BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Voters headed to the polls tomorrow will be asked to vote on Measure L, but many may be confused as to just what Measure L is, since it was inadvertently left off the Kern County Voter Guide. On the day before the election, 23ABC spoke to many Kern County voters, and none of them knew about the details of the measure.
Last year, the California Department of Justice entered into a stipulated judgement with the City of Bakersfield and the Bakersfield Police Department after finding that BPD used unreasonable force against people with mental disabilities, conducted improper stops and seizures, and failed to provide adequate access to police services for residents who do not speak English fluently.
As part of the agreement, the Bakersfield City Council was required to prepare Measure L for the November 2022 General Election, which would allow for the chief of police to be selected from an external agency.
If Measure L is approved, it would remove the requirement that both the police and fire chief in Bakersfield be selected only from within their respective departments, meaning those positions could be filled by candidates from outside the city.
To be eligible for police chief, the candidate must have five years of experience as a regularly paid peace officer.
Read Measure L in its entirety here: What is Measure L?