BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







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

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          SB 1278 (Leno)                                             8
          As Introduced February 21, 2014 
          Hearing date:  March 25, 2014
          Penal Code
          JRD:sl

                                ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS  

                                       HISTORY

          Source:  California Animal Control Directors Association;      
          Humane Society of the United States                               


          Prior Legislation: Senate Bill 655 (Presley)-Ch. 82, Stats. 1990
                       Assembly Bill 2209 (Vicencia)-Ch. 1575, Stats. 1985

          Support: Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA),  
                   Locals 777 &792; City of Chula Vista Police Department;  
                   International Union of Operating Engineers, Stationary  
                   Engineers, Local 39

          Opposition:None known

          (Analysis reflects author's amendments to be offered in  
          committee.) 

                                             
                                        KEY ISSUE
           
          SHOULD CERTAIN ANIMAL CONTROL PERSONNEL BE REQUIRED TO HAVE  
          ADDITONAL TRAINING, AS SPECIFIED?


                                       PURPOSE


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          The purpose of this bill is to expand current training  
          requirements for animal control personnel by requiring: (1) all  
          animal control officers to complete a course in the exercise of  
          powers of arrest and to serve warrants, as specified; (2) each  
          person appointed as a director, manager, supervisor, or any  
          person in control of an animal control agency on or after July  
          1, 2015 complete a course in the exercise of powers of arrest  
          and to serve warrants within one year of appointment; and, (3)  
          all animal control officers have 40 hours of continuing training  
          every three years, as specified. 
           Existing law  provides that animal control officers are not peace  
          officers but may exercise the powers of arrest of a peace  
          officer, as specified, and the power to serve warrants, as  
          specified, during the course and within the scope of their  
          employment, if those officers successfully complete a course in  
          the exercise of those powers pursuant to Section 832.  That part  
          of the training course specified in Section 832 pertaining to  
          the carrying and use of firearms shall not be required for any  
          animal control officer whose employing agency prohibits the use  
          of firearms.  (Penal Code  830.9.)

           Existing law  further provides:

                 An arrest is taking a person into custody, in a  
               case and in the manner authorized by law and that an  
               arrest may be made by a peace officer or a private  
               person.  (Penal Code  834.)

                 An arrest is made by an actual restraint of the  
               person, or by submission to the custody of an officer.  
                The person arrested may be subjected to such  
               restraint as is reasonable for his or her arrest and  
               detention.  (Penal Code  835.)

                 A private person may arrest another person for a  
               public offense committed or attempted in his or her  
               presence, when the person arrested has committed a  
               felony regardless of whether it was committed in his  
               or her presence, and when a felony has been committed  
               and he or she has reasonable cause for believing the  
               person to be arrested has committed it.  (Penal Code   
               837.)

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                 With limited exceptions, a peace officer may arrest  
               a person when the officer has reasonable cause to  
               believe the person to be arrested has committed a  
               public offense in the officer's presence, when the  
               person arrested has committed a felony regardless of  
               whether it was committed in the officer's presence,  
               and when the officer has reasonable cause to believe  
               the person to be arrested has committed a felony.   
               (Penal Code  836.)

           Existing law  requires peace officers, and specified other public  
          officers "not a peace officer," to complete training prescribed  
          by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)  
          and to pass an appropriate POST examination.  (Penal Code   
          832.)

           This bill  would require all animal control officers to complete  
          a course in the exercise of powers of arrest and to serve  
          warrants, administered by POST.  Specially, the bill would  
          require every person appointed as an animal control officer  
          prior to July 1, 2015, to complete a course in the exercise of  
          the powers of arrest and to serve warrants no later than July 2,  
          2016.  And, every Animal Control Officer, appointed after July  
          1, 2015, to complete the course within one year of beginning  
          employment.  
          
           This bill  would require each person appointed as a director,  
          manager, supervisor, or any person in control of an animal  
          control agency on or after July 1, 2015 complete a course in the  
          exercise of powers of arrest and to serve warrants, administered  
          by POST, within one year of appointment, as specified. 

           This bill  would require that during each three-year period  
          following the date of appointment as animal control officer,  
          every animal control officer shall satisfactorily complete at  
          least 40 hours of continuing education and training relating to  
          the powers and duties of an animal control officer as determined  
          by the California Animal Control Directors Association.  
                                          
                    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 that 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.  
            

          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 requiring the state to reduce its prison  
          population to 137.5 percent of design capacity.  The State  
          submitted 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 opposed the  
          state's motion, arguing 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 % inmate population cap by December 31,  
          2013.  

          The Three-Judge Court then ordered, on April 11, 2013, the state  

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          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."  On September 16, 2013, the State asked the  
          Court to extend that deadline to December 31, 2016.  In  
          response, the Court extended the deadline first to January 27,  
          2014 and then February 24, 2014, and ordered the parties to  
          enter into a meet-and-confer process to "explore how defendants  
          can comply with this Court's June 20, 2013 Order, including  
          means and dates by which such compliance can be expedited or  
          accomplished and how this Court can ensure a durable solution to  
          the prison crowding problem."

          The parties were not able to reach an agreement during the  
          meet-and-confer process.  As a result, the Court ordered  
          briefing on the State's requested extension and, on February 10,  
          2014, issued an order extending the deadline to reduce the  
          in-state adult institution population to 137.5% design capacity  
          to February 28, 2016.  The order requires the state to meet the  
          following interim and final population reduction benchmarks:

                 143% of design bed capacity by June 30, 2014;
                 141.5% of design bed capacity by February 28, 2015; and
                 137.5% of design bed capacity by February 28, 2016. 

          If a benchmark is missed the Compliance Officer (a position  
          created by the February 10, 2016 order) can order the release of  
          inmates to bring the State into compliance with that benchmark.   


          In a status report to the Court dated February 18, 2014, the  
          state reported that as of February 12, 2014, California's 33  
          prisons were at 144.3 percent capacity, with 117,686 inmates.   
          8,768 inmates were housed in out-of-state facilities.

          The ongoing prison overcrowding litigation indicates that prison  
          capacity and related issues concerning conditions of confinement  
          remain unresolved.  While real gains in reducing the prison  
          population have been made, even greater reductions may be  
          required to meet the orders of the federal court.  Therefore,  
          the Committee's consideration of ROCA bills -bills that may  
          impact the prison population - will be informed by the following  

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          questions:

                 Whether a measure erodes realignment and impacts the  
               prison population;
                 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  

          The author states in part: 

               Currently, some animal control executives and  
               animal control officers (ACOs) lack even the most  
               basic training related to laws of arrests and  
               serving warrants.  ACOs enforce state and local  
               laws pertaining to animal care and control as well  
               as public safety.  While they are not peace  
               officers, ACOs may exercise the same powers of  
               arrest and serving warrants within the scope of  
               their duties.  They can investigate felony crimes  
               and make felony arrests.  Unlike peace officers and  
               humane officers, ACOs are not currently required to  
               attend any in-service training or education in  
               order to maintain their proficiency in their law  
               enforcement duties.  Such training is necessary to  
               ensure ACO safety, service and professionalism.   
               This bill will require minimum ACO training  
               standards bringing California in line with other  
               states such as Connecticut, Florida, Maine, New  
               Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and  
               Wisconsin.

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               SB 1278 requires all ACOs to complete a standardized  
               training course in the powers of arrest and the  
               powers of serving warrants and to complete  
               continuing education and training.  Specifically,  
               the bill will require ACOs employed prior to July 1,  
               2015 to complete a standardized course no later than  
               July 1, 2016.  ACOs employed after July 1, 2015 must  
               complete the course within one year from the start  
               of their employment.  The bill also requires ACOs to  
               complete continuing education and training courses  
               once every three years.  The provisions of the bill  
               are self-regulating and give local jurisdictions  
               flexibility how they want to meet the training  
               guidelines set by the California Animal Control  
               Directors Association, including no-cost and  
               in-house training.

               The bill does not change a local jurisdiction's  
               ability to decide the level of authority that ACOs may  
               ultimately exercise.  The bill does not change ACO's  
               status as a non-peace officer, and will not expand the  
               authority of ACOs to carry firearms or expand the use  
               of firearms by ACOs.  The bill does not provide a  
               pathway for peace officer status and simply seeks to  
               standardize ACO training in existing powers.  In  
               addition, the training will help reduce a  
               jurisdiction's costs related to liability and workers'  
               compensation claims.

          2.    Effect of this Legislation  

          The impetus behind this legislation is the 2012 death of  
          Animal Control Officer Roy Marcum.  In November 2012: 



               An unarmed animal control officer was shot and killed  
               in Sacramento County . . . while trying to retrieve  
               pets from a home whose owner was evicted the previous  
               day.


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               The officer had gone to the home to rescue dogs and  
               cats authorities thought had been left behind, a day  
               after Joseph Francis Corey was served an eviction  
               notice and a sheriff's deputy changed the locks.



               The officer - Roy Curtis Marcum, 45, of Elk Grove -  
               and a bank employee knocked on the door when Corey  
               fired a shotgun through the door, striking the officer  
               in the torso, Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason  
               Ramos said.

               (Calif. animal control officer killed in eviction, The  
               Daily Republic, November 30, 2012,  
               http://www.dailyrepublic.com/usworld/calif-animal-contr 
               ol-officer-killed-in-eviction/.)


          According to the author:  

               A lack of officer safety training contributed to the  
               recent tragic on-duty death of ACO Roy C. Marcum at  
               the hand of an irate animal owner.  With a lack of  
               training also comes the opportunity for inadvertent  
               abuse of authority and imposition of well-intentioned  
               yet unlawful demands by enforcement officers.  ACOs  
               are no less law enforcement professionals than any  
               other specialized law enforcement officers. Their  
               treatment of the public and the cases they submit for  
               prosecution face the exact same level of scrutiny by  
               the courts and the public. ACOs need the skills to  
               protect themselves, their agencies and others - both  
               humans and animals - from harm.

          To this end, the legislation seeks to not only standardize  
          training on the powers of arrest and serving warrants, but also  
          requires continuing education and training.   

          While the legislation mandates continuing education, it does not  

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          specify that training include refresher training on the powers  
          of arrest or executing search warrants.  Members may wish to  
          consider addressing this issue by recommending the following  
          language be substituted for penal code section 830.9(f)(2):

               The  minimum hours and  required topics of continuing  
               education and training, and the minimum hours of  
               training associated with those topics, shall be  
               determined by the California Animal Control Directors  
               Association.  Continuing education shall include at  
               least four hours of course work, taught by a Peace  
               Officer Standards and Training-certified instructor,  
               in the exercise of the powers of arrest and to serve  
               warrants.

          3.    Proposed Amendments
           
          The author has agreed to amend this bill to: (1) add California  
          Veterinary Medical Association to the list of entities that can  
          provide continuing training; (2) make clarifying changes to the  
          three-year continuing education requirement, specifically that  
          every animal control officer appointed prior to July 1, 2015,  
          shall complete the continuing training requirements by July 2,  
          2018, and every animal control officers  appointed on or after  
          July 1, 2015 shall complete the training requiring within three  
          years after his her appointment date; (3) clearly exempt animal  
          control officers that are peace officers under penal code 830.1,  
          including sheriff and police officers, from the requirements of  
          the legislation; (4) clearly exempt animal control officers who  
          have already had the training described in section 830.9(a), of  
          the proposed legislation, from the requirements of  that  
          section; and, (5) state that continuing education and training  
          may be recommended by the California Animal Control Directors  
          Association.       









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          4.  Argument in Support

            LIUNA Locals 777 and 792, representing animal control  
          officers, state:

               SB 1278 seeks to institute standardized training for  
               animal control officers in order to provide better  
               officer safety, to protect the rights of animal owners  
               and to ensure animal welfare.  The bill brings animal  
               control officers on par to similar training standards  
               required of humane officers. 

               Animal control officers (ACOs) enforce state and local  
               law pertaining to animal control and care as well as  
               public safety.  ACOs are not peace officers, but they  
               may exercise the same powers of arrest and serving  
               warrants within the scope of their duties.  They can  
               investigate felony crimes and make felony arrests  
               pertaining to state animal welfare laws.  ACOs also  
               routinely enter private property to seize animals when  
               there is evidence of animal cruelty, neglect or need  
               for quarantine.  This is often done over the angry and  
               sometimes violent objections of the owners that put  
               ACOs in dangerous situations. 

               Despite the duties of enforcing felony animal welfare  
               laws, there is not standardized training for ACOs in  
               the powers of arrest and serving warrants.  In fact,  
               security guards have stricter training requirements in  
               these powers than ACOs do.  All ACOs should have basic  
               training in approaching potentially dangerous  
               situations, be better prepared to address combatant  
               animal owners and know the boundaries of their duties.  
                 
            

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