This week, the Society of Professional Journalist’s San Diego chapter sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown urging him to sign SB 345, proposed state legislation that would require police to post policies, training materials, and more online. You can read up on the bill here.
Here’s what San Diego SPJ board member Tom Jones wrote on the board’s behalf:
My name is Tom Jones and I am a San Diego journalist and a board member of the Society of Professional Journalist’s San Diego chapter. I am writing this letter on behalf of the San Diego board, urging the governor to sign SB 345 into law.
California has the opportunity through SB 345 to lead the nation toward greater transparency in law enforcement policies, protocols, and training materials. Publishing these materials online would help law enforcement educate the public about how they operate and best serve the people they represent. The process of obtaining these materials through the California Public Records Act (CPRA) can be arduous, especially when reporting on events that directly involve these policies and procedures. SB 345 would assist the public and journalists by giving access to this information without the need of a CPRA request. Law enforcement would also benefit, as they would not have the task of having to release this information while dealing with other topics being reported on.
Signing SB 345 into law would be an important step toward the state recognizing the necessity of law enforcement transparency while providing a great example to other states.