Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a slew of new laws that will take effect on January 1 and will change policing in California in major ways. These new laws will also affect the SAPD here in Santa Ana. Here is a rundown of these new laws and how they will impact policing in Santa Ana:

  • AB-89 – Raises the age limit to be a police officer in the state of California from 18 to 21 while requiring that new officers also have a bachelor’s degree. A policing degree program will be established by the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges and implemented by the existing Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. Result – The Rancho Santiago Community College District and CSUF will be getting plenty of new students!
  • AB-481 – Requires law enforcement agencies to pass a military equipment use policy, during a public meeting, in order to receive and continue using surplus equipment from the U.S. Military. This policy must be reviewed annually and can be amended by the agency’s governing body. For state agencies wishing to use and acquire military surplus equipment, they must also create a policy, post it on their website, review it annually and a copy must be provided to the Governor’s Office. Agencies which already operate equipment from the military must now hold a public meeting through their governing body as well, to approve the continued use and acceptance of that equipment. Result – watch out for a public meeting coming from the SAPD to explain how they are using surplus U.S. military equipment.
  • AB-26 – Requires officers to immediately report potential incidents of excessive force and intervene if they witness excessive force that is “clearly beyond that which is necessary.” Law enforcement agencies will be required to revise policies to prevent retaliation against officers who report violations of law. Use of force policies must also require that officers who do not intercede when present in cases of excessive force, be disciplined up to and including in the same way the officer who used excessive force was disciplined. Result – SAPD police officers won’t be able to cover up for their bad cops anymore without incurring serious repercussions.
  • AB-490 – Forbids law enforcement agencies from authorizing methods of transport or techniques that lead to a “substantial risk” of positional asphyxia. Positional asphyxia is a position in which someone is prevented from breathing. Result – The SAPD will have to revise their Use of Force Policy.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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