California code enforcement officers raise concerns about job safety, want 2 bills to move forward in Senate

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A statewide advocate group is worried about the recent rise in threats and attacks against code enforcement officers in California and say two safety bills meant to help are stalled in the state Senate.

The California Association of Code Enforcement Officers announced Tuesday that violent acts against code enforcement officers are on the rise.

Code enforcement officers work for a city and/or county to, among other duties, prevent and investigate violations of laws that regulate public health, safety and welfare. These officers have specialized training.

But lately, the association says code enforcement officers have been tasked in many California jurisdictions with enforcing violations that used to be addressed by police and sheriff personnel.

The increase in code officer duties includes enforcing violations for “illegal cannabis operations, illicit massage operations and homeless encampment abatement,” according to the release.

The association says they’ve received “86 reports of safety incidents including, but not limited to: nine death threats, 11 physical assaults, 10 occurrences of weapon brandishing, 17 physical threats, and six stalking incidents” since 2015.

Through two legislators, the association introduced two Senate bills in 2021 to address the issue.

The association says Senate Bill 101 would prevent the DMV from releasing the home addresses of code enforcement officers.

Senate Bill 296 “would require cities and counties to establish safety protocols specific to the duties and risks faced by code enforcement officers in their particular jurisdictions,” according to the release.

The association announced Tuesday it is urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to remove both bills from the suspense file and allow them to go through with the legislative process.

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