Senate Bill No. 2 — Frequently Asked Questions
This page will be updated as new information and guidance becomes available. Please check here periodically for
Public Records (Related to Certification and Decertification)
this new provision exempt POST from all Public Records Act requests? No. The Commission on
Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) continues to comply with the California Public Records Act
(CPRA) when a request for public records is made. However, the recent passage of the public safety budget
trailer bill (Assembly Bill (AB) 134 - Chapter 47, Statutes of 2023) added a new section
(section 7323.601) to the CPRA. That section exempts POST from disclosing certain
records pursuant to CPRA, including peace officer personnel files, background
files, misconduct records, and related investigative files POST receives from law enforcement
agencies for the purposes of peace officer employment and certification and POST investigations.
does the new law impact POST’s response to CPRAs? The law instructs that when POST
receives a CPRA request, POST will forward the request to the agency that initially transmitted the
record and will then notify the requestor of where the CPRA was forwarded. That agency will then be
responsible for complying with the PRA request. If the agency no longer has the record, the agency must
request the records from POST, and POST will provide a copy to the agency so it can comply with the CPRA
request. This obligation will remain in effect until January 1, 2027.
will POST ensure transparency? POST will continue to ensure public access to police misconduct
records in a way that improves efficiencies and reduces duplicative efforts. The new law does not prevent
public access to local law enforcement agency misconduct records that have been sent to POST by those
agencies. Government Code section 7923.601
instead directs CPRA requests back to the local agency that conducted the investigation, and compiled the
material, and requires those agencies to respond to the CPRA request. Agencies already have an independent
obligation under existing law to respond to CPRA requests for those records and AB 134 eliminates a costly
duplication of effort that would otherwise be required. The bill also permits POST to continue to focus on
its core work of investigating misconduct and decertifying individuals who should not be peace officers in
Hiring and Selection
did these requirements go into effect? Legislative changes went into
effect on January 1, 2022.
these changes apply to non-POST participating agencies? The certification program under Senate Bill
(SB) 2 is for peace officers described in sections 830.1, 830.2 (with the exception of those
described in subdivision (d)), 830.3, 830.32, or 830.33, or any other peace officer employed by an agency
that participates in the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) program.
if we have a peace officer candidate who is currently in the academy or who is not currently 21
years old? Government Code section 1031.4
does not apply to any person who, as of December 31, 2021, is currently enrolled in a basic academy or
is employed as a peace officer by a public entity in California. Further, Government Code section 1031.4
requires that the individual be 21 on or before the date of appointment as a peace officer, not the
date of employment.
qualifies as serious misconduct for the purposes of Penal Code section 13510.8(b)?
The Commission adopted a regulatory definition that can be accessed by referring to Commission Regulation 1205.
should we do if we believe a candidate may be disqualified to be a peace officer under Government Code
Any determination on the suitability of a candidate, including compliance with the relevant
Government Code sections, is the responsibility of the hiring department or agency. If there is a question
as to whether or not a candidate is statutorily disqualified from holding a peace officer position, the
department or agency should seek the advice of competent legal counsel.
is the National Decertification Index? The National Decertification Index (NDI) is a
national registry of certificate or license revocation actions relating to peace officer misconduct.
does a department or agency get access to NDI? The NDI database is considered confidential by
the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST). Access to
NDI will only be granted to department or agency personnel who are part of the peace officer background
process, and who meet the following criteria:
If these criteria are not met, access will be denied. Access is not authorized for private or independent
- MUST have a POST ID
- MUST be listed on the agency roster
- MUST request access from a governmental email account (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. are not
- MUST provide supervisor and contact information
all states report to NDI? No. At the time of this publication, NDI contained over 31,000
actions reported by 46 certifying agencies.
- 9.Is my
agency required to enter decertified officers into NDI? No, entry into NDI is limited to, and
the responsibility of California POST.
should we do if an applicant is listed in NDI as being decertified? The records contained
in NDI are provided by participating state government agencies and should be verified with the contributing
authority. Government Code section 1029
prohibits appointing any person as a peace officer who was previously employed in law enforcement in any
state or United States territory or by the federal government, whose name is listed in the National
Decertification Index of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and
Training or any other database designated by the federal government whose certification as a law enforcement
officer in that jurisdiction was revoked for misconduct.
does POST want proof or documentation that an applicant was checked in NDI in the background
investigation file? POST agencies are required to complete POST Form 2-355 Verification of
Qualification for Peace Officer Appointment. This form will include an area for agencies to indicate when an
NDI check has been completed and who completed the check. Agencies may wish to make an indication in the
background narrative as well.
this eliminate the ability of a contractor to conduct backgrounds? Will the contractor background
investigator need to add a notation that NDI had been checked in the investigation or will there be a
form the agency will receive that indicates that a check of the list has been
completed? NDI access is limited to members of the hiring agency. Background
contractors should coordinate with the contracted agency to ensure that the required checks are being
completed prior to an appointment.
happens when the employing agency will not allow access to the file? Penal Code section 832.12
states, “Each department or agency in this state that employs peace officers shall make a record of any
investigations of misconduct involving a peace officer in the officer’s general personnel file or a
separate file designated by the department or agency. A peace officer seeking employment with a
department or agency in this state that employs peace officers shall give written permission for the
hiring department or agency to view the officer’s general personnel file and any separate file
designated by a department or agency.” And “Prior to employing any peace officer, each department or
agency in this state that employs peace officers shall request, and the hiring department or agency
shall review, any records made available pursuant to subdivision (a).” Government Code section 1031.1
requires employers to “…disclose employment information relating to a current or former employee, upon
request of a law enforcement agency…” for "...applicants not currently employed as a peace
officer" if certain conditions have been met. Further, Government Code section 1031
specifies what steps an agency may take if the previous employing agency refuses to provide
information. “An employer’s refusal to disclose information to a law enforcement agency in
accordance with this section shall constitute grounds for a civil action for injunctive relief requiring
disclosure on the part of an employer.” Agencies conducting a background investigation where a
previous employing agency has refused to provide employment information should discuss remedies with their
the POST profile show if a lateral applicant has an entry in NDI? Yes.
review prior employment personnel, background, etc. files, must the background
investigator review ALL prior law enforcement agencies or just the most
recent? Agencies should ensure that they comply with Penal Code section 832.12.
background investigators, regardless if currently with an agency as a peace officer or retired with
an independent company, be required to go to a POST-approved background investigator course?
Certificates and Proofs of Eligibility
is a Proof of Eligibility (POE)? A POE is a certification that confirms an individual
is eligible to be a peace officer in the state of California.
will be required to obtain a POE? All peace officers who do not currently possess, or are
not eligible for a Basic Certificate, are required to obtain a POE within 10 days of
appointment via the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), regardless if employed by a POST participating
agency. Penal Code section 13510.1(a) requires
that POST shall establish a certification program for peace officers described in sections 830.1, 830.2
( with the exception for those described in subdivision (d)), 830.3, 830.32, and 830.33, or any other peace
officer employed by an agency that participates in the POST program. This includes all levels of reserve
officers employed by POST participating agencies. Note: CDCR, probation
officers, and reserve peace officers employed by a non-POST participating agency are not subject to SB 2.
will the POE requirement take place? January 1, 2023.
- 4.Can a
POE or Basic Certificate be suspended or revoked? Yes. POST is statutorily authorized to
suspend or revoke any or all Certificates for serious misconduct identified in Penal Code section
or when a person becomes ineligible to hold office as a peace officer pursuant to Government Code
II and Level III reserve officers are not eligible for a Basic Certificate. How will this be
handled? All levels of reserve officers employed by POST participating agencies are
required to have a POE throughout their career unless they are already in possession of a valid Basic
- 6.Is a
POE needed for lateral peace officer hires or only with newly appointed officers? At the
time of appointment, POST will make a determination if the appointment requires a POE or if the appointed
peace officer already has a Basic Certificate. If the lateral peace officer already has a Basic Certificate,
no POE will be issued.
what point is the Affidavit of Separation notice required? For example, if a person is still fighting
the termination through arbitration? The notice is required within 10 days of the
official separation of the agency. If the separation is changed pursuant to arbitration, the appointment
status will need to be reported to POST within 10 days.
- 8.If a
peace officer retires, does the Basic Certificate automatically get revoked, or does it remain valid for
a specific time in the event they seek new employment? The Basic Certificate will remain
valid but is subject to the rehire/requalification requirements that are currently in place by POST.
- 9.If a
lateral peace officer transfers from one agency to another agency with a POST Basic Certificate, is a
POE still needed? No. The new POE requirement is only required for individuals who do not
already possess a Basic Certificate.
is required for a pre-service candidate? The POE/Basic Certificate requirement only
applies when an individual is appointed as a peace officer/deputy/reserve/jail deputy (under Penal Code
If the individual is pre-service and appointed as a trainee, there is not a requirement for a POE.
- 11.If a
probationary employee is released from employment, will the reason for separation need to be
reported? Yes. The Affidavit of Separation notice is required within 10 days of the
official separation of the agency.
an officer is placed on administrative leave pending arbitration, when would the Affidavit of Separation
notice be required? The notice is required upon official separation from employment.
Decertification Investigations and Reporting Obligations
the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Division (Division) recommends an action to revoke a
certification to be a peace officer, can the decision be appealed? Yes. If the Division
recommends action against a peace officer’s certification, the peace officer will be notified of the
recommendation. Upon notification, the peace officer may, within 30 days, file a request for a review
by the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Advisory Board (Board) and the POST Commission. If the peace
officer does not file a request for review within 30 days, the action will stand without further
proceedings (Penal Code section 13510.8).
my agency need to retain the investigative files for 30 years? Each agency shall follow
their records retention schedule on investigative files. POST is mandated to retain all investigative
files for 30 years following the date the investigation is deemed concluded by the Commission.
- 3.If POST receives a complaint from a
citizen on my agency personnel, will my agency be notified? All complaints received from
members of the public will be provided to the involved agency, unless such notification would interfere with
SB 2 require agencies to provide POST with the last three years' internal investigations? Not
exactly. By July 1, 2023, any agency employing peace officers shall report the following events that
occurred between January 1, 2020, and January 1, 2023:
- Any complaint, charge, or allegation of misconduct against a peace officer employed by that agency
that could render a peace officer subject to suspension or revocation of certification by the
commission pursuant to Penal Code section 13510.8.
- Any finding or recommendation by a civilian oversight entity, including a civilian review board,
civilian police commission, police chief, or civilian inspector general, that a peace officer
employed by that agency engaged in conduct that could render a peace officer subject to suspension
or revocation of certification by the Commission pursuant to Penal Code section 13510.8.
- The final disposition of any investigation that determines a peace officer engaged in conduct that
could render a peace officer subject to suspension or revocation of certification by the Commission
pursuant to Penal Code section 13510.8, regardless of the discipline imposed.
- Any civil judgment or court finding against a peace officer based on conduct, or settlement of a
civil claim against a peace officer or an agency based on allegations of officer conduct that could
render a peace officer subject to suspension or revocation of certification by the Commission
pursuant to Penal Code section 13510.8.
POST be conducting investigations into serious misconduct? POST has the
statutory authority to review investigations completed by law enforcement agencies and, as necessary,
conduct additional investigations into serious misconduct that may provide grounds for action against a
peace officer’s certification. Agencies will continue to be responsible for conducting and completing their
own internal investigations.
- 6.Will POST be accepting hard copies of
case files? No. POST will only accept case files via secure upload in POST's Mark43 case
management system. Each agency employing members of law enforcement throughout California will have a select
number of Mark43 licenses (provided by POST) for the appropriate agency employees to submit the required
reports. Agencies should contact their assigned Professional Conduct Bureau staff for information on
how to submit case documents and other information.
serious misconduct need to be reported within 10 days of receiving the allegation or 10 days after the
completion of the investigation? Both. Penal Code section 13510.9
requires agencies to report to POST within 10 days of receiving the allegation and the final disposition of
any investigation that determines a peace officer engaged in conduct that could render a peace officer
subject to suspension or revocation.
agencies required to submit all allegations of misconduct, including those that are frivolous, clearly
unfounded, or exonerated? SB 2 states all allegations of serious misconduct shall be
reported to POST within 10 days. There are no statutory exceptions for frivolous, unfounded, or exonerated
if an agency clears an officer of misconduct, but POST does not? While the results
and disposition of any agency investigation are taken into consideration, each Professional Conduct Bureau
is responsible for conducting an independent assessment and analysis of any alleged serious misconduct
before making any recommendation for action.
will POST investigations be conducted so as not to interfere with each agency's individual
investigation? POST will rely on the employing agency to conduct the
investigation first. Allegations of serious misconduct received directly to POST will be referred
to the employing agency for investigation. The findings of the agency's investigation will be forwarded to
POST for review. Any subsequent investigation needed would occur after the conclusion of the
POST take action on misconduct that allegedly took place between January 1, 2022, and January 1,
2023? Yes, if the misconduct meets the statutory definition of serious misconduct.
does POBR (Peace Officer Bill of Rights) apply with POST conducted investigations? POBR
applies only to the employing agency, so it does not apply to the decertification investigation. However,
POST will provide similar rights consistent with Commission Regulation 1206.
- 13.Should POST find criminal misconduct
during an investigation, what happens? Criminal misconduct will be forwarded to the
appropriate law enforcement agency to investigate.
- 14.Regarding the retroactive reporting, is
it only sustained complaints or all complaints that must be submitted? Between
January 1, 2020, and January 1, 2023, all complaints of serious misconduct must be reported to
POST, regardless of the finding.
will POST do when they receive a civilian complaint? It is the intent that all complaints
received from the public will be referred to the employing agency for investigation.
long does a decertification last for and how does an officer regain
certification? Once an officer's certification has been revoked, it cannot be reinstated
unless there is a subsequent factual finding that exonerates the involved officer.
the event of an immediate temporary suspension, how does an individual get reinstated if they are
cleared of misconduct? After POST reviews the agency's investigation and determines
the allegations do not meet the threshold for decertification, the suspension would be withdrawn, and the
an officer is temporarily suspended, will this information be relayed to an out-of-state agency
conducting a background on a potential candidate? Consistent with Penal Code section
information reported to POST is made available to any law enforcement agency performing a pre-employment
background investigation of a peace officer.
- 19.If a
public complaint is made through POST, does that automatically meet the agency notification of the
allegation requirement, or does the agency then have to report to POST once they receive the complaint
from POST? If the complaint contains sufficient information to determine the allegation
meets the definition of serious misconduct, the agency will not have to notify POST until they complete
their investigation and report the findings.
an officer's POST certificate is revoked and they are of retirement age, does the decertification affect
their retirement? POST only takes action on certification, not employment. POST does not
have any involvement or authority related to an officer’s retirement.
- 21.There may be instances where a member
of the public does not believe that the employing agency is doing anything with their
complaint. Does POST offer any recourse? If the allegations include serious
misconduct, POST is required to review the agency's final investigation and make its own
determination independent of the agency’s findings.
correctional officers part of SB 2? No, correctional officers employed by the
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are explicitly excluded from SB 2.
a peace officer appeals discipline relating to serious misconduct, does that delay the decertification
process with POST? Generally, POST will toll any determination or recommendation for
decertification pending the outcome of disciplinary appeals, or civil or criminal actions.
POST recommend decertification of peace officers for incidents of serious misconduct that occurred
within the three years of retroactivity? Per SB 2, POST can only take action on
serious misconduct that occurred prior to January 1, 2022, if it meets the following criteria: dishonesty,
sexual assault, use of deadly force resulting in death or serious bodily injury, or the employing agency
makes a final determination regarding its investigation AFTER January 1, 2022.
about probation officers? Probation officers are excluded from SB 2.
POST have the authority to compel a statement from a subject officer? Serious misconduct
can include “failure to cooperate with an investigation.” However, this does not prevent the
“lawful exercise of rights granted under the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, or any
other law shall not be considered a failure to cooperate.” Questions regarding compelled statements would be
evaluated on a case-by-case basis with competent legal counsel.
POST wait for an agency to complete their investigation prior to beginning their decertification
review? Yes, unless unique circumstances dictate otherwise.
decertification is recommended and the officer appeals the findings, does this place the decertification
on hold? A decertification will not take place until the due process hearings have been
held and completed, or if the officer does not request the hearings, the decertification would take effect
30 days after the Notice of Intent to Revoke has been issued.
an agency makes a determination to terminate an employee and POST moves forward with decertification,
what happens if the employee gets their job back through arbitration? POST conducts
investigative reviews solely for the purpose of decertification. If the Commission ultimately determines
decertification is appropriate, the officer would no longer be eligible to be a peace officer in California.
This is separate and distinct from any employment decision made by the agency.
deputy sheriff's under Penal Code section 830.1(c) fall under SB 2? Yes, but only those
whose agencies are specifically listed in Penal Code section 830.1(c).
- 31.Would an officer who is decertified
lose their ability to have a "Civilian CCW?" That is the decision of the Sheriff of the
county where the CCW license was issued.
- 32.Procedurally, will a public
decertification hearing be held if there are still criminal charges pending related to the original
incident? Generally, POST will toll any determination or recommendation for
decertification pending the outcome of any disciplinary appeals, or civil or criminal actions.
an agency receives multiple complaints about an officer for the same incident, does the agency have to
submit a notice to POST for each complaint or one notice about multiple complaints for the single
act? If it is truly the same act with several complainants, then only one notification is
are the penalties if an agency fails to report an allegation of misconduct to POST within 10
days? There is no penalty currently listed in SB 2; however, it would be a clear violation
of the statute.
all internal affairs investigations conducted need to go to POST for review? Only cases
involving an allegation of serious misconduct as defined by Penal Code section 13510.8(b).
the POST public complaint form available on POST's website? Yes, the POST
public complaint form can be found by following the link on POST's Public Complaint Page.
if POST does not recommend decertification, but the Board does? Only those cases POST
determines contain clear and convincing evidence to support decertification will be forwarded to the Board.
Decertification Process, the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Advisory Board, and the POST Commission
are the proceedings if an investigation finds grounds for suspension or
revocation? The Peace Officer Standards Accountability Division (Division) will
notify the officer of the determination in writing. If desired, the officer will have 30 days to file an
appeal and a public hearing by the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Advisory Board (Board) will be
scheduled. At the public hearing, the findings of the investigation will be presented and the Board
will make a recommendation to the Commission for revocation or suspension when appropriate. The
Commission shall review the recommendations by the Board. If the Commission supports the Board’s
recommendation, the Division will initiate proceedings for a formal hearing before an administrative law
judge. All hearings and reviewed records are considered public records.
a Basic Certificate or Proof of Eligibility being suspended or revoked, who will be
notified? POST will make notification to the subject officer and the agency head of the
affected officer’s agency. POST is required to publish the names of any peace officer whose certification is
suspended or revoked and the basis for the suspension or revocation and will notify the National
Decertification Index of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and
Training of the suspension or revocation.
is the purpose of the Board? The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations on the
decertification of peace officers to the Commission.
serves on the Board? The Board consists of nine members who are appointed by the
Governor and Legislature. The Board shall include: one current or former peace officer with command
experience; one current or former peace officer with management rank; two members of the public with
experience working at a non-profit or academic institution; two members of the public with experience
working with community-based organizations related to police accountability; two members of the public with
strong consideration given to individuals who have been subjected to wrongful use of force likely to cause
death or serious bodily injury by a peace officer or who are surviving family members of a person killed by
the wrongful use of deadly force by a peace officer; and one attorney.
- 5.I am
interested in serving on the Board. How do I apply? Pursuant to Penal Code section 13509.6,
seven (7) appointments on the Board are made by the Governor and two (2) appointments are made by the
Legislature. Should you be interested, please apply directly to those offices. The following links
contain information on the appointment process:
is the timeline for the Board to review and come to a conclusion? POST has
three years from the date an allegation is received to take action.
is the standard of proof for both the Board and Commission actions? The standard of proof
is clear and convincing evidence.
the Board act independently regardless of anyone else's findings? The Board can make a
recommendation to the Commission for action, but they cannot take independent actions. Only the Commission
has the authority to determine suspension or revocation.
hundreds of agencies submitting their internal affairs reports involving serious misconduct to
POST, how will they be reviewed in a timely manner? These reports will be uploaded
electronically via a database, which will allow for a timely review. Not all cases will be taken to the
Board, only those that POST are requesting decertification and of those, only ones where the
officer requests a review.
the public hearing process held if the certification is voluntarily surrendered? No, if an
officer voluntarily surrenders their certification, there will not be a hearing.
internal affairs files need to be retained for 30 years even if not sustained or
exonerated? POST is required to maintain their files for 30 years. Each agency should
comply with their specific record retention requirements.
can decertification NOT be considered punitive? SB 2 solely deals with licensing and
not employment, or criminal matters.
the Commission disagree with the Board’s recommendation to decertify an officer and decide to allow the
officer to retain their certification? Yes. The Board can only provide a recommendation,
but the Commission has final decision authority.
POST get involved in Pitchess motions if they retain files longer than the agency? No,
POST will not participate in Pitchess motions.
the Commission's final decision be appealed beyond the request for review by the
officer? Yes, there is recourse through Superior Court.
agencies sending investigations to POST that include both sustained and not sustained findings, and will
POST retain both for 30 years? Yes.
- 17.What about suspensions
imposed by the POST Commission? The Commission does have
the ability to recommend suspension for any duration of time. If an officer has their certification
suspended, it is entirely up to the agency to determine what to do with that officer, but they would not be
able to perform in a sworn peace officer capacity during the suspension period.
the public video and/or audio record the hearings? Anyone who attends a public
meeting (i.e., a meeting of a governmental body required to be open to the public by law) in California is
generally allowed to make an audio or video recording unless the state or local body holding the meeting
determines that the recording disrupts the proceedings by noise, illumination, or obstruction of view
(Government Code sections 11124.1(a),
an agency suspends an officer, will POST then suspend the officer for additional time?
POST only has authority related to peace officer certification. Employment decisions, including
disciplinary suspensions imposed by employing agencies, are independent of any action by POST.
the Board's decision have to be unanimous or should more than 50% be sufficient for a
revocation/cancellation recommendation? The Board’s decision is made by a majority vote.
is on the Board and Commission? The POST Website provides the make up of Board members and Commissioners.
the make up of the Board be challenged by an officer? No. The composition of the Board is
specified in SB 2 and appointees are made by the Governor and the Legislature.