2023 Update

            Over the past years, CCUPCA has established a significant policy position at the State Capitol.  At the very beginning, we educated Legislators, the Attorney General and the Governor about the significant public safety issues that challenge our members.  We pointed out that there are categories of very serious crimes that take place disproportionately in our jurisdictions.  More specifically we demonstrated that domestic violence, sexual assaults and active shooter incidents are crimes where CCUPCA is distinctly on the front lines.  That education process was a major help in enacting significant Legislation.

For example, we amended the Gun Free School Safety Act to prohibit persons with concealed carry permits from being armed on school campuses   -- K-12 institutions as well as university, college and community college institutions.  This was our first salvo into enhancing school safety from firearms crimes and was the first law enacted in this subject matter area in over two decades.

We also enacted landmark legislation in the area of sexual assault and domestic violence.  We secured the enactment of Legislation that enabled our members to conduct and record “pretext calls” where the victim of one of those crimes, under our supervision and direction, telephones the suspected perpetrator and is able to obtain admissions from that person, which, when recorded, can be used to secure the conviction of the suspect.  Interestingly, the Legislature understood the importance of this bill and it was approved unanimously by the Legislature.  Significantly CCUPCA is the only law enforcement organization that has the authority to conduct and record “pretext calls” in this context.

Active shooter incidents have been an area of intense CCUPCA activity.  CCUPCA is the leading voice in Sacramento addressing active shooter issues.  The statistics are grim:  An active shooter incident takes place on a college or university campus once every eight days.  And on a K through 12 campus, it’s even worse: there is an incident once every five days.

We have taken the lead in examining technology that will enable first responders to promptly reduce or interdict an active shooter incident.  We have identified technology that when a school has it, a school official can literally press a soft panic button on their cell phone and provide immediate audio and visual access to first responders.  This technology enables first responders to identify the location of the suspected shooter, instantly close all classroom doors from the inside to maximize safety of students and teachers, identify possible escape routes, as well as determine if there are any hostage situations.

In 2019 we had Assembly Member Heath Flora, a Republican, and Assembly Member Jim Cooper and Senator Cathleen Galgiani, both Democrats, introduce the only bi-partisan bill ever introduced in the gun safety area.  Although our bill was passed unanimously, the state agency with jurisdiction – the Office of Emergency Services – did a thoroughly incompetent job of administering the bill.  As a result, we have had to start all over again.  This year, we have eliminated the intrusion of the Office of Emergency Services, and are working instead with Attorney General Rob Bonta and now Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper in seeking Legislation that would put those two officials – both strong supporters of our efforts – with the management and oversight of this literally life-saving Legislation.

The incompetence of the Office of Emergency Services was exposed by CCUCPA President Joel Justice when he testified earlier this year before the Assembly Emergency Management Committee when he gave the Committee a step by step narrative of the Office of Emergency Services’ shameful performance.  Interestingly, they didn’t even respond to President Justice’s testimony and were thoroughly eliminated of participation in this area.  Oh, one more thing.  In this last election, one of their officials ran for a seat in the California Assembly, and lost when voters were informed of his role in that incompetence.

Speaking of campaigns, a number of candidates for office approached CCUPCA, seeking our endorsement.  CCUPCA thoroughly examined each applicant and only endorsed candidates who met our standards.  Party was not an issue, we endorsed both Democrats and Republicans.  Here’s who we did endorse:

We endorsed Rob Bonta to be retained as California’s Attorney General.  Mr. Bonta is a Democrat who is actively supporting our active shooter strategies.

We endorsed Jim Cooper as Sheriff of Sacramento County. County Sheriff is a non-partisan office.  Although Mr. Cooper is a Democrat, he did not run as one for this office.  He is working with Attorney General Bonta on our active shooter strategies.

We endorsed Assembly Member Heath Flora for re-election for the 9th Assembly District.  Mr. Flora is a Republican who was the author of our first active shooter bill in 2019 and is supporting our current effort.

Assembly Member Jim Patterson, a Republican, was re-elected to his 8th District seat on a platform that included active shooter Legislation, had the strong endorsement of CCUPCA. 

Assembly Member Tom Lackey, winner in the 34th Assembly District is a retired California Highway Patrol Officer.  Mr. Lackey is a Republican.  Many political observers thought he was the underdog in his race, but he won in an electoral upset with CCUPCA’s endorsement.  He is a strong supporter of our goals.

Assembly Reggie Jones-Sawyer, a Democrat, received our endorsement for re-election to the 57th District.  A supporter of our objectives who has voted for every bill we have sponsored won re-election in a walk.

Esmeralda Soria, was elected to the Legislature from the 27th District.  She is a Democrat who was making her first try to run for a seat in the Assembly.  CCUPCA endorsed her and highlighted her commitment to supporting our efforts to address school safety from gun violence.  In an upset, she defeated the former Office of Emergency Services Official who was running against her.  CCUPCA made a big difference in her election.

This year, we will be further expanding our visibility and influence in Sacramento.  For example, we are making major upgrades to our social media presence.  We have brought in one of the best social media consultants in California who will enable our social media to literally cover the state.  We have briefed her on our agenda, and, she was so supportive of what we are trying to accomplish that she volunteered to work on our social media campaign on a Pro Bono basis!

I personally am very proud to represent CCUPCA at the Capitol.  CCUPCA is an important voice that represents the very highest standards of public service.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the exemplary leadership provided by President Joel Justice.  His leadership is the reason that CCUPCA has made the impact that it has.  His work has been duly noted by his law enforcement colleagues.  Each year, the law enforcement community gives out an annual award called the Bud Hawkins Award, named for a legendary law enforcement official; only one such award is given each year.  In this upcoming year, President Joel Justice has been nominated as a candidate for the Bud Hawkins Award for 2023.  I have had the privilege of working with your President and have seen his leadership on a daily basis.  I personally believe his colleagues will select him for the Bud Hawkins Award next year.

The late John Lovell, CCUPCA Legislative Analyst, march 2023.