BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







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

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          AB 979 (Weber)                                              
          As Amended May 24, 2013 
          Hearing date:  June 25, 2013
          Penal Code
          SM:mc

                         MARITIME TRAINING FOR PEACE OFFICERS  

                                       HISTORY

          Source:  Port of Los Angeles

          Prior Legislation: AB 2571 (Silva) - 2012, held on suspense in  
          Assembly Appropriations

          Support: California Association of Harbor Masters and Port  
                   Captains; California Association of Port Authorities;  
                   California Marine Parks and Harbors Association;  
                   California Yacht Brokers Association; Marina Recreation  
                   Association; National Maritime Manufacturers  
                   Association; Western Boaters Safety Group

          Opposition:California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and  
                   Training (POST) (Prior to May 24, 2013 amendments)

          Assembly Floor Vote:  Ayes  77 - Noes  0


                                        KEY ISSUES
           
          SHOULD PEACE OFFICERS WHO SERVE AS CREW MEMBERS ON A WATERBORNE LAW  
          ENFORCEMENT VESSEL BE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE A COURSE IN BASIC  
          MARITIME OPERATIONS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, AS SPECIFIED? 




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          SHOULD THESE REQUIREMENTS ONLY APPLY TO LOCALITIES WHICH RECEIVE  
          FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDING, HAVE ADOPTED A  
          RESOLUTION TO IMPLEMENT THE ACT, AND HAVE IDENTIFIED THE PEACE  
          OFFICER CLASSIFICATIONS SUBJECT TO THESE TRAINING REQUIREMENTS?


                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to (1) require peace officers who  
          serve as crew members on a waterborne law enforcement vessel to  
          complete a course in basic maritime operations for law  
          enforcement officers, as specified; (2) specify the course  
          curriculum requirements; and (3) specify that these requirements  
          shall only apply to localities which receive federal Department  
          of Homeland Security funding, have adopted a resolution to  
          implement the Act, and have identified the peace officer  
          classifications subject to these training requirements.  

           Current law  requires all peace officers to complete an  
          introductory course of training prescribed by the California  
          Commission on Peace Officers Standard and Training (POST),  
          demonstrated by passage of an appropriate examination developed  
          by POST.  (Penal Code  832(a).)

           Current law  empowers POST to develop and implement programs to  
          increase the effectiveness of law enforcement.  (Penal Code   
          13503.)

           Current law  authorizes POST, for the purpose of raising the  
          level of competence of local law enforcement officers, to adopt  
          rules establishing minimum standards related to physical, mental  
          and moral fitness and training that shall govern the recruitment  
          of any peace officers in California.  (Penal Code  13510(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to conduct research concerning  
          job-related educational standards and job-related selection  
          standards to include vision, hearing, physical ability, and  
          emotional stability and adopt standards supported by this  




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          research.  (Penal Code  13510(b).)

           Current law  requires POST to prepare a course of instruction for  
          the training of peace officers in the use of tear gas.  (Penal  
          Code  13514.)

           Current law  requires POST to develop and disseminate guidelines  
          and standardized training recommendations for all law  
          enforcement officers, supervisors, or managers whose agency  
          assigns them to perform, supervise, or manage Special Weapons  
          and Tactics (SWAT) operations.  (Penal Code  13514.1(a).)

           Current law  requires POST implement a course or courses of  
          instruction for the training of law enforcement officers in the  
          handling of acts of civil disobedience and adopt guidelines that  
          may be followed by police agencies in responding to acts of  
          civil disobedience.  (Penal Code 
           13514.5(a).)

           Current law  requires every police officer or deputy sheriff who  
          is assigned field or investigative duties to complete an elder  
          and dependent adult abuse training course certified by POST.   
          (Penal Code  13515(a).)

           Current law  requires POST establish and update a continuing  
          education classroom training course related to law enforcement  
          interaction with mentally disabled persons.  (Penal Code   
          13515.25(a).)

           Current law  requires POST create and make available on DVD and  
          may distribute electronically a course on how to recognize and  
          interact with persons with autistic spectrum disorders.  (Penal  
          Code  13515.35(a).)

           Current law  requires every police officer or deputy sheriff who  
          is assigned field or investigative duties to complete a high  
          technology crimes and computer seizure training course certified  
          by POST.  (Penal Code  13515.55.)





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           Current law  requires POST to prepare guidelines establishing  
          standard procedures which may be followed by police agencies in  
          the investigation of sexual assault cases, and cases involving  
          the sexual exploitation or sexual abuse of children, including,  
          police response to, and treatment of, victims of these crimes.   
          This training must be included in the basic certificate issued  
          by POST or no reimbursement will be made to local agencies based  
          on attendance at any course which does not comply with this  
          requirement.  (Penal Code  13516(a) - (b).)

           Current law  requires POST to prepare guidelines establishing  
          standard procedures which may be followed by police agencies in  
          the detection, investigation, and response to cases in which a  
          minor is a victim of an act of abuse or neglect including  
          procedures for determining whether or not a child should be  
          taken into protective custody and minimizing the number of times  
          a child is interviewed by law enforcement personnel.  (Penal  
          Code  13517(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to prepare guidelines establishing  
          standard procedures which may be followed by police agencies and  
          prosecutors in interviewing minor witnesses.  (Penal Code 
           13517.5.)

           Current law  requires POST to develop guidelines and training for  
          use by state and local law enforcement officers to address  
          issues related to child safety when a caretaker parent or  
          guardian is arrested.  (Penal Code  13517.7(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to implement a course or courses of  
          instruction for the training of law enforcement officers in  
          California in the handling of domestic violence complaints and  
          also shall develop guidelines for law enforcement response to  
          domestic violence.  (Penal Code 
           13519(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to implement a course or courses of  
          instruction for the training of law enforcement officers in  
          California in the handling of stalking complaints and also shall  




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          develop guidelines for law enforcement response to stalking.   
          (Penal Code  13519.05(a).) 

           Current law  requires POST to implement a course or courses of  
          instruction for the training of law enforcement officers and law  
          enforcement dispatchers in the handling of missing person and  
          runaway cases and shall also develop guidelines for law  
          enforcement response to missing person and runaway cases.   
          (Penal Code  13519.1(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to include in the basic training  
          course for law enforcement officers, adequate instruction in the  
          handling of persons with developmental disabilities or mental  
          illness, or both.  (Penal Code  13519.2(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to establish a course on the nature of  
          sudden infant death syndrome and the handling of cases involving  
          the sudden deaths of infants.  (Penal Code  13519.3(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to develop and disseminate guidelines  
          and training for all law enforcement officers in California who  
          adhere to the standards approved by the commission, on the  
          racial and cultural differences among the residents of this  
          state.  (Penal Code  13519.4(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to implement a course or courses of  
          instruction to provide ongoing training to the appropriate peace  
          officers on methods of gang and drug law enforcement.  (Penal  
          Code  13519.5.)

           Current law  requires POST to develop guidelines and a course of  
          instruction and training for law enforcement officers who are  
          employed as peace officers, or who are not yet employed as a  
          peace officer but are enrolled in a training academy for law  
          enforcement officers, addressing hate crimes.  (Penal Code   
          13519.6(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to develop a two-hour telecourse to be  
          made available to all law enforcement agencies in California on  




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          crimes against homeless persons and on how to deal effectively  
          and humanely with homeless persons, including homeless persons  
          with disabilities.  (Penal Code  13519.64(b).)

           Current law  requires POST to develop complaint guidelines to be  
          followed by city police departments, county sheriff departments,  
          districts, and state university departments, for peace officers  
          who are victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.  (Penal  
          Code  13519.7(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to implement a course or courses of  
          instruction for the regular and periodic training of law  
          enforcement officers in the handling of high-speed vehicle  
          pursuits and to develop uniform, minimum guidelines for adoption  
          and promulgation by California law enforcement agencies for  
          response to high-speed vehicle pursuits.  (Penal Code   
          13519.8(a)(1).)

           Current law  requires POST to establish the Robert Presley  
          Institute of Criminal Investigation which will make available to  
          criminal investigators of California's law enforcement agencies  
          an advanced training program to meet the needs of working  
          investigators in specialty assignments, such as arson, auto  
          theft, homicide, and narcotics.  (Penal Code  13519.9(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to establish training standards and  
          develop a course of instruction that includes the criteria for  
          the curriculum content recommended by the Emergency Response  
          Training Advisory Committee involving the responsibilities of  
          first responders to terrorism incidents.  (Penal Code   
          13519.12(a).)

           Current law requires POST to implement a course or courses of  
          instruction for the training of law enforcement officers in  
          California in the handling of human trafficking complaints and  
          also shall develop guidelines for law enforcement response to  
          human trafficking.  (Penal Code  13519.14(a).)

           Current law  requires POST to prepare guidelines establishing  




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          standard procedures which may be followed by law enforcement  
          agencies in the investigation and reporting of cases involving  
          anti-reproductive-rights crimes.  (Penal Code  13519.15.)

          This bill  would require peace officers to complete a course in  
          basic maritime operations for law enforcement officers if they  
          meet all of the following criteria:

                     The officer is employed by a city, county, city and  
                 county, or district that has adopted a resolution  
                 implementing the Act;
                     The officer falls within a classification identified  
                 by the local governing body;
                     The officer is assigned in a jurisdiction that  
                 includes navigable waters; and, 
                     The officer serves as a crew member on a waterborne  
                 law enforcement vessel.

           This bill  specifies that 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 that the curriculum be consistent with  
          federal standards and tactical training.

           This bill  provides that the Act shall only become operative in a  
          city, county, city and county, or district when all of the  
          following conditions apply:

                 The federal Department of Homeland Security provides  
               funding to the locality; 
                 The local governing body adopts a resolution agreeing to  
               implement the Act; and,
                 The local governing body identifies the specific  
               classification of peace officers in their jurisdiction that  
               will be subject to the training requirements.


                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION




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          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  
          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  




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          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  

          According to the author:





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               Maritime training has not only evolved but become a  
               necessity among law enforcement agencies whose  
               jurisdictions may include maritime areas.  For  
               emergencies or multi-jurisdictional operations, the  
               time to set a standard that all agencies and  
               departments can share and build upon is long overdue.

               California must set in motion the necessary statutes,  
               regulations and curriculum to provide the level of  
               training and standards for safe effective waterborne  
               law enforcement across the state.  AB 979 will provide  
               for these critical statewide standards and training  
               for law enforcement operating in a maritime  
               environment.

               The Post commission has already approved three courses  
               for maritime peace officers that are taught at the  
               regional maritime law enforcement training center at  
               the port of Los Angeles.  These courses can be  
               exported to any training facility.  Additionally, this  
               bill would come at no cost to the state, as its  
               provisions would apply only if federal funds become  
               available.

               California's dramatic and lengthy coastline, rivers,  
               dams, ports, harbors and the bay delta require a large  
               and constant waterborne presence of peace officers for  
               the protection of California's waterways, especially  
               in emergency situations such as natural and manmade  
               disasters.

               Skill sets waterborne peace officers may need include  
               boat handling, navigation, weather knowledge, boating  
               laws, maritime boarding and arrest procedures, vessel  
               identification and counterterrorism practices.

               As agencies such as the Coast Guard, sheriff's  
               departments, and police departments have enhanced  
               their maritime presence, concerns have arisen over the  




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               adequacy and consistency of training.  Unlike other  
               requirements in the Police Officers Standards for  
               Training (POST) system (sic), there are no statewide  
               standards for tactical training for state and local  
               maritime officers.

          2.  Letter From POST  

          In a letter dated June 6, 2013, the Commission on Peace Officer  
          Standards and Training wrote to the author of this bill:



               The purpose of this letter is to inform you that staff  
               will recommend to the 
               Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)  
               that it remove its opposition to Assembly Bill (AB) 979  
               (Weber) at its regular meeting on June 27, 2013.  

               Although the provisions in AB 979 do not address any  
               unmet public safety training needs in California, the  
               amendments will enable specified peace officers from  
               qualifying local law enforcement agencies to apply for  
               federal funding.

               Previous versions of AB 979 would have unnecessarily  
               amended the Penal Code in a manner that would have  
               abdicated the training of California peace officers to  
               federal requirements and duplicate existing POST  
               maritime and terrorism training.

               Since 1959, the Commission on POST has recognized the  
               value of law enforcement training programs.  It also  
               recognizes that the improvement of any training  
               standards inevitably yields untold benefits not only  
               for those trained but, ultimately those served.  Over  
               6,500 training courses for peace officers are  
               currently managed by POST for the purpose of improving  
               professional services to our communities.











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               For these reasons, the Commission on Peace Officer  
               Standards and Training will consider the staff  
               recommendation to remove its opposition.  


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