On December 2, 2013, the first CSLEA -Department of State Hospitals (DSH) Joint Labor Management Task Force (JLMTF) met to "explore issuing Hospital Police Officers who are assigned to patrol, transportation and custody assignments outside the secure treatment areas of the hospitals with firearms, holsters, ammunition and ammunition carrying cases."
The JLMTF was formed as a result of recent contract negotiations and follows legislative attempts to arm state hospital police officers (HPO's).
The history: On September 30, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed AB 2623, a bill that would have required DSH to adopt and implement a policy to arm state hospital police officers. Governor Brown did not reject the notion of arming HPO's, but instead, left the matter to the Director of State Hospitals, who already has the authority under PC 830.38 to arm HPO's.
As a result of the Governor's veto message, CSLEA representatives met with DSH Director Cliff Allenby on December 20, 2012, to discuss the concept of arming HPO's when performing patrol and transportation functions outside the secure treatment areas of the state hospitals. The meeting was very productive as Director Allenby agreed to work with CSLEA on the issue by creating a committee of DSH and CSLEA representatives to discuss the concept of arming HPO's.
Present: To further the effort, during contract negotiations this year, CSLEA and the State agreed to Article 15.4 which created the JLMTF which met for the first time December 2, 2013.
The four CSLEA members assigned to the JLMTF are:
- Hospital Police Association of California (HPAC) President and Coalinga State Hospital Police Officer Luis Jimenez
- Napa State Hospital Police Officer Jared Burk
- Metropolitan State Hospital Police Officer Ronnie Morales
- CSLEA Legal Counsel Ryan Navarre
Attending the first JLMTF meeting from DSH were:
- DSH Police Chief John Rolin
- Atascadero State Hospital Police Chief David Landrum
- Deputy Director Mark Beckley
- Napa State Hospital Executive Director Dolly Matteucci
- DSH Labor Relations Specialist Dana Manning
"The JLMTF meeting was very productive," said CSLEA's Ryan Navarre. "I was very pleased to see DSH representatives actively participating in the discussion. We discussed many issues including firearm necessity, HPO training, related policies and procedures, patient population changes and critical incidents involving HPO's."
Navarre added, "As expected from the first meeting, the participants brainstormed together with ideas and left the meeting with many action items and information requests that will be followed up on by JLMTF members in the upcoming months."
“I felt this first JLMTF meeting was very informative, as well as productive for the committee members who participated," said HPAC President Luis Jimenez. "I was very pleased with the extent of collaboration the representatives for the Department of State Hospitals provided, which demonstrates their commitment to fully explore the arming of our hospital police officers. Given the amount of work it will take to accomplish the objectives that were discussed at this meeting, it is evident the department considers this to be a serious matter. I am also very optimistic that the department will continue to work with us on this matter, and I am hopeful DSH representatives will continue to do so until it comes to fruition. I’d like to thank DSH, CSLEA, and HPAC representatives who participated in this meeting, and I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively on this committee.”
The next CSLEA -DSH JLMTF meeting is expected to occur within the next three months.
On a separate note: The CSLEA - Department of Developmental Services (DDS) JLMTF is expected to hold its first meeting in January 2014.