BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                             Senator Loni Hancock, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:    SB 237        Hearing Date:    March 24, 2015    
          
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          |Author:    |Anderson                                             |
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          |Version:   |February 17, 2015                                    |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|JRD                                                  |
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                          Subject:  Animal Control Officers



          HISTORY

          Source:   Roy Curtis Marcum Foundation and Humane Society of the  
          United States

          Prior Legislation:SB 1278 (Leno) - 2014, held in Senate  
          Appropriations
                         SB l655 (Presley) - Ch. 82, Stats. 1990
                         AB 2209 (Vicencia) - Ch. 1575, Stats. 1985

          Support:  California Attorneys for Criminal Justice; LIUNA  
          Locals 777 and 792

          Opposition:None known

                     
          PURPOSE

          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  








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          person in control of an animal control agency on or after July  
          1, 2016 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.)

                 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  









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               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.)

          Existing law requires that fees for the issuance of dog license  
          tags and fines collected for a violation of the provisions  
          regulating and licensing dogs be paid into the county, city or  
          city and county treasury and that they be used for specified  
          purposes, including to pay costs and expenses related to: (1)  
          the issuance of dog license tags, (2) to pay fees, salaries,  
          costs, expenses, or any or all of them for the enforcement of  
          the dog licensing provisions, (3) to pay damages to owners of  
          livestock which are killed by dogs, and (4) to pays costs of any  
          hospitalization or emergency care of an abandoned and neglected  
          animals.  (Food and Agriculture Code  30652.)

          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, 2016, to complete a course in the exercise of  
          the powers of arrest and to serve warrants no later than July 2,  
          2017.  And, every Animal Control Officer, appointed after July  
          1, 2016, 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, 2016 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  









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          following the date of appointment as an 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.  

          This bill would expand the list of purposes for which dog  
          license fees can be used to include paying for initial and  
          in-service training for persons charged with enforcement animal  
          control laws, including animal control officers. 

                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION
                                          
          For the past eight years, this Committee has scrutinized  
          legislation referred to its jurisdiction for any potential  
          impact on prison overcrowding.  Mindful of the United States  
          Supreme Court ruling and federal court orders relating to the  
          state's ability to provide a constitutional level of health care  
          to its inmate population and the related issue of prison  
          overcrowding, this Committee has applied its "ROCA" policy as a  
          content-neutral, provisional measure necessary to ensure that  
          the Legislature does not erode progress in reducing prison  
          overcrowding.   

          On February 10, 2014, the federal court ordered California to  
          reduce its in-state adult institution population to 137.5% of  
          design capacity by February 28, 2016, as follows:   

                 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. 

          In its most recent status report to the court (February 2015),  
          the administration reported that as "of February 11, 2015,  
          112,993 inmates were housed in the State's 34 adult  
          institutions, which
          amounts to 136.6% of design bed capacity, and 8,828 inmates were  
          housed in out-of-state
          facilities.  This current population is now below the  
          court-ordered reduction to 137.5% of design
          bed capacity."( Defendants' February 2015 Status Report In  
          Response To February 10, 2014 Order, 2:90-cv-00520 KJM DAD PC,  









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          3-Judge Court, Coleman v. Brown, Plata v. Brown   (fn. omitted).

          While significant gains have been made in reducing the prison  
          population, the state now must stabilize these advances and  
          demonstrate to the federal court that California has in place  
          the "durable solution" to prison overcrowding "consistently  
          demanded" by the court.  (Opinion Re: Order Granting in Part and  
          Denying in Part Defendants' Request For Extension of December  
          31, 2013 Deadline, NO. 2:90-cv-0520 LKK DAD (PC), 3-Judge Court,  
          Coleman v. Brown, Plata v. Brown (2-10-14).  The Committee's  
          consideration of bills that may impact the prison population  
          therefore will be informed by the following questions:

              Whether a proposal erodes a measure which has contributed  
               to reducing the prison population;
              Whether a proposal addresses a major area of public safety  
               or criminal activity for which there is no other  
               reasonable, appropriate remedy;
              Whether a proposal addresses a crime which is directly  
               dangerous to the physical safety of others for which there  
               is no other reasonably appropriate sanction; 
              Whether a proposal corrects a constitutional problem or  
               legislative drafting error; and
              Whether a proposal proposes penalties which are  
               proportionate, and cannot be achieved through any other  
               reasonably appropriate remedy.


          



          COMMENTS

          1.Need for This Bill
          
          The author states:

               Animal control officers (ACOs) enforce state and  
               local laws pertaining to animal care and control as  
               well as public safety.  ACOs are not peace  
               officers, but they may exercise the same powers of  









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               arrest and serving warrants within the scope of  
               their duties.   They can investigate felony crimes  
               and make felony arrests, ACOs also routinely enter  
               private property to seize animals when there is  
               evidence of animal cruelty, neglect or the need for  
               quarantine.  This is often done over the angry and  
               sometimes violent objections of owners that put  
               ACOs in dangerous situations. 

               Humane officers, who work on behalf of non-profit  
               humane societies issuing citations for violations,  
               have clear and strict training requirements.   
               Humane officers are required to complete basic  
               training and must complete 40 hours of continuing  
               education every three years.  Despite ACOs having  
               greater authority to enforce animal welfare and  
               other laws, humane officers are subject to stricter  
               and more standardized training than ACOs. 

          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.



               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  









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               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.)

          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. 

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

          3.Argument in Support  
           
          LIUNA Locals 777 and 792, representing animal control officers,  
          state:

               SB 237 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  









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               warrants within the scope of their duties.  The 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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