Bakersfield Assembly-member Rudy Salas has introduced new legislation that will improve the way law enforcement agencies hire officers. According to Salas Assembly Bill 12-99 will help make sure that local departments do not hire problematic officers who have a history of serious misconduct.
“This bill will provide more background information to our local departments to make sure that they are not hiring bad officers,” said Assemblymember Salas in a statement issued by his office. “It is unacceptable that some officers are able to hide their past mistakes and slip through the cracks. AB 1299 will create accountability for officers with questionable pasts and help departments hire people who will properly serve our communities.”
In 2019, a reported 13 officers who had trouble at previous agencies were hired for the City of McFarland.
Salas says departments may not be aware of an officer's past misconduct due to the tactic of resigning in lieu of termination.
According to the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) there have been over 10,000 resignations of full-time peace officers between 2015 and 2019.
AB 1299 will address these issues by requiring law enforcement agencies to complete misconduct investigations and notify POST of its findings so that the commission can include this information in an officer’s background material to be available to superiors when they are considering hiring such individuals.