By Shaun Rundle, Legislative & Region Affairs Representative.
For a nearly a year, legislators in Sacramento worked and amended their public safety bills in the hopes of a chance to be sent to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. Well, CPOA and our law enforcement partners have been lobbying these bills for nearly a year too and several of them met their fate last Friday. High cost bills that would have created outrageous mandates on local agencies were defeated. As of yet, there is no indication of whether the public safety topics the bills covered will be tried again in 2018. If they do, CPOA will again be ready on defense.
Last Friday’s Senate and Assembly Suspense File killed several bills that CPOA has been lobbying all year. The following bills were held on Suspense and are now dead:
AB 284 (McCarty D)-Department of Justice: officer-involved shootings: report.
Would, contingent upon the appropriation of funding by the Legislature, require the Department of Justice to conduct a study of all or a sample of peace officer-involved shootings resulting in death or serious injury that occurred in California between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2016. The bill would require the department to prepare a written report describing its findings and recommendations and make the report available to the public.
NOTES: CPOA met with DOJ legislative staff, and the Governor’s office staff over the summer recess and expressed severe concerns not about a study, what but a public release of study data could mean for local agencies.
SB 8 (Beall D)-Diversion: mental disorders.
Would authorize a court, with the consent of the defendant and a waiver of the defendant’s speedy trial right, to postpone prosecution of a misdemeanor or a felony punishable in a county jail, and place the defendant in a pretrial diversion program for up to 2 years if the court is satisfied the defendant suffers from a mental disorder, that the defendant’s mental disorder played a significant role in the commission of the charged offense, and that the defendant would benefit from mental health treatment.
SB 21 (Hill D)-Law enforcement agencies: surveillance: policies.
Would, beginning July 1, 2018, require each law enforcement agency, as defined, to submit to its governing body at a regularly scheduled hearing, open to the public, a proposed Surveillance Use Policy for the use of each type of surveillance technology and the information collected, as specified. The bill would require the law enforcement agency to cease using the surveillance technology within 30 days if the proposed plan is not adopted. The bill would require the law enforcement agency to submit an amendment to the surveillance plan, pursuant to the same open meeting requirements, for each new type of surveillance technology sought to be used.
NOTES: CPOA met with Senator Hill’s office as early as February and March to discuss problems with this bill, and despite its various amendments, stayed opposed and lobbied hard to see the bill defeated.
Ideally these authors would get the picture that these topics would be defeated again if tried in 2018, but history tells us that the Legislature keeps trying. The voice of law enforcement, however, is always there to answer.