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California Advances Training for Peace Officers’ Duty to Intervene

AB 931 passes out of Assembly with unanimous support

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton) celebrated the passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 931 out of the State Assembly yesterday with unanimous support. AB 931 would require peace officers undergo robust training on their duty to intervene when witnessing excessive force being used on a civilian.

“Our peace officers’ fundamental responsibility is to serve our communities with the best interest of the community members in mind,” said Assemblymember Villapudua. “A number of events throughout the past few years have exposed the need for our officers to better understand when a line has been crossed and how to deescalate from there. While the most tragic part of the George Floyd killing last summer was the senseless loss of life, perhaps just as heartbreaking was how avoidable it all was with three other officers on the scene failing to intervene. I’m pleased to see that my colleagues in the Assembly agree on how important this training is for the betterment of society.”

California currently requires law enforcement agencies to create a policy for a standard use of force and for their officers to report and intercede when witnessing a fellow officer using unnecessary force. However, specified education on how to intervene still lacks for our peace officers for these scenarios.

A number of “active bystandership” and “peer intervention” trainings have been adopted throughout industries across the nation and have shown to decrease the number of plane crashes, medical errors, and unlawful use of force in environments where officers are encouraged to communicate and confront each other. This type of curriculum has been supported by both law enforcement groups and community organizations.

“Honesty, integrity, trust, loyalty, fairness, respect and diversity are the core values expected of every deputy sheriff in San Diego County and we are always going to work towards the best possible outcome to fulfill our duties and protect the communities we serve,” said David Leonhardi, President of the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County. “California peace officers are ahead of the curve in the nation with robust training, but we will always support policies that make us better fit to serve our communities.”

AB 931 will now head to the California State Senate. You can read the full text of the bill here