BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 979
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          Date of Hearing:   April 10, 2013

                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                     AB 979 (Weber) - As Amended:  April 1, 2013

          Policy Committee:                              Public  
          SafetyVote:  7-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               


          This bill requires specified peace officers assigned to a  
          jurisdiction that includes "navigable waters" to complete a  
          course in basic maritime operations for law enforcement  
          officers. Specifically, this bill:

          1)Requires the maritime training if the officer is employed by a  
            city, county, or district that has adopted a resolution  
            implementing the training requirement and identifying the  
            specific classifications of peace officers subject to the  

          2)Specifies the course shall include boat handling, chart  
            reading, navigation rules, and comprehensive training  
            regarding maritime boarding, arrest procedures, vessel  
            identification, searches, and counterterrorism practices and  
            procedures, and requires the curriculum be consistent with  
            federal standards.

          3)Provides the provisions become operative only when the federal  
            Department of Homeland Security provides funding to the  
            locality to implement the training and the locality adopts a  
            resolution agreeing to implement the training.  

          4)Defines "waterborne environment" as a jurisdiction that  
            includes a port, navigable waters, dockside environments, or  
            recreational areas near or on navigable waters.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)Significant costs - potentially in excess of $1 million  


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            statewide - to develop material, provide training, verify  
            completion and competency, and backfill the positions of local  
            officers required to take the training. The bill specifies the  
            proposed training becomes operative only if and when federal  
            funding from the Department of Homeland Security is made  
            available to a specific local law enforcement entity for this  

            While the bill does not specify who would create, implement  
            and administer the training, or specify the duration of the  
            training, the frequency of the training, deadlines by which  
            training must be completed, or how to measure the success of  
            the training (for example, tactical training, training on  
            handling a boat, boarding a boat, and navigating a vessel, is  
            probably not best accomplished by watching a video or via  
            on-line instruction), at a minimum the bill would require:

             a)   Development of a course of instruction, likely at a cost  
               in the range of $200,000, for online training, which must  
               be "consistent with federal standards and tactical  
               training." Costs could increase significantly to the extent  
               training includes hands-on experience with a boat, for  
               example, and/or if competency is measured, or if training  
               is classroom-based. 

               Should whatever entity develops the training determine the  
               need to make water training experiential, costs would  
               increase for instructors, creation of a water training  
               site, rental or purchase of vessels, instructor standards  
               and training for instructors, and maintenance and site  

             b)   If the training is developed and conducted by the  
               California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and  
               Training (POST), the posts of officers required to take the  
               training would be eligible for backfill reimbursement,  
               potentially in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. To the  
               extent officers travel for training, and spend a night away  
               from home, reimbursement costs would increase. 

             c)   If POST were to administer the proposed training,  
               first-year POST administrative costs, to oversee  
               development and training, and particularly to identify and  
               define "waterborne environments" would likely be in the  
               range of $50,000.  


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           1)Rationale  . The author contends marine peace officer training  
            needs enhancement. According to the sponsor, the Port of L.A.,  
            "A POST Certified curriculum consistent with federal doctrine  
            and current tactical training would benefit the growing number  
            of law enforcement agencies that have created maritime units.  
            Course curriculum would provide basic instruction for  
            crewmembers on law enforcement and public safety vessels  
            operated by local authorities. Boat handling, chart reading  
            and navigation rules are a necessity to personnel.  
            Additionally, training on maritime boardings, arrest  
            procedures, vessel identification, searches, and  
            counter-terrorism practices and procedures are critical to  
            waterborne policing. This training would also achieve  
            consistent adherence to the Department of Homeland Security's  
            strategy for maritime security to combat terrorism."

           2)Who would develop, implement and administer training  ? POST  
            currently offers maritime training for state and local peace  
            officers and would appear to be the appropriate entity to  
            develop and administer more in-depth training, should such  
            training is determined to be necessary. A federal entity, the  
            Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), headquartered  
            in Georgia, may also be interested in administering maritime  

            According to the FLETC website, "The Federal Law Enforcement  
            Training Centers (FLETC) mission is "We train those who  
            protect our homeland." To carry out this mission, the FLETC  
            serves as an interagency law enforcement training organization  
            for 91 federal agencies or Partner Organizations. The FLETC  
            also provides training to state, local, rural, tribal,  
            territorial, and international law enforcement agencies?.  
            Although the FLETC trains officers and agents from all federal  
            departments and all three branches of government, it is a  
            component of the Department of Homeland Security."

            The administration, scope, objectives and methodology of the  
            proposed training need additional development. The author and  
            sponsor have agreed to continue working on such detail while  
            the bill is on the Suspense File. 
            3)Prior Legislation  . AB 2571 (Silva), 2012, required every peace  


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            officer assigned to a jurisdiction that includes a waterborne  
            environment to complete a POST course in basic maritime law  
            for law enforcement officers, as a condition of receiving  
            specified state aid.  AB 2571 was held on this committee's  
            Suspense File. 

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