BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          SB 237 (Anderson) - Animal control officers: training
          
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          |Version: February 17, 2015      |Policy Vote: PUB. S. 6 - 0      |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: Yes                    |
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          |Hearing Date: April 13, 2015    |Consultant: Jolie Onodera       |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. 

          

          Bill  
          Summary:  SB 237 would require animal control officers (ACOs)  
          and ACO supervisory personnel, as specified, to complete a  
          training course in the exercise of the powers of arrest and to  
          serve warrants. This bill would also mandate minimum continuing  
          education (CE) and training requirements, as specified, for ACOs  
          and the maintenance of training records by local agencies  
          employing ACOs.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
               Initial training  : Potentially significant  
              state-reimbursable costs in excess of $150,000 (General  
              Fund) to local agencies employing ACOs for the initial  
              40-hour training course and costs to backfill for missed  
              work hours, both initial and ongoing. For every 10 percent  
              (147 ACOs) of currently employed ACOs, initial training  
              costs would be about $145,000 for training and staff time.  
              Training costs for ACO supervisory staff would be dependent  







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              on the number of applicable personnel, which is unknown at  
              this time, but would potentially be significant. 
               Continuing education/training  : Potentially significant  
              state-reimbursable costs to local agencies, estimated at a  
              minimum of $130,000 to $326,000 (General Fund) over three  
              years in staff time alone for every 10 to 25 percent of ACOs  
              required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of CE. This  
              estimate assumes local agencies utilize training courses  
              that are available at no cost, and includes only the costs  
              to backfill for staff time. To the extent local agencies  
              incur additional costs for training, the estimated costs  
              incurred triennially would increase accordingly. Also, to  
              the extent the minimum CE standard is set above 40 hours (as  
              allowable under the provisions of this measure), costs would  
              increase accordingly.
               Mandated records retention  : One-time and ongoing  
              state-reimbursable costs (General Fund) to local agencies  
              for the mandated maintenance of training records by the ACO  
              employing agency. Costs would be dependent on the media  
              utilized to maintain the records, the retention period, and  
              volume of records to be maintained.  
               Local funds impact  : Training costs could potentially be  
              offset in part by dog license tag fee and fine revenues to  
              the extent funds are allowable for this use and available  
              after all other existing payment obligations as prioritized  
              are satisfied. Additional revenue decreases (Local) in  
              county and city funds could be incurred to the extent  
              reimbursement for the costs of training are extended beyond  
              ACOs to include humane officers.


          Background:  Existing law under Penal Code (PC)  830.9 provides that ACOs  
          are not peace officers but may exercise the powers of arrest of  
          a peace officer and the power to serve warrants, as specified,  
          during the course and within the scope of their employment if  
          those officers successfully complete a training course pursuant  
          to PC  832. Existing law provides that the part of the training  
          course pertaining to the carrying and use of firearms is not  
          required for any ACO whose employing agency prohibits the use of  
          firearms.

          The PC 832 Arrest and Firearms Course, certified by the  
          Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), is  
          the minimum training standard for California peace officers. The  








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          course consists of two components, which total a minimum of 64  
          hours. The Arrest component has a 40-hour requirement, and the  
          Firearms component has a 24-hour requirement. These components  
          are divided into 14 individual topics which contain the minimum  
          required foundational information for given subjects.

          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 if the PC   
          832 course is successfully completed. Unlike peace officers and  
          humane officers, ACOs are not mandated to attend any in-service  
          training or education in order to maintain their proficiency in  
          their law enforcement duties. This bill will require minimum ACO  
          training standards and seeks to not only standardize training on  
          the powers of arrest and serving warrants, but also requires  
          continuing education and the maintenance of training records by  
          local agencies.   


          Proposed  
          Law:  This bill places new initial and ongoing training requirements  
          on ACOs and ACO supervisory staff, as follows:
                 Requires every person appointed as an ACO 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 1, 2017.  
               Every ACO appointed on or after July 1, 2016, is required  
               to complete the course within one year of his or her  
               appointment.  
                 Specifies that the training component pertaining to the  
               carrying and use of firearms shall not be required for ACOs  
               whose employing agency prohibits the use of firearms.
                 Provides that an ACO who completed the basic training  
               course prior to January 1, 2016, is deemed to have  
               satisfied the aforementioned training requirements. 
                 Requires every person appointed as a director, manager,  
               supervisor, or any person in direct control of an animal  
               control agency on or after July 1, 2016, to complete the PC  
               832 training course within one year of his or her  
               appointment. 
                 Requires that during each three-year period following  
               the date of appointment for ACOs appointed after July 1,  
               2016, every ACO shall satisfactorily complete at least 40  
               hours of CE and training relating to the powers and duties  








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               of an ACO, as specified.  For ACOs appointed prior to July  
               1, 2016, the CE requirements must be completed by July 1,  
               2019, and every three years thereafter.
                 Provides that the California Animal Control Directors  
               Association may determine the minimum hours and required  
               topics of CE and training.
                 Requires CE and training to include at least four hours  
               of course work in the exercise of the powers of arrest and  
               to serve warrants taught by a POST-certified instructor.
                 Provides that ACO employing agencies may provide  
               training utilizing instructors or curriculum from within  
               the agency or from an allied agency, provided the topic and  
               length of instruction otherwise comply with the provisions  
               of the subdivision. 
                 Requires records of training to be maintained by the  
               ACO's employing agency.
                 Specifies that the training and records retention  
               requirements do not apply to an ACO who is a peace officer  
               pursuant to PC  830.1.
                 Adds, as a fifth priority, the cost of initial and  
               in-service training for persons charged with enforcing  
               animal control laws, including ACOs, to the list of  
               expenses authorized to be paid with from fees collected for  
               the issuance of dog license tags and fines collected from  
               the regulation of the licensing of dogs (Food and  
               Agriculture Code (FAC)  30652). 


          Related  
          Legislation:  SB 1278 (Leno) 2014 was substantially similar to this measure.  
          This bill was held on the Suspense File of this Committee.

          SB 655 (Presley) Chapter 82/1990 required ACOs to successfully  
          complete the training course on the powers of arrest and to  
          serve warrants, rather than simply receive that course of  
          training in order to exercise those powers during the course and  
          within the scope of their employment.


          Staff  
          Comments:  By imposing new training and continuing education requirements  
          on local employees, as well as records retention requirements on  
          local agencies, this bill imposes a state-mandated local  
          program, the costs of which could potentially be reimbursable by  








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          the state, subject to an affirmative decision by the Commission  
          on State Mandates (CSM). It is estimated that both the direct  
          costs to provide training to ACOs, as well as the indirect costs  
          to local agencies to backfill the ACO time spent at training  
          with other officers, could potentially be eligible for  
          reimbursement.

          Government Code  17556(e) states that the CSM shall not find  
          costs mandated by the state if offsetting savings or additional  
          revenue that was specifically intended to fund the costs of the  
          state mandate in an amount sufficient to fund the cost of the  
          state mandate exists. Of note, in its Parameters and Guidelines  
          of the approved test claim for Animal Adoption (CSM 98-TC-11),  
          the CSM deducted offsetting savings and other reimbursements,  
          including the fees from dog license tags issued and fines  
          collected pursuant to FAC  30652, from the total costs claimed.

          While this bill specifically amends FAC  30652 to authorize the  
          use of dog license tag fees and fines collected to fund the  
          training of persons charged with enforcement of animal control  
          laws, including ACOs, it is unknown if the existing fee and fine  
          revenues collected are appropriate and/or sufficient to cover  
          the initial and ongoing increased training costs of this  
          measure, as the authorized use of funds are prioritized from  
          rank 1 to 5, with the expenses imposed under this measure to be  
          paid last. Additionally, staff notes the spending authority  
          provided for in this measure extends not only to the training  
          costs of ACOs, but to the training costs for all persons charged  
          with enforcing animal control laws, which could include humane  
          officers.

          The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates 13,450 ACOs were  
          employed nationwide as of May 2014. Of the 12,080 ACOs employed  
          by local agencies, 1,470 ACOs are estimated to be employed in  
          California. It is assumed a large percentage of employed ACOs  
          would be exempt from the initial training due to the prior  
          completion of the course or existing peace officer status. There  
          would, however, be costs associated with a small percentage of  
          currently employed ACOs, as well as costs for prospectively  
          appointed ACOs and ACO supervisory staff required to complete  
          the initial training course. Additional local costs would also  
          be incurred to backfill for staff time spent at training. For  
          every 10 percent (147 officers) of currently employed ACOs who  
          would be required to complete the initial PC  832 training  








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          course at a cost of $102 for the 40-hour basic training course  
          (without firearms component), costs would be about $145,000.  
          This estimate includes the cost to backfill for staff time  
          utilizing the BLS hourly mean wage for ACOs in California of  
          $22.15.

          Training costs for every director, manager, supervisor, and any  
          person in direct control of an ACO would be dependent on the  
          number of applicable personnel, which is unknown at this time,  
          but would potentially be significant. Supervisory personnel  
          would not be exempt unless he or she was an ACO who previously  
          completed the training or held peace officer status.  

          The mandated CE and training requirements of at least 40 hours  
          to be completed every three years as determined by the  
          California Animal Control Directors Association (CACDA) would  
          result in potentially significant ongoing state-reimbursable  
          costs (General Fund). The magnitude of costs would be dependent  
          on the CE requirements determined by the CACDA, the availability  
          and utilization of no-cost training courses, and the number of  
          ACOs exempt from the CE requirements due to peace officer  
          status. For every 10 to 25 percent of ACOs statewide subject to  
          a 40-hour CE requirement, costs over three years are estimated  
          at a minimum of $130,000 to $326,000 (General Fund) in staff  
          time alone. This estimate assumes local agencies utilize  
          training courses that are available at no cost, and includes  
          only the costs to backfill for staff time. To the extent local  
          agencies incur additional costs for training (as the bill does  
          not mandate that local agencies utilize no-cost training courses  
          to fulfill training requirements), the estimated costs incurred  
          triennially would increase accordingly. In addition, to the  
          extent the minimum CE standard is set above 40 hours, as  
          allowable under the provisions of this measure, costs would  
          increase accordingly.


          Recommended  
        Amendments:1.  On page 4, in lines 12-13, due to the inclusion of several  
          dates described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of PC   
          830.9, as drafted, the language "following the date described in  
          paragraph (2)" is unclear. For clarity, staff recommends the  
          following technical amendment:

             (f) (1)  During each three-year period following the date  








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             described in paragraph (2),   Pursuant to paragraph (2),  every  
             animal control officer shall satisfactorily complete at least  
             40 hours of continuing education and training related to the  
             powers of arrest and duties of an animal control officer,?

          On page 4, in lines 31-39, to ensure the four hours of required  
          training on the powers of arrest are taught by a POST-certified  
          instructor, staff recommends the following technical amendments:

             On page 4, in line 34, delete "This" and delete lines 35-39.
             And add:   Nothing in this section shall restrict the ability  
             of an agency employing animal control officers from using  
             instructors or curriculum within the agency, or from an  
             allied agency, to provide the training required by this  
             section, provided that four hours of course work in the  
             exercise of the powers of arrest and to serve warrants is  
             taught by a Commission on Peace Officer Standards and  
             Training certified instructor.  


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