Harrisburg, PA – The bipartisan path to grow the relationships among residents and the officers sworn to protect and serve them now awaits Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature to become law, after the legislation was signed in the House by Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster).
“I am honored to give the final seal of approval on behalf of all House members on these important pieces of legislation that represent every voice involved in these issues,” Cutler said. “Our members listened to their constituents, along with law enforcement, to help make our communities safer and promote trust in law enforcement. Our timely action shows the power of our chamber to act on behalf of the will of all Pennsylvanians when our rules and processes are used appropriately and effectively.”
House Bill 1841 would require a thorough background investigation on an applicant for employment as a law enforcement officer, including a review of the applicant’s employment information and separation records from prior law enforcement employment before the applicant may be employed. It would also require the establishment and maintenance of an electronic database containing separation records of law enforcement officers for use by other law enforcement agencies when hiring certified law enforcement officers.
House Bill 1910 would require the training of officers on interacting with individuals of diverse racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds; implicit bias training; recognizing and reporting child abuse; and annual training on the use of appropriate force. In addition, the bill would establish better access to mental health evaluations for law enforcement officers.
Both bills received endorsements from the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association and passed the House and Senate with unanimous support.