Quirk Bill Making Police Misconduct Records More Transparent Signed into Law
SACRAMENTO – Frustrated by a lack of transparency in the sharing of police personnel records, especially for officers found guilty of misconduct, lead Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) to introduce a bill to change that practice. Today, that bill was signed into law.
AB 2327 requires a law enforcement agency to maintain a record regarding the reason for, and the circumstances surrounding, a peace officer’s departure of service. Further, this bill will require a peace officer seeking employment with a law enforcement department to give written permission for the hiring agency to view their personnel file.
Although existing law requires law enforcement agencies to establish a procedure for investigating complaints against peace officers, those investigations do not always make it to the officer’s personnel or conduct file.
“I was surprised to learn that gaps in current law allow for officers, with histories of misconduct or incompetence, to be hired by new agencies because of lax disclosure laws regarding the documentation of such conduct and the transfer of records,” explained Assemblymember Quirk.
“Our state’s selfless and diligent peace officers risk their lives daily to protect the people of California. They run towards danger and put the safety of others before their own. However, it only takes one incident of misconduct to diminish the public’s trust. Building trust in our communities begins with creating a more transparent process allowing hiring agencies to view personnel records and make more informed decisions about the candidates they hire,” said Assemblymember Quirk upon learning his bill was signed into law.
AB 2327 goes into effect on January 1, 2019.