BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                            Senator Loni Hancock, Chair              A
                             2013-2014 Regular Session               B

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          AB 128 (Bradford)                                           
          As Introduced January 15, 2013 
          Hearing date:  June 25, 2013
          Penal Code                     VOTE ONLY
           SM:mc

                              LOS ANGELES AIRPORT POLICE  

                                       HISTORY

          Source:  Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers' Association

          Prior Legislation: AB 2137 (Bradford) - 2012, held on suspense  
          in Assembly Appropriations
                       AB 1377 (Butler) - 2011, held on suspense in  
          Assembly Appropriations
                       AB 1882 (Frommer) - 2006, died in Senate Public  
          Safety

          Support: Airport Police Command Officer's Association of Los  
                   Angeles; Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport  
                   Congestion (ARSAC); Barstow Police Officer's  
                   Association (BPOA); Los Angeles Police Chief; Chula  
                   Vista Police Officers Association; Deputy Sheriff's  
                   Association of Alameda County; Eric Garcetti, Los  
                   Angeles City Councilmember; Fresno Deputy Sheriff's  
                   Association; Gardena Police Officer's Association;  
                   Mayor of Inglewood; Inglewood Police Officers  
                   Association; Irwindale Police Officer's Association;  
                   Chief of Police of the Los Angeles World Airports; Los  
                   Angeles Detention Officers Association; Los Angeles  
                   Airport Police Supervisor's Association; Chief of Los  
                   Angeles Port Police; Neighborhood Council of  




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                   Westchester Playa; Oakland Police Officers Association;  
                   Peace Officers Research Association of California  
                   (PORAC); San Bernardino Police Officers Association;  
                   Torrance Police Officers' Association; Tulare County  
                   DSA; Westchester Democratic Club

          Opposition:Los Angeles Police Protective League; Riverside  
          Sheriffs Association

          Assembly Floor Vote:  Ayes  62 - Noes  4



                                         KEY ISSUE
           
          SHOULD THE PEACE OFFICER STATUS OF AIRPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS  
          REGULARLY EMPLOYED BY LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORT BE CHANGED TO PEACE  
          OFFICERS WHOSE AUTHORITY EXTENDS TO ANY PLACE IN CALIFORNIA, AS  
          SPECIFIED?



                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to (1) change the peace officer  
          status of airport law enforcement officers regularly employed by  
          Los Angeles World Airport to peace officers whose authority  
          extends to any place in California, as specified; and (2) define  
          "LAWA" as the department of the City of Los Angeles that owns  
          and operates the Los Angeles International Airport, the Ontario  
          International Airport, the Palmdale Regional Airport and the Van  
          Nuys Airport.
                                          
           Current law  provides that the following are peace officers, who  
          may carry firearms only if authorized and under terms and  
          conditions specified by their employing agency, whose authority  
          extends to any place in California for the purpose of performing  
          their primary duty, or when making an arrest for a public  
          offense where there is immediate danger to a person or property  




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          or to prevent the perpetrator's escape, as specified, or during  
          a state of emergency, as specified:

                 Members of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit  
               District Police Department if their primary duty is  
               enforcement of the law in or about property owned, operated  
               or  administered by the district or when performing a  
               necessary duty with respect to patrons, employees and  
               properties of the district. 
                 Harbor or port police if their primary duty is  
               enforcement of law in or about property owned, operated or  
               administered by harbor or port or when performing a  
               necessary duty with respect to patrons, employees and  
               properties of the harbor or port. 
                 Transit police officers or peace offices of a county,  
               city, transit development board or district if the primary  
               duty is the enforcement of the law in or abut property  
               owned, operated or administered by the employing agency or  
               when performing a necessary duty with respect to patrons,  
               employees and properties of the employing agency.
                 Persons employed as airport law enforcement officers by  
               a city, county or district operating the airport or a joint  
               powers agency operating the airport if their primary duty  
               is the enforcement of the law in or about property owned,  
               operated and administered by the employing agency or when  
               performing a necessary duty with respect to patrons,  
               employees and properties of the employing agency.  
                 Railroad police officers commissioned by the Governor if  
               their primary duty is the enforcement of the law in or  
               about property owned, operated or administered by the  
               employing agency or when performing necessary duties with  
               respect to patrons, employees and properties of the  
               employing agency.  (Penal Code  830.33.) 

           Current law  declares specific persons to be peace officers:  any  
          sheriff, under sheriff, deputy sheriff, chief of police, officer  
          of municipal public safety agency who performs police functions,  
          police officer, officer of the San Diego Unified Port District  
          Harbor Police, marshal or deputy marshal of a superior court or  




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          county, port warden or port police office of the Harbor  
          Department of the City of Los Angeles, or inspector or  
          investigator employed in that capacity in the office of the  
          district attorney.  Provides that the authority of these peace  
          officers extends to any place in California as follows (Penal  
          Code  830.1(a)):

                 As to a public offense committed or which there is  
               probable cause to believe has been committed within the  
               political subdivision that employs the peace officer or in  
               which the peace officer serves.  (Penal Code   
               830.1(a)(1).)
                 Where the peace officer has prior consent of the chief  
               of police or chief, director or chief executive officer of  
               a consolidated municipal public safety agency, or person  
               authorized by him or her to give consent if the place is  
               within a city or of the sheriff, or person authorized by  
               him or her to give consent if the place is within a county.  
                (Penal Code  830.1(a) (2).)
                 As to a public offense committed or which there is  
               probable cause to believe has been committed in the peace  
               officer's presence, and with respect to which there is  
               immediate danger to person or property, or of the  
               perpetrator's escape.  (Penal Code  830.1(a)(3).)

           Current law  provides that in order to change peace officer  
          designation or status, the Commission on Peace Officers  
          Standards and Training (POST) must be requested to undertake a  
          study to assess the need for such a change and requires POST to  
          undertake the study in accordance with its regulations.  (Penal  
          Code  13540(b).)

           This bill  would change the peace officer status of airport law  
          enforcement officers regularly employed by Los Angeles World  
          Airport to peace officers whose authority extends to any place  
          in California, as specified.

           This bill  defines "LAWA" as the department of the City of Los  
          Angeles that owns and operates the Los Angeles International  




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          Airport, the Ontario International Airport, the Palmdale  
          Regional Airport and the Van Nuys Airport.

                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION

          For the last several years, severe overcrowding in California's  
          prisons has been the focus of evolving and expensive litigation  
          relating to conditions of confinement.  On May 23, 2011, the  
          United States Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its  
          prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity within two  
          years from the date of its ruling, subject to the right of the  
          state to seek modifications in appropriate circumstances.   

          Beginning in early 2007, Senate leadership initiated a policy to  
          hold legislative proposals which could further aggravate the  
          prison overcrowding crisis through new or expanded felony  
          prosecutions.  Under the resulting policy known as "ROCA" (which  
          stands for "Receivership/ Overcrowding Crisis Aggravation"), the  
          Committee held measures which created a new felony, expanded the  
          scope or penalty of an existing felony, or otherwise increased  
          the application of a felony in a manner which could exacerbate  
          the prison overcrowding crisis.  Under these principles, ROCA  
          was applied as a content-neutral, provisional measure necessary  
          to ensure that the Legislature did not erode progress towards  
          reducing prison overcrowding by passing legislation which would  
          increase the prison population.  ROCA necessitated many hard and  
          difficult decisions for the Committee.

          In January of 2013, just over a year after the enactment of the  
          historic Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011, the State of  
          California filed court documents seeking to vacate or modify the  
          federal court order issued by the Three-Judge Court three years  
          earlier to reduce the state's prison population to 137.5 percent  
          of design capacity.  The State submitted in part that the, ". .  
          .  population in the State's 33 prisons has been reduced by over  
          24,000 inmates since October 2011 when public safety realignment  
          went into effect, by more than 36,000 inmates compared to the  
          2008 population . . . , and by nearly 42,000 inmates since 2006  
          . . . ."  Plaintiffs, who opposed the state's motion, argue in  




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          part that, "California prisons, which currently average 150% of  
          capacity, and reach as high as 185% of capacity at one prison,  
          continue to deliver health care that is constitutionally  
          deficient."  In an order dated January 29, 2013, the federal  
          court granted the state a six-month extension to achieve the  
          137.5 % prisoner population cap by December 31st of this year.  

          In an order dated April 11, 2013, the Three-Judge Court denied  
          the state's motions, and ordered the state of California to  
          "immediately take all steps necessary to comply with this  
          Court's . . . Order . . . requiring defendants to reduce overall  
          prison population to 137.5% design capacity by December 31,  
          2013."         

          The ongoing litigation indicates that prison capacity and  
          related issues concerning conditions of confinement remain  
          unresolved.  However, in light of the real gains in reducing the  
          prison population that have been made, although even greater  
          reductions are required by the court, the Committee will review  
          each ROCA bill with more flexible consideration.  The following  
          questions will inform this consideration:

                 whether a measure erodes realignment;
                 whether a measure addresses a crime which is directly  
               dangerous to the physical safety of others for which there  
               is no other reasonably appropriate sanction; 
                 whether a bill corrects a constitutional infirmity or  
               legislative drafting error; 
                 whether a measure proposes penalties which are  
               proportionate, and cannot be achieved through any other  
               reasonably appropriate remedy; and
                 whether a bill addresses a major area of public safety  
               or criminal activity for which there is no other  
               reasonable, appropriate remedy.


                                      COMMENTS

          1.  Need for This Bill  




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          According to the author:

               Existing law requires any person or person designated  
               as a peace officer and who desires a change in peace  
               officer designation or status to request the  
               Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training  
               (POST) to undertake a study to assess the need for the  
               change in designation or status.  (Penal Code  
               13540(b))

               This bill would reclassify any person regularly  
               employed as an airport law enforcement officer by the  
               Los Angeles World Airports from their current peace  
               officer status pursuant to Penal Code section 830.33  
               to the status and authority granted under Penal Code  
               section 830.1.

          2.  POST Feasibility Study  

          POST conducts feasibility studies when a change of designation  
          is requested regarding an existing peace officer position.  LAWA  
          requested a feasibility study regarding a change in designation  
          for LAWA airport law enforcement officers from Penal Code  
          Section 830.33 to Penal Code Section 830.1.  POST completed this  
          study on June 1, 2005.  

          At the conclusion of their study, POST recommended that LAWA  
          police officers be designated as peace officers under Penal Code  
          Section 830.1.  The study included extensive interviews with  
          LAWA officers, the Los Angeles Police Department, and other  
          local law enforcement and federal law enforcement agencies.  The  
          report acknowledged that the duties and responsibilities of LAWA  
          officers stem from the Airport Commission and cited 10 duties  
          and responsibilities which require the additional authority  
          provided by a Penal Code Section 830.1 designation:

                     The need to possess explosives for training canines  
                 for bomb detection.




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                     The duty to seize explosives and incendiary devices,  
                 including unclassified explosives.
                     The need to possess diversionary devices to  
                 immediately control an incident at airports.
                     The duty to conduct background investigations on  
                 people working at airports in accordance with the Federal  
                 Transportation Security Agency regulations.
                     The authority for an officer to seize firearms or  
                 other deadly weapons at the scene of domestic violence  
                 calls in and around airport terminals, in residential  
                 areas owned by airports and in businesses under LAWA's  
                 control.
                     The responsibility to keep unsafe vehicles off  
                 public roads in and around airport property and to  
                 prevent them from entering airports.
                     The function of preventing gridlock on roads leading  
                 to and from airports.
                     The prevention, enforcement and investigation of all  
                 laws regarding making and giving false bomb reports.  
                     The need to issue a citation to a person involved in  
                 a traffic accident where there is reasonable cause to  
                 believe the person committed a vehicular misdemeanor or  
                 infraction.  (POST, A Report to the Legislature and the  
                 Los Angeles Airport Police Department on Peace Officer  
                 Feasibility Study (June 1, 2005).)


















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          3.  Statement in Support  

          The Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association states:

               As you are aware, AB 128 would codify a recommendation  
               by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and  
               Training (POST), California's leading authority on law  
               enforcement, to classify the LAXPD within the  
               California Penal Code 830.1, providing our officers  
               official certification to the standard in our state.  
               It will afford airport police the respect reflective  
               of their training and education and provide the  
               citizens they serve services important to their  
               mission.

               Although post has received requests by various law  
               enforcement agencies throughout the state for a  
               similar classification, only three entities have  
               fulfilled the rigorous requirements established by  
               POST to receive a recommended change to 830.1 status:  
               Los Angeles Port Police, the San Diego Airport and  
               Harbor Police, and the LAXPD. The state has never  
               refused a POST recommendation for 830.1 status.

          4.  Statement in Opposition  

          The Riverside Sheriffs Association states:

               1. AB 128 undermines local control.

               Last year, serious concerns about Los Angeles  
               international Airport security prompted Los Angeles  
               Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to appoint a 26 member  
               "Blue Ribbon" Commission to study LAX and to report  
               back to the Mayor and City Council as soon as  
               feasible.  There are many complex security,  
               deployment, and fiscal implications involved,  
               including consideration of upgrading the Los Angeles  
               International World Airport (LAWA) police to Penal  




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               Code 830.1 status. The issue of a merger of LAWA into  
               LAPD is still one being actively considered by the  
               Mayor and the City.  AB 128 would "end run" this local  
               process, undermining local control!




               2. AB 128 makes a "Special Statute" for the City of  
               Los Angeles.

               LAWA has never had the support of the Mayor or City  
               Council in its efforts to achieve PC 830.1 status.   
               Indeed, the mayor has opposed to previous versions of  
               this legislation because LAWA is trying to accomplish  
               indirectly what they have not tried to accomplish  
               directly - namely, meet and confer and make their case  
               with local officials and not the state legislature.   
               AB 128 imposes a "special statute" on California's  
               largest charter city dictating to the mayor and city  
               council a policy direction they have not chosen!


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