Personnel within our Department are being transferred and promoted at a rapid rate. Here at PPOA, two vacancies on the Board of Directors were created due to the resignation of Lieutenant Ryan Vienna and the promotion of Captain John Satterfield. I want to welcome Lieutenant Nancy Escobedo, who was appointed to fill the remaining term of Captain Satterfield and makes a great addition to the Board. I also want to welcome Sergeant Jose Rios, who will fill the unexpired term of Lieutenant Vienna and brings a wealth of experience to the Board. The same goes for our Department. I’m sure you see the promotion announcements the Department puts out and the patrol and Sergeant’s School lists scheduled throughout the year. Although there is no additional personnel being hired to backfill these positions, we still need to welcome the change and embrace the fact that there is, and will continue to be, movement.
While we are on the topic of change, the Department has now begun to issue the new Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 weapon to Sheriff’s Security personnel. When it was time for me to exchange my old weapon for the new weapon, I was pleasantly surprised by how organized the process was at Logistics. When it is your time to upgrade, you will need to bring three magazines, your original box, your old duty holster and your clean duty weapon. Don’t make the mistake of bringing in a dirty weapon because you will be waiting in line to clean your weapon there at Logistics. Also, be sure to bring your Department I.D. When I received the new weapon, the most noticeable difference was an aggressive texturing of grip and a reduction in trigger pull weight. The Department’s Weapons Training staff included a disclaimer that the enclosed weapon was test-fired and checked for any issues.
The Community College Bureau held its annual Employee Appreciation Luncheon on April 7. PPOA proudly participated and was one of the sponsors for this worthy event. PPOA staff member Richard Escalante and I were welcomed with open arms and were able to meet the Bureau’s new Captain. As some of you may know, the Community College Bureau has had a trying year and suffered a curtailment and reduction in personnel. I truly enjoyed talking to the personnel who stopped by the PPOA booth.
As I speak to PPOA members in my travels, the question is always asked: “When will the Department hire again?” The simple answer is unknown. We hope it will be later this year, but there has yet to be an exact date or timeframe. Don’t let that stop you from planning a career path. This pandemic will not be forever, and if it is your intention to move up the ladder, I encourage you to do so. We are fortunate to work in a Department that has many positions to choose from. Do what’s best for you.
Finally, some members have asked about contract negotiations. Our current contract expires in September. With the current fiscal state of the County and Department, I presume we will agree on a contract for one additional year with what we have, but with no takeaways. We have been fortunate enough to avoid any layoffs, furloughs or reduction in pay within our Department. Rest assured, we will monitor the situation, and I will keep you updated with information as it comes. Until then, please be safe and take care of your partners and your family.