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PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 464
PRINTER'S NO. 1803
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
459
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY COSTA, FONTANA, HUGHES, SCHWANK, HAYWOOD, KEARNEY,
A. WILLIAMS, STREET, MUTH, SANTARSIERO, FARNESE, IOVINO AND
BOSCOLA, MARCH 21, 2019
SENATOR STEFANO, LAW AND JUSTICE, AS AMENDED, JUNE 22, 2020
AN ACT
Amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in employees, providing for use of
force and deadly force model policy for law enforcement
agencies. RECORDKEEPING AND REPORTING FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENCIES.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The heading of Subchapter C B of Chapter 21 of
Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes is amended to
read:
SUBCHAPTER [C] B
[(Reserved)]
USE OF FORCE AND DEADLY FORCE MODEL POLICY
RECORDKEEPING AND REPORTING
FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
Section 2. Subchapter C B of Chapter 21 of Title 53 is
amended by adding sections to read:
§ 2141 2131 . Policy.
It is the policy of the Commonwealth to provide
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municipalities, agencies and officers with clear guidelines and
training regarding the use of force and deadly force. IT IS THE
POLICY OF THE COMMONWEALTH TO PROVIDE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
WITH RECORDKEEPING AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS REGARDING THE USE
OF FORCE AND DEADLY FORCE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS.
§ 2142 2132 . Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Agency." A police department of a municipality.
"Bodily injury." Impairment of physical condition or
substantial pain.
"Commission." The Municipal Police Officers' Education and
Training Commission.
"Commissioner." The Commissioner of Pennsylvania State
Police.
"Deadly force." Force which, under the circumstances in
which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or serious
bodily injury.
"Force."
(1) Efforts used by an officer that may result in bodily
injury, serious bodily injury or death when used to:
(i) Effectuate an arrest.
(ii) Overcome resistance or threatened resistance to
effectuate an arrest.
(iii) Protect the arresting officer or any other
person from injury or death.
(2) The term includes deadly force and other than deadly
force.
"Municipality." A county, city, borough, town or township.
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"Officer." Any of the following:
(1) A full-time or part-time employee assigned to
criminal or traffic law enforcement duties at an agency.
(2) A deputy sheriff of a county of the second class.
(3) A security officer of a first class city housing
authority or a police officer of a second class city housing
authority.
(4) A county park police officer.
"Other than deadly force." Force used by an officer that
does not have the intentional purpose of causing, nor creates a
substantial risk of causing, death or serious bodily injury.
"Serious bodily injury." Bodily injury that creates a
substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent
disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function
of a bodily member or organ.
"Weapon." A firearm, taser or other instrument capable of
inflicting serious bodily injury or death.
§ 2143. Written policies required.
(a) General rule.--Each agency shall develop and implement a
written use of force policy governing the procedures under which
an officer should initiate, continue and terminate the use of
force. This policy may be the model policy endorsed by a
national or State organization or association that is consistent
with the requirements of this subchapter. The written policy
shall, at a minimum, incorporate the guidelines under this
section.
(b) Intent of guidelines.--The guidelines under this section
are solely intended to direct agencies in developing use of
force policies and outline the content of these policies. The
guidelines contained in this section are not intended to mandate
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the actions of individual officers.
(c) Policy guidelines.--Each agency policy shall include the
following procedural elements:
(1) Decision-making criteria or principles for
initiation of force. These criteria or principles may
include:
(i) The severity of the crime at issue.
(ii) Whether the suspect poses an immediate threat
to the safety of the officer or others.
(iii) The potential for harm or immediate or
potential danger to others if the fleeing individual or
individuals escape.
(iv) Whether the suspect is actively resisting
arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.
(v) Safety factors that pose a risk to officers and
other persons.
(vi) Whether the suspect is in possession of a
weapon.
(2) Responsibilities of the officers.
(3) Responsibilities of the field supervisor.
(4) Decision-making criteria or principles for
termination of force. These criteria or principles may
include safety factors that pose a risk to officers and other
persons.
(5) Other relevant information that the officer
reasonably believes to be true at the time.
(6) Recordkeeping protocols for use of force incidents.
(d) Rules governing use of force.--Before carrying a weapon,
each officer shall receive training and instruction with regard
to the proper use of force and to the agency's policies and
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statutes with regard to force. The training and instruction
shall continue on an annual basis. The following apply:
(1) Each officer shall carry and use only authorized
weapons unless circumstances exist which pose an immediate
threat to the safety of the officer or the public requiring
the use of a weapon or object that has not been authorized to
counter a threat.
(2) With agency approval, officers may modify, alter or
cause to be altered an authorized weapon in the officer's
possession or control.
(3) An officer should use discretion to determine
reasonable force options to bring a suspect under control. An
officer is not required to first attempt using types and
degrees of force that reasonably appear to be inadequate to
accomplish the intended objective.
(4) An officer may announce the intention to use
reasonable force.
(5) An officer should consider whether it is reasonably
prudent to use de-escalation and harm reduction techniques.
(e) Biennial certification.--Every other year, the
commission shall certify whether each agency has a use of force
policy in force. The commission shall provide the Pennsylvania
State Police with a list of those agencies that have or have not
notified or certified to the commission that the agency has a
use of force policy. The biennial certification may be
implemented simultaneously with other certifications conducted
by the commission.
(f) Policy availability.--A policy adopted under this
section shall be made available to the general public upon
request and shall be posted on a publicly accessible Internet
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website maintained by the municipality.
(g) Limitations.--An agency policy must be consistent with
the requirements of 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 (relating to general
principles of justification).
" LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. " A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IN THIS
COMMONWEALTH THAT IS THE EMPLOYER OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.
" LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. " THE TERM SHALL HAVE THE SAME
MEANING AS THE TERM " PEACE OFFICER " UNDER 18 PA.C.S. § 501
(RELATING TO DEFINITIONS).
§ 2144 2133 . Recordkeeping.
(a) General rule.--Each LAW ENFORCEMENT agency shall
maintain records of all incidents involving a use of force BY A
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER .
(b) Procedure.--The commissioner, in consultation with the
Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association and the Fraternal
Order of Police, shall develop a reporting mechanism each LAW
ENFORCEMENT agency must comply with and submit records of all
use of force incidents. The commissioner, with the approval of
the commission, shall determine the most efficient and least
burdensome procedure for which this reporting requirement shall
be implemented, administered and maintained. This procedure may
be incorporated at the discretion of the commissioner within
existing or forthcoming uniform crime reporting functions,
including a national incident-based reporting system.
(c) Content.--The report shall include the following
information:
(1) Reason for use of force.
(2) Injuries, if any, and to what individuals.
(3) Property damage, if any.
(4) Deaths, if any.
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(5) Suspect information, including statute violations
and apprehension status of the suspect.
(6) Any other information deemed necessary by the
commissioner to evaluate and improve policies.
(d) Implementation.--The commissioner may implement the
reporting requirements to coincide with the timing of the
implementation of a national incident-based reporting system
within this Commonwealth.
§ 2145 2134 . Pennsylvania State Police report.
(a) Annual report.--The Pennsylvania State Police shall
compile data sent by individual agencies on an annual basis. The
Pennsylvania State Police shall make an annual report based on
Statewide data to the Office of Attorney General, the Judiciary
Committee of the Senate, the Judiciary Committee of the House of
Representatives and the Law and Justice Committee of the Senate.
(b) Contents.--The Statewide report shall include the
following information:
(1) Statewide aggregations of information collected
under section 2144(c) 2133(C) (relating to recordkeeping).
(2) The total number and percentage of incidents
involving the use of force.
(3) The total number and percentage of incidents
involving the use of force resulting in bodily injury.
(4) The total number and percentage of incidents
involving the use of force resulting in serious bodily
injury.
(5) The total number and percentage of incidents
involving the use of force resulting in death.
(6) A list of agencies that have not notified or
certified to the commission that the agency has a policy as
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required under section 2143 (relating to written policies
required).
(c) Submission of annual report.--The Pennsylvania State
Police shall submit the first annual report after the first full
calendar year of data collection.
Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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