Police Unions Say They Want to Work with State on Reforms, But Not SB 731

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The unions that represent the Los Angeles and San Francisco police departments released a letter today they sent to California's top government officials in opposition of a state bill that would decertify law enforcement officers convicted of engaging in serious misconduct.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon were sent the letter by the Los Angeles Police Protective League and San Francisco Police Officers Association that stated the unions want to work with state officials and that they support a national database of officers fired for gross misconduct, but they said they want a “fair process'' in doing so.

“We support the adoption of specific violations that constitute gross misconduct where a potential decertification process could commence,'' the letter stated. “We support working with all stakeholders to ensure a fair peace officer decertification process that codifies fundamental and appropriate due process for accused officers and a fair and reasonable appeals process similar to other professions in California.''

For an independent decertification panel, the union said they would want it to be comprised by people “able to objectively evaluate the evidence and circumstances of each case brought before the panel.''

The unions stated they have repeatedly worked toward enacting policies, procedures, protocols and laws to improve police and community outcomes.

SB 731, authored by Sen. Steve Bradford, D-Los Angeles, would not only establish a process for decertifying officers but also set up a statewide system that could keep them from being hired from any other law enforcement agency, according to an Assembly analysis of the bill.

“If we want to improve a police accountability system that earns the public's trust and is fair to California's peace officers, we must work collaboratively and ensure it is done right,'' the unions' letter stated. “We urge each of you to intervene in the current legislative process to stop the rush toward enacting SB 731 into law. This late-session bill is rife with negative consequences for peace officers, the government agencies that have law enforcement departments and the communities we serve.''

The unions said in the letter the website www.InvestInPolicing.com contains more information on their proposals and their commitment to working collaboratively to improve policing in California.

Photo: Getty Images

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