Bakersfield Police, Kern County Sheriff's Office respond to Attorney General's call for reform

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra
Posted at 7:01 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 17:51:14-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra specifically called out the Bakersfield Police Department and Kern County Sheriff’s Office on Monday as he laid out proposals for the state to implement in an effort to prevent excessive force.

Officials with BPD and KCSO said they are on board with the proposals, which address use of force procedures, bias in policing and holding officers accountable when appropriate.

"A lot of those are in line with our current policies,” said Sgt. Nathan McCauley of the BPD. “Pretty much every single one of those recommendations were in-line with our existing policy."

The Kern County Sheriff's Office also implemented a majority of those policies prior to Becerra's announcement, according to Sheriff Donny Youngblood who went further to say that deputies under his tenure will be swiftly held accountable for any misconduct.

“Know that we deal very harshly with people that use excessive force or violate the law,” Sheriff Youngblood said. “In 14 years, I've terminated approximately 100 deputy sheriffs for misconduct.”

However, A.G. Becerra called the policies and practices of the two departments “troubling.”

"These are serious, real proposals that will help make a difference. Make no mistake, the expectations are high and we will fight vigorously to meet them," Becerra said.