Posted on Saturday, August 01, 2009 at 12:00PM
Posted by Andy Schenker

During these unprecedented and difficult financial times, many of us are understandably troubled by the lack of financial reliability in what previously seemed to be strong, stable institutions. More than a year ago, we began to see bank closures, the crumbling of financial institutions, and the start of government bailouts. Today, we hear of our departments forcing unpaid furloughs, or even worse, imposing layoffs. In this recent experience, it is no wonder that we can begin to question the financial strength of the institutions upon which we have come to rely every day.

The LDF board of trustees reviews the financial integrity of PORAC – LDF at every meeting, as the first and most important item. At each meeting, we discuss our investment strategy, bank stability, and expenditures. Over the last year or so, in response to the instability of the financial market, we acted to protect the Fund’s assets by ensuring they remained in safe, low-risk investments. While the downside of low risk investments can be a lower return, I am pleased to report and to reassure each of you that PORAC – LDF survived last year’s market tumbles virtually unscathed, and remains a financially strong and viable trust fund.

A second great financial challenge LDF has weathered has been the unprecedented number of criminal prosecutions we are presently defending.

Last month, I reported on the record-breaking number of criminal prosecutions we are seeing. As one could imagine, these cases are some of the most expensive to defend, as we expect and see our panel attorneys putting a great effort into protecting the liberty of our members.

Against this challenge, LDF has the benefit of a large member base (over 84,000 now) to spread out these costs. After all is said and done, notwithstanding the financial market challenges coupled with an alarmingly high rate of criminal prosecutions, PORAC – LDF maintains very solid net reserves of approximately $7 million.

Stability and reliability are the cornerstones of our Legal Defense Fund. Fiscally conservative investment strategies, coupled with a large and growing membership base, will continue to ensure that each of us can rely and trust that should we ever need it, PORAC – LDF and its financial resources will be there to protect us in our worst of times.

PORAC Legal Defense Administrator Ed Fishman Testimony: Law Enforcement Use of Body Cameras.