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Peace Officer Qualifications
SIGNED INTO LAW– AB 846 (Burke D) Expands the minimum standards for peace officers to include that the officer is free from protected- status bias. Requires law enforcement agencies to review and amend peace officer job descriptions to emphasize community-based policing.
Current law (Government Code section 1031) requires peace officers to meet specified minimum standards, including that peace officers be evaluated by a doctor and found to be free from any physical, emotional, or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer. Effective January 1, 2021, this new law amends Government Code section 1031 to require that the mental evaluation also includes whether the candidate has a bias against race or ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. Also effective January 1, 2021, this law adds new Penal Code section 13651 to require law enforcement agencies to review the job description of peace officers and make changes that emphasize community-based policing, familiarization between law enforcement and community residents, and collaborative problem solving, while de-emphasizing the paramilitary aspects of the job.