BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  SB 902
          Author:   Padilla (D)
          Amended:  1/28/08
          Vote:     21

           SENATE GOVERNMENTAL ORG. COMMITTEE  :  5-0, 1/8/08
          AYES:  Florez, Maldonado, Negrete McLeod, Wiggins, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Battin, Vincent, Wyland, Vacancy

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  11-1, 1/24/08
          AYES:  Torlakson, Cox, Aanestad, Ashburn, Kuehl, Oropeza,  
            Runner, Simitian, Steinberg, Wyland, Yee
          NOES:  Battin
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Cedillo, Corbett, Dutton, Florez,  

           SUBJECT  :    Firefighters:  accelerant detecting dogs

           SOURCE  :     Author

           DIGEST  :    This bill requires the State Fire Marshal to  
          work with recognized statewide fire investigation entities  
          to update on or before January 1, 2011, standards and  
          procedures governing the use of accelerant detecting dogs  
          and their handlers.

           ANALYSIS  :    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.  In addition, there are standards to  


                                                                SB 902

          guide the use of accelerant detection canines and their  

          The State Fire Marshal (SFM) is responsible for approving  
          regulations and developing building standards that promote  
          fire and life safety for inclusion in 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, the SFM is  
          responsible for other regulations contained in Title  
          19-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  

          This bill:

          1. Requires the SFM, in conjunction with recognized  
             statewide fire investigation entities, including, but  
             not limited to, the California State Firefighters'  
             Association, to update and amend standards and  
             procedures for accelerant detecting dogs and their  

          2. Requires that these standards and procedures be updated  
             and amended on or before January 1, 2011, and include  
             among other things, dog selection, department and  
             handler selection and evaluation, fire scene practices,  
             blind odor recognition testing, and statutes and  
             regulations relating to the use of accelerant detecting  

          3. Requires the SFM, in updating and amending these  
             standards, to consider information and publications by  
             recognized statewide fire investigation entities,  
             including, but not limited to, the California State  
             Firefighters' Association. 


          California State Firefighters' Association Accelerant  


                                                               SB 902

          Detection K-9 Team Standards  .  In September 2006, the  
          Association 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, 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.  

           Prior legislation  .  SB 828 (Padilla), 2007-08 Session,  
          nearly identical to this bill, passed the Senate Floor with  
          a vote of 39-0 on August 30, 2007, but was vetoed.  The  
          Governor's veto message stated that the bill was  
          unnecessary due to the fact that CAL FIRE [Department of  
          Forestry and Fire Protection] and the SFM have existing  
          authority to update their standards and certification  
          requirements as they deem appropriate.  The veto message  
          also indicated that the Governor intended to direct the SFM  
          to review the current standards and, if necessary, work  
          with all interested stakeholders to update and amend  
          standards to reflect the latest applicable fire  
          investigative techniques.  

          The author's office emphasizes that adequately trained dogs  
          and handlers are crucial to a credible arson investigation  
          that can hold up in court.  In order not to compromise the  
          efficiency of fire investigations and the reliability that  
          court cases are not compromised due to inadequately trained  
          arson dogs or handlers the author's office believes that it  
          is important that the state update and amend, when  
          necessary, existing standards for the use of arson dogs. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:


                                                                SB 902

                          Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

             Major Provisions                2007-08     2008-09     
             2009-10               Fund  

            Update arson dog              $25 to $100  

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  1/28/08)

          American Federation of State, County and Municipal  

          TSM:mw  1/28/08   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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