The Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) yesterday joined the California Police Chiefs Association in announcing introduction of a Senate Bill (it hasn’t been assigned a number yet) authored by Senator Anna Caballero, which presents a comprehensive package of changes to California’s use-of-force statutes, law enforcement agency policies, and training.
In 2017, there were 172 law enforcement related deaths in California. In 2018, that number dropped to 114, a 34 percent reduction.
Law enforcement agencies throughout the state have been working for the past six months to develop this series of comprehensive changes designed to reduce incidents where officers respond to serious threats to citizens or are in danger themselves.
“Our goal through SB XXX is to reduce the tragic loss of life in our communities through a policy that protects the public and our peace officers,” said Caballero who represents Ceres in the state Senate.
Current California law is based on parameters set in 1872 for using force against a fleeing felon. Caballero feels the statute is outdated and does not reflect decisions made by the U.S. and California Supreme Courts on use-of-force matters. Moreover, California has not enacted any statutes mandating standardized use of force training, or requirements for agencies internal use of force guidelines. She said her bill addresses these issues while “better protecting private individuals and law enforcement alike.”
This legislation will set first-in-the-nation requirements for departments to adopt use-of-force policies and participate in trainings that include comprehensive and clear guidance related to:
• De-escalation tactics;
• Reasonable alternatives to deadly force;
• Rendering medical aid;
• An officer’s duty to intercede and prevent excessive use of force;
• Interactions with vulnerable population, reporting requirements, and more.
“We are listening to community concerns, and will work collaboratively to increase safeguards that are beneficial for everyone,” said Brian Marvel, president of the PORAC, a labor advocacy for peace officers.