Legal Alerts Dec 29, 2015

New California Law Enforcement Reporting Requirements for Officer-Involved Shootings and Use of Force

Attorney General Hopes Data Will Promote Transparency

New California Law Enforcement Reporting Requirements for Officer-Involved Shootings and Use of Force

California law enforcement agencies were given direction this week outlining new responsibilities under state law to report incidents involving shootings or any use of force that results in serious bodily injury or death of a civilian or a peace officer. Issued by California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, the informational bulletin requires all law enforcement agencies to collect data on all officer-involved shootings (by a civilian or an officer), including use of force incidents (by a civilian or an officer), that result in serious bodily injury or death. The bulletin is related to AB 71, which goes into effect Friday. Annual reports must be submitted to the California Department of Justice beginning Jan. 1, 2017.

AB 71 is intended to promote accountability among law enforcement agencies and aims to strengthen trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. The bulletin also included a use of force incident template to inform officers of the required data fields that must be submitted to the Department of Justice. The DOJ will also be working with law enforcement agencies to develop and field test a web-based data collection system that will allow law enforcement agencies to track and submit data electronically.

The data reported will be published annually on the DOJ Open Justice Data Portal and are intended to assist, and possibly alter, the public’s perception of law enforcement agencies. Following a year where police shootings were a frequent topic of conversation and media coverage, adding these reporting requirements “will strengthen trust between law enforcement and the communities that we are sworn to protect,” according to Harris.

For more information regarding this new law and how it may affect your agency, please contact one of the attorney authors of this Legal Alert listed at the right in the firm’s Public Safety group, or your BB&K attorney.

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Disclaimer: BB&K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqué.

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