In its continuing quest to make the Department of Developmental Centers’ facilities safer for Bargaining Unit 7 staff, CSLEA and HPAC representatives met with Office of Protective Services Chief Ken Hill and DDS Labor Relations Officer Bo Dodson on July 8. Representing CSLEA were HPAC President Luis Jimenez, Porterville Developmental Center Peace Officer-I Joseph Fessenden, Fairview Developmental Center Peace Officer-I Emilio Escobedo and CSLEA Supervising Legal Counsel David De La Riva.
The meeting was the second installment of the Joint Labor Management Task Force regarding arming the DDS Peace Officers. This subject matter was negotiated as a provision of the current Bargaining Unit 7 Memorandum of Understanding in Article 15.4. CSLEA continues to push for DDS Director Santi Rogers to use the powers bestowed upon him pursuant to Penal Code section 830.38 which grants him the discretion to allow the DDS Peace Officers to carry firearms while on duty.
Topics discussed at this meeting focused on the dangers that DDS Peace Officers face on a daily basis and the need for DDS to do what is necessary to protect them. CSLEA reiterated its call for the arming of DDS Peace Officers, particularly those who participate in off-grounds transports, patrols and additional assignments which occur away from the secure treatment areas of the facilities.
At the same time, CSLEA addressed staff access to the CLETS system, limiting the numbers of hours driven by Transport Officers on a daily basis, storage of firearms at DDS facilities, staffing and training to be provided related to active shooter scenarios.
Luis Jimenez summed up the meeting by stating, “CSLEA and HPAC are determined to work with the Department of Developmental Services regarding the arming of our PO I’s. It was clear during the meeting we are still at the planning stages of this matter, however steps are being taken at these stages in terms of submitting proposals to further develop this process in a manner that addresses each facility’s security and logistical aspects. I’d like to thank PO I Joseph Fessenden from Porterville Developmental Center, PO I Emilio Escobedo from Fairview Developmental Center, and Dave De La Riva for attending the meeting and for their hard work, and continued support and effort throughout this process.”
CSLEA will continue to keep its members up to date on any further developments concerning this matter. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact CSLEA’s David De La Riva at 714/894-4411.