Protect California believes in strengthening the trust between public safety officers and the communities they serve will make neighborhoods safer. California residents should feel confident that no matter what jurisdiction they happen to be in, they will be responded to by public safety officers in a fair, equal and consistent manner.
California public safety officers respond to dangerous situations every minute of the day. They must attempt to safely manage individuals stricken with mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis. Some possess weapons, are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or are intent on harming themselves or others.
Ensuring public safety officers are equipped with the necessary training and tools to safely address these situations with the least amount of force necessary is an important public policy goal.
Some California police and sheriff departments have enacted detailed use-of-force policies that include de-escalation best practices designed to improve the outcomes of potentially dangerous situations. Some provide training and re-training on these policies. Unfortunately, many jurisdictions have either not enacted detailed de-escalation policies or lack the necessary resources to adequately train their employees on policies that have been adopted.
Establishing a uniform set of use-of-force best practices and requiring each California jurisdiction to enact these best practices is one step that should be taken. The second step is to provide the necessary state funding to produce a robust and comprehensive training program and require every public safety officer to attend these trainings. Protect California will advocate that both steps be taken.