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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 27, 2018 09:40 AM
From: Representative Jake Wheatley, Jr.
To: All House members
Subject: Co-sponsorship of Legislation - Police Oversight Board
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to professionally license police officers.

Doctors, lawyers, barbers, and veterinary technicians all must meet professional standards, minimum education standards, and prove good moral character prior to being permitted to practice a profession which, if left unregulated, could harm potential clients.

We should expect nothing less of our police.

This professional licensing board will set all of the standards for licensure which will qualify a law enforcement officer to work as a licensed police officer. In addition to licensing police officers, this board will provide the public with another venue for complaints and concerns. As other boards do, this entity will have investigation and prosecutorial jurisdiction over its licensees. The board will also be solely vested with authority to investigate all use of deadly force by police in the commonwealth.

The Municipal Police Officer Education and Training Commission currently certifies that officers have completed minimum education standards and have the power to revoke that certification in limited circumstances, however, they do not have the power to investigate complaints of police misconduct and certification does not carry the same responsibilities and privileges of licensure.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.