BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                                                       Bill No:  SB  
          828
          
                 SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION
                           Senator Dean Florez, Chair
                           2007-2008 Regular Session
                                 Staff Analysis


          SB 828  Author:  Padilla
          As Amended:  April 16, 2007
          Hearing Date:  April 24, 2007
          Consultant:  Art Terzakis


                                     SUBJECT  
                        State Fire Marshal: arson dogs 

                                   DESCRIPTION
           
          SB 828 requires the State Fire Marshal (SFM), with guidance  
          and advice from the State Board of Fire Services, to adopt  
          regulations establishing standards for arson dogs and their  
          handlers, based on those set forth in the publication  
          entitled "Accelerant Detection K-9 Team Standards" issued  
          in January 2007, by the California State Firefighters  
          Association.                                                 
                     
                                                                       
                                                                       
                                         
                                   EXISTING LAW

           Existing law requires peace officer and civilian drug  
          detection canine trainers working under the direction of a  
          law enforcement agency to follow specified protocols of  
          behavior.

          The State Fire Marshal (SFM) is responsible for approving  
          regulations and developing building standards that promote  
          fire and life safety for inclusion into Title 24,  
          California Code of Regulations (e.g., Building Code, Fire  
          Code, Electrical Code, Mechanical Code, Plumbing and  
          Historical Building Code, etc.).  In addition to the  
          building standards adopted by the SFM in Title 24, SFM is  
          responsible for other regulations contained in Title 19,  




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          California Code of Regulations.  These regulations govern  
          fire and panic safety, including fire protection systems in  
          all buildings, fireworks, flammable fabric standards, flame  
          retardant chemicals, explosives, gasoline vapor control  
          systems, and hazardous liquid pipeline safety.    

                                    BACKGROUND
           
           History of the Fire Service Dog:  The use of dogs in the  
          fire service dates back to the 18th century when horses  
          were used to pull steam pumpers.  Dalmatians were used to  
          keep the horses company in their stables and to keep them  
          calm at fire scenes until their role diminished into that  
          of a mascot.  Today, man's best friend is playing another  
          important role in the fire service, namely to assist fire  
          investigators in locating evidence of ignitable liquids or  
          accelerants such as petrol, kerosene, diesel fuel, etc.   
          Dogs have also been used successfully for some time in drug  
          and bomb detection.

          A training program initiated in the mid 1980's, as a joint  
          effort between the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and  
          Firearms (BATF) and the Connecticut State Police (CSP),  
          proved to be an unmitigated success when the capability of  
          a Labrador retriever, used by the CSP, to detect the odor  
          of accelerants, exceeded any expectations.  The success of  
          that particular training program resulted in the  
          establishment of various federal, state, local and private  
          K-9 training programs.

           SB 828 (Padilla):   This measure would require the SFM, with  
          guidance and advice from the State Board of Fire Services,  
          to adopt regulations establishing standards for arson dogs  
          and their handlers that are based on those set forth in the  
          publication entitled "Accelerant Detection K-9 Standards"  
          issued January 2007 by the California State Firefighters  
          Association (CSFA).

           CSFA Accelerant Detection K-9 Team Standards January 2007:    
          In September 2006, the CSFA established an Accelerant  
          Detection K-9 advisory group for the purpose of developing  
          acceptable standards for the working Accelerated Detection  
          K-9's in the State of California.  The group looked at  
          several areas relevant to the K-9 program including but not  
          limited to, department selection, handler selection and  
          evaluation, canine selection, fire scene search practices,  




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          blind odor recognition testing, field searches, people  
          searches, and the law, in general, as it pertains to the  
          utilization of K-9's.  The standards developed by the  
          working group are intended to assist fire and police  
          agencies that utilize K-9 teams.  

           Federal Legislation:   H.R. 659, the "Canine Detection  
          Improvement Act of 2007" - this legislation addresses the  
          need for improved and coordinated training, encourages the  
          use of domestic dogs and confronts the need for more dogs  
          by establishing a "Domestic Canine Breeding Grant Program"  
          to increase canine numbers through both public and private  
          means.  H.R. 659 also proposes to create a canine team  
          accreditation board to ensure proper certification  
          standards and to prevent fraud and abuse.   
                                                                       
                                                                       

           SUPPORT:   As of April 19, 2007:

          California State Firefighters Association (sponsor) 
          California Fire Chiefs Association 
          North American Police Work Dog Association 
          California Narcotic Canine Association

           OPPOSE:   None on file as of April 19, 2007.

           FISCAL COMMITTEE:   Senate Appropriations Committee

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