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Employment-Related, Public Safety Bills at A Glance: Release Or Reporting Of Peace Officer Information And Records (AB 1299 & SB 1220)
The peak of California Legislature’s lawmaking season has arrived. LCW summarizes some important, employment-related portions of public safety bills that have survived the legislative process so far. Some or all of these bills could be vetoed by the Governor by the September 30, 2020 deadline. Here is where we stand as of the time of publication of this September 2020 issue of Briefing Room.
AB 1299 (Salas D) Requires law enforcement agency to notify POST about peace officer terminations, or resignations or retirements with a pending complaint, charge, or investigation of a serious nature. Requires POST reporting of the same to law enforcement agencies conducting pre-employment background investigations.
This bill would add a new Penal Code section 13510.6. This bill would require any agency that employs peace officers to notify the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) when a peace officer separates from employment, including details of any termination, or resignation or retirement with a pending complaint, charge, or investigation of a “serious nature”. This bill defines “serious nature” to be something, in the opinion of the agency’s head, that would likely result in the termination, demotion, or suspension of that officer for 30 days or more, if the change was sustained and if the officer had remained employed at that agency. The bill would require POST to include this information in an officer’s profile and make that information available to both the employing law enforcement agency and any law enforcement agency that is conducting a pre-employment background investigation of the subject of the profile.
SB 1220 (Umberg D) As of January 1, 2022, requires law enforcement agencies to notify prosecuting agencies, annually and upon request, of sustained findings of peace or custodial officer sexual assault, some forms of dishonesty, moral turpitude, or group bias. Would give peace officers the opportunity to challenge Brady listing.
This bill would create a new Penal Code section 832.11. This bill would, on and after January 1, 2022, require a law enforcement agency maintaining personnel records of peace officers or custodial officers to, annually and upon request, provide a prosecuting agency a list of names and badge numbers of officers, employed by the agency in the five years preceding the request, who: have had sustained findings for conduct of sexual assault, dishonesty relating to the reporting or investigation or prosecution of crime, or moral turpitude or group bias; have been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude; are facing currently pending criminal charges or are on probation for a criminal offense. The bill would define conduct and crimes of “moral turpitude” to be the same as that in published appellate court decisions. The bill would additionally require a prosecuting agency, prior to placing an officer’s name on a Brady list, to notify the officer as soon as practicable and provide the officer an opportunity to present information to the prosecuting agency against the officer’s placement on the list.