On December 16th, David E. Mastagni testified in support of public safety labor rights before the California Assembly Select Committee on Police Reform, Next Steps: Understanding Peace Officer Bill of Rights. In defending the Public Safety Officers’ Procedural Bill of Rights (“POBR”), David explained that the core of the POBR simply codifies basic labor rights to representation during a disciplinary investigation (i.e. Weingarten rights) and Constitutional Due Process rights to appeal a deprivation of officers’ property interest in their continued employment.
A significant portion of the hearing focused on the time limitation for agencies to complete investigations. Several of the panelists advocated for amendments to this section of the POBR. However, David pointed out that the one (1) year limitations period runs from the date of the complaint, not the incident and multiple exceptions exist to toll the period, such as criminal or civil proceedings, the unavailability of the accused officer, or the involvement of more than one officer. Moreover, the limitations period services a strong public policy to force agencies to complete investigations in a timely manner and with regard to performance based issues, provide officers notice and an opportunity to correct. For example, if an officer’s report writing is substandard, delaying corrective measure for over a year only perpetuates the problem.
Watch the full hearing below: