BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1511
                                                                  Page 1

          Date of Hearing:  March 11, 2014
          Counsel:       Shaun Naidu


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                 AB 1511 (Gaines) - As Introduced:  January 14, 2014

                       As Proposed to be Amended in Committee


           SUMMARY  :   Allows the Department of Justice (DOJ) and local  
          criminal justice agencies to furnish state and local summary  
          criminal history information to an animal control officer (ACO)  
          upon a showing of a compelling need.

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Requires DOJ to maintain state summary criminal history  
            information.  (Pen. Code,  11105, subd. (a).)

          2)Requires DOJ to furnish state summary criminal history  
            information to specified entities, if needed in the course of  
            their duties, provided that when information is furnished to  
            assist an agency, officer, or official of state or local  
            government, a public utility, or any other entity in  
            fulfilling employment, certification, or licensing duties,  
            specified restrictions listed in the Labor Code are followed.   
            (Pen. Code,  11105, subd. (b).)

          3)Allows DOJ to furnish state summary criminal history  
            information to specified entities and, when specifically  
            authorized, federal-level criminal history information upon a  
            showing of a compelling need, provided that when information  
            is furnished to assist an agency, officer, or official of  
            state or local government, a public utility, or any other  
            entity in fulfilling employment, certification, or licensing  
            duties, specified restrictions listed in the Labor Code are  
            followed.  (Pen. Code,  11105, subd. (c).)

          4)Allows DOJ to charge a fee to reimburse department costs, and  
            a surcharge to fund system maintenance and improvements,  
            whenever state summary criminal history information is  
            furnished as the result of an application and is to be used  








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            for employment, licensing, or certification purposes.  Allows,  
            notwithstanding any other law, any person or entity required  
            to pay a fee to DOJ for information received under this  
            provision to charge the applicant a fee sufficient to  
            reimburse the person or entity for this expense.  (Pen. Code,  
             11105, subd. (e).)

          5)Authorizes, notwithstanding any other law, a human resource  
            agency or an employer to request from DOJ records of all  
            convictions or any arrest pending adjudication involving the  
            offenses specified of a person who applies for a license,  
            employment, or volunteer position, in which he or she would  
            have supervisory or disciplinary power over a minor or any  
            person under his or her care.  Requires DOJ to furnish the  
            information to the requesting employer and also send a copy of  
            the information to the applicant.  (Pen. Code,  11105.3,  
            subd. (a).)

          6)Requires a local criminal justice agency to furnish local  
            summary criminal history information to any of a list the  
            specified entities, and authorizing the local criminal justice  
            agency to furnish this information to any of a list of  
            specified entities upon a showing of a compelling need,  
            provided that when information is furnished to assist an  
            agency, officer, or official of state or local government, a  
            public utility, or any other entity in fulfilling employment,  
            certification, or licensing duties, specified restrictions  
            listed in the Labor Code are followed.  (Pen. Code,  13300.)

          7)Authorizes ACOs to exercise peace officer arrest powers, as  
            specified, and the power to serve warrants, as specified,  
            during the course and within the scope of their employment, if  
            the ACOs successfully complete a Commission on Peace Officer  
            Standards and Trainings (POST) course, as specified, in the  
            exercise of those powers.  (Pen. Code,  830.9.)

          8)Allows, after the completion of a POST-approved firearms  
            training course, ACOs, regularly compensated in that capacity  
            by a governmental agency, to carry loaded weapons in public  
            while acting in the course and scope of their employment and  
            when designated by the governmental agency, as specified.   
            (Pen. Code,  26025, subd. (b).)

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown









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           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "AB 1511 would  
            amend the law to allow animal control officers the ability to  
            request local and state criminal history summaries from the  
            Department of Justice and local agencies.  By affording this  
            information, law enforcement can then prioritize their  
            resources to accompany animal control officers to the most  
            dangerous areas.  AB 1511 would also permit the agencies to  
            charge a reasonable fee to sufficiently cover the costs  
            associated with providing such information.  This bill seeks  
            to add a small level of protection for animal control officers  
            for an already dangerous job."

           2)State Summary Criminal History Information  :  State "summary  
            criminal history information" is the master record of  
            information compiled by DOJ pertaining to the identification  
            and criminal history of any person, such as name, date of  
            birth, physical description, fingerprints, photographs,  
            arrests, dispositions and similar data.  (Pen. Code,  11105,  
            subd. (a).)  State summary criminal history information  
            commonly is referred to as a "rap sheet."  This bill  
            authorizes DOJ to release a "rap sheet" to an ACO only upon a  
            showing of a compelling need for the information.
                
            3)Practical Consideration  :  In 2012, two locksmiths and ACO Roy  
            Marcum, working for the Sacramento County Animal Care and  
            Regulation Department, arrived to a house in Galt that they  
            expected to be empty.  The owner/tenant had been evicted the  
            previous day and had indicated that he could not care for his  
            multiple pets.  As the individuals approached the home, the  
            tenant, still there, fired a shotgun through the closed front  
            door and fatally shot ACO Marcum.  (Bonnett & Creamer,  
            Shooting victim was dedicated to helping pets, Lodi  
            News-Sentinel (Nov. 30, 2013).)  As tragic as this event was,  
            it remains unclear how helpful access to summary criminal  
            history information would have been in this particular  
            instance, as the house was believed to be unoccupied and,  
            according to news reports, the perpetrator was unknown to law  
            enforcement.  (See Creamer & Farrow, Killing suspect arrested,  
            Lodi News-Sentinel (Nov. 30, 2013).) The lack of law  
            enforcement's awareness of the perpetrator raises the question  
            of whether he had a criminal history prior to this event that  
            would have been exposed through a check of his summary  
            criminal history information.  Alternatively, some animal  








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            control departments require all ACOs to wear ballistic vests  
            when working in a field setting, which may prove immensely  
            helpful in avoiding future loss of life.  (See Animal Control  
            Officer I/II, City of Modesto (Mar. 29, 2007)  
             [as of Mar. 5, 2014].)
                
            4)Animal Control Officers vs. Humane Officers  :  Many argue that  
            ACOs and humane officers are similarly situated and since  
            current law authorizes humane officers access to state and  
            local summary criminal history information, ACOs should be  
            provided that same access.  While ACOs' duties are not  
            prescribed by state law, they are tasked, generally speaking,  
            with animal control and compliance functions.  Alternatively,  
            humane officers are employed by a humane society or a society  
            for the prevention of cruelty to animals and are statutorily  
            tasked to prevent animal cruelty, using reasonable force if  
            necessary to accomplish their duties.  (Corp. Code, 14502,  
            subds. (a) & (h).)  Moreover, to be appointed a humane  
            officer, a person must go through a demanding vetting process,  
            which includes undergoing a criminal background check; filing  
            of a petition for order confirming the appointment that must  
            be served to the local police department, local sheriff's  
            department, Department of California Highway Patrol, State  
            Humane Association of California, local animal control agency,  
            and DOJ, all of who have the right to oppose the petition; and  
            take and subscribe the oath of office prescribed for peace  
            officers.  (Corp. Code,  14502, subd. (b).)

            Additionally, state law requires that all humane officers  
            furnish a set of fingerprints to DOJ and the Federal Bureau of  
            Investigation to be kept on file and "[b]e of good moral  
            character, as determined by a thorough background check."   
            (Corp. Code,  14502, subd. (h); Gov. Code,  1030 & 1031.)   
            Humane officers also must be removed from their position upon  
            the occurrence of any one of a list of specified condition,  
            such as the conviction of a felony or finding that the person  
            is mentally incompetent or being adjudged addicted or in  
            danger of becoming addicted to narcotics.  (Corp. Code,   
            14502, subd. (h); Gov. Code,  1029.)  No such similar  
            requirements are placed on ACOs, however.  Since ACOs and  
            humane officers go through and must meet different qualifying  
            criteria to get their appointments, different levels of access  
            to sensitive summary criminal history information appears  
            warranted.








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           5)Appointing Authority  :  This bill seeks to allow access to  
            criminal history information to "[a]n animal control officer,  
             appointed pursuant to  [Penal Code] Section 830.9, for purposes  
            of performing his or her official duties."  (Page 6, lines  
            4-5; page 17, lines 1-2, ver. 99 (emphasis added).)  Penal  
            Code section 830.9, however, pertains only to ACOs' ability to  
            exercise arrest powers and serve warrants during the course  
            and within the scope of their employment.  (See Pen. Code,   
            830.9.)  It does not-nor does any other statute-prescribe  
            criteria for the appointment of an ACO.  This is in contrast  
            to the fleshed-out appointment process laid out for humane  
            officers in Corporations Code section 14502.  (See comment  
            above.)  Consequently, this bill arguably creates ambiguity  
            about whether ACOs would have access to summary criminal  
            history information, as a possible interpretation of this  
            language could be that access to the information is available  
            only to ACOs who are appointed to such a position consistent  
            with requirements outlined in Penal Code section 830.9, which  
            would be none.  The proposed amendments seeks to remedy this  
            ambiguity by replacing the "appointed pursuant to Section  
            830.9" language with "employed by a city, county, or city and  
            county."

          6)Argument in Support  :  The  California-Nevada Conference of  
            Operating Engineers  writes that "ACOs currently do not have  
            access to the State Summary Criminal History Information  
            database of local equivalent databases, which appears to be a  
            mere oversight in the drafting of SB 1417 (Cox; 2009-2010)  
            which gave humane officers access.  Humane officers and ACOs  
            both investigate the same crimes against dangerous criminals  
            as traditional law enforcement officers.  Most ACOs don't  
            carry firearms, stun guns, or other personal protection  
            devices.  As law enforcement departments deal with budget cuts  
            and lose personnel, it's not always feasible for ACOs to have  
            law enforcement accompany them to calls.  ACOs urgently need  
            this criminal background information to safely and properly  
            serve the public."  
            
            7)Argument in Opposition  :   Legal Services for Prisoners with  
            Children  states that "[w]hile we understand that the  
            underlying purpose of the bill may be well intentioned, we  
            believe it would have unintended negative consequences.  ?   
            This bill would serve to increase the already high level of  
            discrimination that people face after their release.  ?  LSPC  








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            sees a great potential for misuse of background checks.   
            Unfortunately background checks often rely on inaccurate  
            records and make it difficult for formerly incarcerated people  
            to lead productive and successful lives.  Background checks  
            also serve to bring racially discriminatory sentencing  
            practices from the prison system into other institutions, thus  
            recreating the racial discrimination that is found in the  
            criminal justice system."  
                 
            8)Related Legislation  :  
                
             a)   AB 1960 (Perea) would require DOJ to provide the  
               director of a state hospital, or his or her designee, state  
               summary criminal history information, and access to the  
               California Law Enforcement Telecommunication System, for a  
               patient committed to that facility for treatment for the  
               purpose of treatment or the determination of security  
               required for that patient.  AB 1960 is awaiting a hearing  
               in this committee.
                
              b)   SB 1136 (Huff) would require DOJ to provide county child  
               welfare agency personnel state summary criminal history  
               information to monitor the health and safety of persons  
               receiving care, treatment, or services from state licensed  
               foster homes, foster family agencies, and group homes.  SB  
               1136 is pending referral by the Senate Committee on Rules.  
                 
              c)   SB 1278 (Leno) would require ACOs to complete specified  
               training courses and continuing education courses as  
               specified.  SB 1278 is awaiting a hearing in the Senate  
               Committee on Public Safety.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Animal Issues Movement
          California-Nevada Conference of Operating Engineers
          Citizens for Law and Order, Inc.
          City of Sacramento
          Crime Victims Action Alliance
          Laborers' International Union of North America, Local 777
          Laborers' International Union of North America, Local 792
          Stationary Engineers, Local 39









                                                                  AB 1511
                                                                  Page 7

           Opposition 
           
          Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
          

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Shaun Naidu / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744 















































                                                                  AB 1511
                                                                  Page 8

                    PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 1511

                                Proposed Amendment 1
               On page 5, on line 37, strike the second "of".


                                Proposed Amendment 2
               On page 6, strike lines 4 and 5.


                                Proposed Amendment 3
               On page 6, between lines 24 and 25, insert:

               (4)  An animal control officer employed by a city, county,  
          or city and county, for purposes of performing his or her  
          official duties.


                                Proposed Amendment 4
               On page 17, strike lines 1 through 4, inclusive.


                                Proposed Amendment 5
               On page 17, between lines 19 and 20, insert:

               (3)  An animal control officer employed by a city, county,  
          or city and county, for purposes of performing his or her  
          official duties.