California state law requires police officers and dispatchers to undergo training on a yearly basis, but a recent report revealed that over 60 members of the police force, including chief of police, Shelley Zimmerman, did not complete this training in either 2013 or 2014. Here’s what you should know about this problem, courtesy of Pacific Beach defense lawyer Peter M. Liss.
Legally, all officers and police dispatchers are required to go through at least 24 hours of “Advanced Officer Training” and “In-Service Training” every year. These programs cover new laws, officer survival techniques, driving education, firearm handling and more. It’s easy to see why it would be important for everyone involved with the police force to attend these training sessions. While SDPD spokesman Lt. Scott Wahl argued that the report was in error and that almost half of the 60 people listed in the document had completed their training, just about any Del Mar defense attorney will agree that even 35 employees in non-compliance is unacceptable -particularly when one of those people is the head of the department.
Unfortunately, this lack of training will not affect most defendants. For one thing, the officers that were found to be non-compliant have gone through the required training once the report came out. Additionally, the report was considered confidential and no individual officers’ names were made public other than the chief of police, so even if you tried to bring this matter up in court, your Mission Beach criminal lawyer couldn’t prove if the officer involved in a particular arrest was actually non-compliant or not.
That being said, if your case was mishandled by the San Diego police, whether through illegal search and seizure, excessive force or outdated knowledge of the law, your North Park criminal defense attorney may be able to present this information to show that the department itself has been known to not comply with California state laws. This could help strengthen some cases.
If you have any questions about how police training could affect your criminal case, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation with Peter Liss.
Image via Dave Connor