Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, secured bipartisan approval (4-2) of Senate Bill 1261, which would require the state to maintain a minimum staffing level of special agents who were cut out of the state budget last year. SB 1261 now heads to Senate Appropriations Committee.
“This is the most important public safety bill of the year,” said Bob Cook, regional director of the National Narcotics Officers Association, urging passage of SB 1261 before the Public Safety Committee. “As realignment moves responsibility to local departments, local law enforcement agencies’ need for the assistance provided by BNE (Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement) and BII (Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence) will only increase.”
Specifically, the bill requires the state to maintain a minimum of 190 special agents within the BNE, and a minimum of 90 special agents in the BII.
“Special agents have historically provided local jurisdictions with valuable resources that help save lives and solve crimes,” said Vargas. “It is unconscionable that a diverse, populous state like California become one of the only states in the entire country not to have special narcotics and intelligence agents! Between the drug cartels, gangs, prison crime rings, and sexual predators, California absolutely, must have these agents in the field, on our side.”
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