BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1296
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   June 22, 2010
          Counsel:        Gabriel Caswell


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                    SB 1296 (Correa) - As Amended:  April 7, 2010

           
          SUMMARY  :  Provides for education of law enforcement in the areas  
          of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress  
          disorder (PTSD).  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Requires Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training  
            (POST) to meet with the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA)  
            and community, local, or other state organizations and  
            agencies that have expertise in the area of TBI and PTSD in  
            order to assess the training needed by peace officers, who are  
            first responders in emergency situations, on the topic of  
            returning veterans or other persons suffering from TBI or  
            PTSD. 

          2)States that if POST determines that there is an unfulfilled  
            need for training on TBI and PTSD, the Commission shall  
            determine the training format that is both fiscally  
            responsible and meets the training needs of the greatest  
            number of officers.

          3)States that if POST determines that there is an unfulfilled  
            need for training on TBI and PTSD, the Commission, upon the  
            next regularly scheduled review of a training module relating  
            to persons with disabilities, shall create and make available  
            on DVD and may distribute electronically, or provide by means  
            of another form or method of training, a course on how to  
            recognize and interact with returning veterans or other  
            persons suffering from TBI or PTSD.  This course shall be  
            designed for, and made available to, peace officers who are  
            first responders to emergency situations.

          4)Requires the training course to be developed by the commission  
            in consultation with DVA and appropriate community, local, or  
            other state organizations and agencies that have expertise in  
            the area of TBI and PTSD.  POST would be required to make the  
            course available to law enforcement agencies in California.








                                                                  SB 1296
                                                                  Page  2


          5)Requires POST to distribute, as necessary, a training bulletin  
            via the Internet to law enforcement agencies participating in  
            POST's program on the topic of TBI and PTSD.

          6)Specifies that POST shall report to the Legislature, no later  
            than June 30, 2012, on the extent to which peace officers are  
            receiving adequate training in how to interact with persons  
            suffering from TBI or PTSD.

          7)Provides that its requirement for submitting a report is  
            inoperative on June 30, 2016, as specified.

          8)Requires that the report is to be submitted as a printed copy  
            to both the Legislative Counsel and the Secretary of the  
            Senate, and as an electronic copy to the Chief Clerk of the  
            Assembly, and made available to the public in compliance with  
            the Government Code, as specified.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)States that by July 1, 2006, POST shall establish and keep  
            updated a continuing education classroom training course  
            relating to law enforcement interaction with mentally disabled  
            persons.  The training course shall be developed by POST in  
            consultation with appropriate community, local, and state  
            organizations and agencies that have expertise in the area of  
            mental illness and developmental disability, and with  
            appropriate consumer and family advocate groups.  In  
            developing the course, POST shall also examine existing  
            courses certified by POST that relate to mentally disabled  
            persons.  POST shall make the course available to law  
            enforcement agencies in California.  [Penal Code Section  
            13515.25(a).]  

          2)Provides the course shall consist of classroom instruction and  
            shall utilize interactive training methods to ensure that the  
            training is as realistic as possible.  The course shall  
            include, at a minimum, core instruction in all of the  
            following [Penal Code Section 13515.25(b)]:

             a)   The cause and nature of mental illnesses and  
               developmental disabilities;

             b)   How to identify indicators of mental disability and how  








                                                                  SB 1296
                                                                  Page  3

               to respond appropriately in a variety of common situations;

             c)   Conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques for  
               potentially dangerous situations involving mentally  
               disabled persons;

             d)   Appropriate language usage when interacting with  
               mentally disabled persons;

             e)   Alternatives to lethal force when interacting with  
               potentially dangerous mentally disabled persons;

             f)   Community and state resources available to serve  
               mentally disabled persons and how these resources can be  
               best utilized by law enforcement to benefit the mentally  
               disabled community; and,

             g)   The fact that a crime committed in whole or in part  
               because of an actual or perceived disability of the victim  
               is a specified hate crime.

          3)States POST shall submit a report to the Legislature by  
            October 1, 2004, that shall include all of the following  
            [Penal Code Section 13515.25(c)]:

             a)   A description of the process by which the course was  
               established, including a list of the agencies and groups  
               that were consulted.

             b)   Information on the number of law enforcement agencies  
               that utilized, and the number of officers that attended,  
               the course or other courses certified by POST relating to  
               mentally disabled persons from July 1, 2001, to July 1,  
               2003, inclusive.

             c)   Information on the number of law enforcement agencies  
               that utilized, and the number of officers that attended,  
               courses certified by POST relating to mentally disabled  
               persons from July 1, 2000, to July 1, 2001, inclusive.

             d)   An analysis of the Police Crisis Intervention Training  
               Program used by the San Francisco and San Jose Police  
               Departments, to assess the training used in these programs  
               and compare it with existing courses offered by POST in  
               order to evaluate the adequacy of mental disability  








                                                                  SB 1296
                                                                  Page  4

               training available to local law enforcement officers.

          4)States the Legislature encourages law enforcement agencies to  
            include the course created in this section, and any other  
            course certified by the commission relating to mentally  
            disabled persons, as part of their advanced officer training  
            program.  [Penal Code Section 13515.25(d).] 

          5)States legislative intent to reevaluate, on the basis of its  
            review of the report, the extent to which law enforcement  
            officers are receiving adequate training in how to interact  
            with mentally disabled persons.  [Penal Code Section  
            13515.25(e).]  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "TBI and PTSD  
            have been identified as the 'signature injuries' and 'silent  
            epidemics' affecting an increasing number of veterans  
            returning from recent military conflicts.  It has been  
            estimated that 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are  
            afflicted with PTSD.  Persons with TBI are often referred to  
            as the 'walking wounded.'  Their injuries, mostly unnoticeable  
            at first sight, pose certain challenges to those who come in  
            contact with them.  TBI and PTSD symptoms can sometimes  
            include behaviors of anger, hostility, and aggression.

           "SB 1296 will provide the necessary tools for peace officers  
            who are first responders to emergency situations to recognize  
            and interact with returning veterans or other persons  
            suffering from TBI and PTSD." 

           2)Background  :  According to the background submitted by the  
            author, "The Center for Disease Control estimates that 5.3  
            million Americans have long-term or lifelong disabilities  
            associated with TBI, including 350,000 Californians.   
            Approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. die every year from  
            TBI.  It has been estimated that 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan  
            war veterans are afflicted with PTSD.  Current California law  
            does not provide for peace officers who are emergency first  
            responders to receive training on how to recognize and  
            interact with persons suffering from TBI or PTSD.









                                                                  SB 1296
                                                                  Page  5

          "According the DVA, over two million veterans live in California  
            - the largest number in the nation.  California veteran's  
            households represent more than 10 percent of the state's total  
            population.

          "The Brain Injury Association of America defines 'TBI' as a blow  
            or jolt to the head that can temporarily or permanently  
            diminish a person's physical abilities, impair cognitive  
            skills, and interfere with emotional and behavioral  
            well-being. 

          "Statistics from the U.S. Department of Defense show that, since  
            2001, approximately 1.64 million U.S. troops have deployed as  
            part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in and around  
            Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in Iraq.  As of  
            April 2010, over 37,000 U.S. service members have been wounded  
            in action in OIF and OEF combined.  Approximately 50 percent  
            of injuries sustained by troops in OIF were due to explosive  
            blasts.  These blasts shake or compress the brain within the  
            skull, often resulting in damage to brain tissue that can  
            range from mild to devastating and permanent, creating a  
            condition also known as 'TBI'.  According to the Defense and  
            Veterans Brain Injury Center, from January, 2003 to February,  
            2007, from all wounded soldiers evacuated from the battlefield  
            and treated at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in  
            Washington, DC, 29 percent sustained TBI. 

          "Unlike previous recent wars (Vietnam and Korea), service  
            members are experiencing multiple deployments, increasing the  
            psychological toll developed by continuous deployment  
            experiences and constant exposure to improvised explosive  
            devices while in combat.  According to the U.S. DVA, close to  
            30 percent of the troops deployed to OEF and OIF develop  
            serious mental health problems within three to four months of  
            returning home, including PTSD.  

          "In 2007, an article by the Journal of Rehabilitation Research  
            and Development of the DVA (JRRD-DVA) reviewed emerging  
            literature on the specific subject of concussive injuries in  
            the military related to PTSD and PTSD-like symptoms related to  
            TBI and concussion.  Subsequently, a comprehensive RAND study  
            released in 2008, 'The Invisible Wounds of War,' compiled data  
            from the JRRD-DVA article and other sources on the same  
            subject that 'strongly suggests that even mild TBI may have  
            long-term mental health and medical consequences and symptoms  








                                                                  SB 1296
                                                                  Page  6

            are often comorbid with PTSD, depression, and post-traumatic  
            visual syndrome that can further confound diagnosis and  
            treatment.'  Furthermore, the RAND study concluded:  'A  
            substantial number of injuries in our returning troops involve  
            the head and are caused by a neurologically damaging explosive  
            blast.  The traumatic nature of injuries in the combat  
            environment is leading to increased presence of PTSD.  Future  
            research should focus on key issues in this area, including  
            evaluating the effect of mild TBI on the symptomatic features  
            and PTSD development and exploring optimal identification of  
            and treatments for PTSD after mild TBI.' "

           3)Argument in Support  :  According to the  California Brain Injury  
            Association  , "[i]f passed, this bill will provide necessary  
            training for peace officers, often the first responders to  
            emergencies.  The training will educate the peace officers how  
            to identify persons suffering from TBI and PSTD and minimize  
            the potential for additional injury and incarceration."  

           4)Prior Legislation  :  SB 1531 (Correa), Chapter 621, Statutes of  
            2008, requires POST to distribute electronically a course on  
            how to recognize and interact with persons with autistic  
            spectrum disorders.  
           
          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          American Legion, Department of California 
          AMVETS California 
          California Brain Injury Association 
          Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council   

           Opposition 
           
          None
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Gabriel Caswell / PUB. S. / (916)  
          319-3744