and can lead to further complications. Unlike any other time in our profession, we are met with challenges in the virtual realm such as unbridled cellular phone usage, social media dissention and internet/data security constraints. These can be likened to digital obstacles, which are easily amplified. Let us be mindful of the impact these platforms can have on our time and energy.
Congratulations are in order for Custody Assistant Class #109 and Security Officer Class #59. Collectively, these two Academy classes graduated 34 fine individuals in November. PPOA representatives were honored to attend both ceremonies (see photos on pages 22–23) to cheer on the graduates and acknowledge their accomplishment.
I also want to recognize the 15 recruits from Custody Assistant Class #110 who began their careers on December 4. PPOA proudly welcomed these newly hired women and men during their first day of orientation, and we look forward to their graduation next month.
In December, I also had the privilege of attending the annual PPOA delegates’ holiday luncheon held in Glendale. The turnout was outstanding, and it was amazing to see our Association’s bargaining unit members represented in full force.
As we progress through 2024, let us continue our “Tradition of Success.” This year holds immense opportunity for our membership. Let us make it a momentous year!