Friday, April 5, 2013
Assembly Public Safety Committee Passes Weber’s Bill Requiring Further Training for Peace Officers
SACRAMENTO, CA- Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber’s (D-San Diego) AB 979, which would require peace officers assigned to a jurisdiction that includes navigable waters to complete a course in basic maritime operations passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 with a 7-0 bipartisan vote.
Sponsored by the Port of Los Angeles, AB 979 requires specified peace officers assigned to a jurisdiction that includes navigable waters to complete a course in basic maritime operations. The course would be required only if the local governing body opts in and if the federal Department of Homeland Security provides funding.
“By having basic training for maritime peace officers, ports in California will be better served in emergency situations, such as man-made or natural disasters,” said Assemblymember Weber.
As a result of post-9/11 homeland security and post security missions, maritime training has not only evolved but has also become a necessity among law enforcement agencies whose jurisdictions include maritime areas. It is critical for agencies, such as the Coast Guard, Sheriff’s departments, and police departments, to enhance their maritime presence, adequacy and consistency of training.
Ensuring that our ports and waterways are secure is important to protecting California, and we must be sure that our officers are properly trained to handle any issues that may arise. This measure achieves this objective.
AB 979 is supported by the Port of Los Angeles, California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains, the California Association of Port Authorities, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association. The legislation will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.