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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 26, 2018 11:16 AM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Law Enforcement Use of Force Policy
I will soon be introducing legislation that will require municipal law enforcement departments to adopt model use of force policies and to train each police officer on procedures to be used under the policy.

One of the shocking realizations after recent police-involved shootings at the local level is that municipalities and their law enforcement departments have little-to-no policies guiding the decisions that police have to make in their line of work. This bill will resolve that by requiring every municipal police department to develop and implement written use of force policies that are endorsed by national or state organizations that meet the minimum requirement of the bill.

The minimum requirements of the model policy include decision making criteria for initiating the use of force; the severity of the crime at issue; the immediacy of the threat posed by a suspect; and other safety factors. The policy must also include rules on the roles of individuals within the department's chain of command and record keeping requirements in the event force is used.

The Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission will be required to certify the adoption of the use of force policies and to report to the Pennsylvania State Police which departments have and have not adopted these policies.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB459