February 2011 Board Meeting

By Richard Berkery

The first SCOPO meeting of 2011 was held on February 25, 2011, at the historic Citizen Hotel in Sacramento. The meeting followed SCOPO Attorney, Chris Miller, teaching a POBR (Peace Officer Bill of Rights) class.

President Paul Brennan opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence for fallen Peace Offices, Armed Forces and Legislative Advocate Jim Frayne.

Legislative Advocate, Alberto Torrico, introduced Assembly Member Roger Dickinson (District 9). He chairs the Delinquency and Youth Committee, and he is an advocate for more prevention as it pertains to potential youth at risk. Assembly Member Dickinson discussed the state budget and the Governor's proposed cuts. He also commented on the Realignment of the State's Parole System.

The next speaker was newly elected Assembly Member Richard Pan (District 5). Assembly Member Pan emphasized the hard work and thanked the Probation Peace Officers throughout the State for the important service that they provide, especially in these difficult economic times. He mentioned that early prevention could result in curtailing juvenile delinquency. 

President Paul Brennan introduce Sacramento County Chief Probation Officer, Don Meyer. Chief Meyer, and all of the state's Chief Probation Officers, are very concerned about the funding stream for county probation departments. He added that SCOPO and its members should become politically active.

The final guest speaker was Melinda Silva, President of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Ms. Silva talked about how the proposed alignment would impact Parole and Probation throughout the state.

Paul officially introduced newly hired lobbying group Capital Advocacy. Legislative Advocate, Alberto Torrico suggest what he believes SCOPO needs to do as a plan for action in 2011, and for the future.

The present Board Members gave Round Table reports. Kate Bell, of Capitol Advocacy, addressed the State's budget process, including critical timelines, which might include various initiatives on a statewide ballot for Sales Tax extensions.

Various Executive Board reports were presented by Treasurer Travis Rowe, Legislative Vice President Rich Berkery and Paul Brennan, which included a contract with Capital Advocacy Lobbying Group and the present Members approved this.

Several suggestion were made to keep Jim Frayne's memory alive, including a commemorative bench near the State's Capitol building and a youth scholarship. Dates were presented for 2011 Board meetings. 

Be careful out there!