By Elisabeth Smith

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Becoming a police officer could soon take more time.

A new proposal introduced Monday would require anyone who wants to be a police officer in California to get a bachelor’s degree or turn 25 before starting their career.

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Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) said the change could help reduce the number of times police officers are involved in excessive use of force cases.

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Current law requires officers to be 18 years old with a high school diploma. California Highway Patrol officers must be at least 20 to join the agency.

Last week, a Sacramento County grand jury report recommended the Sacramento Police Department remove its college degree requirement and allow tattoos, piercings, and ponytails for officers as a way for the department to attract more recruits. The department currently has 747 sworn officers — down 65 from its “authorized level.”

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