California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 979

Introduced by Assembly Member Weber

February 22, 2013

An act to add Section 13518.5 to the Penal Code, relating to peace officers.


AB 979, as introduced, Weber. Peace officers: Maritime Peace Officer Standards Training Act of 2013.

Existing law establishes in the Department of Justice the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. Existing law requires the commission to adopt, and authorizes the commission to amend, rules establishing minimum standards relating to physical, mental, and moral fitness that govern the recruitment of various peace officers, including city police officers and peace officer members of a county sheriff’s office. Existing law also requires the commission to carry out various duties related to peace officer education and training, including, among other duties, establishing a certificate program for peace officers, making inquiries to ensure adherence to standards for the recruitment and training of peace officers, and implementing specified courses of instruction in procedures applicable in specific circumstances, such as domestic violence and child abuse or neglect. Existing law authorizes the commission to adopt those regulations as are necessary to carry out the purposes of these provisions relating to peace officer standards and training.

This bill would enact the Maritime Peace Officer Standards Training Act of 2013. The bill would require each peace officer who is assigned to a jurisdiction that includes waterborne environments to complete a course in basic maritime law for law enforcement officers. The bill would require the course of instruction to include, among other things, boat handling, navigation rules, and comprehensive training regarding maritime boardings, arrest procedures, and counterterrorism practices and procedures. The bill would require that the curriculum be consistent with federal standards and tactical training. The provisions of the bill would become operative in a city, county, city and county, or district contingent upon the appropriation of federal funds for these purposes, as specified, and the adoption of a resolution by the governing body of that city, county, city and county, or district, as specified.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


This act shall be known and may be cited as the
2Maritime Peace Officer Standards Training Act of 2013.


SEC. 2.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

4(a) There is a need for legislation requiring that peace officers
5in this state who serve in jurisdictions that include marine ports,
6navigable lakes, and rivers be certified by the Commission on
7Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), based on completion
8of a basic maritime law enforcement officer’s course of instruction.

9(b) Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies maintain
10joint responsibility and authority within marine ports and territorial
11and inland waters. Law enforcement officers who serve in
12jurisdictions that include waterborne environments, such as ports,
13navigable waters, dockside environments, or recreational areas
14located near or on navigable waterways, have a unique set of
15responsibilities. These officers perform tasks that are specific and
16particular to these environments, and they are called upon to ensure
17safety and security in light of the unique set of maritime laws and

19(c) As a result of post-9/11 homeland security and port security
20missions, maritime training has not only evolved but become a
21necessity among law enforcement agencies whose jurisdictions
22include maritime areas. As agencies such as the United States
23Coast Guard, sheriff’s departments, and police departments enhance
24their maritime presence, adequacy and consistency of training is
25critical. Cases where multiagency operations are taking place or
P3    1where agencies are assisting each other during routine operations
2are of particular interest. This concern was highlighted in the
3federal Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. Unlike other
4 requirements in the POST system, there are no statewide standards
5for tactical training for state and local maritime officers.

6(d) A POST-certified curriculum consistent with federal
7standards and tactical training would benefit the growing number
8of law enforcement agencies that have created specialized maritime
9units, and achieve consistent adherence to the federal Department
10of Homeland Security’s strategy for maritime security to combat
11terrorism. Course curriculum would provide basic instruction for
12crewmembers on law enforcement and public safety vessels
13operated by local authorities. Boat handling, chart reading, and
14navigation rules are a necessity to personnel. Additionally, students
15would receive comprehensive training on maritime boardings,
16arrest procedures, vessel identification, searches, and
17counterterrorism practices and procedures.

18(e) Therefore, in order to ensure that maritime law enforcement
19is conducted safely, effectively, and consistently throughout the
20state, this type of training should be required by state law.


SEC. 3.  

Section 13518.5 is added to the Penal Code, to read:



(a) Each peace officer in California who is assigned
23to a jurisdiction that includes a waterborne environment shall
24complete a course in basic maritime law for law enforcement
25officers. The course of instruction shall include boat handling,
26chart reading, navigation rules, and comprehensive training
27regarding maritime boardings, arrest procedures, vessel
28identification, searches, and counterterrorism practices and
29procedures. The curriculum shall be consistent with applicable
30federal standards and tactical training.

31(b) For purposes of this section, a “waterborne environment”
32includes, but is not limited to, any jurisdiction that includes a port,
33a navigable lake or river, or inland waters.

34(c) This section shall become operative in a city, county, city
35and county, or district when both of the following apply:

36(1) The federal Department of Homeland Security has provided
37funding to a law enforcement agency in a city, county, city and
38county, or district to implement this section.

39(2) The governing body of the city, county, city and county, or
40district, such as the board of supervisors of a county or the city
P4    1council, has adopted a resolution agreeing to implement this