California Law Enforcement Leaders Introduce S.B. 387, the Law Enforcement Academic and Recruitment Next (LEARN) Act

The newly introduced bill will raise the bar for recruitment and education standards in the state while increasing diversity and opportunities for higher education

SB 387 Press Release

Sacramento, CA — Today, Senator Anthony Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) introduced SB 387– the Law Enforcement Academic and Recruitment Next (LEARN) Act – sponsored by the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) and the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA). The LEARN Act will create increased opportunities to recruit a more diverse pool of prospective officers, require more academic coursework as part of the required training each officer must receive, and provide financial resources for both prospective and current officers to pursue a college education that will help to prepare them for the rigors and adversities inherent to modern-day policing.

“Community policing is more complex than ever, and we need officers that reflect our diverse communities and adapt to their values.  The basic functions and duties of an officer have changed immensely over the years, but the recruitment strategies, pre-requisite training and types of education we expect our officers to have needs updating,” said Senator Anthony Portantino. “The LEARN Act will allow us to recruit, educate and train California’s next generation of peace officers and better prepare them to carry out their duties in a way that is consistent with the expectations communities place on officers today.”

This bill represents the first of many steps that will need to be taken as leaders in California law enforcement work together with our elected officials to chart a new path forward for the public safety profession – ensuring that California is on course to have the best and most highly educated officers in the country by the end of the decade.

LEARN Act Factsheet

“We must do more to show the value of a career in law enforcement as an honorable profession worthy of pursuing for all of California’s youth, regardless of their background, race, gender or financial status,” said Brian Marvel, President of the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC). “If we are to truly improve public safety outcomes, we must seek to facilitate a cultural shift, both within the law enforcement profession but also externally in the way officers are viewed by members of the public.”

Today’s line officers and leaders must meet a wide variety of challenges including, evolving technologies, changing laws, new cultural mores, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, and a growing mental health crisis. Study’s and research from public safety experts throughout the country consistently show that increased education and training can help officers to approach each interaction in a way that is proven to increase positive public safety outcomes in our communities.  

“While training and education requirements for California’s officers are already amongst the highest in the nation, we want to continue to lead and raise the bar not only for our in-service personnel but our entry-level recruits, as well,” said Eric Nunez, President of the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA). “It has become clear that the 685-hour police academy mandated training required by the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (POST) is not sufficient to cover all the new legislative requirements that have been established in recent years. We look forward to working with our elected leaders, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders across the state to help develop and refine proposals that will place our officers in the best possible position to serve our communities the way our communities want to be served.”

The LEARN Act will set California’s next generation of peace officers up for success while helping to repair the trust that officers need to carry out their duties safely, effectively, and in a way that reflects our shared California values. The LEARN Act will:

  • Establish statewide outreach teams comprised of active law enforcement, community members and educators.
  • Actively share our experiences and provide younger students with the opportunity to learn from and ask questions about the role of law enforcement in our daily lives.
  • Provide opportunities for older students to learn about how they can pursue both a career in law enforcement and a college degree.
  • Establish a statewide law enforcement education fund to expand access to college degree programs for both prospective and current officers.
  • Develop an expanded curriculum specifically designed to prepare officers to meet the expectations of a modern police force, including classes on mental health, social services, psychology, communication and more – a requirement for officers looking to move up in the ranks and to receive their intermediate and advanced POST certificates.
  • Create the foundation for a modernized degree specific to policing for law enforcement that includes a multi-discipline approach to capture all the various skill-set requirements necessary of the modern police officer.

The LEARN Act represents the first in a series of legislative proposals that will collectively seek to define a pathway towards modernizing California’s police force. These policy proposals reflect CPCA’s and PORAC’s more than 120 years of combined institutional knowledge in advocating for victims’ rights, higher training and recruitment standards, body-worn cameras, more community-based policing and the elimination of quotas — to name a few. They are also the product of a survey of proven best practices from throughout the country and are rooted in research from public safety experts.

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About the Peace Officers Research Association of California:

The Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) was incorporated in 1953 as a professional federation of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. PORAC represents over 77,000 public safety members and over 920 associations, making it the largest law enforcement organization in California and the largest statewide association in the nation.

About the California Police Chiefs Association:

Established in 1966, the California Police Chiefs Association represents municipal police chiefs and their agencies in California. Association members provide public safety for more than 26 million Californians. Cal Chiefs advocates for sound policy on public safety issues at the state capitol and has an active government relations program. In addition to its committees that focus on emerging issues and provide resources and sample policies to its members, Cal Chiefs provides professional development and training to police chiefs and seconds in command throughout the state.

Ensure Your Voice Is Heard: California Deserves Thoughtful Changes To Improve Law Enforcement

 
Email your representative now to request that they work collaboratively with law enforcement to find solutions on public safety legislation that will achieve the best outcome for law enforcement and the public.
 
In the last few months of this truncated legislative session, more than two dozen bills were rapidly introduced that aimed to fundamentally change the practice of law enforcement in California. Of those, two troublesome bills remain — SB 731 and SB 776 — which were crafted virtually overnight and in silos, and would have unknown impacts to public safety, some of which could place both officers and members of the public in real danger. Californians deserve better than this rushed and haphazard approach to an issue so fundamental to our daily lives as public safety.  
 

Click Here to make your voice heard!

Cities Join Forces with Firefighters and Public Safety Representatives, Labor, and Small Businesses to “Support Local Recovery”

A grassroots coalition of local government, labor, and business is launching a new campaign “Support Local Recovery: Vibrant Cities. Strong Economies.” in an effort to kick start economic recovery in local communities. The coalition is calling on the state to provide $7 billion in direct and flexible funding to cities to support critical local services, as well as a portion of the state’s CARES Act funding to help cities address COVID-19 related expenditures. The coalition is also calling on the federal government to provide $500 billion in direct and flexible funding to local governments nationwide to support essential services, including police, fire, public works, permitting, and planning.

According to a League of California Cities analysis, California cities are facing a nearly $7 billion revenue shortfall over the next two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This shortfall grows by billions of dollars as modified stay-at-home orders extend into the summer months and beyond. Cities have also been incurring significant increases in unbudgeted expenses responding to the crisis. COVID-19 has crippled local budgets, forcing cuts in city services and city employees, which will dampen local economic recovery.

“California’s 482 cities are the economic engines of our state, and recovery from this unprecedented crisis will only be realized at the local level with the strong support of our state and federal government partners,” said Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director, League of California Cities. “Providing funding to local governments is not optional – a safe, equitable, and expedited economic recovery depends on it.”

In the face of these budget shortfalls, nine out of 10 cities report they will have to cut staff or decrease city services to residents, and nearly 3 in 4 cities report they may have to take both actions. Police services will be impacted in eighty-four percent of cities, more than half of cities’ fire services will be adversely impacted, and fewer firefighters and police officers will be available to respond to emergency calls.

“With firefighters on the front lines of the COVID-19 response and wildfire season now upon us, cuts to public safety during this critical time will have detrimental impacts on our communities across the state,” said Brian K. Rice, President of California Professional Firefighters. “We need every single firefighter on the front lines to beat back this virus and stand ready when disaster strikes. It is imperative that the federal government invest in our cities to preserve public safety.”

Shrinking budgets will also lead to reduced garbage pickup frequency, reduced hours for libraries, parks, and senior centers, and fewer employees working on streets and roads. Eighty-two percent of cities predict cuts to public works.

“Drastic budget cuts, furloughs, hiring freezes, and layoffs in state and local government and in schools made the last recession much worse and prolonged Californians’ pain,” said Bob Schoonover, President of SEIU California and SEIU Local 721. “In fact, because of this approach, many Californians have still not recovered the ground they lost a decade ago. That is why we are calling on the federal government to act swiftly and invest in recovery for our communities as we battle the pandemic and support working families in our time of need.”

California’s businesses, who are vital to local recovery, will be impacted by these budget shortfalls as well. Fewer city staff will mean delays in inspections necessary for reopening, processing business licenses, permitting, and other essential government services that businesses rely upon.

“From corner store to city supermarket, grocers depend on core city services to run their businesses and feed our communities,” said Ron Fong, California Grocers Association president and CEO. “Cities need funding from the state and federal governments so they can continue to deliver these essential services and be the foundation for a strong local economy as California recovers from COVID-19.”

Together, we are fighting to support local recovery. Californians are depending on us.

For more information about the coalition and how to join, visit http://supportlocalrecovery.org

 

Coalition members as of 1 p.m., May 11, 2020 include:

Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC)

Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs

Ameresco, Inc.

Avenue Insights and Analytics

Bearfoot Inn

Bongo Johnny’s

Boots In Squares

California Professional Firefighters

California Grocers Association

California Joint Powers Insurance Authority

California Parks & Recreation Society

California Water Service

City of Hemet

Community Leadership Council – Palm Springs

Contract Cities Association

Dart Container

Desert AIDS Project

Desert Valleys Builders Association

Desert Winds Freedom Band

Destination PSP

EIGHT4NINE Restaurant & Lounge

El Mirasol Villas

ENGIE

Gay Desert Guide

Gay Mart International, Inc.

Greater Palm Springs Bar and Restaurant Organization

Greater Palm Springs Pride

GRIT Development

Hunter J. Dog, LLC dba Blackbook

Interwest Consulting

Kamp Mor Inc

La Maison Hotel

Las Casuelas Terraza

League of California Cities

Main Street Hanford

Management Association of Palm Springs, Inc.

Martha’s Village and Kitchen

Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce

Mizell Center

Monterey Bay Chapter of American Public Works Association

MuniServices/Avenu

Murchison Holdings LLC dba Eagle 501 Bar

NHA Advisors, LLC

Palm Springs Fire Management Association

PFLAG Palm Springs/Desert Communities

Prime Timers of the Desert

Public Employees Association of Palm Springs

Re[x]

Resource Recovery Coalition of California

Schneider Electric

Service Employees International Union California

SoCalGas Company

The Advancement Collective

PORAC Co-Sponsors AB 664

On April 29, 2020, PORAC President Brian Marvel, on behalf of the PORAC Board of Directors, wrote a letter to Assemblymember Jim Cooper to inform him of PORAC’s co-sponsorship of AB 664.
 
AB 664 will classify COVID-19, and other communicable diseases, as presumptive work-related injuries for nurses, firefighters and peace officers.
 
To protect first responders on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response, AB 664 provides:
 
1) An occupational presumption for injuries sustained from COVID-19, and other communicable diseases
 
2) The presumptive injury status applies only if there is a declared state of emergency by the state or a local government
 
3) Reasonable reimbursements for out of pocket expenses for personal protective equipment and other costs for protection to self and the public
 
4) Property right protections (leave balances) for these workers when they are ordered home, without confirmed testing, by their employer.
 
Click Here to read the full letter!