BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 128
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 10, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                 AB 128 (Bradford) - As Introduced:  January 15, 2013

          Policy Committee:                              Public  
          SafetyVote:  6-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               

           SUMMARY  

          This bill places Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) peace  
          officers within an enhanced category of peace officers (Penal  
          Code 830.1, rather than 830.33) whose authority extends to any  
          place within California without restrictions on arrest powers or  
          the right to be armed. This bill declares a special law is  
          necessary and that a general law is not applicable due to the  
          special circumstances at L.A. International Airport.  

          (PC 830.33 status - Bay Area Rapid Transit police, harbor or  
          port police other than San Diego and L.A., transit, airport or  
          railroad police - generally limits authority to any place in the  
          state only for the purpose of performing their primary duties,  
          and requires firearm authorization from the employing entity. PC  
          830.1 officers are generally city police and county sheriffs'  
          department officers, as well as L.A. and San Diego harbor and  
          port police.)  

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Unknown ongoing special fund costs, potentially in excess of  
          $150,000, to the extent the proposed upgrade in peace officer  
          category results in state reimbursement from the Commission on  
          Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to LAWA for  
          special/enhanced tactical training, which qualifies for partial  
          POST reimbursement (Peace Officers Training Fund).

          While all LAWAPD officers met full POST training standards, and  
          while selection and training standards for both entities are  
          virtually identical, it is the enhanced duties and authority of  
          PC 830.1 status that creates the potential for additional POST  








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          reimbursement. POST reimbursement varies depending on  
          circumstances, but ranges from travel and per diem, to  
          backfilling the employing agency. For example, the specialized  
          training in the following areas would be required for at least  
          some officers:

                 Detective training related to major crimes.
                 Firearm seizure. 
                 Explosives; bomb squad. 
                 Special Weapons and Training (SWAT) teams.

            COMMENTS  

           1)Rationale  . The author references a 2005 Commission on Peace  
            Officers Standards and Training (POST) study that recommended  
            LAWA officers be granted PC 830.1 status.    

            According to the author, "Currently, LAWA Police Officers are  
            to perform their duties under Penal Code 830.33.  Since 9/11,  
            stricter security measures have been employed in airports  
            around the nation to ensure the security of travelers,  
            airports and cities alike.  However, LAX is in a very unique  
            situation since it handles approximately 65 million people  
            annually.  It is the 3rd largest airport in the world in terms  
            of passenger volume and deemed as one of the state's top  
            terrorist targets. 

            "Although LAWA peace officers receive the same level of police  
            academy training as LAPD, in addition to aviation security  
            training, they are not given the statutory authority to  
            undertake specific actions in certain scenarios.  LAWA peace  
            officers are the first responders to the scene of any dispute,  
            accident, or incident arising in its jurisdiction.   
            Disappointingly, if say a domestic dispute arises in the  
            Manchester area, a LAWA peace officer does not have the legal  
            authority to seize firearms or other deadly weapons at the  
            scene of the argument.  Additionally, existing law does not  
            allow LAWA police to perform many operations considered vital  
            to the continual protection and function of the airports."

           2)POST Feasibility Study  .  POST conducts feasibility studies  
            when a change of peace officer designation is requested.   
            Almost a decade ago LAWA requested a change from Penal Code  
            Section 830.33 to Penal Code Section 830.1.  POST completed  
            its study on June 1, 2005 and recommended LAWA police officers  








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            be designated Penal Code 830.1 peace officers. The report  
            cited duties requiring the additional Penal Code Section 830  
            authority, including the need to:

             a)   Possess explosives for training canines for bomb  
               detection.
             b)   Seize explosives and incendiary devices, including  
               unclassified explosives.
             c)   Possess diversionary devices to immediately control  
               airport incidents.
             d)   Conduct background investigations on specified airport  
               workers. 
             e)   Seize deadly weapons at the scene of domestic violence  
               calls.
             f)   Prevention of gridlock on roads leading to and from  
               airports.
             g)   Prevention, enforcement and investigation of laws  
               regarding false bomb reports.

           3)The somewhat contentious history between LAPD and LAWAPD  
            factions continues  . 
             
             LAWAPD has about 1,050 employees, including about 420 peace  
            officers. It appears to be the largest airport PD in the  
            nation. LAPD has about 13,000 employees, including about  
            10,000 peace officers. It is the third largest PD in the  
            nation, behind NYC and Chicago. 

            Several attempts have been made to merge LAWAPD into the LAPD  
            in the past 40 years, with dueling pro-merger studies and  
            anti-merger studies. Most recently, a 2005 merger ballot  
            proposal was defeated, following release of a city-sponsored  
            report by CTI Consulting, which recommended against a merger. 

            In 2011, The Report of the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Commission on  
            Airport Security made almost 200 recommendations, none  
            specifically endorsing or opposing a merger or a change in  
            peace officer status. 

            Pro and anti-merger discussions continue in various quarters.  
            A 2012 report on terrorist response capability in the L.A.  
            region authored by Brian Jenkins, a Senior Advisor to the  
            President of the RAND Corporation, recommends the LAWAPD be  
            assimilated in to the LAPD. 









                                                                  AB 128
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            Jenkins notes, "Turf wars among police departments are not  
            uncommon. The tensions between the LAWAPD and the LAPD are  
            inherent in the differing organizational cultures of the two  
            departments. The differences may be exacerbated by the  
            LAWAPD's resentment of what it perceives as the LAPD's  
            dismissive attitude toward the LAWAPD and by fear of ultimate  
            absorption by the much larger LAPD - not surprising, given  
            repeated attempts to take over the LAWAPD."

            Jenkins acknowledges his assimilation recommendation is  
            "hardly a new idea and it has failed before due to a variety  
            of reasons unconnected with organizational logic."

           4)Should the Legislature await LAPD/LAWAPD merger direction from  
            the new mayor  
            and another potential city-wide ballot measure before deciding  
            whether a change of peace officer status for the existing  
            LAWAPD is necessary or desirable?

           5)Support.  Proponents, including the Peace Officers Research  
            Association of California (PORAC), and the LAWAPD Chief and  
            officers' union generally cite the POST study rationale. 

            According to LAWAPD Chief Patrick Gannon, "In this post-911  
            era, California law enforcement/public safety agencies have  
            developed powerful partnerships based on the premise that not  
            one agency can do it alone. These partnerships have lowered  
            crime and enhanced our abilities to respond to emergencies  
            quicker and more efficiently. To further enhance these  
            partnerships, it is important to insure that our LA Airport  
            Police officers be granted the authority that comes by being  
            reclassified under PC 830.1." 

           6)Opposition.  Opponents, including the L.A. Police Protective  
            League (PPL) and the Riverside Sheriffs' Association, cite  
            cost and potential consolidation concerns. The LAPPL states,  
            "Passage of AB 128 will make consolidation more difficult to  
            achieve. The City of LA has ONE (sic) primary law enforcement  
            agency responsible for policing the City's 470 square miles.  
            Altering that structure would have a negative impact on public  
            safety. In the final analysis, the ONLY (sic) support  
            recommending that the LAWA Police become 830.1 officers with  
            statewide jurisdiction is the outdated 2005 POST Report?

            "AB 128 is premature in creating a "special statute" for the  








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          City of LA. The LAPPL                                        
          maintains this issue should be legislatively considered ONLY  
          AFTER (sic) the City of LA                                  has  
          considered and made its policy decisions regarding public safety  
          and security at LAX."

           7)Previous Legislation  . 

             a)   AB 2137 (Bradford), 2012, identical to this bill, was  
               held on this committee's Suspense File. 
             b)   AB 1377 (Butler), 2011, similar to this bill, was held  
               on this committee's Suspense File. 
             c)   AB 1882 (Frommer), 2006, similar to this bill, was held  
               in Senate Public Safety. 

                Analysis Prepared by  :    Geoff Long / APPR. / (916)  
               319-2081