California Police Officers Bill of Rights

Police Officers Bill of Rights

CALIFORNIA CODES GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 3300-3311

3300. This chapter is known and may be cited as the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act.

3301. For purposes of this chapter, the term public safety officer means all peace officers specified in Sections 830.1,

830.2, 830.3, 830.31, 830.32, 830.33, except subdivision (e), 830.34, 830.35, except subdivision (c), 830.36, 830.37,

830.38, 830.4, and 830.5 of the Penal Code. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the rights and protections provided to peace officers under this chapter constitute a matter of statewide concern.

The Legislature further finds and declares that effective law enforcement depends upon the maintenance of stable employer-employee relations, between public safety employees and their employers. In order to assure that stable relations are continued throughout the state and to further assure that effective services are provided to all people of the state, it is necessary that this chapter be applicable to all public safety officers, as defined in this section, wherever situated within the State of California.

3302. (a) Except as otherwise provided by law, or whenever on duty or in uniform, no public safety officer shall be prohibited from engaging, or be coerced or required to engage, in political activity.

(b) No public safety officer shall be prohibited from seeking election to, or serving as a member of, the governing board of a school district.

3303. When any public safety officer is under investigation and subjected to interrogation by his or her commanding officer, or any other member of the employing public safety department, that could lead to punitive action, the interrogation shall be conducted under the following conditions. For the purpose of this chapter, punitive action means any action that may lead to dismissal, demotion, suspension, reduction in salary, written reprimand, or transfer for purposes of punishment.

(a) The interrogation shall be conducted at a reasonable hour, preferably at a time when the public safety officer is on duty, or during the normal waking hours for the public safety officer, unless the seriousness of the investigation requires otherwise. If the interrogation does occur during off-duty time of the public safety officer being interrogated, the public safety officer shall be compensated for any off-duty time in accordance with regular department procedures, and the public safety officer shall not be released from employment for any work missed.

(b) The public safety officer under investigation shall be informed prior to the interrogation of the rank, name, and command of the officer in charge of the interrogation, the interrogating officers, and all other persons to be present during the interrogation. All questions directed to the public safety officer under interrogation shall be asked by and through no more than two interrogators at one time.

(c) The public safety officer under investigation shall be informed of the nature of the investigation prior to any interrogation.

(d) The interrogating session shall be for a reasonable period taking into consideration gravity and complexity of the issue being investigated. The person under interrogation shall be allowed to attend to his or her own personal physical necessities.

(e) The public safety officer under interrogation shall not be subjected to offensive language or threatened with punitive action, except that an officer refusing to respond to questions or submit to interrogations shall be informed that failure to answer questions directly related to the investigation or interrogation may result in punitive action. No promise of reward shall be made as an inducement to answering any question. The employer shall not cause the public safety officer underinterrogation to be subjected to visits by the press or news media without his or her express consent nor shall his or her home address or photograph be given to the press or news media without his or her express consent.

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