BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2384


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          Date of Hearing:  April 20, 2016 


                   ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION


                                  Adam Gray, Chair


          AB 2384  
          (Gallagher) - As Amended April 6, 2016


          SUBJECT:  Terrorist activity


          SUMMARY:  Requires the Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), in  
          the first update of the State Emergency Plan after January 1,  
          2017, to develop a plan to enhance the public's knowledge about  
          how to identify and report terrorist activity.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)  Establishes the CalOES by the Governor's Reorganization Plan  
          No. 2, operative July 1, 2013.





          2)  Requires Cal OES to perform a variety of duties with respect  
            to specified emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response  
            activities in the state, including emergency medical services.












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          3)  Specifies that the SEP shall be in effect in each political  
            subdivision of the state, and the governing body of each  
            political subdivision shall take such action as may be  
            necessary to carry out the provisions thereof.





          4)  Requires the Governor to coordinate SEP and those programs  
            necessary to mitigate the effects of an emergency. 





          5)  Requires the Governor to coordinate the preparation of plans  
            and programs for the mitigation of the effects of an emergency  
            by the political subdivisions of the State of California, such  
            plans and programs to be integrated into and coordinated with  
            SEP and the plans and programs of the federal government and  
            of other states to the fullest possible extent.





          6)  Specifies that the Governor may, in accordance with SEP,  
            authorize programs for the mitigation of the effects of an  
            emergency, as specified.





          7)  Requires CalOES to update SEP, on or before January 1, 2015,  
            to include proposed best practices for local governments and  
            nongovernmental entities to use to mobilize and evacuate  








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            people with disabilities and others with access and functional  
            needs, during an emergency or natural disaster.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS:  


          Purpose of the bill  : According to the author, communities that  
          are alert and informed have a large impact on maintaining safety  
          in our nation and are the best defense for preventing terrorist  
          incidents.  We need to make sure that if someone sees something,  
          they say something.  AB 2384 is a step in the right direction  
          for increasing public awareness by requiring CalOES, in their  
          next State Emergency Plan update, to develop a plan to enhance  
          the public's knowledge about how to identify and report  
          suspicious activity. 


           Background  : In 2009, the California Legislature merged the  
          powers, purposes, and responsibilities of the former OES with  
          those of OHS into the newly- created California Emergency  
          Management Agency (Cal EMA).On July 1, 2013, Governor Edmund G.  
          Brown Jr.'s Reorganization Plan #2 eliminated Cal EMA and  
          restored it to the Governor's Office, renaming it the California  
          Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), and merging it  
          with the Office of Public Safety Communications. Today, CalOES  
          is responsible for overseeing and coordinating emergency  
          preparedness, response, recovery and homeland security  
          activities within the state.


           State Emergency Plan  : The SEP addresses the state's response to  
          extraordinary emergency situations associated with natural  
          disasters or human-caused emergencies.  In accordance with the  
          California Emergency Services Act, the plan describes the  
          methods for carrying out emergency operations, the process for  








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          rendering mutual aid, the emergency services of governmental  
          agencies, how resources are mobilized, how the public will be  
          informed and the process to ensure continuity of government  
          during and emergency or disaster.

          The plan is a management document intended to be read and  
          understood before an emergency occurs.  It is designed to  
          outline the activities of all California jurisdictions within a  
          statewide emergency management system and it embraces the  
          capabilities and resources in the broader emergency management  
          community that includes individuals, businesses,  
          non-governmental organizations, tribal governments, other  
          states, federal government and international assistance.

           "See Something, Say Something"  : In July 2010, the Department of  
          Homeland Security (DHS) started the "If you See Something, Say  
          Something" campaign to raise public awareness of the indicators  
          of terrorism. 

          DHS launched the campaign in conjunction with the U.S.  
          Department of Justice's Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting  
          Initiative (NSI), with the goal of training state and local law  
          enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators of terrorism  
          and terrorism-related crime. The NSI standardizes how these  
          observations are documented and analyzed and ensures that  
          reports are shared with the Federal Bureau of Investigation  
          (FBI)-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces for investigation and with  
          state Fusion Centers for analysis.

          According to the DHS website, suspicious activity is any  
          observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or  
          terrorism-related crime. This includes, but is not limited to:


                 Unusual items or situations: A vehicle is parked in an  
               odd location, a package/luggage is unattended, a  
               window/door is open that is usually closed, or other  
               out-of-the-ordinary situations occur.









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                 Eliciting information: A person questions individuals at  
               a level beyond curiosity about a building's purpose,  
               operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift  
               changes, etc.

                 Observation/surveillance: Someone pays unusual attention  
               to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional  
               interest. This includes extended loitering without  
               explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual,  
               repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g.,  
               with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or  
               measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.


           Reporting suspicious activity  : A 2012 study by the International  
          Association of Chiefs of Police and DHS, titled: "Improving the  
          Public's Awareness and Reporting of Suspicious Activity", found  
          that many people do not report suspicious activity because they  
          fear retaliation, incorrect reporting, or think it is not a  
          worthwhile use of police resources.  


          The study also found the public's definition of suspicious  
          activity differs from law enforcement's definition. Participants  
          tended to define suspicious activity as something out of the  
          ordinary or out of place considering the location. In many  
          cases, people gave their everyday environment as a normal  
          setting where any deviation would set off an internal  
          trigger-e.g., unknown people or cars loitering in their  
          neighborhood or near their workplaces, particularly late at  
          night. More than one in three survey respondents (36 percent)  
          described traditional criminal activity, such as someone  
          brandishing a gun or breaking into a car. Only a small portion  
          (5 percent) described activities that may be indicative of  
          terrorism. Urban and suburban respondents were more likely than  
          rural respondents to mention an activity that may lead to a  
          terrorist act.  










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          The study makes several recommendations to increase  
          underreporting and overall understanding of suspicious activity.  
          Those recommendations include: 1) Local law enforcement and  
          community organizations should promote public involvement in  
          identifying and reporting suspicious activities through outreach  
          efforts and campaigns; 2) Public education efforts should  
          provide community members with a better understanding of what  
          suspicious activity entails; 3) Educating the public about what  
          behaviors to be aware of is essential to effective reporting;  
          and 4) Law enforcement should advertise clear and concise  
          methods by which people can report suspicious activity.

           Prior/Related legislation : AB 1346 (Gray) of 2015/2016 Session.  
          Would require CalOES to update the State Emergency Plan on or  
          before January 1, 2018, and every 5 years thereafter, and would  
          require the plan to be consistent with specified state climate  
          adaptation strategies. AB 1346 is pending hearing in the Senate  
          Governmental Organizations Committee.



          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          None on file




          Opposition


          None on file








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          Analysis Prepared by:Kenton Stanhope / G.O. / (916) 319-2531