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California law enforcement agencies face new regulations

New laws have taken effect this week as the new year rolled in.

California police departments are seeing quite a few new policies, and many of the local police departments are looking forward to it.

“They have now created a legislative body that will allow for the review of personnel records. Not just at a local level but at a state level, to see if those in violations of the policy will allow you to remain a police officer,” explained Lieutenant William Hutchinson.

With this, a system will eventually be opened to be accessible to law enforcement agencies across California to keep a track record of officers with any misconduct offenses.

Ben Guitron with the Indio Police Department said he believes policies and procedures like this one would help officers clearly understand what their responsibilities are.

While there are a few changes, both departments say luckily a majority of the new regulations already line up with their practices.

One of those is hiring police officers 21 years old and older.

Lt. Hutchinson said their department does this to look for people with some type of life experience.

This new law is setting the path to eventually require new officers to hold a Bachelors's degree when applying. This can take effect as soon as four years. This is when departments feel it could possibly run into some issues.

“I don’t know yet the extent of what that will look like impacting our recruiting efforts," said Lt. Hutchinson. "We already have a tough time now for a variety of reasons and it’s not just palm springs but its law enforcement across the country.”

With all these new laws, each department has its most up-to-date policies on its website to make it easier for the public to have access to.

“We do that in order again for the public to pretty much know how their police department is managed and adheres to laws and policies.” said Guitron.

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Crystal Jimenez

Crystal Jimenez is a new reporter who joined the KESQ News Channel 3 team in June 2021. Learn more about Crystal here.

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