CA bill would require new police officers to be 25 or have college degree before hiring

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Thursday, December 10, 2020
CA bill would tighten hiring rules for new officers
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Proposed California legislation would require new law enforcement officers to be at least 25 years old or have a college degree before they can be hired.

LOS ANGELES -- A California assemblyman wants to tighten the requirements to become a police officer in an effort to reduce excessive force incidents.

The legislation from Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, would require new peace officers to either have a bachelors degree or be at least 25 years old.

Current California law allows people to become officers at age 18 and does not require a college degree.

"When we look at the data, the data shows when someone is college educated, their propensity for violence, goes way down," Jones-Sawyer said.

He says studies show older or more educated officers are less likely to use excessive force and says the move could also reduce spending for departments on lawsuits.

About 18 other states already require some sort of college education.