Public Safety Organizations Drafting UOF Legislation

By Shaun Rundle, Deputy Director.

It is no secret that Assembly member Shirley Weber will be introducing a 2019 version of AB 931 on the topic of use of force. In preparation for such legislation and to serve as an alternative for legislators in the Capitol, CPOA is part of a law enforcement coalition drafting not only Use of Force legislation that will deal with the legal aspects, but separate legislation regarding de-escalation techniques in local agency policies.

When it became clear in August that AB 931 would not pass, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) noted that the issue would be revisited in 2019, but urged an approach “without jeopardizing the safety of law enforcement officers.” Putting officer and the public in danger was one of CPOA’s main points of opposition to AB 931. Anticipation 2019’s approach, however, law enforcement groups have been holding meetings to discuss alternatives.

These meetings have resulted in discussions over legal statutes as well as Use of Force policy guidelines for agencies to consider. Ongoing discussions surrounding AB 931 during its 2018 journey through the Legislature consisted of concerns for training, and more importantly funding for training. POST received some monies in the FY 2018-19 Budget for de-escalation training, but it was a severe drop in the bucket compared to what it would cost agencies to training all personnel and backfill overtime and administrative expenses.

The next coalition call on UOF statute and policy proposals will take place this week, and CPOA members will be updated on the outcome and progress of the call. The hope is to have legislation ready to be introduced after the New Year.