At the September 2021 meeting, the Commission approved proposed changes to Commission Regulations 1953 (Peace Officer Background Investigation) and 1955 (Peace Officer Psychological Evaluation) (Attachment A), which incorporated a Bias Assessment Framework (Attachment A.1) into the psychological evaluation and background investigation and added Multicultural Competence (Attachment A.2) to the list of psychological evaluator competencies. These changes were proposed in response to the mandate of Assembly Bill 846 (AB 846), which became law effective January 1, 2021. The bill expanded Government Code Section 1031(f) requiring an evaluation of mental and emotional conditions to include that peace officers be found “free from any physical, emotional, or mental condition, including bias against race or ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, disability, or sexual orientation, that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer.” The bill also added Section 1031.3 to the Government Code, which required POST to, by January 1, 2022, “study, review, and update … regulations and associated screening materials related to the emotional and mental condition evaluation required by Section 1031 to incorporate…the identification of explicit…(and)… implicit bias towards race or ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.”
Subsequent to the September meeting, the regulations were submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to begin the regulatory review process. During the 45-day public comment, POST received a letter from the Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory (RIPA) board offering suggestions for further addressing bias in peace officer screening, including recommendations for additional regulations (Attachment B). To allow time for POST to work with RIPA to address their recommendations, POST withdrew the proposed regulations from OAL to develop additional regulations to further clarify the bias assessment process.