AB 57 – Raises Requirements For Peace Officer Training And Agency Policies Regarding Hate Crime Prevention

CATEGORY: Client Update for Public Agencies, Fire Watch, Law Enforcement Briefing Room
CLIENT TYPE: Public Employers, Public Safety
DATE: Nov 03, 2021

Responding to a 2018 State Auditor report, the Legislature enacted AB 57 to improve underreporting of hate crimes. It does this by implementing specific requirements for peace officer training and agency policies. Existing law requires local law enforcement agencies to adopt and maintain a hate crimes policy, and sets a number of specific requirements for what such a policy must include. AB 57 adds a requirement that the hate crime policy must instruct officers to consider whether a suspected religion-bias hate crime involved targeted attacks on, or biased references to, religious symbols or articles considered to have spiritual significance in a particular religion. Agency hate crime policies must also include discriminatory selection of victims as a form of bias motivation.

In addition, AB 57 requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to develop and release additional training materials for peace officers regarding identifying and investigating hate crimes:

  1. In November 2017, POST developed a video course entitled “Hate Crimes: Identification and Investigation.” The bill requires POST to incorporate that course, or any updated versions of that course, into the training program leading to a Basic POST certificate.
  2. POST must also to make the video course available to stream via the POST Learning Portal.
  3. POST must develop an interactive training course of in-service peace officers on the topic of hate crimes, make that course available via the Learning Portal, and periodically update that course.

Finally, the bill requires that all in-service peace officers complete one of the two courses described above, or any other POST-certified hate crimes course, within one year of POST making the video course available, and at least every six years thereafter.

(AB 57 amends Sections 422.87 and 13519.6 of the Government Code.)

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