It's a sad state of affairs and we are seeing the effect of this nationwide. It will only become more pronounced in CA when this legislation passes (and, mark my words, it will pass). I am glad I am all but done with my career. I do not recommend it to anyone these days. Ultimately, I am afraid that to fill the ranks - and the recommendations of the previous administration's blue ribbon panel on policing - we will see a dumbing down of entrance exams, background and psych requirements, and we will get a police force that reflects the de-prioritization of policing nationwide.
All you have to do is look at New Orleans pre Katrina to see how bad a PD can get when under court order to "hire better".
Several I know get off on it and love the power more than anything else, including the quickly discarded notion they'll actually make a difference in a system rife with abuse. The latter seems more prevelant amongst those having higher IQ's and a willingness to question why much of their job strongly resembles being a tax collector for Ceasar mixed with imperial praetorian guard duties.
Sounds cynical, huh?
In the near future, the quality candidate may be the stuff of legend and myth - the elusive unicorn.
I don't know anyone who got into police work for power. I know one guy who got into the USBP a couple decades back and happened to be a bully when he was younger and an Ahole later on, but whether he got into it for the power or not, i can't say. But, the feds have different requirements (and arguably lower standards back then) than local law enforcement in my state.
As someone among those with the "higher IQs" I have to say I have never once seen myself as a "tax collector" and did not get into law enforcement for "power". I also do not know anyone in local or state law enforcement who had those ideas. If anything, our/their ideals were more or less altruistic at the start devolving into some measure of cynicism as exposed to both "the system" and their fellow man's capacity to do evil to one another. The key is finding a way to maintain the altruism and find meaning in what you do. Those who cannot either burn out or leave. It's not about intelligence, it's about the ability to cope with the crap you see on a daily basis. Not everyone can. I suspect that most the people that scream and complain about the police would be incapable of spending any time in the career even though they seem to have all the answers about what the police SHOULD do or why they do it.
And, THAT is the big issue today! WHY would anyone want to enter a career where just doping your job and following your training can get you imprisoned? I would never have entered into law enforcement in today's world. I would have stayed in education full time and had summers off.
A couple of my best friends are cops. I know without a doubt that both would be putting in papers the day such a stupid law went into place and neither in their 15+ years of law enforcement have ever had to fire a round off the range.
I have been shot at, but have never actually shot at anyone in my nearly 28 years. I am already retired (mostly) but would have considered getting out if this law change had come about 10+ years ago. I know guys that are preparing to either hunker down or move out of state. The young guys are simply scared and confused. Working for 34-36 years to reach retirement age and a max pension is a pipe dream. Cumulative injuries take out a great many (most?) cops and firefighters before they stand a chance of getting 20 years. 34 or more??? You're just not going to see that. Most officers I know don't make it to longevity retirements when we could retire at 50 and max out after "just" 33 1/3 years (at 100%). Now you have to wait until 55 or 57 (depending on the plan) and cap at 90%. So, work longer to an older age and retire at a lower rate ... a rate that the state is working hard through the courts to permit local government to modify downwards even after retirement! We could be at the front end of a perfect crime storm in CA ... the disenfrachising of law enforcement at the same time we are decriminalizing everything and allowing repeat and violent offenders to return to the streets.
I fear it's getting worse.
It is the practice of the Legislature to hide bills they don't want the public to find out about in the budget. Hidden in this year's California's budget bill was AB1810. It could let more criminals off the hook.
If you read the fine print, AB 1810 creates a plan to keep people charged with any crime — including murder, mass shootings, and fatal DUI’s — out of jail, as long as they can prove the crimes were committed because of a diagnosable mental disorder that can be treated, such as anxiety, alcoholism, kleptomania, etc.”
The bill was proposed by the California Department of State Hospitals to address a growing wait list of people deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial. If a psychological evaluation determines a mental disorder, a person can bypass prison and complete a two-year diversion program. If successful, criminal charges could be dismissed and records sealed.