Peace Officer Standards: Here is what you need to know about CA AB846

By: Katie Kaneko, President, Koff & Associates

There are recent updates to CA law related to the minimum standards for California peace officers. California Assembly Bill No. 846 (AB846) was approved on 9/30/2020.

Existing law requires peace officers in this state to meet specified minimum standards, including, among other requirements, that peace officers be evaluated by a physician and surgeon or psychologist and found to be free from any physical, emotional, or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of their powers.

AB846 amends Government Code Section 1031 and adds Government Code Section 1031.3 requiring the evaluation to include an assessment of bias against race or ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. The bill would require the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to study, review, and update regulations and screening materials to identify explicit and implicit bias against race or ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, disability, or sexual orientation correlated to the emotional and mental condition evaluations.

Additionally, this bill adds Penal Code Section 13651, which requires every department or agency that employs peace officers to review Peace Officer job descriptions used in the recruitment and hiring of those peace officers and to make changes that deemphasize the paramilitary aspects of the job and place more emphasis on community interaction and collaborative problem solving, as specified.

How Can We Assist You?

As experts in classification description development, Koff & Associates can support your compliance efforts by updating your current Peace Officer classifications to ensure the inclusion of language that reflects community-based policing as called for in this new law. In addition, we offer customized Implicit Bias training for agencies. Contact us to discuss the needs of your agency.

Potential for State Reimbursement

SEC. 4. If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

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