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."
We will partner with our community & make every effort to ensure that our policies are aligned with the best possible practices to keep our community safe. In an effort to build & maintain trust & transparency, we want to clarify where we are now on these important issues. pic.twitter.com/EgT6NK2zzZ— Bakersfield Police (@bakersfieldpd) June 19, 2020
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.