BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 247


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          Date of Hearing:  April 7, 2015
          Counsel:               David Billingsley



                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY


                                  Bill Quirk, Chair





          AB  
                       247 (Waldron) - As Amended  March 24, 2015




          SUMMARY:  Establishes continuing education training for animal  
          control officers and includes initial and continuing education  
          for animal control officers in the list of items for which fees  
          from dog license tags may be used.   Specifically, this bill: 

          1)Requires persons appointed as an animal control officer (ACO)  
            complete a course in the exercise of the powers of arrest.  
            ACOs appointed before January 1, 2016 shall complete training  
            by January 1, 2017.  Any ACOs appointed after that date shall  
            complete the training within one year of appointment.

          2)Requires 40 hours of continuing education and training  
            relating to the duties of an animal control officer during  
            each three year period from July 1, 2016, or from date of  
            appointment.

          3)Requires that continuing education include at least four hours  
            of course work in the exercise of powers of arrest and to  
            serve warrants taught by a Commission on Peace Officer  
            Standards and Training certified instructor, four hours of  
            coursework in officer safety, four hours or coursework in  
            animal-related laws, four hours of coursework in conducting  








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            investigations, and four hours of coursework in one or more of  
            the topics of animal handling, animal care, animal diseases,  
            or public health.



          4)Requires the continuing education be provided by an accredited  
            postsecondary institution, the Commission on Peace Officer  
            Standards and Training, a law enforcement agency, the National  
            Animal Care and Control Association, the California Animal  
            Control Directors Association, the California Veterinary  
            Medical Association, or the State Humane Association of  
            California.

          5)Requires every person appointed as a director, manager, or  
            supervisor to complete a course in the exercise of the power  
            of arrest within one year of appointment.

          6)Provides that failure to satisfactorily complete the  
            continuing education and training requirements within 90 days  
            after the expiration of each three-year period shall result in  
            the immediate suspension of the authority to arrest and serve  
            warrants.



          7)Allows fees from the issuance of dog license tags and fines  
            collected in enforcement of license tags may be used to pay  
            for initial and in-service training for persons charged with  
            enforcing animal control laws, including animal control  
            officers.




          EXISTING LAW:  

           1) States that animal control officers are not peace officers  
             but may exercise the powers of arrest of a peace officer as  
             specified in California Penal Code section 836 and the power  
             to serve warrants as specified in California Penal Code  
             sections 1523 and 1530 during the course and with the scope  








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             of their employment, if those officers successfully complete  
             a course in the exercise of those powers pursuant to  
             California Penal Code section 832. (Pen. Code,  830.9.)

           2) That part of the training course 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. (Pen. Code,  830.9.)



           3) Requires peace officers, and specified other public officers  
             "not a peace officer," including animal control officers, to  
             complete training prescribed by the Commission on Peace  
             Officer Standards and Training (POST) and to pass an  
             appropriate POST examination.  ((Pen. Code,  , 830.9, 832.)

           4) States that 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.  ((Pen.  
             Code,  834.)

           5) 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.  ((Pen. Code,  835.)



           6) 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.   
             ((Pen. Code,   837.)



           7) 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  








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             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.   
             ((Pen. Code,  836.)

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown

          COMMENTS:  

          1)Author's Statement:  According to the author, "AB 247 requires  
            ACOs to complete a standardized training course in the powers  
            of arrest and the powers of serving warrants. 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.

          "Animal control officers (ACOs) need training throughout their  
            career to properly to carry out the job's responsibilities.  
            Additional training will ensure the safety of the ACOs and  
            allow them to adequately handle dangerous situations. AB 247  
            will ensure that ACOs safely conduct their duties and will  
            prevent unintended abuse of authority."

          2)Cost Concerns of Counties:  Rural County Representatives of  
            California (RCRC) and the California State Association of  
            Counties (CSAC) expressed concerns that training would still  
            impose costs on the county in spite of state reimbursement and  
            that state funding for the training might be eliminated in  
            future years after the public has a new level of expectation  
            of service.  

          3)Current Training Materials Available for Animal Control  
            Officers.  POST currently provides a DVD specifically on  
            warrant service and building entry tactics.  POST has other  
            training materials on DVD and Webinar which include Officer  
            Safety, Stress Management, Search Warrant Fundamentals,  
            Surviving Deadly Assaults.  American Society for the  
            Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has webinars which  








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            have content related to the duties of animal control officers.  


          4)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.

          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.)

          The Humane Society and Roy Curtis Marcum Foundations are  
            co-sponsoring the legislation and feel that additional  
            training will help avoid more situations like Roy  
            Marcum's.  According to the Humane Society and the Roy  
            Curtis Marcum Foundation, who are co-sponsoring this  
            legislation: 

          "Despite the duties of enforcing state and local laws,  
            including felonies, there is no standardized training or  
            in-service training for ACOs.  In fact, humane officers  
            and security guards have stricter training requirements  
            than ACOs.  The lack of officer training can contribute  
            to tragic results.  In 2012, Sacramento County Animal  
            Care and Regulation Officer Roy C. Marcum was fatally  
            shot through the front door by an irate animal owner.   
            Despite Officer Marcum's years of experience, he lacked  
            the necessary and ongoing training to safely address the  
            hazards he faced."  They support that the proposed  
            legislation seeks to standardize training on the powers  
            of arrest and requires continuing education and training.









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          5)Argument in Support:  According to the Humane Society of  
            the United States, "Animal control officers (ACOs) are no  
            longer just dog catchers.  They are animal law  
            enforcement officers, with all of the obligations,  
            authority-and dangers-of peace officers.  They respond to  
            life-threatening emergency calls daily, protecting the  
            lives of both people and animals.

          "Almost all are unarmed-usually having only a clipboard and  
            a catch pole for protection-yet they investigate felony  
            crimes, from murder to the most heinous and sadistic  
            animal abuse, putting people in state prison.  They are  
            usually alone day and night-without the assistance of  
            peace officers.

          "Despite the duties of enforcing state and local laws,  
            including felonies, there is no standardized training or  
            in-service training for ACOs.  In fact, humane officers  
            and security guards have stricter training requirements  
            than ACOs.  The lack of officer training can contribute  
            to tragic results.  In 2012, Sacramento County Animal  
            Care and Regulation Officer Roy C. Marcum was fatally  
            shot through the front door by an irate animal owner.   
            Despite Officer Marcum's years of experience, he lacked  
            the necessary and ongoing training to safely address the  
            hazards he faced.

          "AB 247 requires all ACOs to complete a standardized  
            training course in the powers of arrest and to serve  
            warrants and requires a minimum 40 hours of continuing  
            education and training every three years to protect ACOs  
            as they perform their duties.  This will ensure that ACOs  
            safely conduct their duties and will prevent inadvertent  
            abuse of authority.  The confidence that comes with  
            training will also increase appropriate protection of  
            even more animals and people.

          "AB 247 does not change a local jurisdiction's ability to  
            decide the level of authority that ACOs may ultimately  
            exercise.  Additionally, the bill does not change ACOs  
            status as a non-peace officer, and will not provide a  
            pathway for peace officer status nor expand the use of  








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            firearms.  The bill simply seeks to standardize and  
            provide continuing ACO training in existing powers and  
            duties.  AB 247 takes the necessary action to ensure that  
            all ACOs have basic training in approaching potentially  
            dangerous situations, are better prepared to address  
            combatant animal owners, and know the boundaries of their  
            duties.  In addition, the training will help reduce a  
            jurisdiction's costs related to liability and workers'  
            compensation claims."

          6)Argument in Opposition:  According to Jolena Voorhis of  
            the Urban Counties Caucus, "While generally we are in  
            support of training, by requiring animal control  
            officials to receive specific training, this bill would  
            have a fiscal impact on counties.  For urban counties,  
            many of which may have several animal control officers,  
            this could be a significant fiscal impact.  The bill does  
            allow dog licenses fees to be used to provide funding,  
            however, our counties have noted that this will not cover  
            the cost of this training.  Until the bill provides a  
            funding source to cover the cost of this training, UCC  
            will have to remain opposed."

          7)Related Legislation: SB 237 (Anderson and Leno), of this  
            legislative session, requires training for animal control  
            officers in the exercise of the powers of arrest and to  
            serve warrants.  The bill would also require animal  
            control officers to complete at least 40 hours of  
            continuing education and training during each three year  
            period.  Adds training of animal control officers to the  
            list of beneficiaries of dog license fees. SB 237 is  
            pending hearing by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
          
          
          8)Prior Legislation: 

             a)   AB 1511 (Gaines), Chapter 449, Statutes of 2014,  
               allowed animal control officers to access summary  
               criminal history information from a criminal justice  
               agency when necessary for the performance of his or  
               her official duties and upon a showing of compelling  
               need.








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             b)   SB 1278 (Leno and Wyland), of the  2013 - 2014  
               Legislative Session, , would have required initial  
               training of animal control officers and 40 hours of  
               continuing education every three years.  Proposed use  
               of dog license fees to be used for the training of  
               animal control officers.  SB 1278 was held in the  
               Senate Appropriations Committee.

             c)   SB 1162 (Runner), Chapter 594, Statutes of 2012,  
               authorized animal control officers to possess and  
               administer a tranquilizer that contains a controlled  
               substance to wild, stray, or abandoned animal, with  
               direct or indirect supervision as determined by a  
               licensed veterinarian, provided that the officer meets  
               prescribed training requirements.

             d)   SB 1190 (Cedillo), Chapter 109, Statutes of 2012,  
               removed the requirement that animal control officers  
               and illegal dumping enforcement officers complete  
               training, certified by the Department of Consumer  
               Affairs, in order to be permitted to carry a club or  
               baton and instead required the officers to complete  
               training approved by the Commission on Peace Officer  
               Standards and Training in the carrying and use of the  
               club or baton.

          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:

          Support

          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
          LIUNA Locals 777 & 792
          The Humane Society


          Opposition


          Urban Counties Caucus










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          Analysis Prepared  
          by:              David Billingsley / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744