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PRINTER'S NO. 1837
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
1202
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY A. WILLIAMS, MUTH, SANTARSIERO, FONTANA, HAYWOOD,
FARNESE, HUGHES, STREET, COSTA, KEARNEY AND BOSCOLA,
JULY 10, 2020
REFERRED TO LAW AND JUSTICE, JULY 10, 2020
AN ACT
Amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions relating to area
government and intergovernmental cooperation, providing for
civilian police oversight boards.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Chapter 23 of Title 53 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a subchapter to read:
SUBCHAPTER D
CIVILIAN POLICE OVERSIGHT BOARDS
Sec.
2361. Scope of subchapter.
2362. Definitions.
2363. Establishment.
§ 2361. Scope of subchapter.
This subchapter relates to citizen police oversight boards.
§ 2362. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter
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shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Board." A civilian police oversight board established under
this subchapter.
"Chief executive." The chief executive of a municipality.
"Governing body." The governing body of a municipality.
§ 2363. Establishment.
(a) Establishment.--A municipality that operates a police
department shall, by ordinance, establish a citizen police
oversight board for the purposes of receiving complaints,
performing investigations and making recommendations regarding
alleged police misconduct.
(b) Composition.--The board shall be comprised of not less
than three members appointed by the chief executive, with the
advice and consent of the governing body, if applicable.
(c) Membership.--Members of the board shall reflect the
geographic, economic and cultural diversity of the municipality.
Employees of municipal or county police departments or their
immediate family members shall be ineligible from serving on a
board.
(d) Powers and duties.--The powers and duties of a board
shall be determined by the municipality and may include:
(1) Review, revise and promulgate police department
policies, procedures and standing orders.
(2) Investigate all complaints filed by individuals
alleging police misconduct by the police department.
(3) Establish a mediation program in which a complainant
may voluntarily choose to resolve a complaint by an informal
mediation administered by the board with the police
department.
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(4) Provide advice and recommendations to the chief
executive or governing body on policies and actions of the
police department, including recommendations on police
training, hiring and disciplinary policies and specific
recommendations of discipline for individual officers.
(5) Conduct public hearings, subpoena witnesses, compel
witness attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony of a
person under oath and require the production of evidence
relating to any other matter under investigation or question
before the board.
(6) Upon completion of hearings or investigations,
determine and administer, in consultation with the chief of
police, appropriate disciplinary action for police officers
found in violation of department policies and to refer for
criminal prosecution violations of law.
(7) Recommend from a pool of candidates provided by the
chief executive or the governing body the hiring of a new
chief of police.
(8) In consultation with the chief executive, remove a
chief of police for cause following an appropriate
investigation.
(9) Employ and supervise a staff, including a solicitor,
as necessary.
(10) Conduct other actions necessary to fulfill the
purpose of the board.
(e) Procedures and rules.--The board shall adopt procedures
and rules necessary to fulfill the purpose of the board.
(f) Funding.--
(1) Funding shall be appropriated by the General
Assembly for the initial establishment of each civilian
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police oversight board based on the following criteria:
(i) For boards authorized to conduct investigations,
to determine department policy, including personnel
hiring and firing decisions, and to take disciplinary
actions against police officers up to and including
termination, an amount equal to 1% of the total municipal
police budget.
(ii) For boards authorized to conduct investigations
and to determine policy, but only to recommend
disciplinary action, an amount equal to 0.25% of the
total municipal police budget.
(iii) For boards authorized only to recommend or to
advise on policies or procedures, an amount equal to 0.1%
of the total municipal police budget.
(2) Funding shall be appropriated each fiscal year by
the General Assembly for continuing operation of each board
at 100% of the levels set by paragraph (1)(i), (ii) and (iii)
for a period of three years following the establishment of a
board. Following that time period, State appropriations shall
be reduced by 15% each year until an equal share of funding
is shared by the State and municipality, the total of which
may not be less than the prorated amounts established in
paragraph (1)(i), (ii) and (iii).
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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