Governor Signs SB 1421 and AB 748, Dramatically Increasing Public Access to Peace Officer Personnel Records

This post was authored by Paul D. Knothe. On September 30, 2018, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed two significant pieces of legislation, Senate Bill 1421 and Assembly Bill 748, that will require major changes in how law enforcement agencies respond to requests for peace officer personnel records. We described this legislation in detail in a previous Special Bulletin. In short, these two statutes will allow members of the public to obtain certain peace officer personnel records that were previously available only through the Pitchess procedure by making a request under the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) request. Effective January 1, 2019, SB 1421 amends Government Code Section 832.7 to generally require disclosure of records and information relating to the following types of incidents in response to a request under the CPRA: Records relating to the report, investigation, or findings of an incident involving the discharge of a firearm at a person by a…

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