The officer safety issues faced by full-time and reserve law enforcement officers on duty and off duty are of paramount concern to CRPOA. Our federal and California legislators have enacted laws, including the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) and California Assembly Bill 703, that enhance the off-duty personal protection of both full-time and reserve peace officers. CRPOA encourages California law enforcement agencies to adopt policies and procedures that give both LEOSA and AB 703 the full effect this legislation intended. The articles appearing below provide detailed legal analyses of laws as well as other topics affecting officer safety and related matters of concern to our members.
As you all know Assembly Bill 703 became law on January 1, 2014. This bill affords only Level I reserve officers the same CCW protections afforded full-time officers upon retirement. Some departments are extremely slow in implementing this new law under the Penal Code. When AB 703 was winding its way through the legislature last year, Level II officers were removed from these protections in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. The CRPOA’s legislative committee now is planning to re-introduce legislation to include Level II officers.
We are pleased to present our legal analysis of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) and California Assembly Bill 703 as set forth in the attached document. The officer safety issues faced by full-time and reserve law enforcement officers on-duty and off-duty are of paramount concern to CRPOA. Our federal and California legislators have enacted laws which enhance the off-duty personal protection of law enforcement officers through LEOSA and now, with AB 703, our retired Level 1 reserve peace officers have the benefit of the same laws afforded their full-time colleagues.
The California Reserve Peace Officers Association recently became aware of an issue concerning the “legal status” of California reserve peace officers under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, as amended (18 U.S. Code Sections 9268 and 926C) [“LEOSA”]. The question came up in the context of an interpretation of LEOSA to the effect that LEOSA requires that a person have law enforcement powers at all times (on-duty and off-duty) in order to be a “qualified law enforcement officer” as defined under LEOSA. That interpretation further asserts that because California reserve peace officers are only “temporary” law enforcement officers, they cannot be “qualified law enforcement officers” under LEOSA. We vehemently disagree with that interpretation and believe it is simply wrong on the facts and the law.
On July 22, 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (“LEOSA”), originally introduced as H.R. 218 and codified within the provisions of The Gun Control Act of 1968 as Chapter 44 of Title 18 U.S. Code Sections 926B and 926C. This law defines two classes of law enforcement officers, active and “retired,” both of which are exempt from the concealed firearms carry laws of the 50 States (as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Possessions 2) provided they meet its requirements and subject to certain exceptions. On October 10, 2010, President Barack H. Obama signed into law Senate Bill 1132 (S.1132, codified as The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act of 2010 and referred to below as the “Improvements Act”), which, among other things, amended LEOSA by eliminating “retirement” and replacing it with “separation from service” in the definition of “qualified retired law enforcement officer.”
Please advise your fellow reserves that being a member of CRPOA is something that they cannot do without. There is an escalation in disciplinary and injury events that we are processing, but you must be a member to benefit from our programs. And, remember, CRPOA is the only association looking out for the interests of reserves.
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