Houlton Sector, Maine


Last Updated: April 10, 2015

General Overview

Coverage under the PORAC (Peace Officers Research Association California) Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is a benefit available only to dues paying      members of Local 2349.  The use of the plan is governed by its plan document and the plan that Local 2349 belongs to; currently Plan II. In short, the legal plan provides full legal coverage all critical incidents, criminal allegations and investigations, and lawsuits filed against a member of Local 2349, provided the union member was acting "within the scope of his authority" at the time the incident/event occurred (be sure to read the plan document for more specific information). The plan does not cover private matters or matters that are outside your "scope of employment" such as drinking and driving charges, drug possession, or any other action that you, as an agent, should not be doing.  In instances when the attorneys are activated and it is warranted (i.e. critical incidents), they will respond in a very short time to the scene, usually arriving before local authorities and the sector evidence team.  This page is mean to serve as a guide for the union representative (and member in part) in determining when/if PORAC LDF should be activated. 

In general, when in doubt, the eligible union member should personally activate PORAC LDF by calling  1-800-255-5610 or 209-948-1049.  PORAC LDF will then check the callers union membership and make an initial determination, usually in favor of the member, as to whether coverage will be granted; provided he/she is a member of Local 2349.  Continuing coverage is always determined pursuant to the plan document.  When or if there is a conflict or question regarding determinations of continuing legal coverage, PORAC LDF will work with the union to make a suitable determination.  If a non-member calls PORAC LDF seeking coverage, the non-member will be denied coverage without question.  If a case arises in which a non-member was mistakenly granted initial coverage, that error will be automatically discovered upon a cross-check by the union treasurer.  PORAC LDF and or the servicing attorneys will then seek to recover fees from the non-member directly.  If the non-member refuses to pay, the union, PORAC LDF, and servicing attorneys will initiate civil action to recover the monies and suitable court fees.  Union representatives:  please note that union members and non-members should be segregated prior to the arrival of attorneys on the scene.  The attorneys will not deal with non-members under any circumstances.

Assignment of Legal Counsel

Local 2349 deals exclusively with the law firm of (Please contact your local rep for current info).  Under no circumstances are union members authorized to secure different legal counsel unless they are willing to pay their own legal expenses.  If non-authorized legal counsel is used by the union member, the union will most likely remove itself from any aspect of the matter.  This is necessary in order to protect other union members.  However, the union will monitor the case and must approve any administrative settlements or negotiations arising from issue.  In other words, Local 2349 remains the final deciding authority on whether to accept any settlement or agreement between the agency and the bargaining unit member, regardless of union membership.  This is also the case for non-members.  Local 2349 remains a party to all non-member issues and settlements, which must still be approved by Local 2349.

Union Rep PORAC LDF Protocol:  Critical Incidents

A critical incident may be in the form of a shooting resulting in death or injury, an accident which occurs as a result of a vehicle pursuit in which an injury occurs or an assault in which an agent defends himself causing the suspect great bodily harm.  Since there is no way we can list every possible circumstance, union representatives need to use their discretion, or when in doubt or if no representative is immediately available, the union member should activate PORAC for guidance.


Stay calm

Do not interfere with or contaminate the scene

Cooperate with management officials unless such cooperation is detrimental to the union member or infringes upon the union members rights. (Note:  Many management officials do not understand the rights of agents or may not have any experience or training in handling these types of events).

Isolate the agent (s)

Do not question the agent about the incident

Preserve any physical evidence on the agent- give to proper authorities

Segregate the members from the non-members (attorneys will not talk to non-members or with non-members present)

Do not leave the affected agent (s) side

Call 1-800-255-5610

  Be prepared to provide detailed information to the PORAC LDF operator, including::

Exact Name (s) of union members and SSN's (if possible)

Exact time and location of the incident

Your name and union position

Exact nature of the incident

Current (and exact) location of the members and the location where they are being moved to or may be moved to

The phone number at your location including an extension if applicable

Your mobile phone numbers or pager number

The mobile phone or pager of the affected agent (s)

Notify: A Local 2349 Executive Board member.

Be prepared to coordinate with the responding attorney

Union Rep PORAC LDF Protocol:  Civil Actions

When a union member is served with a notice that he or she is being sued, it is imperative that they immediately contact PORAC LDF.  When in doubt, the union representative or union member should contact PORAC LDF for guidance.


Direct the union member to contact PORAC immediately (within 24 hours of receiving the notice)

Follow up with the union member

It is the union members responsibility to contact PORAC LDF in civil matters.  If the union member fails to contact PORAC in a timely manner, the attorneys may not have enough time to make the initial response. 

PORAC LDF will assign the member a case number and put him in touch with the attorneys


The respective Lead Union Representative at your station

Union Rep PORAC LDF Protocol:  Criminal Matters

When a union member is notified of a pending criminal investigation or allegation of which they are the target or subject, it is imperative that action be taken immediately.  When in doubt, the union representative or union member should contact PORAC for guidance.  If a union member receives a Miranda rights advisory under any circumstances, the matter is considered criminal. 


Direct the union member to contact PORAC LDF immediately (within 24 hours of receiving a NTA (Notice to Appear) or official notice notifying the union member that he or she is the subject or target of a criminal investigation)

PORAC LDF will assign the member a case number and put him in touch with the attorneys

It is the union members responsibility to contact PORAC in criminal matters.  If the union member waits until an hour before the scheduled interview, there may be a problem with getting an attorney scheduled  in time.


Many agents who are the target of a criminal investigation or allegation want to tell their story to everyone.  The circumstances or issues regarding the criminal matter are of no relevance to you as a union representative of Local 2349.  Direct the member to PORAC