Posted 3.April 2018

PORAC Calls Lethal Force Legislation a Dangerous Rush to Judgement

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Contact: Michele Cervone (916) 448-3444

Sacramento: PORAC has supported policies in the past to increase transparency and enhance community trust. However, Assembly Bill 931 deceptively pretends that creating a checklist of what constitutes necessary force instead of reasonable force is something more than irresponsible legislation. The end result is that the public will be placed at greater risk.

PORAC believes strongly that we must work collaboratively with legislators, stakeholders and members of the community to do everything possible to make the streets of California safer. We care deeply about our neighbors for whom we have taken a pledge to protect and serve and we believe the individual safety of every person with whom we come in contact is paramount.

The authors of AB 931 suggested that they wanted law enforcement input in the writing of their bill. Unfortunately, law enforcement was not invited to the discussion when the bill was drafted and we have learned about it only by watching their press conference.

Since we have not actually seen the complete language and can only go by what the authors explained is the content of their bill, we are concerned that this reactionary legislation will handcuff peace officers and their abilities to keep communities safe. Uses of force incidents occur quickly, and while we have always supported greater training and body cameras, this legislation takes a dangerous new step. The legislation will require officers in every rapidly advancing, extraordinarily dangerous situation to employ a checklist that ultimately places everyone at risk.

Regardless of our early concerns, we intend to engage in the process and meet with the authors and legislators to hopefully create policy that protects the public, respects the rights of every individual and provides an understanding of the dangers associated with enforcing our laws and protecting the public.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) was incorporated in 1953 as a professional federation of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Today, PORAC represents over 70,000 public safety members and over 930 associations, making it the largest law enforcement organization in California and the largest statewide association in the nation.