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Bill Arming Hospital Police Takes Historic Step

A bill directed at arming the police at state hospitals run by the Department of Mental Health and Department of Developmental Services passed the full Assembly 61-0 on May 25, marking the first time the two-decades-long goal made it this far.

Assembly Bill 2623 now moves on to the state Senate. Through hard work and compromise, staff for the Assembly Appropriations Committee came up with amendments to CSLEA’s original proposal that will give management the flexibility to set policies based on the unique needs of each hospital, as well as directing the departments to craft a policy for arming their hospital police.

This compromise solution requiring DMH and DDS to finally establish a system-wide policy on arming hospital police passed without a single vote against it. This landmark achievement could not have been accomplished without the help of Hospital Police Association of California President Luis Jimenez, HPAC Board Members Lonnie Smith, Sgt. Adam Tharp, and Larry Holt, retired chief of protective services at Atascadero. All testified before the Assembly Public Safety committee early in the process and helped secure the 4-0 vote that made later passage less difficult.  If you would like to be of assistance in furthering the passage of this legislation, write or email your senator urging them to support AB 2623.  


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