Every month, I get sent an EOW list of all the retired members we have lost. I get them daily as well from the Moon report. (Thanks again to Moon for all he does to keep retired personnel informed!)
A monthly list brings it home and really makes you think about things. A name will pop up of someone I worked with, and more times than not a smile when thinking about those days. No matter the relationships we had with people when we worked together, once we are retired, the rank goes away, the differences seem to melt a bit and we look at each other as people on the same path. I have learned over the years to bury grudges and really be genuinely concerned with everyone in our line of work and their families. The sacrifices each of us made in the decades of service, the family challenges we all suffer outside of the job, colleges to pay for, family tragedies, illnesses and recoveries, deaths, all of that — we are all just people on the same path with a common thread: We all chose to serve.
I want to take a moment to once again thank all of you for choosing the path that is so undeservingly being disparaged by those whose only history of service is to pick up a picket sign in between lattes. We know there are societal issues. But I will say over and over, police are not to blame, and this country is head and shoulders above the rest of the world in the freedoms we enjoy. I don’t want to beat that horse again, as you all know how I feel and I am preaching to the choir. I just needed to say again how much I admire and respect each of you for the difficult path you have chosen.
We had some very good news this past month, as the LACERA election winners were Les Robbins and Joe Kelly. This is great news, actually. For any of you who don’t think this is great for retirees, watch LACERA more closely, read the emails Les sends out and learn about the dedication those two have to you, the retirees, and not a political agenda. Thank you, Les, for doing what you do!
We also won some key legal issues, including stopping Senate Bill 731, which would have created a decertification process in which an officer’s POST certificate could be revoked. Additionally, it would have removed qualified immunity for peace officers.
The County measure to redirect funds away from law enforcement is turning out to be the next huge battle. The short-sightedness of this measure blows me away, as it does to anyone who understands math. We will continue to fight this measure along with ALADS and other groups.
In other news, Jackie Lacey is in a fight for her career and PPOA continues to support her. She has been good for the legal system, despite claims to the contrary. We were able to help convince the County to cancel its plans to lay off our personnel, as its budget revenues seem to be better than expected. This fight was a tough one, but the commonsense approach of PPOA, the Department and ALADS seemed to have an impact on the Board and the new CEO. It’s always nice to see the glimmer of common sense enter the room, but I tend not to rely on that happening.
I know we all talk about “the good ol’ days,” and I can tell you these days I cringe when watching what our younger brothers and sisters are going through on the job. You can support them by thanking every peace officer you run across, maybe buying one lunch somewhere, getting out and voting in elections, and making your voice heard by politicians who are making terrible decisions just to save their careers. I bet all of us have asked during our careers, “Who would want this job?” That thought goes back to the inception of law enforcement. And each time the question is asked, someone steps up and says, “I do!” Each of us said that at one time.
We need to continually thank those who continue to step up. Ensure that they never regret serving. Take care of them. And this is not just for our sworn members, but the custody assistants, security officers, LETs, crime analysts and all support staff — everyone on the team who tries to make life better.
On a personal note, I’ve started watching the Bosch series on Amazon Prime Video. It’s fun, and the only flaw I have seen is he is LAPD! Really!? So far, the LASD has only been shown when a deputy gave his phone to an inmate to use! Come on now, Mr. Connelly! It’s fun to watch and easy to binge.
I wish you all health and happier times until next we meet or chat.
Thanks for the emails. I know the PPOA site had an error with my email address — it has been fixed.
Until next month!