New legislation in California may now see “bad cops” stripped of their badges instead of being shuttled off between agencies. 

A new reform bill in California proposed that police officers guilty of misbehavior should be stripped of their badges is now earning a push through the legislative session. However, officials are now stuck over how much authority law enforcement agencies should have to regulate themselves. 

Police Departments React

Law enforcement organizations believe the bill is slanted against them. They also argue that a civilian-controlled advisory board could have members with biases. 

However, advocated for the reform bill argue that the legislation is meant to overhaul current policing policies as the state remains one of the only four without a process for decertifying misbehaving officers. 

Supporters of police reform also argue that public input is needed to counter police violence and ensure accountability. 

“They have their knee on the neck of this Legislature just like they had their knee on the neck of George Floyd,” Sen. Steven Bradford, D-LA, said. “We’ve seen for 150 years that police can’t police themselves.”

The Reform Bill

Under the proposed reform bill, police officers will lose their license to serve if they are found to have done “serious misconduct,” such as using excessive force, committing sexual assault, displaying bias and participating in a gang. 

Other acts, including dishonesty, abuse of power on the job and intimidating a witness could also result in a revocation of their license. 

Law enforcement agencies would also be required to report any case of misbehavior to the state Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, which would then launch an investigation into the incident. 

Based on the recommendations from the advisory board, the police officer may be cleared of the allegations or decertified if the case is supported by clear evidence.