Dedicated to Sarah Phillips

Words to Live By

Kristie’s Bill Introduced in California


On 2/20/04 Republican State Senator Sam Aanestad introduced SB 1866, known as Kristie’s Law after Kristie Priano, a Chico, California teenager who was the innocent victim of a Chico Police Department pursuit on January 22, 2002. Kristie’s parents, Mark and Candy, have worked hard for this bill since those tragic events. They have spoken to groups, civilian and law enforcement, all over California, have made numerous media appearances, locally and nationally and maintain a website, The hard work has paid off with the introduction of Sen. Aanestad’s bill. Committee hearings are scheduled to begin April 13th. The bill sets a minimum standard for pursuit policy/practice and offers immunity from financial liability to departments who meet and follow the standard. Currently California law grants blanket immunity to agencies if they have a policy. There is no minimum standard—nor do they have to follow the policy to be immune. The bill is a giant leap forward for the State of California and should be embraced by its citizens and law enforcement professionals. Accountability should never be feared—it is critical to good government.

The hearing for Kristie's Law (SB 1866) took place in front of the California Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, April 13th. After the introduction of the bill by Sen. Aanestad and testimony by Mark and Candy Priano and myself, the opponents of the bill were given the opportunity to express themselves. A host of Law Enforcement representatives stepped to the witness table. After a self-serving statement from the first opponent of the bill about how he was moved to tears by the Priano's story, he launched into a litany of often discredited clichés about why the police need wide discretion in pursuit policy.

Read my take on the officers' clichés here.