Publication Date

Spring 2020

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Frances Edwards


Police Records, Senate Bill (SB) 1421, California Public Records Act (CPRA), California Law Enforcement Agencies, Police Transparency


This research intends to explain how law enforcement agencies in California have implemented operational procedures to comply with the CPRA pursuant to SB 1421 requirements. Because SB 1421 vastly expanded the CPRA, demand for law enforcement record requests has significantly increased in volume. Also, due to key components of SB 1421 which lack clarity in defining specific terminology, each law enforcement agency had to develop its own interpretation of how to implement requirements set forth by the statute. Law enforcement agencies have implemented new requirements to reflect the changes in SB 1421 by establishing working protocols for compliance, developing standard operating procedures, and creating new agency policies.

Additionally, this research project seeks to identify how law enforcement agencies in California have responded to increased volumes of requests for disclosable records as a result of SB 1421. This research is valuable because law enforcement agencies do not commonly have the needed time to collaborate and share common practices before implementing new measures. Some agencies have had more successful strategies to comply with the new legal mandates than other agencies. Meanwhile, some agencies have experienced challenges that have caused disruptions in their operations and management. There are many possibilities available to adapt to the changes required by SB 1421, as well as different ways to improve efficiencies. This research investigated various solutions that agencies have employed to manage their SB 1421 CPRA requests. Thus, the question for this study is, “How have California law enforcement agencies implemented operational procedures to comply with requirements under the California Public Records Act pursuant to Senate Bill 1421?”