(CN) - California is not required to reimburse school districts for the cost of hiring peace officers, a California appeals court ruled.
California's constitution requires the state to reimburse local government entities for state-mandated programs. The Commission on State Mandates ruled that one of those programs was the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBRA).
Under POBRA, a local government agency must provide peace officers with procedural rights when they are subject to discipline.
California's Department of Finance sued for a writ of administrative mandamus to determine that POBRA costs did not have to be reimbursed by the state.
The superior court ruled that POBRA costs must be reimbursed, but the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento reversed the decision.
"School districts and special districts are permitted, but not required, to employ peace officers who supplement the general law enforcement units of cities and counties," Justice Butz wrote.
Butz added that hiring peace officers is not essential, "unless there is a showing that, as a practical matter, exercising the authority to hire peace officers is the only reasonable means to carry out their core mandatory functions."
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