New Laws Favor Police & Campus Safety

A new bill in the California Legislature would help both community colleges and their police officers in disability cases. Assembly Bill 346 would amend Labor Code Section 4850, which provides certain peace officers, firefighters, and other specified state and local public employees, including Lifeguards. are entitled to a leave of absence without loss of salary while disabled by injury or illness arising out of and in the course of employment. The leave of absence is in lieu of temporary disability payments or maintenance allowance payments otherwise payable under the workers’ compensation system. 

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School peace officers, however, were left off the list of “certain peace officers,” so worker’s compensation had to be used.  With the high cost of worker’s compensation insurance and the high frequency of injury or illness in peace officers, including school peace officers like our campus police will greatly reduce costs to the District but provide our campus police officers financial security while recovering.  This bill only applies to sworn peace officers, however, not all Public Safety employees.

There is another bill in the Legislature that will cover our Public Safety officers.  Senate Bill 390 would amend Section 7583.45 of the Business and Professions Code and Sections 38001.5 and 72330.5 of, and to add Sections 38001.4 and 72330.4 to, the Education Code.  Currently, school security officers or security guards who work 20 hours or more per week are required to complete a course of training developed by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services of the Department of Consumer Affairs in consultation with the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

The bill would change this law to include all security officers and guards regardless of the number of hours worked.  Since Public Safety Officers are expected to perform the same duties whether they work 40 hours a week or 10 hours a week, this law would ensure proper training and procedures by all PS officers, which also ensures a safer work environment for everyone.