Below is a fictitious and humorous want-ad about hiring new officers in Portland, Oregon or in any other state that is attempting to defund, diminish the effectiveness of or destroy their police departments. Leftist states and municipalities around the country are attempting to remove police force’s institutional power down to a point where a more appropriate title for them would be town jesters or administrative clerks. The California legislature’s efforts have failed.
(Fictitious and Humorous Want-ad for New Officers in Portland, OR)
“Wanted, unqualified police enforcement personnel. Physical condition is not an issue. Lack of ambulatory skills is acceptable. Educational background is not considered. Interviews and test are not given. Emotional wellbeing is not a consideration. Skills with firearms are not considered. We will teach you how to load a gun, but I will never allow you to use it. You will be allowed to carry a gun because it gives you the appearance of institutional authority. However, use of these firearms are now prohibited by our local municipalities and our state government. You are prohibited from defending the public against looters, rioters, and thugs. Those poor innocent rioters and looters are only getting free stuff in the form of delayed reparations, which they deserve. But rest assured that we direct our police enforcement personnel to harass the hell out members of the public for failing to wear COVID masks or for defending their homes and property from the rioters and looters. You may display a mean-looking and wicked-in-appearance facade with a personalized SWAT (special weapons and tactics) outfit to intimidate others while displaying your lethal firearms and official looking costume. We will supply you with SWAT team uniforms, assault weapons, and armored military vehicles for the sole purpose of intimidating the hell out of the public. Your labor union contract will provide that it is necessary for you to show up during public relations gimmicks of perceived confrontations with thugs. Whether they are real threats or for media hype makes no difference. You will be classified and enjoy the prestige as first responders at every opportunity.
Just pick up your phone now for this once in a lifetime job opportunity that requires little real work, intellectual challenge, or effort but pays big-time not only in salary: There will be tons of overtime and oh! You will be able to claim retirement benefits far longer than you pretended to be working while filing those massive administrative reports to justify your job presence. So, just call Beechwood 654-789 and you can get a job any old time. Or call Jenny at 867-5309.”
Of course, this fictitious advertisement is my attempt to shed a humorous and sarcastic light on a subject that is totally serious with far-reaching societal implications.
This article is specifically about the California Legislature’s attempt to pass 14 different regulations that would have handcuffed the effectiveness of police personnel.
I want to make something clear here that I respect the institution of law enforcement and the professional individuals who commit their lives to such a thankless job. I have known dozens of friends who are law enforcement officers, who are in leadership roles, and in supporting administrative staff. All the individuals that I have known are dedicated to their jobs and are good law-abiding citizens. I have only met one who knowingly violated the trust of the public, and that was a minor infraction which violated public trust. But it did cost him his job.
Police establishments all over the U.S. and their protective labor unions have gained and exercise great power over the last 125 years. If the public or the legislature demands to massively tighten up what conduct is allowed by police officers for the purpose of justifying all actions taken, with punitive consequences for any deviations, you can expect a massive counter fight from the unions.
Legislative power grabs are much more difficult when the group of people that they are attempting to exploit belong to powerful public employee collective bargaining labor unions and have huge budgets for lobbying. There has been and will be a huge pushback by police unions. These unions may even file litigation to stop the implementation of the legislation if they perceive them not in their best interest.
The California legislature finds it much easier to manipulate the general population into accepting onerous legislation which is not in the interest of the public buy only in the interest of government employee labor union members and the administrative state. And what is passed is typically detrimental to the pocketbooks and the personal freedoms of the taxpaying public. Even when voting for propositions, such as those on the 2020 ballot you can rely on the legislature and the administration to manipulate the language to confuse the voters into voting the opposite way as they intended. The public does not have targeted representation because the purpose of government and special interest is to keep them in the dark.
There are a few organizations such as the Pacific Legal Foundation that do very heavy lifting. Pacific Legal Foundation is a nonprofit organization that defends Americans’ liberties when threatened by government overreach and abuse. They regularly sue the government when it violates Americans’ constitutional rights- and often win! You may visit their website at www.pacificlegal.org . There is also the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association that has been the legal and political watchdog for Proposition 13 and staunch defender of California taxpayers. You may visit their website at www.hjta.org. There are others.
There were at least 14+ bills in the California legislature that were designed to monitor, prohibit, or penalize law enforcement officers if they deviate from the new regulations in any way. Out of 14 bills, only 3 were signed by Governor Newson and chaptered into law.
- AB-846, AB 1196, AB 1506
If we overly restrict law enforcement officers and severely penalize them for any perceived infraction, four different things will happen:
1) Police will refuse to protect the public for fear of reprisal. They may be directed by local and state politicians to let criminals go free. Politicians may use this tactic for political expediency.
2) Overly restrictive regulations will create plunging morale within the law enforcement community.
3) Overly restrictive regulations will reduce motivation to enter the profession.
4) Overly restrictive regulations will increase work force attrition due to early retirement resignations.
The bottom line is that the California legislature has attempted but failed to take the handcuffs away from the criminals and redirect them to employees of law enforcement agencies. Body cameras, however, will take on a whole new importance as evidence to justify actions taken. Every thug will lie about the facts and the police officer does not want to find himself-herself considered guilty until proven innocent with the new public relations problem that police have all over the USA.
Below are brief summaries of each of the three bills passed into law. Much of the actual narrative below about the bills that were signed into law were taken from the Openstates.org website. Openstates.org aggregates legislative information from all 50 states, including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
- AB-846-Signed by the Governor and chaptered into law.
Existing law defines persons employed in specified capacities to be peace officers in the state of California and authorizes certain entities to appoint and employ peace officers. Existing law establishes the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training within the Department of Justice to perform various functions involving the training of peace officers. 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/or psychologist 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.
This bill would require that evaluation to include a 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 related to emotional and mental condition evaluations. This bill would also require every department or agency that employs peace officers to review the 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. By requiring local entities to review and rewrite these job descriptions, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
- AB-1196-Peace officers: use of force. Signed by the Governor and chaptered into law.
Existing law authorizes a peace officer to make an arrest pursuant to a warrant or based upon probable cause, as specified. Under existing law, an arrest is made by the actual restraint of the person or by submission to the custody of the arresting officer. Existing law authorizes a peace officer to use reasonable force to effect the arrest, to prevent escape, or to overcome resistance. Existing law requires law enforcement agencies to maintain a policy on the use of force, as specified. Existing law requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to implement courses of instruction for the regular and periodic training of law enforcement officers in the use of force.
This bill would prohibit a law enforcement agency from authorizing the use of a carotid restraint or a choke hold, as defined. By requiring local agencies to amend use of force policies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
- AB-1506-Police use of force: Signed by the Governor and chaptered into law.
In the wake of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, this bill will provide independent, accountable, and transparent oversight of police deadly force. Specifically, AB 1506 would: a) establish the Statewide Officer Deadly Force Investigation Division within the Department of Justice (DOJ) to, upon request of a law enforcement agency or District Attorney, conduct an investigation into an officer-involved deadly force incident, provide written findings, and if applicable, conduct the prosecution of the officer(s) involved; and b) establish a Police Practices Division within the DOJ to, upon request, review the “patterns and practices” of a local law enforcement agency, and provide recommendations and action items for improvement.
Too bad that our society does not have the same level of pushback by the public against overly burdensome regulations and intrusions by government legislature and bureaucrats. The legislature and the governor continue to pass never-ending onerous statutes that restrict freedoms of our families, destroy personal lives and businesses, and require burdensome administrative compliance and record keeping. The legislature may now bypass public hearings and pass bills in no open sessions, so the public does not have input for possible opposition. Currently, The California legislature regularly bypasses constitutional and statutory rights providing for public hearing and debate. Now measures may be passed and enacted into law in near secret without public input because one legislator may give another a proxy to vote on his/her behalf without ever showing up. COVID is the new excuse! No need to call in sick from a fever or hangover ever again!
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This article is intended for educational purposes only and is not a solicitation.