A public safety bill, spearheaded by local assemblyman Rudy Salas, earned rare bipartisan support in both houses of the state legislature and now sits on the Governor’s desk ready to be signed. According to Salas, his Assembly Bill 1168, ensures that county jails can retain qualified personnel by bringing parity to deputy sheriffs that are hired.

“AB 1168 is a common-sense measure that will help our state retain qualified peace officers and ensure safety in our county jails,” said Salas. “The discrepancy that exists between officer classifications causes undue hardship for qualified deputies and also burdens counties that subsequently have to retrain those deputies.”

The bill is intended to deal with a group of officers that have the same training as “regular officers” but have been serving in “limited function positions.” The bill specifies that custodial peace officers, who have completed full basic peace officer academy training, do not have to complete re-examination if they have been continuously employed as a custodial peace officer for a period not exceeding five years

“I commend Assemblymember Salas for championing this issue which will directly benefit the Valley as well as jails and deputies throughout the state.” said Kings County Sherriff David Robinson. “This bill streamlines government and will help me keep qualified officers working in our jails.”

In California there are a variety of peace officer classifications, including a “regular officer” and a “limited function peace officer”. However, a discrepancy exists in the certification processes between the two. Once a “limited function officer” that performs the same duties as a “regular officer” completes the basic academy course and satisfactorily passes the examination, they must become a peace officer within three years. If the officer does not become employed as a peace officer, he or she must repeat the training and retake the examination.

AB 1168 fixes the inequity between counties that utilize different deputy classifications in the county jails by allowing deputies that have gone through the full basic academy course to maintain eligibility for an additional two years before moving to a patrol position within the same agency.