Salas’ police reform bill heads to governor’s desk

​Assembly Bill (AB) 1299​ has successfully passed the California State Legislature with strong, bipartisan support. AB 1299, authored by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), is a law enforcement reform effort that will help prevent local departments from hiring officers who have a history of serious misconduct.

“We need to ensure that our local police departments are hiring officers who will serve our community honestly and with dignity,” said Assemblymember Salas. “It is unacceptable that some officers are able to hide their past and are not held accountable. I am pleased to see bipartisan support for this reform effort – taxpayers should not be on the hook for the actions of bad cops. I urge the Governor to make this bill law so that police department scan make informed decisions and root out bad cops who get shuffled between departments. Our community deserves honorable officers who will protect and serve.”

Last year, it ​was reported​ that the City of McFarland hired at least 13 officers who had trouble at other agencies.

In some situations, law enforcement agencies may not be aware of an officer’s past misconduct due to the tactic of resigning in lieu of termination. This practice describes a situation where an officer, who is being investigated for misconduct, resigns before the investigation is complete.

When an officer resigns in lieu of termination, their investigation usually stops and never concludes. This practice allows such officers to make lateral moves and apply to work at a different agency.

AB 1299 will address these issues by requiring law enforcement agencies to complete misconduct investigations and notify the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) of its findings so that they can include this information to be available to superiors when they conduct pre-employment background checks.

AB 1299 will now head to the Governor’s desk.

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