Senator Caballero Introduces Comprehensive Legislation on Use of Force Reform

February 8, 2019

SACRAMENTO—Today, Senator Anna M. Caballero introduced SB 230, which includes changes to California’s use of force statutes, law enforcement agency policies, and training officers in use of force.

“We heard our community’s request to modernize public safety and I am proud to introduce this comprehensive bill that would place California at the forefront of use of force legislation,” stated Caballero. “This legislation will establish first-in-the-nation requirements for law enforcement agencies to adopt use-of-force policies and participate in trainings that will fundamentally change the culture of law enforcement. Policies and procedures on utilizing de-escalation tactics, reasonable alternatives to deadly force, interactions with vulnerable populations, and a duty for officers to intercede when observing use of force will fundamentally change how police officers interact in our communities.”

Under SB 230, California will lead the nation in use of force policy requirements by insuring robust officer training, and a clear legal standard for use of force. Specifically, SB 230: Restructures California law governing an officer’s engagement with a fleeing felon to reflect the standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor and Tennessee v. Garner

Requires over 500 law enforcement agencies in California to include provisions in their use-of-force policies that provide comprehensive and clear guidelines on utilizing de-escalation tactics, rendering medical aid, legal standards for use of force, alternatives to deadly force, interactions with vulnerable populations like the homeless and mentally ill, and the duty to intervene and report to supervisors

Standardizes California law enforcement’s use of force training to ensure each course covers the critical topics, as mentioned above

“There is no doubt that police officers put themselves at risk everyday on the job, and the use of serious force by law enforcement should always be a last resort,” stated Caballero. “We also know that trust between communities and law enforcement officers is crucial in keeping our residents safe, and incidents involving serious use of force erode these relationships. SB 230 will help bridge the divide in many communities where there is a lack of trust between police officers and those they serve through mandatory training, comprehensive policy requirements, transparency and clear legal guidelines.”

Senator Anna M. Caballero represents the 12th Senate District, composed of Merced and San Benito Counties, the Salinas Valley, and portions of Fresno, Madera, and Stanislaus Counties.