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06/25/2024 10:21 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 24, 2021 03:44 PM
From: Representative Jake Wheatley, Jr.
To: All House members
Subject: Certification and Decertification Process for Police Officers
In Pennsylvania, our doctors, lawyers, barbers, and veterinary technicians all must meet professional standards, minimum education requirements and prove good moral character prior to being permitted to practice. This is because we all acknowledge these are professions which, if left unregulated, could harm potential clients. We should expect nothing less of our police. Therefore, I am introducing legislation for an Oversight Board to professionally certify, train, and provide continual education to police officers.

My legislation will set all the standards for certification and decertification which will qualify a law enforcement officer to work as a licensed police officer, including Sheriffs, State Police, Municipal Officers and Correctional Officers. In addition to licensing police officers, it will provide the public with a venue where behavioral misconduct concerns will be addressed. Like other professional licenses, this entity will have the ability to decertify officers based on the decision of the Board.

Currently, State Police, Sheriffs, Correctional officers and Municipal Officer certification and training have separate standards to which 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. This legislation would help standardize professionalism for police like so many other professionally licensed occupations in the Commonwealth.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1119