WHITTIER, CA - Standing in front of City Hall adjacent to the Whittier Police Memorial Thursday, Assemblyman Ian Calderon introduced a bill that would require jailing probationers who violate the terms of their supervision at least three times.
The bill would be the first state legislation to address issues local police forces have with prison reform bills like AB 109 following the death of Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer in February.
Calderon, D-Industry, said the bill, AB 1408, is “a result of intense discussion with the law enforcement community.” He said he and believes the bill “will help prevent tragedies like what we witnessed on Feb. 20.”
The suspect in Boyer’s killing, Michael Christopher Mejia, was on probation that day when police believe he crashed a stolen vehicle on Colima Road, then engaged in a shootout with Boyer and Officer Patrick Hazell.
Mejia cycled in and out of county jail in the months before the shooting, after repeatedly violating the terms of his probation.
However, he was not released from prison early, as police and sheriff’s officials suggested in the days after the shooting. Mejia served his full sentence — a total of four years in state prison for a 2010 second-degree robbery sentence, as well as an additional four-year sentence for grand theft and vehicle theft while on parole in 2014 — according to officials from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
In addition to requiring counties to revoke probation for offenders who violate their probation terms for a third time, AB 1408 would require the state Board of Parole to consider the entire criminal history of an inmate, not just the most recent offense, when considering prison release.
The bill would require mandatory revocation hearings for “post-release community supervision violations,” better known as PRCS.
AB 1408 would also improve information sharing between the state Division of Adult Parole Operations and the county probation department.
Local police officials across the state have blamed prison reforms instituted by AB 109 and Propositions 47 and 57 for an increase in property crime and attacks on police in recent years.