In 1974, the Security Officers employed by the Department of Mental Hygiene and assigned to work at the then 11 State Hospitals were re-classified to that of Hospital Police Officers. In 1982 the Department of Developmental Services was created, and their facilities were designated as Developmental Centers. These police officers received their police authority under the California Penal Code Section 830.4. This section has since been modified and is now 830.38 P.C.
Organized in 1980 in accordance with the start of State Employees Collective Bargaining under Governor Jerry Brown, the Hospital Police Association of California represents the uniformed police officers employed by the Department of Developmental Services (Peace Officer I) and the Department of State Hospitals (Hospital Police Officer), formerly the Department of Mental Health. The Department of Mental Health subsequently transitioned to the Department of State Hospitals in 2012.
The Law Enforcement Agencies within the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of State Hospitals are now called the Office of Protective Services.
The Primary function of the Peace Officer I/ Hospital Police Officers is the safety and protection of the developmentally disabled, mentally ill and/or criminally insane patients who are under the care of the Department of Developmental Services/ State Hospitals, and the staff employed at their facilities and the community around these facilities. Their duties also include maintaining law and order on hospital grounds; patrolling and protecting hospital buildings and grounds; checking for unauthorized movement of patients, breaches of security, and unsafe conditions; conducting administrative and criminal investigations; making arrests; testifying in court; and enforcing vehicle traffic and parking regulations and issuing citations when necessary. Peace Officer I/ Hospital Police Officers also monitor patient and visitor activities on hospital grounds; assist nursing personnel in controlling severely combative patients; and carry out standard search procedures in cases of unauthorized patient absences. Peace Officer I/ Hospital Police Officers also transport patients to and from medical appointments and court proceedings under security as required and perform other related law enforcement duties.
There are approximately 700 Hospital Police Officers employed by the Department of State Hospitals working at Atascadero, Coalinga, Metropolitan, Napa and Patton State Hospitals, and approximately 60 Peace Officer I’s employed in the Department of Developmental Services working at Porterville, Canyon Springs, Sonoma, and Fairview Developmental Centers.
The Hospital Police Association of California is the only association of Peace Officer I/Hospital Police Officers to provide direct input to CSLEA, which is the sole entity recognized by the State of California to negotiate for the bargaining of pay, working conditions, benefits, and contract language for our job classifications.
*Protecting those who protect you.*