Changes to domestic violence law: response not mandatory

Several provisions in a bill awaiting California Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature would wipe out many protections for domestic violence abuse victims, said Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully in a written statement.

The item is part of AB 76, a trailer bill that was OK’d by both the Senate and the Assembly last week. It is the same bill that makes compliance with the California Public Records Act optional. The domestic violence-related provisions make optional the act of responding to domestic abuse calls, recording those calls to emergency personnel, maintaining records of protection orders and creating incident reports.

Under the new regulations, those acts would be considered best practices for law enforcement.

Current laws require those measures when it comes to responding to, and dealing with, domestic violence situations.

Scully noted in her statement that the change from mandatory to discretionary “dials the clock back two decades and reinstitutes the cycle of domestic violence that mandatory police response was designed to break.”

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